New AQAP chief calls for attacks on U.S.

Updated 3:09 PM EDT, Fri July 10, 2015
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Story highlights

Qasm al-Rimi assumed command of AQAP after the group's previous leader was killed

Prior to his current position, al-Rimi was the group's military chief

(CNN) —  

The new leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has released a message calling for attacks on the United States.

“All of you must direct and gather your arrows and swords against it,” Qasm al-Rimi, also known as Abu Hureira al-Sanaani, said in the video.

He assumed command of AQAP after Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the group’s previous leader, was killed in drone strike in Yemen last month. Al-Rimi eulogized the ex-leader and pledged allegiance to the head of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

AQAP is one of the most dangerous branches of the jihadist network.

Prior to his current position, al-Rimi was the group’s military chief.

“Qasm al-Rimi was considered the brains of the operation,” CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said when news of al-Wuhayshi’s death broke. “For more than a decade, he’s really been at the helm of the military side of things for AQAP but also planning their large international operations.”