Schlagwort-Archive: Shabwa

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.

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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.

Meet The Not-So-Dead Terrorist

by Florian Flade

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Can the dead speak? Sometimes they can, and they are happy to do so. Latest example: al-Qaeda operational figure Fahd Muhammad Ahmad al-Quso. The Yemeni militant is accused of having played a major role in the suicide bombing on the American Navy destroyer USS Cole in Aden on October 12th 2000. Seventeen US sailors died that day when a boot packed with explosives was rammed into the ship and detonated.

Al-Quso was put on the FBI´s Most Wanted-List for his involvement in the attack planning and of being a senior al-Qaeda figure who was trained in Afghanistan and had been in contact with some of the 9/11 hijackers. A 5-Million US Dollar-Bounty was on his head.

In 2003 al-Quso was arrested by Yemeni security forces but escaped prison, only to be re-arrested in 2004 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the USS Cole Bombing case. US officials were shocked when Yemeni authorities decided to grant Fahd al-Quso an early release in 2007. As expected, the al-Qaeda member rejoined the organization and in late 2009 gave an interview to Al-Jazeera after an airstrike targeted a village in which al-Quso reportedly had stayed in.

The last time al-Quso appeared in public was when al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released a propaganda tape in May of this year, praising the failed Underwear-Bomber Omar Farouq Abdulmutallab. Wearing a camouflage military uniform, al-Quso spoke in the video and threatened more attacks on Western targets.

By October the wanted al-Qaeda man had travelled to Pakistan and joined al-Qaeda´s network in the Waziristan area – at least that´s what media and Pakistani officials said. In October German Press Agency DPA quoted Pakistani intelligence sources as saying a CIA drone attack on a car in North Waziristan had killed Fahd al-Quso and other al-Qaeda commanders.

„According to a Deutsche Presse-Agentur report, the Yemeni terrorist – who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list for his role in al Qaeda’s October 12, 2000, bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors – was recently killed by a U.S. missile in Pakistan. Terrorism experts, however, doubt the report, and it’s more likely that Quso is still operational in Yemen.“

As it turns out, DPA was dead wrong on the not-so-dead terrorist. Fahd al-Quso is alive and he lived in the mountains of Yemen´s Shabwa Province. Yemeni journalist Arafat Mudabish of Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Aswat met al-Quso in his mountain hideout where village tribesmen are protecting the al-Qaeda man from the barely-in-control Yemeni military. A picture printed by the newspaper shows Fahd al-Quso alias „Abu Hudaifa“ sitting next to Mudabish, wearing again the military uniform he also wore in the May propaganda tape.

Asked what he thinks about the rumors of his death in a Waziristan drone attack, al-Quso said these reports surprised him given „the situation in Yemen, which is similar to the situation in Pakistan.“ If the Yemeni government ever presented him with the offer to surrender, the journalist asked al-Quso. Surrendering would mean giving up religion and everything al-Qaeda fights for, the terrorist said. That´s why this manner will never be discussed.