Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Anthony Shaffer: Awlaki a US double agent before 9/11

Filed under: US jihaddis, USS Cole, anwar, fahd — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, former DIA analyst in the Able Danger data mining operation, says in a current interview that Anwar Al Awlaki was a US double or triple agent before 9/11.

That may account for the US closing its investigation of Anwar’s connections to the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman in 1999. Once Awlaki’s many ties to the 9/11 highjackers became clear, a JTTF San Diego investigation was reopened. But in 2002, US Attorney Gaouette rescinded an arrest warrant against Anwar for passport fraud, a day before he re-entered the US.

Anwar as a double agent for and a triple agent against the US might explain the utter communication breakdown between JTTF’s DC and San Diego offices on Awlaki’s email correspondence with the soon to be jihaddist murderer Nidal Hassan.

It might also explain why Awlaki was never charged with anything–not incitement, not conspiracy to murder, even after the Nigerian Abdumutallab said he met with Awlaki regarding the Dec 2009 airplane bombing plot hatched in Yemen. On the other hand, it could all be a string of incompetence and bad luck. I don’t know which would be worse.

News Rescue “In video, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer describes how Anwar al-Awlaki Was a triple agent, and an FBI Asset Before 9/11 on infowars. Anthony Shaffer is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who gained fame for his claims about mishandled intelligence before the September 11 attacks and for the censoring of his book, Operation Dark Heart.

Shaffer and the Able Danger team also uncovered intelligence of an impending al Qaeda terror plot in the Gulf of Aden in the weeks immediately prior to the bombing of the USS Cole on Oct 12, 2000 in Yemen. Able Danger tried strenuously to issue a warning that, like DIA analyst Kye Fallis’ was thwarted.

Despite the NSA’s constant and years long monitoring of the Yemen hub and the CIA’s surveillance of the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the Cole attack and 9/11 were planned, no intelligence warning on the Cole bombing was generated or forwarded from those agencies either. (The CIA later withheld info on the Malaysia meeting from the FBI as it was investigating the Cole, leaving connections to the impending 9/11 attack unexplored.)

Lt. Shaffer was black balled by DIA after he went public with the 9/11 Commission’s failure to include his testimony regarding the presence of Atta in the US. Commander Lippold was essentially forced to retire by DOD. Fallis quit DIA on the day of the Cole bombing.

The Malaysia meeting was attended by current AQAP leader Fahd al Quso and top AQ operatives from several nations. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, al Quso’s unique threat level comes from his operational experience (blowing up a warship) coupled with his international connections and credibility.

Al Quso was indicted on over 50 counts of terrorism in NY’s Southern District in 2003 following his 2002 escape from Aden jail. The Sanaa regime secretly released al Quso in May 2007 despite a ten year sentence handed down after his 2004 “recapture,” the Washington Post reported. Al Quso finally made it to the MWT list in Nov 2009 and was designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department in Dec 2010.

The US began its drone campaign in Yemen with strikes in Dec 2009, where Awlaki and other AQAP leaders were supposedly meeting at Fahd al Quso’s farm. Al Quso gave several media interviews recently, noting how lovely things are in the AQ occupied towns in Yemen, when they are not crucifying spies, beheading soldiers, looting banks and dehanding teen-agers. Yesterday, AG Holder, the bastion of flex-fit jurisprudence, gave the Obama administration’s rationale for targeting US citizens with drones.

Update: Gah! Must be something in the air. Fox: Mueller grilled on FBI’s release of al-Awlaki in 2002 (3/7/12)

The warrant was pulled by a judge in Colorado, after the cleric entered the U.S. A U.S. attorney in Colorado who oversaw the warrant and the Justice Department claimed the cleric’s earlier lies to the Social Security Administration, the basis of the charge, had been corrected. But new documents obtained by Fox News through the Freedom of Information Act show otherwise.

After al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in the fall of 2002 with the FBI’s help, the cleric then appeared in a high-profile investigation, in which Agent Ammerman was a lead investigator. The FBI has not made the agent available to Fox News to interview, nor has the Department of Justice made the U.S. attorney on the case available. Former FBI agents say Ammerman would have needed permission from higher up in the bureau to let al-Awlaki go.

