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UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO 20 April 2012

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Yemen -- Ansar al-Shari'ah's New Apparent Leader Brother of Slain Predecessor Qayid al-Dhahab, reportedly the new leader of the Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) offshoot Ansar al-Shari'ah (AAS), had served as a deputy to the group's former leader, his brother Tariq. AQAP issued a formal eulogy upon Tariq's death, but it has not officially announced his successor, and to date, OSC has observed no official reaction to reports that Qayid now heads the group. Qayid's former close working relationship with his brother suggests that he shared Tariq's views, which were aligned with key AQAP themes, including the call to establish Shari'ah and to oppose the Huthists. However, there is no evidence at this time as to his intention to attack US interests. Both brothers gained notoriety as a result of their leading role in AAS' temporary takeover of the southern Yemeni town Rada, which led to the release of numerous security prisoners, including one of their brothers. Who Was Tariq al-Dhahab? Very little biographical information is available on Tariq al-Dhahab, except that he was the fifth son of Shaykh Ahmad Nasir al-Dhahab, senior chieftain of the Qayfah tribe.a Tariq had five brothers: Qayid, who served as his secretary and spokesperson, is now the reported AAS leader;1 Nabil, who was released from Sanaa's Political Security prison on 24 January; 2 Ahmad,3 killed along with Tariq; and half-brothers Shaykh Hazzam,4 killed on 16 February, and Khalid, with whom Qayid and Tariq were at odds.5 6 Tariq was also the brother-in-law of Anwar al-Awlaki. Tariq's Death Thrusts Brother Qayid Onto Center Stage AAS members in southern Yemen reportedly swore loyalty to Qayid al-Dhahab as the new AAS leader immediately after he avenged Tariq's death by killing the assassin, their halfbrother Hazzam.7 8 To date, OSC has observed little reporting on Qayid's role as the new leader.

Tariq al-Dhahab

a

The Qayfah tribe is one of the Rada tribes that comprise the Murad clan. The clan's branches are Qayfah Wuld Rabi (sons of Rabi) Qayfah Al Ghunaym, Qayfah Al Muhsin Yazid, and Qayfah Al Mahdi (Ibrahim Ahmad alMaqhafi, Encyclopedia of Yemen Places, Names, and Tribes, 7 September 1995).
This OSC product is based exclusively on the content and behavior of selected media and has not been coordinated with other US Government components.

UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO

returning to His just Shari'ah and imposing it on the people. in which he spoke of "applying the Shari'ah of God. especially after the glad tidings of signs on implementing the Shari'ah ruling in Abyan and Shabwah.the Huthists are geographically far removed from Rada and This OSC product is based exclusively on the content and behavior of selected media and has not been coordinated with other US Government components. two days after Tariq's death. Both views reflect key AQAP themes. saying: "…I demand the implementation of Shari'ah…Shari'ah."11 Addressing tribal leaders. Along with his brother Tariq.9 According to a forum member's posting to the Salafijihadist website Ansar al-Mujahidin. Tariq stressed the imperative of establishing an "Islamic caliphate" in the Arabian Peninsula."12  Al-Dhahab Brothers' Statements Reflect AQAP Themes Both Tariq and Qayid strongly advocated for Shari'ah-based law. he led the takeover of Rada.   UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO 2 . AQAP issued its first official statement regarding Al-Dhahab. The statement.10  Qayid al-Dhahab AQAP Eulogizes Slain Leader. Tariq also blamed the Huthists for clashes that erupted during the takeover. for we are with anyone who seeks to support the Shari'ah. said nothing about Tariq's successor.UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO  The independent Yemeni news website Al-Taghyir cited tribal sources as saying that Al-Qa'ida elements pledged allegiance to Qayid as the new Amir. the statement said: "We call upon the tribes' dignitaries and shaykhs in the Yemen of faith and wisdom to support the Shari'ah in order to spread justice and security.13 His statement echoed the spirit of AQAP leader Abu-Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi's video message in 2010. Urges Yemeni Tribes To Apply Shari'ah On 18 February. "who was martyred …after a life full of support for the Shari'ah and religion."16 This apparently groundless accusation -. which was one of their top conditions for withdrawing from the southern Yemeni town of Rada. Qayid responded to a question by the independent news website Al-Masdar Online."15 In an interview with pro-government daily Al-Jumhuriyah. praising him for supporting the implementation of Shari'ah and calling on the leaders of Yemen's tribes to do the same."14 In a separate statement on 18 January.  In a speech on 18 January. which they and AAS militants had taken over. Tariq accused the Huthists of conspiring "to take over and control the city of Rada in order to spread their subversive ideology and rejectionist doctrine inside the city." hailing his role as "a pioneer in applying the rulings of God's Shari'ah among the tribes. Qayid was an AAS field commander in Al-Baydah who lost one of his hands while fighting in Zinjibar. however.  The statement eulogized Tariq al-Dhahab.

