Impending AQAP attack on US Embassy Sanna, Yemen: report

***Sticky until noonish, scroll down for newer posts***

The plan appears to be a diversionary attack in Mukallah Hadramout, then a vehicular swarm in the capital Sanaa with many targets including the US Embassy.

The Yemeni security has been making official statements about an impending attack in Hadramout and exactly which cars they are looking for, but this (in my view, reliable) report takes it the next step.

For earlier news reports on Ibrahim al Banna, see my post yesterday and then just keep clicking back through the earlier links and later trackbacks.

The short story is Ibrahim al Banna (Egyptian) was arrested in Hadramout in 2008 after a lethal January ambush on a Belgium tourist convoy in Shibam. He was tried and convicted in 2010, and reported killed in a 2011 drone strike. But then AQAP said he wasn’t dead after all, and it turned out that many of the 21 charged with the terrorist attack were convicted in absentia.

Yemen Observer: Reliable sources have said that al-Qaeda has been preparing for its largest operations yet in the capital city of Sana’a, operations aimed at strategic sites including military and security installments and embassies.

Sources said that al-Qaeda cells in the areas of Zindan and Arhab have trained for operations involving the storming of fortified sites, attacking fixed and mobile targets while aboard vehicles and motorbikes, and that al-Qaeda militants have entered Sana’a in preparation for carrying out their attacks in the coming few days.

The sources expect that al-Qaeda’s potential targets include the Airbase in Sana’a, the Interior Ministry, Republican Guard units and a number of embassies, including the American embassy.

Related: US drones strikes kill 25 AQ in Yemen overnight: "Moreover recent news that al-Shaba’a, the Ethiopian al-Qaeda wing had sent hundreds of Jihadists over to Abyan to join in Ansar al-Sharia, has been the cause of great concerns for both the government and the civilian population, as they feel their land could become the ground of a mighty war."

Ethiopians? al Shaba'a? 1) Maybe these are the nine mystery ships that everyone is talking about arriving before last Sunday's attack on the military base in Abyan that killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers. 2) How weak is AQAP that they need to import fighters?

There's also reports of drone strikes in Jaar, Abyan that destroyed the military equipment AQAP captured from the army last week-end. The Yemeni soldiers captured (who weren't beheaded or otherwise mutilated) were paraded around Jaar, forced to train the terrorists on how to operate the tanks, and now are threatened with execution if the govt doesn't release AQ prisoners.

Update: I fixed the Yemen Observer link, its quite a lengthy article and bumped the post from 730 to noon. Scroll down for new.

Update 2: The al Baydah airstrikes hit the AQAP training camp and targeted local al-Qaeda leader Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani, the BBC reports. Its always good when there are no immediate reports of civilian casualties, I would have heard by now.

Posted by: JaneNovak at 12:46 PM


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