The House Homeland Security Committee launched an official investigation into the cleric and his 9/11 connections last year, but sources tell Fox News that committee staffers have been frustrated by the FBI’s resistance to providing documents and witnesses, citing “ongoing investigations.”

Wolf urged the FBI director to brief other lawmakers, including the head of the house intelligence committee, so that a similar scenario “never happens again.”

Fox News confirmed that the October 2002 incident and the arrest warrant for al-Awlaki was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or to Congress.

Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”

Tariq al Dhahab killed by elder brother

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Tribes, Yemen, anwar, attacks — by Jane Novak at 2:50 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

to avoid tribal revenge. Later in the day, Tariq’s gang attacked Hazam’s house and in total 17 are dead. Several articles are citing an inheritance dispute among 20 brothers, but that was in play by 2007 when Nabil was released from prison alongside Anwar al Awalki. The overt enmity between these two began last month when Tariq tried to occupy Raada, al Baydah in order to release his brother, Nabil.

Al-Qaeda leader in southeastern Yemen killed by elder brother

Yemen Post Staff: Hazam al-Thahb, Yemeni tribal chief from the southeastern Yemeni town of Rada, which was briefly taken over by al-Qaeda militants, killed his younger brother, Tariq al-Thahb, a high-profile leader in AQAP.

Hazam broke on Wednesday evening into a mosque, where his brother and some of al-Qaeda militants were living, and killed his Tariq and some of his followers, tribal dignitary from the area told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

“He has killed his younger brother after he repeatedly warned him not to align himself with the islamists, however his brother was obstinate and did not pay heed to his warnings and advice. That’s why he had to kill him before he is killed by the authorities, said the tribal dignitary. (Read on …)

Nigerian says Anwar al Awlaki gave him airline plot, introduced bomb maker

Filed under: USA, Yemen, airliner, anwar — by Jane Novak at 9:33 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abdulmutallab was found guilty and sentenced to death for trying to murder all the people on the airliner. I’m sure he’ll appeal.

USA Today: According to court documents, Abdulmutallab spent months pursuing American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, where the two men eventually met and hatched out a plan to blow up an American airliner over U.S. soil on Christmas Day 2009. In the weeks leading up to the bombing attempt, the two men texted each other, spoke briefly on the phone and ended up spending three days together at al-Awlaki’s house planning the attack, the government wrote in court documents. (Read on …)

Awlaki’s son death in US drone strike provokes outrage in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Marib, airliner, anwar, obits, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 11:57 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Yemeni-American teenager is widely perceived in Yemen as an innocent, and therefore his death in a US drone strike is causing mass outrage on a level much, much greater than that of his father. There is a birth certificate showing he was 16 at the time of his death, and many photos have been posted. Like the December 2009 strikes, its the civilian casualties of US drone strikes that provoke mass public outrage. Yemeni would have liked to see some evidence on Awlaki or better yet, to bring him to trial. But killing his teen-age son, or any innocent teen, is way over the top of acceptable counter-terror collateral damage, Yemenis say.

Yemen Post According to the al-Awlaki family back in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, Abdul rahman al-Awlaki, the cleric’s son would have run away from home after news of his father’s death in a desperate bid to find him. The 17 year-old was killed subsequently in an American air raid this Friday. Outraged, his family is now speaking out against what they call a murder.

The family’s statements to the WaPo is here. His family says he ran away from home and was having a picnic when the drone hit. However what he was doing with known terrorist Ibrahim al Banaa and Fahd al Quso’s brother is unknown and not raised in the article.

Related: I posted this below but it belongs in a drone-related post: Marib Press Tribes in Marib issued a statement saying Sheikh Saleh al Taaman was killed in the air rad with Ibrahim al Banaa but not reported killed by the regime. The Sheikh was connected to the state’s security policy and paid by Ghalib al Qamish (PSO) 100K YR/month; tribesmen accuse the regime of the manipulating the terror file and US CT ops to retain power. They say the Sheikh was not listed among the dead and that’s reason to ignore the regime’s fatality lists.

