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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Target: Yemen

Most of the coverage of Ayman Al Zawahiri's latest video message has focused on his support for Somalia and the Al Shabaab faction (Islamists so hardcore that they have transformed the previously scary Islamic Courts Union into Somalia's "moderate" faction).

While Zawahiri's discussion of Somalia was the better part of the tape and quite important, his discussion of Yemen in the second part of the tape was extremely alarming. For a while it was fashionable to analyze these tapes for secret code words that would trigger attacks.

In this video, there's no secret about it. Zawahiri repeatedly called for attacks in Yemen, specifically on U.S. interests in Yemen. There have already been strong signs of trouble in Yemen, and there's a healthy contingent of Al Qaeda terrorists in the country who have sworn loyalty to Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri specifically. The video showed messages of solidarity from released Guantanamo detainee Said Ali al-Shihri and Al Qaeda in Yemen's emir, Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

The latest video elevates the threat level in Yemen to red plus plus plus.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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