Tag Archives: desert

New Video Celebrates Awlaki´s Death

by Florian Flade

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“America cannot and will not win. The tables have turned, and there is no rolling back on the worldwide Jihad movement”

- Awlaki in post-mortem video message.

September 30th 2011: A U.S. drone fires several missiles at a car convoy riding through the desert of Yemen. The missiles found their prime target, killing four people – among them what was considered by numerous counter-terrorism officials to be one of the greatest threats to America´s national security: Anwar al-Awlaki.

The US-Yemeni cleric who had immigrated to Yemen in 2004 and joined the ranks of Al-Qaida had become a very powerful influence on Islamists living in the West. Awlaki, a Western-educated ideologue of global Jihad, had used the growing power of the Internet to spread his message of war and terror, calling Muslims in the West to become Allah´s soldiers and attack the U.S. and its allies.

Yesterday Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a propaganda video celebrating the death of Anwar al-Awlaki whom the organization calls “The Martyr of Dawah”. In the video several Al-Qaida operatives are praising Awlaki´s legacy, vowing revenge for his assassination.

Amongst those talking in the Jihadi documentary is AQAP´s spiritual leader Ibrahim al-Rubaish. “We all have to revenge for our Sheikh who sacrificed himself for the sake of his Ummah”, al-Rubaish says, highlighting Awlaki´s role as a role model of a Mujahid.

Besides Awlaki himself – who is seen in a video message that looks like a draft video released in 2010 – there is another English-speaking Jihadi featured in the new video. This person named “Brother Abu Yazeed” for sure is of interest for Western intelligence agencies as he had not appeared in previous releases. The mysterious Al-Qaida operative seems to speak with an American accent and is seen sitting in the dark, only revealing that he has a full grown beard and is wearing glasses.

“Abu Yazeed” talks about Awlaki as well as about American Samir Khan who died alongside the cleric and about Awlaki´s 16 year-old son Abdul Rahman who was killed in a different U.S. drone strike in Yemen recently.

Saif al-Islam´s Silver-Plated Rifle

by Florian Flade

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His name is one with a very powerful and well-respected meaning – “Sword of Islam”. Yet the most prominent son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, has never truely lived up to the meaning of his name. Maybe for that reason the Libyan opposition fighters labeled him “Saif al-Kufr” instead – Sword of Disbelief.

Today Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi was captured by captured by the forces of the Transitional Council in Obari in the South of Libya and taken to Tripolis in a plane.

For months the Gaddafi son had been living in hiding, releasing audio tapes in which he called the opposition enemies of Libya. “Go to hell you rats and NATO”, he said in a audio tape released in October.

Just before the regime in Tripolis collapsed Saif al-Islam announced he would lead a Jihad against NATO and their Libyan allies. The 39 year-old Gaddafi son declared he had joined with Islamic forces and was ready to fight. Truth was Saif al-Islam fled the capital and was hiding somewhere in the desert region close to the border to Niger.

Two Gaddafi son´s were killed by the NATO bombing in recent months, two others fled to Algeria. Saif al-Islam it was reported, was ready to surrender and turn himself in for criminal prosecution.

Videos from Libya that were uploaded onto the Internet today show Saif al-Islam´s private gun he was carrying when rebels arrested him. It appears to be a silver-plated assault rifle.