YEMEN: Al-Qaeda remains security threat in 2011
The following article is reprinted with permission from Yemen Times, Sana’a.
Al-Qaeda remains security threat in 2011
© Yemen Times
By Ali Saeed
January 3, 2011
Al-Qaeda will remain a security threat in Yemen this year, a political analyst told the Yemen Times yesterday, after the organization claimed responsibility for at least 49 attacks.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) announced in their latest edition of the Arabic magazine Sada Al-Malahem (Echo of Battles), that it was responsible for carrying out 49 operations between May and October last year in different areas of Yemen.
“Their announcement shows that they are still strong and in continuous confrontation with security forces,” said political analyst Dr. Mohamed Al-Qadi. “It also indicates that Al-Qaeda is going to remain present this year.”
He explained that AQAP’s magazine accurately reflected the 49 operations, which targeted security and military checkpoints. Some of the operations were aimed at assassinating high ranking officers and leaders in Yemen’s army and security forces, according to the magazine’s operations section.
The magazine’s report explained that most of the operations were concentrated in southern governorates, especially Shabwa and Abyan in the south-east of the country.
It indicated that the terrorist organization carried out 13 operations in five governorates against security officers and leaders. Six operations were executed in Abyan governorate.
Five officers were killed in five operations, while the last attack targeted the governor of Abyan, Ahmed Al-Misary, when he was in a military convoy hunting Al-Qaeda suspects last August. The governor survived, but eight of his bodyguards, including his brother, were killed.
Al-Qadi said that that AQAP started a new trend in 2010, the second year of operations for the new branch of Al-Qaeda, formed in January 2009 and its tactics now included targeting Yemen’s army and police.
“Targeting Yemen’s police is a development of Al-Qaeda tactics, as they found the police standing between them and their targets which are western interests,” he said.
AQAP also said in the fifty-page magazine that it was responsible for killing three police officers in Hadramout and another two police officers in Lahj.
The magazine authors also confirmed that the organization assassinated the deputy chief of criminal investigation in Marib governorate, Mohamed Fara’, at the end of August last year. It claimed that Fara’ was hunting down jihadists and hiring informants against Al-Qaeda.
The last operation targeted Colonel Ali Mohamed Salah Al-Husam, the deputy chief of the Political Security Organization in Sa’ada governorate, where Al-Husam was taken as prisoner last October, the report claims.
Other operations were carried out in Lahj, Abyan and Shabwa and took place between July and October. Only two operations were carried out in the capital, Sana’a. The first one targeted a minibus that was carrying political intelligence officers and the second targeted the British deputy ambassador in October 2010. The attempted assassination, in April, of British ambassador Tim Torlot was not mentioned.
The report denied that Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack against Al-Wahda sports club in Aden, which killed at least four people and wounded 14 others on October 11, 2010.
Al-Qaeda said that only five of its militants were killed and four were injured during operations last year.