Donald Trump says the United States has killed the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.
The U.S. president's statement said Qassim al-Raymi committed, quote, 'unconscionable violence' against civilians in Yemen, and sought to 'conduct and inspire' numerous attacks against the United States and its forces.
This is Raymi in a video Reuters obtained back in 2015, speaking after the death of his predecessor.
Washington sees Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as one of the deadliest branches of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.
Reports in Yemen in recent days suggested Raymi was killed in a drone strike in Marib.
Reuters was unable to verify those reports.
Trump didn't say when Raymi was killed.
Earlier this week, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for a fatal shooting at a U.S. naval base in Florida back in December.
But it provided no evidence.
A U.S. government source said Washington didn't believe the claim and that the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda could have circulated it to counter the reports about the killing of Raymi.