Al Qaeda terror group hiding in Yemen confirms death of Awlaki

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 9:51 am on Monday, October 10, 2011

AQAP issues message confirming death of Anwar al-Awlaki: Site Intel

Safe copy at Jihadology has link to original post: al-Malāḥim Media presents new statement from al-Qā’idah in the Arabian Peninsula: “Blood of the Martyr, Light and Fire: Statement on the Martyrdom of Shaykh Anwar al-’Awlaqī and his Colleagues”

No mention of al Assiri per @Inteltweet but Sami confirmed dead as well.

“The blood of the sheik (al-Awlaki) and his brothers will not go in vain; there are heroes behind him who do not sleep under oppression, and they will retaliate soon,” the group said. “We and the Americans are at war: we get them and they get us, and the end is for those who are patient – they are the ones who will be victorious.” FOX

The full statement at Flashpoint here has a little different translation; also includes AQAP’s trashing the Yemeni opposition parties.

Awlaki lived in house of GPC official in Sanaa for five months before death: Aden Press

Filed under: GPC, Yemen, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 11:25 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

This article says Anwar was living in Sanaa in the house of a GPC member when the National Security transfered him to al Jawf for his own security, but put a transmitter in his car… Anyway this article contradicts the Ahram article, unless the National Security transferred him to Afrag’s house and then he went to visit Okaimi. Update : al Zindani does have a huge farm in Al-Jawf .. it’s about 10 kilometers x 10 kilometers.

Aden Press

The leader of the al-Qaeda al-Awlaki Anwar Al-Nasser after he left the United States of America live in the hometown of Shabwa South Yemen. However, knowing the United States exact location of his residence made ​​the life of Anwar al-Awlaki is in danger.

This situation made ​​the authorities of Sanaa, which was used and the presence on its territory to blackmail the United States of America for their financial and political feeling that his life is in danger, and that the killing may lead to loss of a chicken that lays Bayada dollars. He was secretly transferred to Sana’a, lived in a house, an official in the ruling party and a family close to him for five months. (Read on …)

Al Awlaki was moving between al Zindani’s farm, al Okaimi’s and Afrag’s in al Jawf: al Ahram

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 8:35 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

Update: does al Zindani even have a farm in Al Jawf? Some people say no. I dont know,could be knee-jerk reaction by people who don’t want to give a bad rep to the rev, w/a. Anwar and al Zindani did have relations. Also the report at Aden Press (scroll up) gives an account of Awlaki’s time prior to arriving in al Jawf as sheltering with GPC members. Update 2: yes Zindani does have a huge farm in Al-Jawf .. it’s about 10 kilometers x 10 kilometers farm

Original; Many foreign al Qaeda still at Okaimi’s al Ahram says.

al Ahram: The locals told Al-Ahram Weekly that Al-Awlaki came to Al-Jawf 10 days ago and he was staying in three places. The house of Salem Saleh Afrag, the local driver who was killed with him, was the first place. Al-Awlaki was killed immediately after he left this house. Khamis Afrag, brother of Salem, is a leading member in the Islamist opposition party, Islah.

The second place was the farm of local tribal leader Amin Al-Okaimi in Al-Jar. Al-Okaimi is a member of parliament and chairman of Islah. Many Al-Qaeda operatives including Egyptians, Algerians and Libyans are supposedly still hiding in the farm of Al-Okaimi until now, according to local sources.

Al-Okaimi and his tribesmen have been controlling the eastern province of Al-Jawf since March when ex-general Mohsen encouraged them to dismiss the president’s loyalists and replace them with rebel troops.

The third place frequented by Al-Awlaki was the farm of the Islamist leader Abdel-Majid Al-Zandani, wanted by the UN and US as a global terrorist, in the area of Nebta in the same province of Al-Jawf.

Al Zindani was a decades long time Saleh ally. In fact, Saleh announced his presidential candidacy from Al Iman university in 2006. After the March massacre in Sana’a, al Zindani defected to the rev but was jeered by some. He left Sana’a and went to Arhab, which had been under bombardment for some time. Meanwhile, the Houthis are fighting against Islahis in al Jawf and Oakimi is Ali Mohsen’s overseerer of the province.

Hard to say who this is an indictment of, if its true (ye old local sources) beyond al Zindani for sheltering him, and both Mohsen and Saleh for their long term tolerance, and who gets the credit in Yemen; there’s so many possible ways to look at it. As I said before, its just a clusterfck.

