AQAP Statement (Updated)

I've been away from the internet for most of the weekend, but I returned today to find that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has posted a statement taking responsibility for the assassination attempt on Muhammad bin Nayif. (Thanks to all the readers who e-mailed me links.)

Thomas Hegghammer over at Jihadica has a couple of excellent posts on the statement as well as some background about Muhammad, why I'm not seeing Thomas quoted in some of the stories on this attack is beyond me. Come on reporters, you guys can do better than this.

I did see this interesting explanation in an AFP report for SITE's early call on the statement:

"In a statement posted on an Islamist website late on Thursday, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said it was behind the attack, according to US-based SITE Intelligence monitoring group.

But AQAP, which said in the statement that Prince Mohammed was killed in the attack, did not provide further details at the time, and withdrew the statement later in the day, SITE said."


I don't know much about SITE so I will (largely) refrain from commenting, but I got a call on Thursday fairly soon after the attempt took place and I was on the forums most of the evening and late into the night and I didn't see any statement, so I'm curious as to what SITE believed they saw. Strange.

As for the attacker himself, 'Abdullah al-'Asiri, he was on Saudi's list of 85 published early this year (#40 on this list). The statement is fairly short, but packed with interesting details. Like Thomas, I am interested to hear more about the "networks of spies" uncovered by AQAP.

To me, this attack is, like I have been saying recently, an attempt by AQAP to square its actions with its rhetoric and to demonstrate that it has the regional reach it claims to have.

Update: I mistakenly added the definite article to 'Asiri - my mistake.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less