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Qasim al-Raymi: II

Here is a brief bio on Qasim al-Raymi that I wrote back in 2007.

Qasim Yahya Mahdi al-Raymi (b. 1977): Al-Raymi is from Sanaa, and was also known by the kunya Abu Hurayrah al-San’ani. His younger brother, Faris, who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, was killed in mysterious circumstances in Sanaa in June 2007 after leaving his house in the company of Zakariya al-Yafa’i, another escapee. Another brother, Ali, is listed as being in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay. Al-Raymi was arrested in connection with a series of explosions in the al-Qadasayah district of Sanaa in 2002. He was charged with being part of the cell that was planning to attack five embassies in Sanaa. During his trial in 2004, al-Raymi threatened to cut off the leg of Said al-Akil, the public prosecutor. Al-Akil’s house was subsequently attacked with a hand grenade later that week. Al-Raymi was sentenced to five years in prison on August 30, 2004, which was later upheld by a superior court in February 2005.

Following his escape, al-Raymi was sheltered for a while by Yahya Muhammad al-Shara’i, who has since been apprehended and is currently awaiting sentencing (22nd May, April 29). On June 21, 2007, al-Raymi posted an audio statement to an Islamist website announcing that fellow escapee Nasir al-Wuhayshi was the new head of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. On August 2, Yemeni authorities announced that al-Raymi was part of the 10-man cell that was responsible for the July 2 suicide bombing in Marib, which killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemeni drivers (Terrorism Focus, August 14). That same week, on August 5, al-Raymi posted another audio message to an Islamist forum, once again warning his colleagues in al-Qaeda against negotiating with the government (al-Sharq al-Awsat, August 6). Three days later, al-Raymi was rumored to be killed in an early morning raid on his hideout in the al-Suhaym region in the governorate of Marib. That report proved to be premature, as al-Raymi had left the hideout the night before the attack. Instead, later reports revealed that Ali bin Ali Jaradan, Abd al-Aziz Jaradan and Ali Nasir Duha were killed in the raid (al-Arabiya, August 8). All three were linked to the July 2 suicide attack in Marib. The trio was also wanted for their involvement in the assassination of Ali Mahmud Qasaylah, the chief criminal investigator in Marib, in March 2007

Additionally, we now know, thanks to Sada al-Malahim, that al-Raymi, who has memorized the Qur’an, graduated from a religious school in Yemen before traveling to Afghanistan in the late 1990s where he trained in the al-Faruq camp and where he met Osama bin Laden.

The most recent article from 26 of September, indicates that there were 8 men in the two cars including al-Raymi, ‘Amar al-Wa’ili, Salih al-Tays, ‘Aidh al-Shabwani, ‘Abdullah Hadi al-Tays, Abu Ayman (an Egyptan) and two other unidentified individuals.

Robert Worth of the New York Times
has al-Shabwani and Abu Ayman dead and al-Wa’ili escaping. But much of this information is fluid and subject to change.


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