Awlaki trained Farouk, the jet bomber, on how to detonate bomb

Filed under: Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 3:11 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I thought we knew that a long time ago:

Radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was directly involved in the failed Christmas 2009 plot on a commercial jet and failed October 2010 plot on cargo planes, according to the federal bulletin issued after Awlaki was killed Friday in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen.

The Homeland Security/FBI bulletin, obtained by Fox News, specifically says Awlaki, an influential new-generation figure in Al Qeada, showed the suspected Christmas Day bomber how to detonate the bomb he is accused of hiding in his underwear.

Read more: Fox

Awlaki preached against US openly in Yemen, Update: family ID’s body

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:05 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awlaki moved between Shabwa and Abyan, preached openly, negotiated with a sheikh for AQAP passage through tribal territories (request denied). If Awlaki was with Saed al Shihri, its pretty clear that he was in AQAP, and pretty high up, I cant believe anybody is debating that point. Update: Anwar’s family

Awlaqi moved freely in Yemen’s lawless regions, AFP

ADEN — Long sought-after US-born Al-Qaeda cleric, Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a US air strike last week, used to move freely around Yemen’s lawless provinces and even preach in mosques, witnesses said.

During the past few months, the radical cleric had moved between the Al-Qaeda hotbed regions of Abyan and Shabwa in the south and Marib in the east, one tribal chief told AFP on condition of anonymity….Awlaqi and AQAP number two, Saeed al-Shehri, escaped death on September 20, when US drones carried out several air strikes on the village of Al-Mahfad in Abyan, the tribal chief said. (Read on …)

AQAP claims Awlaki alive: Yemen Post

Filed under: Air strike, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:28 am on Monday, October 3, 2011

Hopefully these unsourced statements will prove to be an embarrassment to al Qaeda:

Yemen Post: “As is happens, al-Qaeda in Yemen is now claiming that both al-Awlaki and al-Asiri are still alive and were in fact nowhere near the explosion.”

But there hasn’t been an actual press release, if we can call it that, from AQAP. Supposedly they promised a video of Anwar disputing reports of his death to Xinjua, but there’s been nothing beyond that a few days ago. ( Here’s the summary of the reports of Anwar alive from 11/1.) Maybe the YP has sources. Marib Press says the local population confirmed to the family that Anwar is alive but has nothing from AQAP itself.

The fact that his family was unable to identify Awlaki from among the body parts was unsurprising. His father has my sympathy for that task alone. YP: “Tribal leaders in Jawf told the family that Awlaqi was not killed in the attack. Tribes in the province say there is no proof that Awlaqi was amongst the killed and DNA tests on the remains of the five killed can prove that.”

At the same time, Yemeni muj are confirming on the forums that he is dead. And DOD would never let President Obama make the statement if there was a chance Awlaki was still alive; otherwise, undead terrorists are quite common in Yemen. Al Reimi was announced dead three times and al Quso twice, but none of these were USG statements.

Dead al Qaeda worked for National Security

Filed under: Air strike, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 7:02 am on Monday, October 3, 2011

A lot of al Qaeda get checks from the intelligence agency. Many of those killed in Abyan also had National Security ID cards. Badr al Hassani said that the PSO deputy paid him to train terrorists in Mareb in karate.

Yemen Times: He explained that one of the dead is from the local A’lmarwan clan in Khashef of Al-Jawf called Salem Saleh Arfaj and the other one is Saleh Mohsen Al-Na’j of the Abida tribe in Mareb, 173 km northeast the capital Sana’a.

“The two people mentioned were easy to identify because we know them, but it was hard to identify the other two since they were not from our area,” he said.

He indicated that one of the killed persons of his area was a well-known Al-Qaeda member among the population.

He described the area where the strike was carried out as “a plain surrounded by five mountains in the desert.”

“The vehicle which was said to be Al-Awlaki’s car was totally torn up into pieces and another car belonging to one of the citizens whose brother was killed in this strike was smashed,” he said.

And while the local relatives of the dead person were picking up the human parts of the dead bodies, they found two national security cards – one for their kinsman and the other for the dead person of Mareb, according to the local source.

