Qasim al-Raymi is AQAP's military commander. He emerged in February 2009 on Saudi Arabia's most wanted list, and was reported then to be 30 years old. Active in Al Qaeda's operations in Yemen before the founding of AQAP, he is a key suspect in the deadly July 2007 attack on a convoy of Spanish tourists.
Foreign Policy says he "appears to have a healthy appetite for risk." Robert Worth of The New York Times describes Mr. Raymi as "fiery" and "burly," contrasting sharply with the more cerebral leader Naser al-Wuhayshi. But the two men also have much in common:
Both men come from ordinary families, studied at religious schools, and fought in Afghanistan, according to ... Yemeni journalists. Both served time afterward in Yemeni prisons. And both were among the 23 militants who escaped from the central Sana prison in February 2006.
The two men have also followed bin Laden's example in building an ever-more-sophisticated propaganda arm for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including frequent video and audio tapes and an Internet magazine, Sada al-Malahim (The Echo of Battles), that appears every two months or so.