Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several “spies” who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group’s members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP’s claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy.
Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, is one of three senior AQAP leaders featured in a video released this week titled, “Secrets, its Dangers and the Departure of the Best of Us.” The video is focused on the US drone campaign and the jihadists’ lapses in security.
The 17th edition of AQAP’s Inspire magazine provides a how-to guide for building a train derailment device. Al Qaeda has plotted against trains in the West in the past.
The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a “high” risk and warned that he would “engage in extremist activities upon release.” He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009.
A former Guantanamo detainee known as Jamal al Harith (formerly Ronald Fiddler) launched a suicide attack with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) south of Mosul earlier this week. He is at least the second former Guantanamo detainee to launch a suicide attack in or around Mosul on behalf of the Islamic State and its predecessor organization.
Mohammed Al Ansi was one of ten Guantanamo detainees transferred to Oman earlier this week. Ansi had been denied transfer as recently as March 2016. The US government found that he “participated in advanced combat training and may have met with al Qaeda external operations chief Khalid Shaykh Mohammed.” Ansi may have been “considered for participation in a suicide attack or deployment in the West” as part of the 9/11 hijackings.
The State Department has designated Ibrahim al Banna as a terrorist. Al Banna has served as an al Qaeda official in Yemen since the 1990s. He originally joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and has been one of Ayman al Zawahiri’s loyalists for decades.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its most recent statistics on Guantanamo recidivism this week. 208 former detainees are either confirmed or suspected of rejoining the jihad. 188 of them were transferred or released during the Bush administration and the remaining 20 by the Obama administration. The estimated number of recidivists has steadily climbed since 2008, when the government first provided statistics on this topic.