“They were really Yemen’s national security agents recruited by Amar Saleh [chief of Yemen’s intelligence service],” he said.

After Awlaki hit, US wants Saleh out and military to military operations

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:06 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mil to mil cooperation going forward is fine, necessary and productive as long as it does not include Saleh’s son Ahmed (Republican Guard) , or three nephews Yahya (Central Security), Tariq (Presidential Guards) and Ammar (National Security) or his half brother Mohammed Saleh Ammar (head of the Air Force). Everything after that is smooth sailing.

NYT

A senior American official made it clear on Saturday that Mr. Saleh’s immediate departure remained a goal of American policy, and that Yemen’s government was under no “significant illusion” that the United States had changed its position.

“Sustaining military to military cooperation is in our best interest,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t want to undermine that cooperation.”

A Yemeni government spokesman, however, said Mr. Saleh deserved credit for helping the Americans.

“After this big victory in catching Awlaki, the White House calls on the president to leave power immediately?” Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi said to Reuters. “The Americans don’t even respect those who cooperate with them.”

The spokesman for Yemen’s opposition coalition, Mohammed Qahtan, rejected the idea that Mr. Awlaki’s killing cast the government in a favorable light. Instead, it shows “the regime’s failure and weakness to perform its duty to arrest and try Awlaki in accordance with the Constitution,” Mr. Qahtan said. “And it’s that that forced America to go after him using their own means.”

Al Qaeda linked sources deny Al Awlaki dead: BBC; AQAP contradictory: Mareb Press

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:31 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update: Mareb Press report on an AlQuds Alarabia report that PM Mujawir is Anwar Awlaki’s uncle and they are from the same tribe, that this is the reason the Sanaa regime failed to take any action against him for years. If true, it also means the Fahd al Quso is Mujawir’s tribesman.

Update 2: AQAP contradictory, it sounds like they don’t know or havent confirmed themselves: Mareb Press The questioning in the killing of al-Awlaki is reinforced by a conflict of information from sources close al Qaeda, where some close to AQ stress he is not dead, while others assert the news of his death (is correct), while it did not issue any official statement from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that confirms or denies the news of his death.

Original: Gah! Al Qaeda linked sources tell the BBC that Awlaki is alive and they will produce video to prove it. On one hand, the US said it had definite confirmation and Obama wouldn’t have announced it if there wasn’t. Also there was a witness on the ground, the homeowner. And there was confirmation on one of the forums. On the other hand, the remains were charred and in pieces and his father couldn’t identify him. There’s been so much duplicity from the Sanaa regime on the al Qaeda issue before. However I don’t recall AQAP denying a death that occurred, they are usually more reliable in announcing causalities than Sanaa, which has a habit of announcing kills that weren’t going back to 2004 and Nabi. Likely the BBC’s source is not actual AQAP? Until I see it a reliable Yemeni site that has a statement directly from AQAP, not reprinting the beeb story, then its likely untrue.

BBC, GT: Tribal sources linked to al Qaeda, told the BBC that al-Qaeda in Yemen, Egypt denied the news of killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the organization, and vowed to broadcast a video of an interview with Aulaqi prove that he is still alive

But sources close to the father of Anwar al-Awlaki who is a professor at the University of Sanaa, confirmed to the BBC that he went today to the al-Jawf province, eastern Yemen to identify the body of his son, and supervising the burial, if so, then his death.

According to tribal sources is entirely distorted and could not be identified but believed to be Anwar Awlaki.

Similar report at Barakish

Anwar al Awlaki killed in al Jawf?

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 6:22 am on Friday, September 30, 2011

This is an interesting article by Steve Emmerson at Investigative Project.

Original: White House and many US officials confirming. I wonder if Samir Khan was with him? If its true, can the US withdraw support for the Sanaa regime now? Who else do we need before we can go to a normal posture toward the country?

Marib Press says witnesses confirm. And “Tribal sources said told AFP that Awlaki was killed early Friday in an air strike on two cars in the province of Marib, east of the country, a stronghold of Al Qaeda in Yemen.” Also News Yemen has independent tribal sources on the scene saying Anwar escaped wounded in the first strike and hit again by a second, the third strike took out the second car and there was another American (Samir). The tribe in the area does not support al Qaeda, and buried the bodies. They found four rifles but are unsure of the number of fatlities. al Masdar A local witness confirms a car was hit and no reports at all of any random civilians, another good thing. But the bodies are so burnt etc that its impossible to identify the remains.

