New Yemen al-Qaida leader says US is his group's only rival

AP News
Posted: Jul 09, 2015 5:36 PM

CAIRO (AP) — The new leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch says his group's main enemy remains the United States and is urging Sunni militants to keep up their war against America, which he claims is "reeling" from terror attacks.

Qassim al-Raimi assumed the leadership of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula after a U.S. airstrike last month killed his predecessor, Nasir al-Wahishi, who was also the global terror network's second-most important figure.

In an audio message Thursday on social media, al-Raimi eulogized his predecessor, saying al-Wahishi got his wish to die fighting. The recording was posted by the AQAP's media arm.

Al-Raimi, who previously was the Yemeni branch's military commander, praised al-Qaida affiliates' recent victories in Syria and elsewhere.

Yemen's al-Qaida branch is widely seen as al-Qaida's most dangerous offshoot.