//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australians working for al-Qa’ida in Arabian Peninsula


Yemen Police

Yemen Police

Intelligence agencies have identified several Australian citizens they believe are working with al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, amid warnings for all Australians to immediately leave Yemen ahead of a possible terrorist strike.

Officials yesterday began contacting Australian passport-holders known to be in the troubled country who they fear could become victims of a terrorist attack.

The push to evacuate the Australians is connected to a threat by AQAP against American interests in the Middle East and Africa.

That threat, which was based in part on intercepted communication by a senior al-Qa’ida figure in Pakistan and a senior AQAP figure in Yemen, prompted the US to close 19 of its embassies and consulates amid fears they would be subjected to the kind of assault unleashed on its embassy in the Libyan city of Benghazi last year.

US officials, including then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, came under savage political attack after the US mission in Benghazi was attacked by al-Qa’ida-linked extremists, resulting in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, as well as three other Americans.

The incident was a humiliation for the Americans and prompted investigations about the adequacy of security as well as accusations the Obama administration had wilfully misled the public about the nature of the attack, which it initially claimed stemmed from a protest.

The Australian understands that Foreign Affairs officials yesterday began contacting Australian citizens who have registered their presence in the country with the department, which provides consular services to Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, through its post in Saudi Arabia.

It is understood that there are between 24 and 26 Australians who have registered and many more who have not.

Intelligence officials are also understood to be concerned about the activities of a small number of Australians they believe are fighting with AQAP, now considered the most effective and formidable al-Qa’ida branch.

It is understood at least one, but probably two, Australian men are members of AQAP, which was run by American-Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki until his death by American drone strike in 2011. It is understood the Australians, one of whom is a dual citizen, have been in Yemen for some time.

They were not among the Australians DFAT was seeking to contact as their location was considered “unreachable”.

The Australian has been told the two, both men, are considered “foot soldiers” and not part of the AQAP leadership group.

Yemen has long been a concern to counter-terrorism officials. Large swathes of the country lay outside the control of the government and al-Qa’ida has become firmly entrenched.

Under the guidance of al Awlaki, AQAP became a major source of violent jihadist propaganda aimed at radicalising young Western men.

It was AQAP that produced Inspire magazine, an English-language internet magazine full of extremist material and practical instruction in bomb-making and terrorist tactics.

The Boston bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are understood to have constructed their two pressure-cooked bombs from the first edition of Inspire magazine, which contained an article, “How to make a bomb from the kitchen of your mom”.

Yemen has long been a source of concern to Australian officials.

It was home for a time to the eldest sons of Rabiyah Hutchinson, the Australian woman described by security agencies as the “matriarch” of radical islam.

The two men were arrested and cleared of terrorism charges in Yemen in 2006. They were arrested in November 2006 with a friend from Sydney and accused of being part of an al-Qa’ida cell running guns to Somalia. They were held in a Yemeni jail for almost eight weeks until they were cleared and deported. They returned to Australia in 2008.

In 2010 Sydney woman Shyloh Giddins was detained by Yemeni internal security forces after her passport was cancelled by then foreign minister Stephen Smith at the request of ASIO.

Ms Giddins was detained as part of a sweep of suspected extremists. Her detention prompted a consular emergency for Australian officials who were intensely concerned for her two children. They were initially in the care of another Australian woman, who disappeared.

Source: The Australian – Aussies working with al-Qa’ida identified amid calls for Yemeni evacuation
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,825 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

What have we learnt in the past century?

What have we learnt in the past century?

It is 100 years since we were supposedly getting over the war to end all wars, World War I, and forming the League of Nations with the purpose of preventing such a conflict and slaughter happening again. Regrettably, the only good that came out of it was the proposal to form the League of Nations; […]

China’s borders will likely remain shut for months, but some may be wary of visiting even after they reopen

China’s borders will likely remain shut for months, but some may be wary of visiting even after they reopen

Last week, the Biden administration warned American companies about the risk of doing business in Hong Kong, citing Beijing’s increasing crackdown on the city. “The bottom line is that businesses should be aware that the risks faced in mainland China are now increasingly present in Hong Kong,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. […]

China Threatens to Nuke Japan in ‘Full Scale’ War if They Intervene in Taiwan

China Threatens to Nuke Japan in ‘Full Scale’ War if They Intervene in Taiwan

In an ominous new video that was circulated by the Communist Party of China, they vow to use nuclear bombs on Japan “continuously until it’s unconditional surrender” in an all out war if they decide to intervene in China’s planned re-taking of Taiwan.   “When we ‘liberate’ Taiwan, if Japan dares to intervene by force – […]

Afghanistan: No Peace Without a Clear Vision

Afghanistan: No Peace Without a Clear Vision

Peace is the absence of war, while war is the absence of peace! A negotiated peace in Afghanistan presents a number of challenges. The duration of the war over several decades has created a number of situations, that requires an in-depth examination in light of the peace negotiations that took place between the United States […]

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

As early as 2005 John Gersham and Melvin Goodman alerted against the trend of an over-militarized US foreign policy. The warning has been a recurrent theme of American debate, although it gained little traction. The debate recently spilled into mainstream media with The Economist averring that “an over-militarized foreign policy that embraces unrealistic objectives is liable to fail.” […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Children account for 15 per cent of Australian farm deaths, says AgHealth study – 15 per cent of farm deaths are children under 14 years old, according to an AgHealth Australia study; A Ballarat farmer says she is shocked almost one in six … Australia’s first body image program for…

China in the News: July 20, 2021

China in the News: July 20, 2021

Ford unveils lower-priced Mustang Mach-E in China to qualify for subsidies – Previously, this was the only Mach-E priced low enough to qualify for China’s EV subsidies. It was joined by Extended Range RWD and AWD versions as well as the … NZ in ‘position of vulnerability’ over China hacking accusations – New Zealand has […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression. COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Fauci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Race on for Australian rare earth supplies as fears grow over China’s market ‘monopoly’ – It comes two years after David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, visited a rare earths mine near Laverton in outback Western Australia just days into the … Swim league to be launched in…

China in the News: July 19, 2021

China in the News: July 19, 2021

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China – Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession. According to China’s state-run Global … Commentary: A pity China can’t seem to ditch its wolf warrior diplomacy – Despite recent exhortations from President […]

%d bloggers like this: