According to reports, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) called President Trump “the White House’s new fool” in an audio clip taped while talking about the United States’ recent raid in Yemen.
Qassim al-Rimi spoke to his followers in the recording, referencing the January 29th raid that killed 25 people, including 11 women and children, The Associated Press reports.
Speaking about President Trump, he explains:
‘The White House’s new fool has received a painful blow at your hands in his first outing on your land.’
The recording references President Trump’s first counter-terrorism offensive that killed a U.S. Navy SEAL, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, according to the U.S. military. In the audio recording, al-Rimi goes on to claim that multiple American soldiers were also killed or injured in the raid.
Reports have also surfaced that claim the raid also killed Anwar al-Awlaki’s — a New Mexico-born al Qaeda recruiter — 8-year-old daughter Nora. Awlaki was killed in a raid in Yemen five years ago.
‘Praying for all lives lost. This is unacceptable.’
Praying for all the lives lost. This is unacceptable. https://t.co/lXX9Y01Tey
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) January 31, 2017
The raid, which killed two al-Qaeda leaders, was ordered by the Joint Special Operations Command and was intended to capture intelligence.
U.S. officials claim the attack was intended to weaken al-Qaeda forces in Yemen, however, the death of such a young child is likely to spur extremists, critics warn.
The director of Fordham University’s Center on National Security claims:
‘The perception will be that it’s not enough to kill al-Awlaki – that the U.S. had to kill the entire family.’
Members of the military have since claimed the raid was conducted without proper intelligence, leading to demands for an investigation from Democratic lawmakers and human rights groups.
Amnesty International wrote a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday, in which the organization demanded civilian deaths resulting from the raid be investigated. The letter to Mattis from Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, reads:
‘Ordering a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the January 28th SEAL Team raid would make a promising start to your tenure as secretary of Defense, signaling that you take seriously the issues of civilian casualties and respect for international humanitarian law.
‘We also recommend that, if the investigation finds that civilians were killed, the Defense Department offer financial amends to their families, as has been done in some prior cases in Afghanistan and elsewhere.’
Feature Image via Getty Images.