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Guest Thinkers

Sada al-Malahim

For those of us who have been watching al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its predecessor groups al-Qaeda in Yemen and al-Qaeda in the South of the Arabian Peninsula (note all these groups are distinct from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group in Saudi Arabia in 2003-06) for the past few years one thing has stood out in recent weeks, and that is where, oh where is the 12th issue of Sada al-Malahim?

It was scheduled to be released at the end of November 2009, although AQAP has been slipping slightly on its release time in recent month. Still, this type of a delay has never happened before. So what to make of it?

January 11, I believe, will mark – at least according the Gregorian calendar – the two year anniversary of the 1st issue of Sada al-Malahim – a release that was followed by an attack on Belgian tourists two days later.

There are, I suppose, at least two ways to analyze the delay. A.) It is a good thing – something went wrong and AQAP isn’t able to put it together or feels too much pressure or a key player was killed. B.) It is a bad thing – AQAP is timing its release to coincide with an attack or something similar.

In the absence of any observable evidence one can only speculate, but my money would be on this being a bad thing.


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