Posts Tagged ‘al qaeda in the arabian peninsula’

Nine militants killed in Yemen

June 11th, 2012 Comments off

At least nine militants were killed after Yemeni army clashed with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists Sunday in Abyan province.
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Al Qaeda leaders killed in Yemen air strike

May 7th, 2012 Comments off

Two wanted terrorists of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have been killed in a US air strike in a mountainous region in Yemen, a media report said.
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Heritage scenario: ‘Saudi dynasty would collapse as a new Islamist regime rises to power!’

April 17th, 2012 Comments off

“… In the Heritage hypothetical, reformers in Saudi Arabia would begin to voice their calls for genuine democracy, transparent government, equal rights for women, and greater political, social and personal freedoms. Their messages would begin in social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and they would grow into grassroots uprisings on the streets. Shi’a and Sunni religious radicals would join in, the crowds of protesters would swell, and ultimately Saudi forces would clamp down, firing on the peaceful protesters in order to quell the uprising. And this is where all hell would break loose.Watching from afar, Americans would learn of protesters seizing oil fields and attacking infrastructure. Fighting would damage key energy facilities, Iran would stoke the conflict by providing Saudi Shi’ites with money, arms, propaganda support and training, and ultimately the Saudi dynasty would collapse as a new Islamist regime rises to power. Wahhabi clerics and elements connected to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula would seize power and expel all non-Muslim foreign workers. With the loss of skilled workers, all Saudi oil production would cease — along with oil exports….”

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Yemeni warplanes bomb al-Qaeda bases, 18 killed

March 19th, 2012 Comments off

At least 18 militants were killed and dozens of others injured after Yemeni warplanes bombed several bases of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the country's Abyan province Sunday.
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Trial outcome

February 13th, 2012 Comments off

AFP, Nine Islamists jailed for plotting terror attacks, 9 Feb 2012 “[Judge] Wilkie said they were “fundamentalist Islamists who have turned to violent terrorism in direct response to material, both propagandist and instructive, issued on the Internet by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”“
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Al Qaeda targeting more American jihadist recruits in Yemen

January 11th, 2012 Comments off

An Al-Qaeda outfit in Yemen, also known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is targeting more American jihadist recruits, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI has warned.
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‘Yemen al-Qaeda media man killed’

October 15th, 2011 Comments off

The media chief of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim al-Banna, and six other militants die in an air strike in Yemen, officials say.
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The Seduction of Simple Solutions

July 1st, 2011 Comments off

Over at Waq al-Waq there is an excellent commentary by Greg Johnsen on the situation in Yemen, responding to a “think tank” report from people who really do not know Yemen very well (or apparently want to know it in a certain way). Here is the start…

Late last week Frank Cilluffo and Clint Watts released a policy brief from George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute entitled “Yemen and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: Exploiting a Window of Counterterrorism Opportunity.”

My in-box quickly filled up with helpful people sending me copies of the report, I have now had time to read it and digest and my thoughts follow below.

(Note:) I don’t know Frank Cilluffo but I do know and respect Clint and he has seen a copy of my rebuttal here prior to posting.

For those who are faithful readers of Waq al-waq it should come as no surprise that I strongly disagree with the report and its conclusions. I think this is what happens when smart people tackle a complex problem in an environment they don’t know particularly well. The report, in my opinion, is full of assumptions that make sense broadly but break down the closer one gets to Yemen.

Obviously there are parts of the report I agree with, and many other places where well-intentioned people can disagree.

(Quotes from the paper are in italics; mine are in regular caps.)

Assumption 1: AQAP suddenly stronger this month

“This week’s escape of 63 suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters from a Yemeni prison exemplifies how President Saleh’s departure to Saudi Arabia and Yemeni instability embolden this lethal al Qaeda affiliate.“

I’m pretty sure that AQAP was emboldened prior to Salih’s departure, the group has been incredibly active in Yemen recently and I would argue that largely as a result of US air strikes between December 2009 and May 2010, the organization is actually stronger now in terms of recruits than it was when it dispatched the so-called underwear bomber who tried to bring down the airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

Assumption 2: Huthis and Southern Movement are responsible

“In recent weeks, the writ of government in Yemen has evaporated under the twin strains of the Houthi rebellion in northern Yemen and the Secessionist movement in southern Yemen.”

This is simply untrue – the writ of Yemen’s government has evaporated under popular protests. The Huthi rebellion has been ongoing since 2004 and the Southern movement since 2007 – neither of these are new, and neither of these are the cause of the recent collapse.

