AQAP Statement on Parcel Bombs
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
As most of the wires are reporting, AQAP has put up a statement, #29, taking credit for the parcel bomb plot as well as for bringing down a UPS plane out of Dubai International Airport on September 3, 2010.
I have just read that statement, but will reserve judgment as the tone struck an off note for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it is there or maybe it is just my imagination. Who knows? But since I'm an academic - or at least an aspiring one - and not a journalist, I don't have to worry about things like deadlines or timeliness. I don't have tenure or even a job, but I do have some freedom.
One interesting note about the statement is that it addressed the reported Saudi role in providing intelligence (although it didn't go into details or mention, al-Fayfi, more on that later). And it did so from an angle that most of the reporting in the west hasn't focused on. Much of the reporting has been on the Saudis helping the US, but AQAP is portraying this as a case of the Saudis betraying God to help the "Zionist Jews," who were the addressed target of the bombs even if they were never intended to make the synagogue.
AQAP also put out two other statements - one denying responsibility for the two bombs outside a club in Aden and the other an update on events in Mudiya, which is in Abyan. More on those later. After I, you know, actually read them and think about them.