AQAP kills Houthi military commander

In addition to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s increasing activity in southern Yemen, the terror group has also been conducting operations against the Shia Houthis in the northern province of Sa’ada. In a statement released on jihadist websites, AQAP claimed it killed a Houthi military commander. An excerpt of the statement, which has been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, is below:

Your brothers penetrated their fortifications and camps, and two days ago, the left side of the mujahideen front advanced towards the center of the city of Kataf, and they are 500 meters away from it. This city is about 25 kilometers away from the center of Damaj and after it is Khaniq, then Dmaj.

Your brothers were able to kill the [Shi’ite] military commander Abu Ali al-Hakim with a sticky device that was fastened to his vehicle while he was in a restaurant. This [Shi’ite] swore a day before his killing that he would attack al-Bariq Mountain (a mountain directly overlooking the center) and enjoy the women of Damaj, may Allah shame him.

AQAP has been targeting the Shia in the north for years, often with the support of the Yemeni government, which seeks to crush the Houthi rebels. In November 2010, an AQAP suicide bomber killed 17 people, including a top Houthi leader and his son.

In early Decemebr, AQAP officially declared war on the Houthis. Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish, al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula’s Mufti, issued the announcement and called the Shia a “virus” on the Sunni people. Rubaish was held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before he was released in 2006.

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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  • Nic says:

    ” Rubaish was held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before he was released in 2006. ” Once again a member of the Gitmo Alumni Club comes back to haunt us. How many times has this happened before? Closing Gitmo ranks right up there with 1941 security at Pearl Harbor. Way to go Obi!

  • Charles says:

    Refresh my memory, Nic. Who was president in 2006, when Rubaish was released? Gitmo is a public relations disaster, not to mention being expensive as hell to run. It should be closed. There’s a brand new, unused prison in Montana that would love to house the worst of the worst who can’t be released.

  • Bengal Voice says:

    Just curious… What was the actual word used in the statement instead of “[Shi’ite]” ? Did the Wahhabis use the derogatory term “Rafidi” or something else?

  • Big Sky says:

    Speak for yourself Charles, Montana wants no part in any gitmo prisoners put em in your state or better yet kill them

  • Fatman says:

    What’s the size of the Shia population? Do they have the critical mass to sustain pressure from both the government and AQAP?

  • Mike Merlo says:

    re:Big Sky
    I’d be more than happy to ‘house’ the Gitmo ‘vacationeer’s.’

  • Will Fenwick says:

    The Shia’s had enough support and strength to survive a Saudi offensive against them in 2009, and rebounded stronger than ever. Their armed strength has been estimated recently at around 100,000, and they get support and materiel from the Iranians. Historically the Shia’s in northern yemen were supporters of the Yemeni monarchy and their has been unrest in the north ever since the North Yemen Civil War in the 1960’s. If they wanted to they are strong enough to break away and form their own state in the areas they control, but they seem content at the moment with what they have, besides regularly clashing with the salafists that border their areas of control.


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