AQAP announces formation of 12,000-strong army. Again.


Abu Hurayrah Qasim al Raymi, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s military commander.

In an audiotape yesterday, Qasim al Raymi, military commander for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), announced the formation of the “Aden-Abyan Army.” From AFP:

“We are preparing to implement the first steps of the Aden-Abyan Army to defend the nation and its religion… and free this land of crusaders and their apostate agents,” the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader said.

“This army is in its early stages,” he said, calling for help from jihadists and their supporters in the audio message whose authenticity could not be verified immediately. It was posted on the Al-Malaham site linked to AQAP…

“The mujahedeen (holy fighters) are advancing with firm steps towards their goal: to apply Sharia in the Islamic Peninsula (Arabian Peninsula) by means of jihad,” said the AQAP military leader.

While the announcement is disturbing, it is hardly news. AQAP made the same announcement at the end of July. From LWJ [emphasis ours]:

A military commander for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed that the terror group has raised a 12,000-man army in southern Yemen and will continue to attack security forces in the region.

The claim was made by Mohammed Said al Umdah Gharib al T’aizzi, a senior military commander in southern Yemen, in an audiotape released on July 29, titled “Comment on the Recent Events in Aden and Ma’rib.” The tape was produced by AQAP’s media arm, Al Malahim, and distributed to jihadist websites by the Al Fajr Media Center.

“We have a good news for the Islamic nation, that an army of 12,000 fighters is being prepared in Aden and Abyan,” T’aizzi said, referring to two southern strongholds of AQAP. “By this army, we will establish an Islamic Caliphate,” T’aizzi added, according to a translation of the tape provided by Xinhua.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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1 Comment

  • davidp says:

    The people of South Yemen want independence and security (rule of law, police) far more than they want Sharia. Sadly AQ are the most visible people promising this to young men in the south, and they have the standard islamic romantic sales pitch
    (defend islam = good ; islamic law = good because people don’t realise how it always ends up)


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