Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced yesterday that its members have executed an intelligence director in the central province of al Dale’. The intelligence director, identified as Mohammad Taher al Shami, was killed along with four of his associates in the city of Rada’. Some reports identify al Shami as a political security director in the province.
AQAP has been active in al Dale’ province of late. Last week, the group announced that it had taken eight individuals described as Shiite Houthi rebels captive after AQAP broke the rebels’ siege of the city of Damt. According to media reports, among the eight individuals taken by AQAP were the intelligence director and his associates executed yesterday. The kidnapping occurred while al Shami and his forces repelled AQAP fighters from Damt, killing four. There was no explanation as to why AQAP considered al Shami and his associates to be linked with the Houthi rebels.
Shortly after last week’s kidnapping, AQAP demanded the bodies of its four slain fighters in addition to a sum of 20 million riyals (about $93,000) as ransom for the hostages.
AQAP’s announcement of its capture of eight Houthi rebels last week came as tensions were rising in the country due to the Houthis’ growing presence in Sana’a. The Houthis staged massive protests in the Yemeni capital over the weekend and violently clashed with Sunni militiamen aligned with the country’s main Sunni party, Islah. AQAP subsequently issued a statement on Sept. 23 declaring an open war on the Shiite Houthis and calling on Sunnis to take up arms against them.
The following pictures were posted by a self-identified AQAP member on Twitter:
The tweet accompanying the picture above reads: “Execution of the political security director in #Damt Mohammad Taher al Shami and his associates in Rada’
This is what emerged as retribution for the rafidis [derogatory term for Shiites], so the lions [AQAP fighters] took him captive in Damt.”
The tweet accompanying the picture above reads: “Al Shami, the apostate, the director of political security that was captured by the lions of al Qaeda with his associates in the battle of Damt against the rafidis [derogatory term for Shiites], they dug their graves with their [own] hands..”