Thursday Papers (or I told you so)
If only al-Shabab read Waq al-waq they would have realized that it would be a huge mistake to mess with qat.
The 26th of September, an authoritative source on security matters or at least an authoritative source on what the Yemeni government wants people to think about security matters, is claiming that Yemen has arrested 10 individuals involved in what is being called the Qasim al-Raymi cell, after AQAP’s military commander and one of the 23 escapees. The paper is also claiming that information from the two Saudi suspects – Muhammad al-‘Awfi and ‘Abdullah al-Harbi – led to the arrests. I have my doubts about this, both suspects were quickly sent back to Saudi after their capture/surrender, and Yemeni investigators had little time with either man.
There is, of course, the possibility that Saudi is sharing intelligence, but such an open sharing from Saudi to Yemen would mean that relations between the two have changed much more than the people I talk to are leading me to believe. I think this is a bit of disinformation in an attempt to further fracture the organization and sow doubts amongst individuals that are heavily dependent on personal relationships and trust.
The article also makes clear what I have long suspected: that al-Qaeda is quite busy in Yemen and just because we don’t hear anything from them from time to time does not mean that they are sitting around in a mafraj chewing shami or hamdani.
Faysal Mukrim in al-Hayat writes about the arrest of 6 al-Qaeda suspects, which we knew from yesterday, but he also tells us that a new committee has been formed in al-Jawf under the leadership of Shaykh Naji bin ‘Abd al-Aziz al-Shayf. According to the story, the committee will be providing advice on any number of issues including the al-Huthi conflict.