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Al-Qaeda Appoints New Leader; Second in Command Ex-Prisoner
  Written By: Abdul Rahim Al-Showthabi ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
January 26, 2009



New leaders for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been appointed; Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen have posted an audio message on the Islamic internet forum, Sada Al-Malahim, Al-Qaeda’s mouthpiece electronic journal.

Abu Basir Nasrir Al-Wahaishi a prominent Al-Qaeda member who served as Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen was chosen as Al-Qaeda regional leader and a Saudi ex-Guantánamo detainee, Abu Sufian Ali Al-Shihri was chosen as Al-Qaeda second in command.

Sada Al-Malahim quoted Abu-Basir saying Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi are now under one unified leadership “Al Qaeda in the Arab’s Peninsula."Details over this matter will be given later through a lengthy dialogue with Abu Basir on Sada Al-Malahim," the massage said. 

The massage also added that Al-Qaeda’s new regional leader Abu Basir is due to unveil the new Al-Qaeda structure and strategy.  The speech will include some new details about the U.S. Embassy attack in Sana'a last year, and a launched plan to cut supply lines serving U.S. forces in the region.

Informed sources said that Ali Al-Shihri traveled to Yemen after being released to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September 2007  and may have been involved in recent Al-Qaeda attacks in Yemen, including the car bombing outside the U.S. Embassy.

 "By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for jihad," Al-Shihri said in his message.

In the meantime, Yemeni official sources said that the Yemeni government with cooperation with the United States has set initial steps to establish a rehabilitation center to receive Yemeni detainees coming back to Yemen from Guantanamo Bay Prison. "The lesson here is: Whoever receives former Guantánamo detainees needs to keep a close eye on them," an international politician said.

The same sources said that Yemen will receive its detainee's numbering at 102, once the rehabilitation center is completed. The rehabilitation center will work to implement educational programs about the moderate Islam that rejects extremism and terror.

Yemeni Interior Minister Mutahar Rashad Al-Misri called on all security bodies in Yemen to work with the spirit of one team, and exchange information among them in order to fight terrorists and to bring them to justice.