Is Yemen’s Raymi out to lunch?


Abu Hurayrah Qasim al Raymi,

Last weekend, the Yemeni government claimed that Qasim al Raymi, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s military commander, and five other senior leaders of the terror group were killed in the Jan. 15 airstrike in a remote region of Al Jawf. But tribal leaders claimed Raymi was seen eating lunch the next day, with minor injuries. From The Wall Street Journal:

Yemeni opposition news outlets also cited local tribal leaders as saying they had seen the al Qaeda figures alive after the airstrike on Friday. One news story from the online site Mareb Press quoted a tribal leader as saying he saw al Qaeda’s military-operations chief, Qasim al Raymi, with slight wounds but well enough to be eating lunch on Saturday.

And Yemen’s foreign minister admitted the government doesn’t have the bodies to prove they killed Raymi and the others, and instead claimed the terrorists were “spirited away.” From Reuters:

In Ottawa, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said the strikes had been carried out in a remote part of Yemen.

“This is why it makes it very difficult really to provide exact information on who has been actually killed … in some cases al Qaeda will withdraw their killed operatives and will bury them before the armed forces get to that area,” he said.

Asked if he believed al Qaeda had removed the bodies of those killed in the latest strike, he replied, “Yes, exactly.”

Don’t be surprised if Raymi shows up on a tape in the near future to confirm he is alive.

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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1 Comment

  • Mr T says:

    The guy is being actively hunted and he knows it but still goes out for lunch? Can’t he have a guy bring him some food back to the hideout? Or maybe he isn’t hiding.


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