Local (AQ?) sources in Shabwa tell al Watan Awlaki is dead and was turned in by the defected pro-rev general Ali Mohsen al Ahmar who historically is close to al Qaeda to prove to the US that he is strong on CT: al Watan. Obama confirms he’s dead. Awlaki. was seen prior to his death with seven companions.

Update No. Just no.: SANAA, Sep. 30 (Xinhua) –The most-wanted U.S.-born Yemeni al- Qaida cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, is alive and was not in the targeted convoy hit by a unmanned U.S. drone Friday, one of his brothers told Xinhua by phone. Also Nass Mobile in Yemen just said that Awlaqi was injured but not killed.

Update 2: Report of a report by Yemeni defense ministry Samir Khan was also killed.

Update 3: US reports they were working on a poison gas attack, there were the earlier reports of the poison perfume plot on Saudis and the accumulation of castor beans.

the National: A tribal leader who requested anonymity gave an account of the strike based on information from Khamis Arfaaj, the owner of the house in which Al Awlaki was staying. Mr Khamis, who gave a higher death toll than official sources, said Al Awlaki and six others took their breakfast and moved about 600 metres away from the house. (Read on …)

Awlaki and 9/11

Filed under: Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 10:17 pm on Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Atlantic: In the late 1990s, Awlaki was approached by an al-Qaeda facilitator known as Ziyad Khaleel, who performed simple tasks for the terror network, for example paying for a satellite phone to be used by Osama bin Laden. Khaleel and Awlaki were both connected to a Yemeni charity, founded by an associate of bin Laden. Awlaki served as its vice president for a time. (Read on …)

AQAP trying to make Ricin in Shabwa

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, anwar, fahd — by Jane Novak at 5:55 pm on Sunday, August 14, 2011

The good news: obviously they have no access to nuclear materials despite that constant rhetoric. This oddly timed US announcement relates to intel announced in Dec 2010 by the Saudis as the purported poison perfume plot . Update: this article at Global Security decimates the Times article.

MSNBC: American counterterrorism officials are increasingly concerned that the most dangerous regional arm of Al Qaeda is trying to produce the lethal poison ricin, to be packed around small explosives for attacks against the United States.

For more than a year, according to classified intelligence reports, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin, a white, powdery toxin that is so deadly that just a speck can kill if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

Intelligence officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, an airport or a subway station. (Read on …)

Awlaki, al Qaeda’s pimp to Somalia; Warsame arrested; other AQAP updates

Filed under: Counter-terror, Somalia, TI: External, USA, Yemen, anwar, arrests, pirates — by Jane Novak at 8:29 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

A bunch of overdue AQAP links and articles: First, business as usual: Sadiq al Ahmar said 16 of the recent al Qaeda escapees are living in villas in Sanaa, and other al Qaeda members are in the counter-terror forces, Republican Guard and Central Security. Its typical; we listed names of some of the AQ in the CT forces some years ago. Its well documented that other al Qaeda terrorists receive no-show salaries from the army or intelligence forces. The regime spun it as “rehabilitation,” until they needed a deniable proxy. The US dismissed them as “militants” but now the US is droning “militants” with no clear affiliation to al Qaeda or any transnational terror organization.

Yesterday, in an interview with Al Sheba, about what promoted the power of “the existence of al-Qaeda in Yemen”, Shekh Sadiq al Ahmar stressed that the so-called al-Qaeda elements are out of the house of the presidency and they exist in an anti-terrorist forces and the Republican Guard and the Central Security, noting that 16 members of Al Qaeda leaders who fled from the prison of Al-Mukalla month the past, “present in the villas in the capital alone to them the system in it.” He added, “The system uses the al-Qaeda bogeyman to extort from the Gulf, and promoted himself to America.”

