Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: ops and Intel update

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    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    ops and Intel update

    TALIBAN'S VOICE OF SHARIA RETURNS TO THE AIR According to the July 4 issue of Kabul Weekly, the Taliban's Shariat Shagh (Voice of Sharia) radio station is back on the air in several Afghan provinces. The station broadcasts on FM 88.00 and can be heard in Khost, Paktia, Ghazi and other provinces, which are all close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. Taliban spokesman Zabiollah Mojahed told Kabul Weekly that the Voice of Sharia began broadcasting again in late June, and that the Taliban plans to expand its coverage. Currently, the station broadcasts Taliban poems, messages and anti-government propaganda. According to the paper, listeners speculate that the radio station is broadcast somewhere in Zormat district of Paktia province, and it is probably broadcast from various locations in order to avoid detection since it cannot always be heard clearly in the same locations.

    Firefight in Iraq Exposes Presence of Turkish Al-Qaeda Operatives
    On June 23, as members of the Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I) approached a targeted building near Hawija, 150 miles north of Baghdad and south of Kirkuk, an area populated primarily by Kurds, four individuals entered a vehicle and attempted to leave the scene (MNF-I Statement, June 28). MNF-I forces followed the vehicle until it stopped and the occupants got out wielding weapons. A firefight ensued, in which all four were killed (Today's Zaman, June 29). Rocket-propelled grenades were also found in the vehicle. Two of the men have been identified: Mehmet Yilmaz, characterized as a senior leader in al-Qaeda, whose nom de guerre was Khalid al-Turki, and Mehmet Resit Isik, a courier and a close associate of senior al-Qaeda leaders, also known as Khalil al-Turki (the appellation "al-Turki" carries with it the connotation of nationality or heritage, in this case, Turkey). The MNF-I statement said that the bodies of both men had been positively identified. Yilmaz—also identified through a photo comparison and a forged Iraqi personal identification card—had operated a cell that brought foreign fighters into Iraq (Reuters, June 28).

    Yemen Attack Reveals Struggle Among Al-Qaeda's Ranks
    a man who identified himself as Abu Hurayra al-San'ani. He warned the old guard that jihad could not be paused in order to seek the release of prisoners. He insisted, "If they are killed, they end up as martyrs. Then, how can the jihad stop today for the sake of prisoners? Go back to your senses." This statement seemed to confirm the new tactics, which were first dramatically displayed with the March 29 assassination of Ali Mahmud Qasaylah, the chief criminal investigator in the Marib governorate. This murder was supposedly in retaliation for Qasaylah's role in the 2002 assassination of al-Qaeda leader Abu Ali al-Harithi (Terrorism Focus, May 22). Six days after the audio statement, Al-Qaeda in Yemen released another statement through the independent weekly al-Shar'a. This time the message was directed at the Yemeni government. The statement made four demands on the government: release al-Qaeda members in prison; lift restrictions on travel to Iraq; stop cooperating with the enemies of Islam, particularly the United States and its allies; and announce a return to Sharia law (News Yemen, July 2). These two statements, directed at al-Qaeda's old guard and the Yemeni government, clearly articulate the philosophy of Al-Qaeda in Yemen's new generation of leaders. In a press conference the day after the attack in Marib, President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered a 15 million Yemeni rial (roughly $75,500) reward for information leading to the capture of those responsible. He also said that early evidence suggested that the attack was the work of a non-Yemeni Arab (al-Hayat, July 4). Security operations during the following days resulted in several arrests in the governorates of Aden, Sanaa and Abyan (al-Hayat, July 5). The man who Yemen charged as the mastermind of the attack, however, was, as Saleh suggested, a foreigner. Ahmad Basaywani Duwaydar, a 50 year-old Egyptian with a Yemeni wife, was killed on July 5 in a shootout with Yemeni security forces in western Sanaa. Duwaydar, who previously lived in Egypt in 1990, had been convicted in absentia during the 1999 "Albania Returnees" trial (al-Hayat, July 7). Regardless of Duwaydar's culpability for the July 2 attack, his death will likely have little bearing on the generational fissures that have erupted within Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

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