Qasim al-Raymi (Updated)

The BBC and other news outlets are reporting that Qasim al-Raymi has been killed in an air strike today. If true - and this is not the first time that al-Raymi has been reported to have been killed - this would be a major, although not necessarily debilitating blow to AQAP. I have long claimed that al-Raymi is the single most dangerous individual in the organization.

Waq al-waq will attempt to post up-dates throughout the day, but there are a number of other things on the docket. But again, treat with caution the news of al-Raymi's death until it is confirmed.

Update: Here are two Arabic reports, as usual with this type of breaking news, the Mareb Press story is building off of the 26th of September story. According to what is known at this time, it seems as though the strike took place somewhere between Sa'dah and al-Jawf near the region of al-Buq'a.

Two cars carrying al-Qaeda militants were reportedly destroyed in the attack. The Yemeni press is reporting that in addition to Qasim al-Raymi, the strike also killed 'Aidh al-Shabwani (the target of the July 30 Battle of Marib), as well as Salih al-Tays.

Warning, Pure speculation: (if this is sounding familiar it should, it sounds very much like the drone strike in November 2002 - that time it was reported that a bomb the militants were carrying went off before someone in the US administration leaked that the US was behind the strike. Hopefully the US learned from that mistake of hubris.) I wrote about the possibility of something like this happening a while ago. And while I readily admit that is only speculation to suggest that this was a US drone strike: if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck - well you know the rest.

Update II: A quick scan through the forums does not reveal much, but then I wouldn't expect anything so soon except breathless rumors reported in the open forums. It is much too early for an official statement. We will have to wait.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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