All Waq al-Waq Articles

Yemen, the Middle East, and the World Beyond

  • AQAP and the al-Awaliq Tribe

    Early yesterday morning I woke up, fired up the computer, and began skimming through the news from Yemen. One of the first articles that caught my attention was this piece from News Yemen, explaining that AQAP had...

  • The Importance of Reading

    Throughout the summer AQAP has put out a number of statements, detailing its operations. Often times I would discuss these with a Yemeni friend, the only other one I know who keeps close watch of what AQAP writes...

  • Recommended Reading

    There have been a number of articles about Yemen in recent days. (Waq al-waq even put in an appearance on the pages of the Washington Post.) Most have been nonsense, some have been good and a few have been very...

  • AQAP in Sa'dah

    Last week, before all the craziness, I asked whatever happened to Ali Muhammad al-Hisam, the kidnapped deputy director of political security, whom AQAP had threatened to execute in 48 hours if two of its operatives...

  • Radio Spots

    For those with any interest, I did a couple of radio spots this morning, although if you are reading this you have probably heard it all before. First on the Takeaway with Caryle Murphy. And then talking to Steve...

  • al-Fayfi's role

    I saw this story in Arabic yesterday, and today the BBC has it, saying that Jabir al-Fayfi the surrendered or captured al-Qaeda member (either way he is in Saudi custody) was the key link in disrupting the plot. I...

  • Ibrahim Asiri

    With everyone talking about Ibrahim Asiri and a number of reporters asking what I knew about him, I thought it would be useful if I put together a little biographic sketch of him. (This is not meant to be...

  • Foreign Policy

    Here is a link to a new article I have up at Foreign Policy.

  • al-Jazeera English

    I was on al-Jazeera English yesterday talking about the recent attempted attack.

  • Bombs from Yemen (Updated)

    We still don't know a lot about the two package bombs from Yemen that were discovered the other day. Although I'm pretty certain that the next time I go to Fed-Ex on Hadda street to mail kilos and kilos of books...

  • Things We don't know

    Studying and thinking about groups like al-Qaeda can be an intellectually dangerous undertaking. Like most areas of study, the information one is dealing with is often heavily biased. Additionally, there is often...

  • AFP Locates a New Word

    It is late on a Friday and things are getting a bit wild, as the AFP attempts to put a new spin on an old cliche, writing: "The authorities in Yemen, the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden, ..." ...

  • Saudi Disinformation?

    Sometimes the news just seems a little off. A few days ago I was watching al-Arabiyya and caught the tail end of brief about a former Guantanamo detainee, Jabir Jabran al-Fayfi, who had turned himself back into...

  • War reporting (corrected)

    This is what happens in a war - conflicting reports based on hearsay and rumors and no one really knows what is happening. Lets review three security incidents from today. 1. First, the director of security in...

  • The Year of the Motorbike Assassination

    Waq al-waq formally announces 2010 as the year of the motorbike assassination in Yemen. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. Today, a security official in Hadramawt (Sayyun, for those wanting details) escaped...

  • Is this still a thing?

    The following comes from Greg Miller's article in the Washington Post on the second issue of Inspire: "The publication notes with evident pride that AQAP, as the group is known, has come to be seen by CIA analysts...

  • Housekeeping

    Since it appears as though I'm blogging again, Waq al-waq is doing a bit of housekeeping and has changed some of the sidebars. You know, keeping everything up to-date. Up next, at some point early next year, a...

  • Hit Lists

    One question that came to mind after reading through the second issue of Inspire is: Does the US now put Samir Khan on the CIA hit list now that he has unmasked himself as a member of al-Qaeda or, as he puts it, is...

  • Tuesday Papers: or Disagreeing with Experts

    Not surprisingly there is a lot of attention being paid to Inspire, much more than is paid to the Arabic releases by the al-Malahim media wing. I can only say that I hope this imbalance in the media is not...

  • Dead men walking: oh and a new Inspire

    I swore and I swore and I swore that I wasn't going to do this. No getting sucked back into the blog until serious (read: real) work is done. But yet here I am like some drunken moth drawn back to a flame. It is...