Spotlight on Global Jihad: Yemen

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Written by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

Spotlight on Global Jihad Yemen

  • Report of an attempted attack on an airbase where Western forces were staying

Ansar al-Sharia (which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda) reported that it had fired six rockets at an airbase in southern Yemen, where U.S. and European troops were staying. According to the statement, the attack was carried out in response to the (failed) attempted rescue of the American hostage by US Army Special Forces (the American hostage and another hostage from South Africa were killed in the attempted rescue). Military officials in Yemen confirmed that some soldiers were injured, but did not provide more information. Another source claimed that the rockets missed their target.

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  • Al-Qaeda’s response to the failed rescue attempt by the US

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a video addressing the American public, stating that the death of the American hostage, Luke Somers, during the failed rescue attempt last week, was unnecessary. The speaker who appeared in the video added that the organization has the right to seek the release of Sheikh Omar bin Abd al-Rahman (the blind sheikh who is in prison in the US for his involvement in the World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993) and the release of detainees held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and elsewhere. He added that the US government continues its fight against the Islamic nation, helping the “Zionist occupiers of Palestine” and violating “the rights of Muslims.” The video ended with the words “Al-Aqsa, we are coming [to you]”.

  • The killing of a senior operative in the Houthi rebel organization by Al-Qaeda

According to Yemeni media reports, Salem Ghufayna Raqib, a senior operative in the Shiite Houthi movement, was killed by Islamic operatives from Ansar al-Sharia, an organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda, by means of an IED attached to his car in northern Yemen.

Since 2004, there has been a rebellion against the central Yemeni government in the province of Saada, in northern Yemen, which borders on Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni Army finds it difficult to act and suppress the rebellion. The rebels, numbering several thousand, are members of the Al-Houth clan and belong to the Shiite Zaidi population. According to a large quantity of circumstantial evidence, the Houthi rebellion is receiving military aid from Iran. Yemeni government spokesmen (supported by American sources) have repeatedly accused Iran of supporting the Houthi rebellion.