Second, Shabab fighter Ahmed Warsame, arrested in the Gulf, was brought to the US for trial. Warsame has ties to both AQAP and al Shabab and met Anwar. Awlaki has been pimping al Qaeda to the Somalis since (at least) 2006 when the eight westerners were arrested trying to smuggle weapons to Somalia from Yemen. The enmeshment between al Qaeda in Yemen and al Shabab was politically inconvenient prior to the rev and is an expedient sound bite now.

NYT 7/10: In his remarks on his plane, Mr. Panetta said there were greater dangers to the United States in Yemen. “There’s no question when you look at what constitutes the biggest threat in terms of attacks on the United States right now, more of that comes from Yemen and people like Awlaki,” he said. He added that in Yemen, “There are a number of operations that are being conducted not only by the Defense Department, but by my former agency to try to focus on going after those targets. I would say that’s one of our top priorities right now.”

Fox News: The Somali terror suspect transferred this week to a New York City federal court spent “significant time” with American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, a U.S. official told Fox News. (Read on …)

Several attempts to target Awlaki Thursday

Filed under: Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 7:10 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saleh has a sudden change of heart:

WSJ: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been more forthcoming with information on Mr. Awlaki since the president has faced major protests in his country, a U.S. official said. Mr. Saleh has sought to use that information in an effort to gain more U.S. support, the official added. The White House has backed an Arab proposal that would ease Mr. Saleh from office…The attempt to kill Mr. Awlaki was the first known U.S. military strike inside Yemen since May 2010, when U.S. missiles mistakenly killed one of Mr. Saleh’s envoys and an unknown number of other people. That soured relations and prompted the administration to pull back.
(Read on …)

Drone strike in Abyan 4/24 missed, 5/5 drone targeted Awlaki

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:55 am on Friday, May 6, 2011

Update: The drone strike in Shabwa around midnight was launched by the US military and targeted Anwar al Awlaki, CNN is reporting. The two killed were Awlaki associates and the intel was not from the several computers seized at UBL compound.

Original: I really did mean to post this at the time. The drone strike yesterday in Shabwa that killed two AQ siblings was preceded by miss in Abyan on 4/24. One predator didn’t explode and the other hit a road. The April strike occured near Amfryad in Mudiyah where in December 2010 US missiles killed 49 civilians along with a few al Qaeda (as a parliamentary inquiry found). The last use of armed unmanned drones was in 2002 and resulted in the killing of al Harithy and US citizen Kamal Darwish, Lackawanna recruiter.

Yemen Times: ABYAN, Apr. 26th – US airstrikes in Abyan governorate are still threatening the lives of citizens. The Al-Ma’jala strike – which took place on 17 December 2009 and killed 55 people, including 14 women, 21 children and 14 alleged Al-Qaeda members – still looms large in the region’s collective memory.

According to Abyan’s security chief, Colonel Abdullah Ali Saeed, a new airstrike hit the small village of Amfryad in Mudiyah district on 24 April 2011. The attack involved two cruise missiles being launched by a US Predator drone.

The Predator was pursuing a pickup truck allegedly belonging to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) jihadists. (Read on …)

AQAP’s Inspire Mag #5: Al Qaeda in Yemen in favor of freedom unless you are a woman in Jaar, Awlaki: OK to kill obvious apostates

Filed under: Yemen, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 9:17 am on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The wackos al Qaeda in Abyan’s Jaar restricted women to their homes, via WAQAP radio, so no demonstrations or freedom for them! In this issue, Awlaki says that its fine to kill obvious apostates. A write up at Intelwire:

Ibrahim’s piece makes two more very important points related to the uprisings, which represent a significant shift in AQ rhetoric and even its philosophy. First, he argues that Al Qaeda is entirely in favor of “freedom” in the Middle East, because that gives people the freedom to learn about and understand AQ’s goals…Even more significantly, Ibrahim writes that Al Qaeda is not opposed to regime change through peaceful means. While Ibrahim’s status as an Islamic authority figure in the movement is unclear at best, this represents a pretty significant shift away from a long argument that military jihad is the only acceptable means to achieve Al Qaeda’s long term political goals.

Awlaki: We don’t just assume someone is an apostate without clear evidence. The other thing is who can implement the ruling once one is determined to be an apostate…In brief, if the individual has apostatized publicly, and his apostasy is clear, then this person’s blood and wealth is not protected from the Muslims due to the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

Intelwire’s J.M. Berger notes: AQAP Inspire #5 finished production March 18, so that’s an 11-day wait from production to posting.

