AQAP leader calls for ‘simple’ attacks in the West

In a short video released yesterday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) leader, Qasim al Raymi, reiterated his group's call for "lone mujahid" attacks in the West. AQAP was an early innovator of the concept of "individual jihad," but has been eclipsed by its rivals in the Islamic State in recent years. Raymi is attempting to move AQAP back to the fore of the "lone mujahid" effort. Read more >

AQAP leader discusses complex war in Yemen

AQAP released a lengthy "dialogue" with its emir, Qasim al Raymi, on April 30. Raymi discusses the complex war inside Yemen, AQAP's desire to focus on the Houthis and his group's general approach to waging jihad. He also cites a text written by Ayman al Zawahiri to explain why AQAP cooperates with other Islamists inside Yemen. Read more >

Former Guantanamo detainee killed in US air campaign in Yemen

The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a "high" risk and warned that he would "engage in extremist activities upon release." He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009. Read more >

Al Qaeda criticizes American raid in Yemen

The seventh issue of Al Qaeda's Al Nafir Bulletin, which was released earlier today, denounced the recent American counterterrorism raid in Yemen. The group's statement portrayed the operation as an assault on all Muslims and threatened President Donald Trump, saying "the flame of jihad has ignited and reached all over the world." Read more >

US Treasury continues to target AQAP’s financial network

The US Treasury Department announced the designations of two "key facilitators" for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) today. A charity that is really a "front organization" for AQAP and has collected funds from Gulf businessmen was also designated. Treasury has systematically targeted AQAP's support network throughout the year and today's announcement is part of a series of related moves. Read more >

Estimated number of Guantanamo recidivists continues to rise

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its most recent statistics on Guantanamo recidivism this week. 208 former detainees are either confirmed or suspected of rejoining the jihad. 188 of them were transferred or released during the Bush administration and the remaining 20 by the Obama administration. The estimated number of recidivists has steadily climbed since 2008, when the government first provided statistics on this topic. Read more >

AQAP says it wanted to debate the Islamic State

The Hidayah Establishment for Media Production released an anti-Islamic State video on Apr. 8 in which a witness claims that the Islamic State has refused to publicly debate. The video includes an image of a letter purportedly written by Nasir al Wuhayshi, who was AQAP's emir until his demise in June 2015. A follow up statement on Apr. 10 contained similar allegations against Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's organization. Read more >

Ayman al Zawahiri’s brother released from Egyptian prison

Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, was released from an Egyptian prison earlier this week. He was imprisoned in Egypt in 1999, but released following the uprisings in 2011. He quickly became a prolific advocate for al Qaeda's jihadist ideology. Along with other al Qaeda-linked jihadists, he helped orchestrate the protest outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012. Read more >

Another town in southern Yemen reportedly falls to AQAP

AQAP reportedly seized the southern Yemeni town of Ahwar earlier today. Press reports indicated that Ahwar was under the jihadists' control earlier this month, but it appears operations were still ongoing at the time. The fog of war often makes it difficult to determined which towns and villages are truly in al Qaeda's possession, but AQAP has begun to advertise its implementation of sharia law and provision of social services throughout southern Yemen. Read more >

Senior AQAP commander reportedly killed in US drone strike in Yemen

According to jihadists on social media and press reports, a prominent AQAP commander named Jalal Bala’idi was killed in a US drone strike launched last night. Bala’idi's death has not been confirmed. He has led AQAP's forces in a number of key battles and once claimed that his group has trained "thousands" of Sunnis. In December, Bala’idi was seen congratulating his fighters after they overran the town of Jaar. Read more >

AQAP provides social services, implements sharia while advancing in southern Yemen

AQAP has taken control of Azzan, a town in Yemen's southeastern Shabwa province. The jihadists have captured significant territory in southern Yemen since early 2015. AQAP's front group, Ansar al Sharia, has launched a new social media campaign to promote its governance efforts, implementation of sharia law and provision of services in the areas under the jihadists' control. Read more >

San Bernardino terrorists allegedly studied AQAP’s Inspire magazine, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi

According to the Department of Justice, Syed Farook was influenced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (Inspire) magazine and the teachings of Anwar al Awlaki. Shortly after the San Bernardino shooting, an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State's Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was posted on a Facebook page associated with Farook's wife, Tafsheen Malik. Read more >

An al Qaeda commander comes out from the shadows

Ibrahim Abu Salih (also known as Abu al Hassan al Hashimi) was featured in a video posted online by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) earlier this month. He has been a jihadist for more than 35 years and, in the early 1990s, al Qaeda's leaders ordered him to build an arm for their organization in Yemen. Abu Salih later cofounded AQAP. He is currently the group's security official, as well as a member of its shura council. Read more >

Guantanamo detainee is brother of AQAP’s new top leader

Qasim al Raymi was appointed the new top leader of AQAP following the death of his predecessor earlier this month. His younger brother has been held at Guantanamo for more than 13 years. Files written by Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) provide details concerning Qasim al Raymi's career, including his time in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. Read more >