Schlagwort-Archive: leader

Abu Yahya al-Libi – Dead or Live?

by Florian Flade

New Abu Yahya al-Libi video announced

While Western media and numerous news agencies are citing U.S. intelligence sources saying a recent CIA drone strike in North Waziristan killed Al-Qaida commander Abu Yahya al-Libi, there is no word from the Jihadi side yet on wether these claims are true or not.

Yesterday there was an announcement released on several major Jihadi Internet forums indicating Abu Yahya was in fact not killed and is still roaming the mountains of the Pakistani tribal area.

„Glad Tidings: New As-Sahab Video of Abu Yahya al-Libi (may Allah protect him) will be released soon“ – the forums post reads.

Does this announcement made by a forum member mean the Al-Qaida commander survived the U.S. drone attack or was in fact never in the house that was hit by the missiles? No, it does not. In the past Online Jihadis have reacted in a similar way when a prominent Al-Qaida figure was killed. Within the intelligence community there is a saying: „First they deny it, then they mourn it, then they celebrate it, then they call for revenge“.

Question remains if the person who posted the video announcement some 17 hours ago on the forums is in fact in contact with Al-Qaida operatives or those working for the propaganda wing As-Sahab Media.

America´s spies and terrorist hunters are pretty sure they got Al-Libi this time. And even in Pakistan military and intelligence sources claim the Al-Qaida commander is dead now. Three to four Arabs and some Haqqani and Bahadur Taliban were killed in the drone strike on Khassu Khel village, Pakistani sources are saying. Likely Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed next to his Arab bodyguards and driver. 

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New Zawahiri-Video – „The Defeats of the Americans Continue“

by Florian Flade

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Al-Qaida´s new Emir, Dr.Ayman az-Zawahiri, appears in a new 12-minute video message released by the As-Sahab Media titled „The Defeats of the Americans Continue“.

In his speech, Zawahiri sitting in an armchair, talks about the various U.S. military campaigns and the Arab springs, summing it all up as America´s defeat throughout the Muslim world.

„The Mujahideen attacked America at home in the biggest attack since Pearl Harbor, then America was defeated in Iraq“, Zawahiri claims, „America was defeated in Tunisia and lost its agent, then it was defeated in Egypt.“

With regards to Libya, Zawahiri warns the Libyan opposition of NATO´s alleged plan to take over the country after Gaddafi was toppled – „People of Libya, you have achieved this victory with your blood, don´t let anyone take this victory from you!“

Libyans, Zawahiri says, should know that the only form of government acceptable to Allah is the Islamic State ruled according to the Shariah.

 

Anwar al-Awlaki Allegedly Killed By Airstrike in Yemen

by Florian Flade

US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

Some have labeled him „the next Osama Bin Laden“ or „the Youtube Bin Laden – for the intelligence community in the West he was a pain in the arse: US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Since he moved to his ancestors homeland of Yemen in 2004 he spread Jihadi ideology over the internet using his own blog and internet forums to promote essays and theologicial publications legitimating Jihad, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the West.

Today Arab media is reporting that Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in an airstrike in Yemen. Al-Arabiya TV quotes Yemeni officials as saying Awlaki traveled in a convoy in al-Jawf province near the Saudi-Arabian border when it was hit by Yemeni fighter jets. Awlaki and four Al-Qaida militants were killed, the Yemeni government source claims. A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington D.C. tells CNN the alleged Al-Qaida affiliated cleric was killed near the town of Khashef, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on friday morning. CBS News reports a White House official says there is „high confidence“ that Anwar al-Awlaki was indeed killed today.

If true the death of Awlaki will have a quite significant impact on the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and there ability to attract foreign Jihadis. Awlaki as a fluent English speaker and charismatic preacher had a appeal towards Western Jihadis and will not easily be replaced by other American members of AQAP like Samir Khan. Awlaki was important to AQAP not because he holds any leadership position within the organization but because of his propaganda value and the picture of him painted in Western media as one of the most dangerous terrorists desperately wanting to harm the United States.

Awlaki, who was born in Las Cruces (New Mexico) in 1971 and therefore holds a U.S. passport. The son of a Yemeni agricultural minister grew up in Yemen and the U.S. and was educated at American universities, rose the ranks of AQAP as soon as the Saudi Al-Qaida and its Yemeni counterpart merged in January 2009. He is said to have inspired Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and adviced him to carry out a attack on US forces in an e-mail exchange. Awlaki also is seen as a key element in the recruitment and radicalization of the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up a US airliner over Detroit Christmas 2009.

Earlier this year a Yemeni court sentenced Awlaki to ten years in prison because of his incitement to kill foreigners in Yemen. Numerous times U.S. and Yemeni forces tried to kill Awlaki in recent years. In May a U.S. drone strike missed the Al-Qaida cleric.

As there are contradicting reports about how and where exactely Anwar al-Awlaki was killed and the fact that U.S. officials are so quick confirming the terrorist´s death it is very likely Awlaki was killed either in a joint operation by the Yemeni and American forces or in a U.S. drone or airforce attack.