Al-Qaida Reps ‘Paris Raid’ In Infographic-Heavy ‘Quarterly Report’
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemen-based branch of the jihadi organization, has released a report detailing its attacks for the first three months of 1436, the current year in the Islamic calendar.
The report includes the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, for which the organization has taken credit as “the Paris raid.” It also includes several handy infographics breaking down its attacks by type, including “sniping operations,” “explosive operations,” and “missile attacks.” The AQAP counts a total of 205 attacks by these metrics. (RELATED: Everyone Missed Yesterday’s Biggest Terror Attack)
Official online al-Qaida channels released the report on Saturday. It came under the brand of “Ansar al-Sharia,” an alias for al-Qaida’s Yemeni operations, not to be confused with other militant Islamist organizations in various North African countries which use the same name.
AQAP is perhaps most well-known for “Inspire,” an English-language online magazine which targets Western Muslims for radicalization. With its main competitor, the Islamic State, benefiting from professional-quality videos and other recruitment materials, AQAP may have felt the need to step up its propaganda game. (RELATED: Jihadi Statements On Paris Attacks Highlight Rivalry)
The report is the latest in AQAP’s attempts to gain credibility over the Islamic State terror group. Both face increasing pressure to consolidate their territorial gains: IS just claimed an attack on a hotel in Tripoli for its affiliate group in Libya, while AQAP’s presence in Yemen has led it into war against both the government and Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. (RELATED: Rebel Coup Attempt Underway In Yemeni Capital)
AQAP may also be emboldened in its turf war against IS by the latter group’s recent loss of a siege in the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani. While the Islamic State has bragged of receiving pledges of loyalty from Islamists throughout the Arabian Peninsula, including Yemen, there is no sign that the group enjoys coordination with militants outside its core territories in Syria and Iraq.
While the Islamic State has its roots in al-Qaida’s Iraqi operations following the American invasion, the two organizations have been at war with each other since early 2014.
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