Thursday, 25 October 2012

 Al Qaeda goes underground in Yemen against U.S.-driven crackdown 

Source: Reuters, By Andrew Hammond, 25/10/2012

ADEN -A U.S.-backed military onslaught may have driven Islamist militants from towns in Yemen they seized last year, but many have regrouped into "sleeper cells" threatening anew the areas they vacated, security officials and analysts say.

The resilience of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), despite increased U.S. drone strikes to eliminate militants, is worrying for top oil exporter Saudi Arabia next door and the security of major shipping lanes in the seas off Yemen.

When a nationwide uprising against autocratic rule erupted last year, tying up security forces and causing a power vacuum, militants charged into the major south Yemen towns of Zinjibar, Jaar and Shuqra and set up Islamic "emirates".

To broad their appeal, the militants renamed themselves Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), appointed spokesmen to deal with the media and put up signposts and flags. Poverty, unemployment and alienation from a central government seen as aloof and corrupt spurred some young men to join the cause.

Residents said the militants included Saudis, Pakistanis, Egyptians, Chechens and Somalis, hinting at the international scope of the jihadi threat to Saudi and Western interests.

After President Ali Abdullah Saleh finally bowed to popular revolt and stepped down in February, the U.S.-backed Yemeni military swept in and wrested back southern towns from the militants, sometimes after heavy fighting.

But the south, where resentment of tribal domination from the north has long run high and a separatist movement revived in 2007, has since become a more dangerous place, residents say.


"After their sudden withdrawal from Abyan, it ended with no one victorious or defeated," said Aden-based commentator Madyan al-Maqbas. "They had suddenly come, they took over, then they fled to the hills, and they left behind sleeper cells."

A rash of deadly violence in the major southern province of Abyan ensued, indicating that Ansar militants were still lurking in the vicinity of the towns they had once controlled.

Nine jihadis including the head of the Jaar "emirate" Nader al-Shaddadi were killed by a U.S. drone missile fired into a farmhouse where they were hiding just outside town on October 19.

Five of the militants were teenagers from Jaar itself who had quietly moved into the farmhouse as a typical sleeper cell, a Yemeni security source told Reuters.

The next day, militants ambushed an army base in Shuqra, killing 16 soldiers, after apparently slipping out of lairs in the barren rugged mountains rearing up above the town.

"Most people are concerned about sleeper cells. We're aware of it and people have started to be more careful," said Hasan Ali Hasan, 35, from the Mansoura district of Aden where security forces raided some suspected "safe houses" this month.

In June, the commander of the army's southern division, a southerner who replaced a Saleh ally from north Yemen in March, was killed by a car bomb in a suburb of Aden, the sprawling main city and port in the south. Security forces subsequently uncovered numerous caches of suicide belts in the area.

There have been dozens of other attacks and kidnappings by undercover militants targeting security and military officials.

Yemeni security sources said the two leading figures in Ansar al-Sharia, Nader al-Shaddadi and Galal Bil-Eidy, are believed to be sheltering in mountains around Shuqra where they form the link between urban cells in Aden and AQAP commanders like Nasser al-Wuhayshi tucked away in mountains to the north.

They said such regional militant chieftains had activated sleeper cells to carry out assassinations of security officials in Aden and attacks like the one in Shuqra.


Formed in 2009, AQAP has carved out a reputation as al Qaeda's most formidable regional wing with suicide attacks on tourists, diplomats and operations against neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, and U.S. targets abroad.

The sudden spread of al Qaeda in south Yemen was seen by many Yemenis as a ruse by Saleh, a northerner, to warn Western and regional backers of what would happen if their trusted strongman was no longer around to keep militancy in check.

Interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has begun replacing military and security chiefs in the south with southerners less connected to Saleh. The new command has been welcomed in Aden as more serious about challenging AQAP.

But the new commanders must still rely on tribal militias called "popular committees" inside southern towns and surrounding districts to stop militants returning in force.

Residents fear some militants could have infiltrated the committees, noting that the Ansar al-Sharia "emirate" in Jaar managed to negotiate a deal with the military that allowed many gunmen to leave unscathed.

1 comment:

  1. Bismillah hir Rahman ir Raheem,

    It was with much horror that I first viewed the giant All seeing-eye horror occult megalith constructed in the holiest and most sacred site on planet earth

    the very house Nabi Ibraheem alayhee salam constructed with his own hands. The building work has inevitably changed the hajj experience for everyone. Aside from the increased pollution and heavy machinery, there is more segregation along economic and class lines. Surely, I am not alone in this assessment and every day around the world hundreds of poor Muslims from third world countries for the first time take gaze and tremble at the giant monuments of kufr and shirk, totally against the Sunnah of Rasulullah salalahu alayhee wasalam and his glorious Sahaba kareem. These giant buildings are indeed far for dark and sinister in scope than most laymen may realize. It may be that our vanguards in the field of 'Amr bil maroof wa nahi anil munkar have underestimated the sheer size, money, and evil of the conspiracy that taken ahold of planet earth and placed its toxic corrupting european idols in the forms of buildings. These buildings are actually giant idols. Indeed, they appear to come alive striking terror into the hears of righteous men and women who fear Allah. Indeed, how would Rasulullah salalahuualayheewasalam handle the situation with the buildings? He would do the exact same thing he did in the Kabba and bring down each building of kufr and shirk with controlled demolition. Then, Rasulullah salalahu alayhee wasalam, under the fear and love of Allah, would call upon all of the Muslims of the world to meet in Mecca and he would address them as a people, in person; and the juma'aat would arrive at a much lovely and better architect plan for the holy precincts.

    The destruction of the amazing sites of Allah by these mad-men with power operating over the 5,000 saudi prince is remarkable – in fact, it may be that Allah has placed within the 5,000 Saudi princes at least one hero. How anyone could equate respect of tradition, history, legacy and the fact that pure Tawheed actually demands pondering over the creation and the ayats of Allah, not destroying them. The house of Khadijah radiallahu anha – if Rasulullah salalahualayheewasalam were alive now how would he respond to these acts?

    My dear brothers in Islaam, PLEASE WAKE UP to what the Saudi Authoritarian Fascist New World Order tyranny has planned for the Haram Shareef! They are surrounding it with a horrible new reality! Now, from every single possible angle that only the best math expert could solve, there are eyes on the Kabba. Breathtaking in horror, the Musellai realizes that the new all seeing eye has thousands of cameras and angles staring fixatedly on the Kabba itself. My dear brothers and sisters in Islaam please I beg of you boycott the future plans for putting up 30 odd domino-looking monuments all around. Please look at this future plan and do everything in your power to prevent it from coming into being -

    It is with a sad heart that I write this letter of mine only because I remember when once my beloved Teacher taught me that, “if you see something unlawful, change it with your hands. If you cannot do that, speak out against it, and if you cannot even do this much, feel bad about it in your heart”.

    We should all make fervant dua'a that Allah brings these giant monolith idols of kufr and shirk to a hastened destruction. AMEEEN

    Ustadh Muqallid Abdul Haqq al Amreeki
    Dhul Hijjah 9th, 1433