Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has published a statement explaining the reasons for its withdrawal from Mukalla, a port city in Yemen that the jihadists ruled for one year. AQAP’s statement illustrates the organization’s strategy for building and preserving popular support in the region.
Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, was released from an Egyptian prison earlier this week. He was imprisoned in Egypt in 1999, but released following the uprisings in 2011. He quickly became a prolific advocate for al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology. Along with other al Qaeda-linked jihadists, he helped orchestrate the protest outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012.