Merry Christmas from AQAP and Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri

AQAP (Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) has released Issue 13 of its Inspire Magazine. I moved some parts of the cover around in the above picture, here's the actual cover.

It's been a long time since AQAP released an issue of Inspire. It seems they wanted to get this one out for Christmas, which will be the 5th anniversary of Captain Underpants' (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab ) failed attempt to set off a bomb on a plane traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit.

The issue gets right to the point: America is the enemy and Al Qaida's supporters in our neck of the woods will be setting off more bombs. To help them, the issue offers encouragement and instructions on how to build a bomb in their kitchen. From the Editor of the magazine:

He continues: [More....]

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AQAP's New Magazine Urges Attacks in U.S. and Britain

Is AQAP (al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) getting jealous of ISIS? Its new magazine, an offshoot of Inspire by Al-Malahem English Production, is called Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience. It urges lone wolf attacks in the U.S. and Britain and some other places. There are photos of the Tsarnaev brothers and the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad (background here).

It also provides a pictorial with instructions and a shopping list for ingredients for pressure cooker bombs and car bombs (which I'm not re-publishing, but you can read the magazine for yourself here, courtesy of Jihadology. See pages 14 to 18.)

Here is its pitch, and the list of suggested targets: [More...]

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AQAP Statement in Support of ISIS and Threatening U.S.

In response to U.S. air strikes in Iraq, AQAP (al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) has reportedly issued a statement supporting ISIS and blasting America and Obama, and urging attacks on the U.S.

The statement is titled "In the name of G-d the merciful. Subject: Statement on the US bombing on Iraq."here. It was issued by al Aswirti Media and posted on justpaste.it. You can use Google Translate or Bing Translator to translate (very rough translation, but it's enough to make out the important parts.)

ISIS has still not threatened to attack the U.S. It remains focused on building its Caliphate state in Iraq and Syria, and then in the other Muslim countries in the region. It does not control AQAP. Nor does it control its fanboys sitting behind computers in other countries who post threats to the U.S. [More...]

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AQAP Sweats the Small Stuff

According to Associated Press reporter Rukmini Callimachi in Mali, it appears al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is very focused on accounting.

The convoy of cars bearing the black al Qaeda flag came at high speed, and the manager of the modest grocery store thought he was about to get robbed.

Mohamed Djitteye rushed to lock his till and cowered behind the counter. He was dumbfounded when instead, the al Qaeda commander gently opened the grocery’s glass door and asked for a pot of mustard. Then he asked for a receipt.

Confused and scared, Djitteye didn’t understand. So the jihadist repeated his request. Could he please have a receipt for the $1.60 purchase?

The AP found a treasure trove of documents, including receipts for things like a single light bulb and bar of soap. [More...]

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Reports of AQAP Developing Liquid Explosive

Update: Already being debunked. Another report on this from yesterday here.

This sounds like more "crazy pants" to me, but a new report in the Yemen Post claims that U.S. officials are saying what prompted U.S. actions in Yemen this week is concern that AQAP has developed a hard to detect liquid explosive for terror attacks:

Senior US security officials have explained that "Clothes dipped in the liquid reportedly became explosive devices when dry and might be worn by suicide attackers." Such technology would essentially turn anyone into a terror suspect and make prevention and detection a logistical nightmare.

As several media outlets wondered on Tuesday why the Pentagon had been so keen to see its nationals leave Yemen and arrange for the return home of all its non-essential diplomatic staff, in what appeared to be a security frenzy, Wednesday brought the answer, liquid explosive.

The report says the creator of the "technological breakthrough" is alleged bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri.

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Yemen Claims it Thwarted al Qaeda Attack

Update: Not surprisingly, Yemen backtracks, calling the report false and baseless.

Yemen authorities now say they have thwarted a major planned al Qaida attack. The attack intended to shut down Yemen's oil exports.

a spokesman for the Yemeni authorities said they had thwarted a plot to blow oil pipelines and take control of two ports in the south, responsible for the bulk of Yemen's oil exports, according to the BBC.

