Raid Reaction: Day Two
The murky picture surrounding Yemen’s counterterrorism raids yesterday is now beginning to clear up a bit. It seems as though I was not the only one who was a bit suspicious of the Abyan raid and now there are reports that leaders in Abyan are working to prepare some sort of response to what they are calling a massacre.
At the same time – and predictably – ‘Ali Salim al-Bidh is attempting to turn the outrage over the Abyan attacks to his advantage by criticizing the government’s handling of the raid and the deaths of so many civilians.
Meanwhile, the US and other regional and international leaders are offering their congratulations on the success of the raids.
This brings us to our final and most frustrating point. It seems that while Yemen did capture and kill a number of al-Qaeda suspects – particularly in San’a and Arhab – it also came ever so close to bagging a big fish. The raid in Arhab appears to be the most important one. This 26 September piece reports what I was told in confidence yesterday and that is that Qasim al-Raymi, a major AQAP military commander, just barely escaped the Arhab raid along with Hizam Mujali, who I wrote about yesterday, and one foreign al-Qaeda member, which likely means a Saudi.
It also repeats much of the information Waq al-waq posted yesterday on the links between the Mujali brothers and Fawaz al-Rabi’i.
In other news, the US has announced that six Yemenis are soon to be released. The names – the most important detail – are not mentioned. I am constrained from saying much, but if it turns out to be who I have been led to believe will be released then I am shocked and surprised.