The senior leaders of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (from right): military commander Abu Hurayrah Qasim al-Raymi (also known as Abu Hurayrah al-San'ani), amir Abu Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi, deputy amir Abu Sufyan al-'Azdi al-Shihri, and former field commander Abu al-Harith al-'Awfi, who surrendered to Saudi authorities in February 2009 after the Saudis reportedly put pressure on him by targeting his family in Saudi Arabia (he is a Saudi national).
In the recently released issue of its bi-monthly Internet magazine, Sada al-Malahim (Echo of Epic Battles), al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) published an article entitled "The Rafidah: Stages of Confrontation," written by one Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay. The Arabic word "Rafidah" (plural: "Rawafid") translates approximately to "one who rejects," and is a derogatory term used by some Sunnis (primarily Salafi Sunnis) about Shi'i Muslims whom they allege have "rejected" the "truth," namely the "correct" form of Islam (Sunni Islam, which is itself diverse). Another AQAP leader, Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Rahman Rashad, criticized the Zaydi Shi'i Houthis in northern Yemen in an audio release yesterday, casting further doubt on the Yemeni government's claims that AQAP is assisting the Houthi rebellion.
I was going to write a brief post about this with summary highlights from the article once I had some time to do some reading/translation, but Princeton doctoral student Gregory Johnsen (who studies Yemen) has provide such an analytical summary at Waq al-Waq, the Yemen-centered blog he runs with journalist Brian O'Neill. Read Johnsen's post HERE.
The Amir [leader] of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi (also transliterated, "Abu Baseer Nasir al-Wahayshi"), in front of a photograph of the al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's holiest shrines, in Jerusalem. The text reads, "At al-Aqsa We Meet."
I am providing a PDF of the article for those readers who would like to take a look at the Arabic themselves. Like all PDFs provided on Occident's Twitter Specials blog, it is downloadable.
The Rafidah...Phases of Confrontation
"The Rafidah: Stages of Confrontation," by Ibrahim al-Rubaysh