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Sada al-Malahim 11

As a couple of commentators pointed out in the comments section last night, issue 11 of Sada al-Malahim is now out. I downloaded it last night, but given my writing schedule I am attempting to limit myself to only one article a day, which is rather difficult to do.

The one I read today was rather short and I completed it before breakfast so I think that means I can read another one later today. But we’ll see.

As was expected this issues spends a lot of time focusing on ‘Abdullah ‘Asiri, the bomber who attempted to assassinate Muhammad bin Nayif. The article I read was written by Sa’id ‘Ali al-Shihri (kunya: Abu Sufayan al-Azdi) entitled (roughly) “Abu al-Khayr: The Key to Good Things.” The title is a play on the word al-Khayr, which functions as ‘Asiri’s kunya, Abu al-Khayr, and the good things to come are a removal of corrupt and un-Islamic leaders like Muhammad bin Nayif. So, according to the article, ‘Asiri’s example of assassinations is one to replicate.

This, al-Shihri suggests, should be done whether in the country or outside of the country – although what kind of infrastructure AQAP has for carrying out an attack outside of the peninsula is an open question.

Two things struck me initially. First, al-Shihri’s call for more targeted assassinations. It seems that AQAP has learned some lessons from its earlier version and is attempting to limit Muslim civilian casualties, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Also, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has used assassinations twice – March 2007 and October 2008 – and AQAP has attempted it once against Muhammad bin Nayfi this has never been its weapon of choice.

Second, the effort to push former Guantanamo detainees to the front is largely absent from this issue. Obviously al-Shihri is a former detainee, but the little footnote with his ISN and other information about his stay in Guantanamo is missing. This could be because two (although only one has been confirmed) former Guantanamo detainees have been killed. Al-Shihri’s brother-in-law Yusif al-Shihri and another former detainee, allegedly in the confusion that is the war in Sa’dah.

Finally, there is very little explanation for the delay in this issue. I have my own hypothesis but these aren’t supported by any evidence, so I will keep them to myself. Happy reading.

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