Late last week, a Twitter account linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit for a series of attacks against Houthi and Yemeni military targets in four central Yemeni provinces. These latest attacks included a targeted assassination of an alleged Houthi supporter as well as an assault on a Yemeni military vehicle during which the terrorist group seized millions of Yemeni rials.
In a continuation of AQAP’s campaign of targeted assassinations of perceived Houthi supporters, the terrorist group claimed credit for the killing of a colonel in the local Civil Affairs Administration in Taiz province on Dec. 3. AQAP claimed that its fighters shot Colonel Fakri al Barawi, described in a statement from the terrorist group as “the computing devices officials in the Civil Affairs Adminstration,” while he was in the al Hareesh neighborhood of Taiz.
According to AQAP, al Barawi was killed on the spot — an assassination that the terrorist group attempted to justify by alleging the colonel’s “proven … cooperation with the Houthis for their war on the Muslims in the province.” Yemeni news sources reported that security forces in Taiz arrested eight suspects linked to al Barawi’s assassination.
The targeted assassination comes just days after an AQAP operation attempting to kill Abd al Rahman Ayyash Shabeel, the head of investigations in Hodeidah province for Political Security, the Yemeni intelligence agency. Several days earlier, AQAP fighters also shot a gold trader named Hashem al Dulaymi in Dhamar for his reported cooperation with the Houthis.
AQAP has also been maintaining its terrorist escalation against Houthi and Yemeni military positions and targets throughout Yemen’s central provinces. Most recently, AQAP has claimed credit for an armed assault on a Houthi vehicle in Ibb province on Dec. 4, in which five Houthis allegedly were killed. AQAP claimed that fighters from “the Battalion of Commander Khawlan al Sana’ani” opened fire on a Houthi vehicle as it passed in front of the gate to a university in Ibb before withdrawing from the city. Khawlan al Sana’ani was the nom de guerre of Shawki Ali Ahmed al Badani, who was one of the most wanted AQAP operatives in Yemen prior to his death in a US drone strike Baydah province in November 2014.
AQAP also claimed to have carried out a bomb attack targeting a Houthi truck in Baydah on Dec. 4. According to the statement released by the terrorist group, AQAP fighters detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at 11:00 a.m. as a Houthi military tuck was passing through the Jufayna and Bani Ali areas of Radaa in Baydah province. The attack reportedly killed seven Houthis on board.
The following morning, AQAP fighters reportedly seized five million Yemeni rials (approximately $25,000) from a Yemeni military vehicle in Marib province that was transporting salaries to Yemeni soldiers. According to the statement, AQAP operatives stopped the military vehicle at around 10:00 a.m. and took control of it after threatening the soldiers on board. The statement pointed out that after AQAP fighters seized the money, a vehicle, and three Kalashnikovs, the soldiers were released, including Major Abdullah Ali Saleh Delham. The Yemeni Interior Ministry confirmed the attack and announced that it had opened an investigation into the incident over the weekend.
AQAP image purporting to show the Yemeni military vehicle being stopped by AQAP fighters prior to seizing money inside it.
Photo of Abdullah Ali Saleh Delham’s military ID card seized by AQAP fighters along with five million rials on Dec. 5.
AQAP photo purporting to show some of the money seized from the Yemeni military vehicle in Marib
AQAP photo purporting to show some of the Kalashnikovs seized from Yemeni military vehicle in Marib
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