“Invasion of ‘And Let Them Find Harshness in You'” (Source: Al Malahem Media Foundation)
On Nov. 25, the media wing of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Malahem Media Foundation, released the latest installment of its video series documenting attacks, “From the Battlefield.” This most recent episode, “Invasion of ‘And Let Them Find Harshness in You,'” includes footage of an AQAP assault on the Ghabr military barracks and checkpoint in Hadramout, Yemen. Although the video does not provide a date for the attack, AQAP fighters reportedly stormed the Ghabr checkpoint on October 9.
The video begins with a message from one of the AQAP fighters who participated in the raid, identified as “martyrdom seeker” Muwahhid al Qifi. Al Qifi implores his loved ones and family to be patient and explains that “we have only mobilized to raise the word of ‘there is no God but Allah.'” He dictates his “will to the Islamic ummah [nation]” in which he reminds them that Allah “will question you about this religion and why you did not support this religion…one by one.”
“Mobilize! Mobilize young and old! Mobilize in the cause of Allah,” al Qifi beseeches the Muslim community.
The release then shows footage of AQAP fighters allegedly training and preparing for the “invasion.” Two fighters are shown manufacturing an explosive and wiring a vehicle to be used as a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in the attack. The fighters prepare for battle, review their plan, and bid farewell to the “martyrdom seekers.”
At around minute 7:00, the VBIED is seen detonating in the vicinity of the military checkpoint and AQAP fighters subsequently clash with Yemeni military personnel on site. About a minute later, the video pans up and shows an “enemy helicopter” in the sky above, while AQAP fighters attempt to shoot at it. Shortly thereafter, a caption reads “the helicopter escaped after clashes.”
After the scenes of battle, a caption announces that “the mujahideen took control of the barracks,” and the fighters are seen surveying the corpses of dead Yemeni soldiers strewn about the ground. One AQAP fighter announces, “Those are the soldiers of the tyrant, we are the soldiers of Allah! You have seen who wins: those soldiers of the tyrant or the soldiers of Allah?”
Towards the end of the video, another fighter explains AQAP’s reasoning for specifically attacking the al Ghabr facilities. He alleges that this checkpoint caused “a large amount of harm” to the Sunnis. He claims that soldiers from that station “killed a man, wounded a woman, and stole from the Muslims with no reason.” A second rationale, which is perhaps more pertinent to AQAP’s interests, is the fighter’s allegation that the checkpoint is used to facilitate “the Americans to guide espionage aircraft.”
The same jihadist then details the operation: AQAP fighters stormed the location, took spoils, killed the Yemeni soldiers stationed there, and then controlled the facility for a period of time, “waiting for the support of the enemy.” However, the fighter claims that no government reinforcements arrived. At the very end of the video, images of AQAP fighters killed in the operation, along with their identities, are provided. They are: Saif al Adl al Sanaani, Al Zubeir al Fadhli, Al Qa’qa’ al Lahji, and Abu Bakr al Somali.
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