including Nabil.19 Nine days later. and a group of armed militants occupied the Al-Amiriyah mosque and a fortress in Rada to protest "government oppression."17 18 Rada Operation Boosts Al-Dhahab Brothers' Notoriety On 16 January. following extensive tribal mediation. saying: "We entered the mosque to protest against the injustice of the Army and official bodies in this city. double-click on the following icon:  This OSC product is based exclusively on the content and behavior of selected media and has not been coordinated with other US Government components.21 Tariq and his followers withdrew from Rada. discussing the Huthists siege against the Sunnis of Dammaj city.probably stems from the ongoing conflict and theological animosity between Salafists and Huthists. They should be amputated. AQAP Shari'ah official Shaykh Ibrahim al-Rubaysh condemned the Huthists. Qayid." They demanded the release of prisoners. To view a highresolution version."20 However. saying in an audio message on 12 December 2011: "The Huthists are like cancer. on 25 January. after signing an agreement. Tariq described the takeover of Rada as a protest against Yemeni authorities. from Sanaa's Political Security prison. Tariq. they agreed to withdraw.22 Map of Rada. that produced the release of security prisoners.  In an interview with BBC observed on 17 January. facilitated by a tribal mediation committee. UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO 3 .  Earlier. They also called for the implementation of Islamic Shari'ah and the appointment of a council to oversee the Islamic rule of the town.UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO were not reported to be present there -. including their brother Nabil.

URL: http://www. URL: http://www. including Al-Qai'da and affiliates.Independent news website managed by Al-Shumu Foundation for Press and Media. UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO 4 .info] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120220489002 | 20 February 2012 | | Al-Fajr Releases AQAP's Statement Eulogizing Yemeni Cleric Tariq Al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Global Jihad Network in Arabic -. URL: http://www.althawranews. as well as official releases from jihadist groups.al-tagheer.UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120218139001 | 18 February 2012 | | Yemeni Sources: Al-Qa'ida Appoints New Leader in Al-Bayda To Succeed Al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Sanaa Al-Taghyir in Arabic -.A relatively new. focusing on local affairs.marebpress. http://www. URL: www.Independent news website focusing on Yemeni affairs.Independent news website focusing on Yemeni affairs. critical of government policies. critical of government policies.yemenfox.com/index. URL: http://www. URL: http://www.com/index. focusing on democratic change and human rights issues.al-masdar.net/] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120118139003 | 18 January 2012 | | Yemen: Brother of Armed Group Leader in Rada Demands Implementation of Shariah | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Masdar Online in Arabic -.com] 4 3 2 1 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120216133001 | 16 February 2012 | | Yemen: Qa'id Kills Brother Hazzam in Revenge for Murder of Tariq al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Ma'rib Press in Arabic -. its forum correspondents reliably post Al-Qa'ida and affiliate propaganda messaging copied from Al-Qa'ida accredited forums.net] 7 6 5 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120216133001 | 16 February 2012 | | Yemen: Qa'id Kills Brother Hazzam in Revenge for Murder of Tariq al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Ma'rib Press in Arabic -.yobserver. and some original content.net] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120218139001 | 18 February 2012 | | Yemeni Sources: Al-Qa'ida Appoints New Leader in Al-Bayda To Succeed Al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Taghyir in Arabic -.ansar1.Independent news website. critical of government policies. radical Salafi-jihadist web forum whose discussions focus on global jihad as well as the Sunni insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.Independent news website managed by Al-Shumu Foundation for Press and Media.yemenfox. limited-circulation. twice-weekly newspaper.altagheer. online since February 2011 and formerly known as Al-Nusrah Jihadist Network.php]] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120129175002 | 29 January 2012 | | Yemeni 'Sources': Private Jet Takes Freed Brother of Al-Qa'ida Commander to Rada | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Thawrah Online in Arabic -.net] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120218116001 | 18 February 2012 | | Yemen: Brother of Slain Al-Qa'ida Leader AlDhahab Recounts Murder Circumstances | | | (U//FOUO) | Yemen Fox in English -. URL: www. the site hosts news articles and blog posts copied from other websites.com/vb] 11 This OSC product is based exclusively on the content and behavior of selected media and has not been coordinated with other US Government components. focusing on democratic change and human rights issues.net/] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120219116003 | 19 February 2012 | | Yemen: Al-Qa'ida Seeks To 'Regroup' Forces Following Death of Leader Al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Yemen Observer Online in English -.Independent news website.php] 10 9 8 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120308836001 | 8 March 2012 | | Yemen: Forum Participant Reports Qa'id alDhahab Succeeds Tariq al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Ansar al-Mujahidin Network in English: Smaller Englishlanguage version of Salafi-jihadist Ansar al-Mujahidin Network in Arabic.Website of independent weekly newspaper. focusing on local affairs. URL: http://www.Website of largecirculation government-owned daily.com/] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120218116001 | 18 February 2012 | | Yemen: Brother of Slain Al-Qa'ida Leader AlDhahab Recounts Murder Circumstances | | | (U//FOUO) | Yemen Fox in English -. http://www.marebpress.Website of independent. URL: http://www.aljahad.