Indonesian Terrorist in Yemen, must be meeting Anwar al Awlaki

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, Yemen, anwar, surrenders, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 8:17 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

The last time we heard about JI members in Yemen was the 2006 arrest of eight foreigners who confessed to planning to run guns to Somalia and then were released by Yemeni authorities one by one. Two sons of JI founder Abdul Rahman Ayoub were among the detainees. There’s a strong connection of some of the eight to Anwar al Awlaki. A contemporaneous post here but more information came to light since then.

Nine MSN: A senior analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned that a terrorist wanted in at least four countries including Australia over connection to the 2002 Bali bombings could be recruiting for future attacks.

Speaking on the sidelines of a panel discussion on radicalism in Jakarta, terrorism expert Sidney Jones said ICG had received information from “credible sources” that former Jemaah Islamiah (JI) member Umar Patek had recently been sighted in Yemen. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki spews more lies

Filed under: Air strike, Judicial, Media, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:17 pm on Sunday, February 13, 2011

This is total crap, everyone including me the same day exposed that it was the US that carried out the December airstrikes.

News Yemen: Described as a model for journalism in principle and that he was the voice of truth in a choppy sea with waves of falsehood and deception
Anwar al-Awlaki calls for media to continue the march of Haider and expose the practices of the Yemeni government and the U.S.
13/02/2011 (Read on …)

Anwar Awllaki’s internet training center in Yemen

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Counter-terror, Media, Saudi Arabia, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:26 pm on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ABC

An Arab intelligence agent has told the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program that Australian citizens have been seen in Al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Yemen.

Yemen is fast earning a reputation as a launching pad for Jihadi-inspired terrorism.

The Arabian Peninsula nation is also the refuge of American-born radical cleric Anwar Al Awlaki, who recently became the first US citizen to be placed on the CIA’s official assassination list.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has listed 20 Australian citizens as persons of interest because they seem to have disappeared from the radar after travelling to Yemen.

Now there is new evidence young Australian men have indeed been recruited to Al Qaeda training camps.

For several months Foreign Correspondent has been in touch with an Arab intelligence agent who says he visited Al Qaeda camps and observed several Australians there.

“They have all kinds [of training]. They have Islamic studies; they have training in weapons; they have training in explosives,” he said.

“They also have a classroom with computers for training on the internet.”

The intelligence operative claims the camps are directed by Anwar Al Awlaki, a man whose other devotees have included the so-called underpants bomber – a young Al Qaeda-trained Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

“Their leader is Anwar Al Awlaki; he is their spiritual guiding father; he is second only to Osama bin Laden,” he said.

“He knows that the internet is more powerful than the gun.”

In a desperately poor country with little oil or water, Al Qaeda has taken root in small desert villages in Yemen’s south.

There are sporadic clashes with government troops, but in some places Al Qaeda is the law. Its fighters have the run of communities.

Awlaki sought airliner info from BA employee

Filed under: TI: External, UK, UPS bombs, US jihaddis, anwar — by Jane Novak at 10:10 am on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Awlaki expressed a strong preference for US targets. See also Critical Threats’ overview of Awlaki, with 104 endnotes.

London (CNN) — Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki tried get information from a British Airways worker for use in a plot to blow up planes, preferably in the United States, prosecutors in London said Tuesday at the trial of the BA employee.

Rajib Karim, 31, exchanged e-mails with the militant cleric — who’s believed to have close ties with al Qaeda — in which al-Awlaki asked him for “limitations and cracks in present airport security systems” with an eye to targeting the United States, prosecutors said. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki sentenced in absentia to 10 years

Filed under: Religious, TI: Internal, Trials, UK amb, Yemen, anwar, political violence, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:46 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

The judge said Anwar and his cousin incited the security guard, a member of the security forces, to murder the French engineer.

BBC: A Yemeni court has sentenced a man to death for killing a French contractor near the capital Sanaa last year. The court also sentenced in his absence radical US-born Yemeni Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to 10 years in jail for aiding the gunman. (Read on …)

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