Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an official branch of al Qaeda, has released a video eulogy for Nasir al Wuhayshi, the group’s most senior leader. Wuhayshi was killed in a US drone strike earlier this month. The eulogy is read by Khaled al Batarfi, an al Qaeda veteran who was freed from prison after AQAP overran the coastal city of Mukallah in early April.
Batarfi says that Wuhayshi was killed along with two others during an American raid. Qasim al Raymi, who co-founded AQAP in early 2009, has been selected as Wuhayshi’s successor. The US State Department added al Raymi to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists in May 2010, saying that he “played a key role in reviving the regional node” of al Qaeda in Yemen after he escaped from prison in 2006. Wuhayshi also took part in that prison break.
Al Raymi had served as AQAP’s top military commander prior to being named emir of the group.
Batarfi brags that AQAP was able to quickly assemble a meeting of its shura council members to select a new leader, even while fighting in the chaotic war being waged throughout Yemen. […]