The Kouachi brothers are linked to Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP ) . A ubiquitous group in a key country of jihadism as Yemen. And whose ideologue Anwar al- Awlaki , now deceased , had already declared war on the cartoons.
Al- Qaeda returns and shows it’s worst face. In recent years, with many hostages takings in the Sahel and the intervention of French forces in Mali , France has yet to learn to be wary of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM ) .The al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen refers to armed conflict between the Yemeni government with United States assistance, and al-Qaeda affiliated cells. The ongoing strife is often categorized as a sub-conflict in the greater Global War on Terror.
Against all odds, Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP ), the jihadist “octopus” hit this time with its most powerful arm. It is, in any case, the message that Sharif and Said Kouachi shouted to witnesses shortly after the killing in the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo , “Tell the media that it is al-Qaeda in Yemen “. This south of the Middle East is one of the international jihadism homes. On Wednesday 14th, AQAP ended up claiming the attack in a video.
: (Nice beard brushing it must cost a fortune)
AQAP , which was said weakened or “a has been group” recently by the rise of the Islamic State Group (EI), has , in fact, never ceased to operate. Considered as the most dangerous by the US State Department , the local “franchise”, officially emerged in 2009 from the merger of Saudi and Yemeni branches of Al-Qaeda , led by the former private secretary of Osama bin Laden Nasser al- Wahishi .
Until recently, it concentrated its attacks abroad against Saudi Arabia and the United States: in 2009, a suicide bomber blew up in the office of the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia , but failed to kill him, and soon after an attempt to blow up a US airliner on Christmas Day failed. According to official sources in Yemen (Reuters) the brothers Kouachi stayed in Yemen, for a while, in 2011. Taken over by AQAP , they would have followed a brief training in weapons and met the ideologist of the group, Sheikh Anwar Al- Awlaki .
May be that reason why Kouachi Sharif , while his “telephone conversation” with the editorial staff of BFM TV( local French CNN),he claimed that he was ” funded ” by the same al- Awlaki ?(so generous Al-Awlaki). This Islamist born in 1971 to the United States ,by Yemeni parents, was one of the most emblematic figures of AQAP before a firing from a US drone kills him in September 2011.
“Since the Mohammed cartoons release in 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands- Posten , Al- Awlaki was obsessed with these cartoons, and therefore in 2008, he launched a sort of fatwa against all the newspapers who published Prophet’s cartoons.
In September 2009, Al-Awaki disclosed to Morten Storm ( Agent Storm: My Life Inside al-Qaeda) that he had the intension to launch a terrorist campaign to the West. Finding a refuge in the mountains of Shabwa district, from where his family comes from in southern Yemen , he asks him to find “brothers” (in the religious sense) , ready to work for the cause and raise funds. Morten Storm revealed that Al-Awaki wanted him to recruit warriors, to take them to Yemen and follow a military training, before they return home in order to launch the jihad in Europe and the US. The former Danish jihadist, who became a spy for the CIA, interviewed by CNN on Jan. 10th.
"Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA," which we co-authored, Storm recounted how after being recruited by Danish intelligence agency PET, he helped the CIA target several al Qaeda terrorists for assassination, most notably the American terrorist cleric Anwar a-Awlaki, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in September 2011.
He said they also had religious scholars at the facilities to enforce Sharia law as well as informants at airports that could help pass operatives through from Yemen to Europe and other areas, as well as people in charge of foreign operations for the extremist group. Many of those terrorists are now fighting in Syria and Iraq, while others have died in battle. But many, Storm warned, are living among westerners.
“What they are really doing is waiting for the right moment,” he said. “Then these sleeping cells eventually wake up and attack their targets (Source: foxnews.com).
How the far far West is implicated in all these Al-Qaeda’s terrorist attack preparations?
Anwar Al- Awlaki, in his house in Sanaa used to organize dinners for small groups of Westerners which were considered as “promising one’s” . In April 2014, the Yemeni President Mansour Hadi , said that 70% of AQAP fighters were coming from abroad and a majority of them were Saudis. An exaggerated figure , according to experts.
For a longtime considered as “ambiguous” during the years of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ruling overthrown by a popular uprising in 2011, the Yemeni authorities now lead a fight without mercy against Al-Qaeda, which, firstly,it took advantage of the central government’s weaknesses to strengthen its power in this country of 25 million inhabitants . The Yemeni army , backed by US drones , managed to push the jihadists in mountainous areas .
While Al-Qaeda increases the number of suicide attacks, Yemen plunges into a deep crisis since Houthi rebels ( (Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi Shi’a and make up about 5% of Muslims in Yemen), seized the capital, Sanaa, and other cities in the west and in the center of the country last September. Weakened on its territory, al- Qaeda can expect to benefit from the global impact of the attacks of Paris.
Sources: foxnews.com, cnn.com, telegraph.co.uk, huffingtonpost.com, guardian.com