OSC Analysis in English 23 Dec 11 | | | (U//FOUO) | ] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120120131001 | 20 January 2012 | | Yemen: Tariq al-Dhahab Demands Implementation of Shari'ah.net/] [OSC | Global Jihad Network | OSC ID: GMP20111212489002 | 12 December 2011 | | AQAP's Al-Rubaysh Attacks Huthists. and Kurdish in addition to Arabic-language content. URL: www.aljahad. Sets Conditions | | (U//FOUO) | (U//FOUO) | Al-Masdar Online in Arabic -.Website providing a platform for sharing.Website providing a platform for sharing.com] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120120131001 | 20 January 2012 | | Yemen: Tariq al-Dhahab Demands Implementation of Shari'ah. online since February 2011 and formerly known as Al-Nusrah Jihadist Network.UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120220489002 | 20 February 2012 | | Al-Fajr Releases AQAP's Statement Eulogizing Yemeni Cleric Tariq Al-Dhahab | | | (U//FOUO) | Global Jihad Network in Arabic -. Release of Prisoners | | | (U//FOUO) | YouTube in English -. viewing. URL: http://www.Website of independent. critical of government policies. URL: http://www. has served as one of two official online dissemination points for Al-Qa'ida and affiliate messaging since late 2008. Russian.A relatively new.al-masdar. hosts material in English.Salafi-jihadist. viewing. radical Salafi-jihadist web forum whose discussions focus on global jihad as well as the Sunni insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.Website of largecirculation government-owned daily.Website of independent weekly newspaper.aljahad.A relatively new. URL: http://www. its forum correspondents reliably post Al-Qa'ida and affiliate propaganda messaging copied from Al-Qa'ida accredited forums. online since February 2011 and formerly known as Al-Nusrah Jihadist Network.com] 19 20 21 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120129175002 | 29 January 2012 | | Yemeni 'Sources': Private Jet Takes Freed Brother of Al-Qa'ida Commander to Rada | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Thawrah Online in Arabic -.com/vb] 13 12 [OSC | YouTube in English | OSC ID: GMP20120120139001 | 18 January 2012 | | Video of Yemeni Armed Group Leader Saying Arab Peninsula 'Will Be Liberated Soon' | | | (U//FOUO) | YouTube in English -. proIraqi insurgency web forum with a focus on global jihad.com] 14 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20100223117002 | 23 February 2010 | | AQAP Releases Video Condemning Yemeni Regime. Urging People To Revolt | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Fallujah Islamic Forums in Arabic -. radical Salafi-jihadist web forum whose discussions focus on global jihad as well as the Sunni insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. viewing.com] 22 This OSC product is based exclusively on the content and behavior of selected media and has not been coordinated with other US Government components.Website providing a platform for sharing.youtube. its forum correspondents reliably post Al-Qa'ida and affiliate propaganda messaging copied from Al-Qa'ida accredited forums. and reviewing videos. Calls for Caliphate | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Jumhuriyah. URL: http://www.net in Arabic -. URL: www.info/vb] 15 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120118139003 | 18 January 2012 | | Yemen: Brother of Armed Group Leader in Rada Demands Implementation of Shariah | | | (U//FOUO) | Al-Masdar Online in Arabic -. URL: http://www.Website of independent weekly newspaper.net] [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120125172001 | 25 January 2012 | | Yemen: Ansar Al-Shari'ah Withdraws From Rada After Mediation.althawranews. progovernment provincial daily. critical of government policies.alfaloja. URL: www.com] 16 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMP20120124186001 | 24 January 2012 | | Yemen: Ansar al-Shari'ah Leader Denies Ties With Regime.al-masdar.youtube. and reviewing videos. Calls For Supporting Sunnis in Dammaj City | | | (U//FOUO) | Global Jihad Network in Arabic -. UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO 5 .com/vb]] 17 18 [OSC | | OSC ID: GMF20111223420002 | 23 December 2011 | | Yemen -. URL: http://www.youtube. Release of Prisoners | | | (U//FOUO) | YouTube in English -. and reviewing videos. URL: http://algomhoriah.