For Greg’s full commentary, click here.

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Top Struggles in the Arab Spring Today

June 2nd, 2011 Comments off

The Arab Spring began with peaceful protests in Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, and elsewhere in the region, with masses of demonstrators giving their elites a choice of getting rid of the country’s dictator or of attempting to put down the demonstrations. In Tunisia and Egypt, the military refused for the most part to fire on peaceful noncombatants, and so the dictator had to go. But in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain, the regimes showed themselves willing to use brutal methods. Libya’s Qaddafi has killed and wounded thousands. Syrian troops have probably killed about 1000 persons. Yemen must be nearing 200. Bahrain’s security forces killed less than 30.

The struggles continued on Wednesday and Thursday. In Yemen, the capital of Sanaa continued its fall into a civil war between security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and members of the Hashed tribe loyal to opposition leader Sadiq al-Ahmar. Explosions and gunfire rocked the city, as other urban areas, especially Taizz, where government forces had fired on protesters, remained restive.

Aljazeera English reports:

Yemen is important to the West because of its commanding position at the mouth of the Red Sea (10 percent of world trade goes through the Suez Canal) and because its government had been an ally in the fight against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has 300 or so fighters in the southern Ma’rib Province of Yemen. Yemen’s security also affects that of neighboring Saudi Arabia, which produces 11 percent of daily world petroleum output. The protest movement against Saleh has a Muslim tinge in some instances, but for the most part is regional, tribal or age-based (as elsewhere, the youth movement is important).

It is emerging that Syrian security forces killed 41 persons in the city of Rastan by shelling it, in the face of protests, on Tuesday. The news breaks from Syria, which has imposed a press blackout, as a united coalition of secular and religious opposition Syrian leaders met in Antalya in Turkey. They regime is also attempting to deal with widespread outrage over allegations that it tortured, mutilated and murdered a 13-year-old boy. President Bashar al-Asad had offered an amnesty to protest leaders on Tuesday on condition they cease roiling the country, but the offer was rejected by the opposition.

Syria is important to the US as a major country abutting the Eastern Mediterranean, neighboring NATO ally Turkey, as well as non-NATO allies Jordan and Israel. It also shares a border with Lebanon and with Iraq. It is central to the Palestinian-Israeli struggle and had been part of Turkey’s hopes for a big expansion of regional trade in the Middle East. The Damascus regime is allied with Iran and so is on the wrong side of the geopolitical divide in the region from an American, Israeli and Saudi point of view. The one-party, authoritarian Baath Party has ruled with an iron fist for decades.

In Libya, oil minister Shukri Ghanem was confirmed to have defected from the Qaddafi regime in Tripoli days after several senior military officers had done so. Fighting in a western suburb near Misrata calmed down, as Free Libya forces retained control of that major Western city. Fighting continued in nearby Zlitan, which lies between Misrata and the capital, and in the Western Mountain region, where Free Libya forces said they had taken a provincial city where the regional electricity generating plant was located. A UN-authorized NATO and Arab League air contingent extended its bombing campaign, hitting the capital of Tripoli again on Wednesday, as the regime continued to defy a Security Council order to cease attacking its population. Meanwhile, a UN commission found that the Libyan regime has committed war crimes and has attacked civilian non-combatants. It also found evidence of war crimes on the rebel side, though not of attacks on non-combatants.

Qaddafi forces are suspected in a car-bombing of a hotel full of foreigners in Benghazi, which, however, did not kill anyone:

As the state of emergency ended in Bahrain, a small demonstration was held in the Shiite village of Diraz near the capital, which was dispersed by the king’s troops, using tear gas. It is not clear why protesters should not be allowed to demonstrate peacefully in Diraz if there is no state of emergency. The small island kingdom of Bahrain, with a citizen population of roughly 600,000, produces only a small amount of petroleum, but is the HQ of the US Fifth Fleet. Its citizen population is roughly 60 percent Shiite, though it would be more if the Sunni monarchy had not handed out Bahraini citizenship to tens of thousands of foreign Sunnis. The ruling Al Khalifa has a ‘thing’ about Shiites and sees the protest movement, which had included small Sunni parties wanting more civil liberties, as a mere Iranian conspiracy (not so).

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US has fingerprint, forensic evidence of top Al Qaeda bomb-maker

May 24th, 2011 Comments off

The FBI has fingerprint and forensic evidence linking Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) bomb-maker Khalid Ibrahim al-Asiri to a trio of explosive devices used in recent attacks on the US, counter-terrorism officials have said.
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