Al Qaeda’s military commander in Yemen reported killed


Abu Hurayrah Qasim al Raymi,

The Yemeni government has claimed it killed the military commander of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula during an airstrike in a remote region of the country.

Abu Hurayrah Qasim al Raymi, the military commander of al Qaeda in Yemen, was among six senior members of the terror group thought to have been killed during an airstrike.

The Yemeni government said its air force struck two cars carrying Abu Hurayrah Qasim al Raymi and senior members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in the Al Ajasher region, a mountainous region between Saada and Jawf.

The strike targeted Raymi and al Qaeda leaders Aidh Jaber al Shabwani, Ammar Obada al Waili, Saleh al Tais, and an Egyptian known as Abu Ayman. Both Shabwani and Ayamn are thought to have been killed; the identity of the others killed in the strike is not known.

Shabwani was the leader of al Qaeda in Marib province. Ayman is said to move back and forth between Yemen and Afghanistan, where he directs suicide attacks against Afghan and Coalition forces.

The deaths of Raymi, Shabwani, and Ayman have not been confirmed by the US. It is not known if the US military actually carried out the attack or merely provided intelligence and military assistance. Intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would not comment on the strike. The subject of US and foreign involvement in Yemen is a sensitive one. Two days ago, more than 150 Yemeni clerics said that it was the obligation of Yemenis to wage jihad on foreign countries if they become involved in internal affairs.

The US carried out at least one of the two airstrikes against the terror group in Yemen during December. The US used air-launched cruise missiles during the Dec. 17 strike that targeted al Qaeda camps in Sana’a and Abyan. The Yemeni government claimed it carried out the Dec. 24 airstrike that targeted Abu Nasir al Wuhayshi, his deputy Said al Shihri, Raymi, and radical US-born cleric Anwar al Awlaki.

Raymi was the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen before he yielded authority to Abu Nasir al Wuhayshi. Both Raymi and Wuhayshi were among 13 al Qaeda leaders and fighters who escaped from a Yemeni jail in 2006. In February 2009, Al Qaeda in Yemen merged with the Saudi branch and became Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Raymi was appointed the military commander of the group.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has risen to prominence after the two US-backed airstrikes. Just one day after the Christmas Eve strike, a Nigerian attempted to blow up an airliner over Detroit. The airline bomber had received training, the explosive device, and the ideological justification to carry out the attack while in Yemen. US officials fear another plot to hit the homeland is being hatched in Yemen.

For more on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the terror group’s leaders, see:

Radical US cleric survived airstrike in Yemen: family

US launches cruise missile strikes against al Qaeda in Yemen

Yemeni airstrike targets top al Qaeda leaders

Former Guantanamo detainee now al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula’s Mufti

Yemen permits wanted al Qaeda leaders to operate in the open

Al Qaeda opens new training camp in Yemen

Arabian Peninsula al Qaeda groups merge

Return to Jihad

A look at 10 of the most dangerous Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders:


Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Rhyno327 says:

    Seems like there is a whole lot more going on in Yemen that we know, and we may NEVER know. AQ in Yemen is gonna die a violent, brutal death. The SAUDI’S don’t want them there, the US wants them dead, the deck looks stacked. Is this guy dead? Don’t know. Do I believe Yemeni armed forces carried out this “rubout?” NO. I have only press reports and such to go on, but i can only imagine how US forces are being allowed to operate in Yemen. Dijbouti is not far from Yemen, and i have a feeling there is a lot more going on that we are being told. Thats the way its done. NEVER seen, heard, but you will FEEL it..job well done, now get that swine AWLAKI..he’s gotta pay, and my bet is he won’t last long..wherever they are, they MUST pay…

  • ArneFufkin says:

    I hope you are right Rhyno. It has to be weighing on the terror monkeys that they, too, are the objects of lethal and stealthy focus. Terrorize the terrorists. Delicious irony if not such grim unfortunate business.


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