Schlagwort-Archive: preacher

Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb Demands Release of Abu Qatada

by Florian Flade

Last November Islamist militants of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped three Europeans in the Mali desert city of Timbuktu. Among them British-South African national Stephen Malcolm.

Today AQIM released a statement offering the release of the Briton in return for the release of Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada. If the British government agrees to deport Abu Qatada to a country of his choice, Stephen Malcolm will be freed, the statement by AQIM reads.

Britain has been trying to extradite Abu Qatada to Jordan for more than six years now. In the Arab country the cleric has been sentenced in absentia for the involvement in terror attacks. Now the European Court of Human Rights is about to decide wether or not the British government is allowed to extradite Abu Qatada.

In today´s statement AQIM says that Britain will „open the doors of evil“ if the Palestinian cleric will be send to Jordan.

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Awlaki´s Teenage-Son Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

by Florian Flade

„Two weeks after the martyrdom of Sheikh Anwar, we again mourn the martyrdom of his eldest son Abdul Rahman“, a statement reads posted on Jihadi Internet forums in recent days. The statement claiming a US drone strike last Saturday killed Anwar al-Awlaki´s eldest son, was written by the Awlaki family which claims they avoided talking to media but now want to speak out.

A US drone strike in the Shabwa region of Yemen has killed several alleged Al-Qaida members including Abdul Rahman Bin Anwar al-Awlaki, the son of Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed September 30 in a similar US drone strike targeting a convoy in Shabwa.

According to his family Abdul Rahman Bin Anwar al-Awlaki was born in Denver (Colorado) August 26 1995 and was 16 years old when he died last weekend. He became a resident of the Yemeni capital Sanaa after moving there from the U.S. in 2002 – still possessing the American citizenship.

Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki allegedly told his mother he wanted to visit the area where his father was killed. On October 14 the Awlaki son and several of his comrades had dinner at nighttime according to the family´s statement when the U.S. missile hit.

A birth certificate of the 16 year-old Awlaki son was released to the Washington Post, proving that he was the son of the Yemeni Jihad preacher and a Yemeni woman from Egypt. Facebook pages mourning the teenagers death show pictures of a slim young man wearing glasses and Western clothing.

If true the Abdul Rahman Bin Anwar al-Awlaki would be the fourth American citizen killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen since 2002.

„Sorry, Anwar!“ – Bin Laden Dismissed Awlaki as AQ Leader

by Florian Flade

US-Yemeni Anwar al-Awlaki – Dismissed by Bin Laden

The New York Times´Mark Mazetti is reporting about new details that emerged from the documents and data seized by US Navy SEALs during the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama Bin Laden on May 2.

US intelligence sources claim the Al-Qaida leader was considering seeking a peace agreement with the Pakistani government in exchange for protection. „Messages between Bin Laden and his top operations chief over the past year, provide the first suggestion that Bin Laden considered Pakistan’s government amenable to a bargain that would ensure the safety of top Qaeda leaders“, the NYT´s article reads.

The newspaper further notes: „The officials emphasized that they had found no evidence that such a proposal, which one American official said was in the “discussion phase,” was ever raised with Pakistani military or intelligence operatives.“

The material found inside Bin Laden´s hideout also shows, the NYT claims, that the late al-Qaida leader was in direct contact with the Libyan al-Qaida commander Sheikh Atiyyatullah al-Libi with whom Bin Laden discussed the possibility of a truce with the Pakistani state. Al-Libi who is originally from the Libyan town of Misrata, took over the position of al-Qaida´s Chief of Operations after a US drone strike killed the Egyptian Mustafa Abu al-Yazid last year.

It is not surprising to hear Atiyyatullah, who was highlighted by Al-Qaida in some recent video tapes, was communicating with Osama Bin Laden via couriers. The German Jihadi Rami Makanesi – recently sentenced to 4 years in prison – told investigators he had met with Atiyyatullah whom he described as Al-Qaida´s Head of Afghanistan Operations. Attiyatullah, Makanesi claimed, was the only one in al-Qaida´s North Waziristan network who was in direct contact with Bin Laden.

Now the New York Times states Atiyyatullah was also the one in communicating with al-Qaida affiliates and branches around the world. „Last year (Attiyatullah) notified Bin Laden of a request by the leader of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen to install Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric, as the leader of the group in Yemen“, the NYT piece reads, „Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, apparently thought Mr. Awlaki’s knowledge of the United States and his status as an Internet celebrity might help the group’s operations and fund-raising efforts.“

American intelligence officials say, Bin Laden declined that request and „decided that the group’s leadership should remain unchanged“.

This information is quite interesting given the fact that numerous media outlets have labeled Awlaki „The Next Bin Laden“. It seems the al-Qaida leader himself did not like the idea of the „Internet-Bin Laden“ or „Youtube-Bin Laden“ playing a more significant role in the al-Qaida structure. If the information turns out to be true this could also mean, Anwar al-Awlaki might have been willing to finally join al-Qaida officially.

I doubt Bin Laden was afraid of Awlaki´s fame and a possible successor – as Peter Bergen pointed out in a recent hearing on Al-Qaida: We care about Awlaki because he speaks fluent English. If he was only preaching in Arabic…nobody would really care.

Al-Qaida´s main support base still lies within the Arabic speaking Jihadi community – Awlaki´s popularity there is limited. He is not seen as „The Next Bin Laden“.