Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Sunday confirmed the death of its leader Qassim al-Rimi and appointed a successor, the SITE monitor said, weeks after the US said it had “eliminated” him.
The announcement came in an audio speech delivered by AQAP religious official Hamid bin Hamoud al-Tamimi, said SITE Intelligence Group.
SITE said that Batarfi has appeared in many AQAP videos over the past several years and appeared to be Rimi's deputy and group spokesman.
President Donald Trump announced Rimi's death earlier this month, saying the US had “conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen” that eliminated him.
Washington considers AQAP to be Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch.
“Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces,” Trump said at the time.
“His death further degrades AQAP and the global Al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security.”