The plot included using al-Qaeda gunmen dressed as soldiers to infiltrate the ports and a local security source said dozens of terrorists had arrived in the capital to prepare for the attack.

The BBC reports: [More...]

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Yemen, Drones and Tribes

Gregory Johnson, who I have been reading since his Waq al Waq blog days when AQAP announced its formation in 2009, has an article today in Foreign Policy, How Yemen Was Lost. He gives two main reasons. The second is pertains to the drone strikes, which kill al Qaeda leaders but also tribesman and civilians and are causing tremendous hostility against the U.S.:

The men that the United States is killing in Yemen are tied to the local society in a way that many of the fighters in Afghanistan never were. They may be al Qaeda members, but they are also fathers and sons, brothers and cousins, tribesmen and clansmen with friends and relatives.


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Al Qaeda Prison Breaks Now Considered a Factor in Closures

CNN reports the recent al Qaida prison breaks factored into the decision to close embassies in the middle east and Africa.

CNN also refers to a recent statement by Ayman al-Zawahiri and his appointment of AQAP's Nasir al Wuhayshi as "general manager" of al Qaeda's multiple networks. McClatchy reports the threat came from intercepting communications between the two. [More...]

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Al-Qaeda Promotes Lone Terrorist and Aims for Suburbia

Thanks to Wired for publishing the full version of the new issue of Inspire, the magazine of al-Qaeda Arab Peninsula (the rest of the media and the corporate terror-monitoring sites either just refer to it or want you to buy a subscription to access it.)

Apparently, the U.S. has made air travel so problematic, AQAP is recommending alternative ways to terrorize those in the U.S. [more...]

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Yemen Says AQAP Leader #2 Killed

Update: Al-Shihri says he's alive. So does a Yemen official:

The Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat quoted an unnamed senior Yemeni defense ministry official as saying that DNA tests of the body have proved that the dead man was not al-Shihri.

Saeed Ali al-Shihri, the former Guantanamo inmate who after release, went to a Saudi rehabilitation camp and then returned to Yemen to form AQAP and become its second in command, has been killed in Yemen. The Yemen News Agency announcement is here.

This isn't the first time Yemen has announced al-Shihiri is dead. More on Al-Shehri (also spelled al Shihri) and the other top AQAP leaders here. You can read his father's statements disowning him here.

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A New AQAP Airplane Plot

The CIA says it thwarted a planned attack on a commerical airliner by al Qaeda Arabian Penisula (AQAP) in Yemen. They say it was more sophisticated than the Underwear Bomber's device.

The FBI is conducting tests on the device. It may have been made by AQAP bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.

The bomb had not been picked up by the would-be suicide bomber who was to do the attack. A target had not even been selected.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought a plane ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It's not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

Did the suicide bomber get cold feet and go to the authorities? CBS reports:

The would-be suicide bomber was told to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack. It's not immediately clear what happened to the would-be bomber, the AP reported.

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AQAP Confirms al-Awlaki's Death and Issues New Threats

Al Qaida Arabian Peninsula released a statement today confirming the killing of cleric Anwar al-Awlawi and two others. The media quotes a sentence or two, but you don't get the real flavor unless you read the whole thing. An English translation is here. A snippet:

“The Americans killed the scholar Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaqi and Samir Khan, but they did not prove any crime they committed and they never presented any proof against them from their laws of unjust freedom. So, where is the freedom, justice, human rights and respect of freedoms they boast of? Did America become so suffocated that it contradicted—and everyday it contradicts—these principles it claims it established its country on?”

“America has failed as it has not stuck to its principles, and the Shaykh—who lived his doctrine and died for its cause—won. And like that, everyday America kills humans unjustly and aggressively. Its history is black and long and has no limit, and it lies openly that it protects human rights, justice and freedom.”


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