Anwar al Awlaki sheltered in homes of senior Islah party members


Abdul Majeed al Zindani.

In this LWJ report that dispelled the rumors of the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula bomber Ibrahim Hassan Tali al Asiri, we noted that Anwar al Awlaki was sheltering in the home of a member of the Islah political party just before he was killed. This report in Al-Ahram Weekly states that Awlaki was staying at the homes of three different Islah part leaders. One of the homes belongs to none other than Islah party leader Abdul Majeed al Zindani. Also note how al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has integrated with the tribes and used the relationships to project power in the south. From Al-Ahram Weekly:

The locals told Al-Ahram Weekly that Al-Awlaki came to Al-Jawf 10 days ago and he was staying in three places. The house of Salem Saleh Afrag, the local driver who was killed with him, was the first place. Al-Awlaki was killed immediately after he left this house. Khamis Afrag, brother of Salem, is a leading member in the Islamist opposition party, Islah.

The second place was the farm of local tribal leader Amin Al-Okaimi in Al-Jar. Al-Okaimi is a member of parliament and chairman of Islah. Many Al-Qaeda operatives including Egyptians, Algerians and Libyans are supposedly still hiding in the farm of Al-Okaimi until now, according to local sources.

Al-Okaimi and his tribesmen have been controlling the eastern province of Al-Jawf since March when ex-general Mohsen encouraged them to dismiss the president’s loyalists and replace them with rebel troops.

The third place frequented by Al-Awlaki was the farm of the Islamist leader Abdel-Majid Al-Zindani, wanted by the UN and US as a global terrorist, in the area of Nebta in the same province of Al-Jawf.

A quick primer on Islah:

The Islah Party is the main opposition party in Yemen. One of its most prominent wings consists of Salafists who are led by Abdul Majeed al Zindani, who has been described by the US government as Osama bin Laden’s mentor. Zindani is on the US’s list of specially designated global terrorists. The Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood also is a major faction in Islah. The Yemeni government has accused elements of Islah of teaming up with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to conduct attacks against military forces loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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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