Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ansar al-Shari'a and al-Qaeda

This is old, but Ludovico Carlino has an idea about the relationship between al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a group called Ansar al-Shari'a which has been establishing control over territory:
"Most conceivable is the hypothesis that AQAP is behind the rise of Ansar al-Shari’a, with the strategic aim of gradually extending its presence in southern Yemen by creating an amiable relationship with the local tribes and thus avoiding the mistake made by al-Qaeda in Iraq, which alienated the local populace. Speaking at the April 2012 release of captured government soldiers, Ansar al-Shari’a cleric Sheikh Awad Banajar encouraged the tribes to stand alongside the group, urging them not to 'give the Americans an opportunity to repeat in Yemen the experiment of the Awakenings [i.e. the anti-al-Qaeda 'Awakening' militias] in Iraq.' [6] The Ansar al-Shari’a Amir, Abu Hamza al-Zinjibari (from the tribe of Maraqisha al-Baleed), is said to have been appointed because 'he is from the sons of Zinjibar' (al-Masdar Online, March 20). The existence of the anti-al-Qaeda 'People’s Committees,' groups of local fighters and tribesmen that have driven the militants out of the Lawdar area, suggests that this strategy is not completely working (Yemen Times, May 21).

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