Well this is probably more of an insight into my social life than most would like, but the new issue of Sada al-Malahim (The Echo of Battles not the Glorious Epics or whatever other translations I’ve seen) is out (almost right on schedule – I told one friend this past week it should be out on Sunday, and here it is.) But since it is late on a Saturday night, well, now early on a Sunday morning, I’m off to bed.
I’m sure there will be much more over the coming days on the contents (this issue is a bit thicker than previous ones).
A couple of initial notes – I can’t go to be without at least giving it a quick once-over. The first article by Nasir al-Wahayshi is the text of his audio message from last month, which I discussed in depth, even indulging in my etymological whims. The fatawa section looks of great interest as does the piece by Said Ali al-Shihri.
Another former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, is now confirmed to be in Yemen and writing for Sada al-Malahim.
And if there were still any lingering doubts about the veracity of al-Wahayshi’s interview in January, Sada al-Malahim confirms that the interview was legitimate. There are also many more letters from readers in this issue, which should be a cause for concern. There is a new e-mail address, which probably means that the old website that used to host Sada al-Malahim on maktoobblog.com is now defunct.
There is also another list of prisoners printed, missing from the list is Ibrahim al-Muqri, who was released by the Yemeni government last month.
The magazine looks better put together than previous issues, which have been increasingly sophisticated since July 2008. The organization also appears to be growing stronger, another worrying development, particularly when combined with other news coming out of Yemen.
There are still many unanswered questions about al-Awfi and about the recent suicide attacks, but I have only skimmed the journal tonight, so we’ll have to wait for answers on those, although it doesn’t appear that we will get anything on the latter at least from this issue.
Update: Ahh, and the martyr biography is of Ahmad ‘Amr al-Mushjari, the suicide bomber who attacked the Central Security Compound back in July 2008. I hope the fact that al-Mushjari appeared next to Hamza al-Qu’ayti in a video posted immediately after the attack, will put to rest the idiotic claims that some made last year about some sort of a split between Nasir al-Wahayshi and Hamza al-Qu’ayti. I believe I have proven this a number of times over in articles for Jane’s and the CTC Sentinel, but from time to time I hear the same lines repeated so here is another piece of evidence for the side of no-split. This isn’t to say that there weren’t disagreements or that al-Qu’ayti didn’t have a certain degree of operational independence, just that there wasn’t a split.
Ok, and now, I’m off to bed.