On Monday (Dec. 21), several members of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were present at a rally in Abyan of restive residents of southern Yemen who were protesting recent military strikes by the country's central government, led by President 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh, reportedly with U.S. involvement. One AQAP member, identified by local sources according to the excellent blog of Princeton doctoral student and Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen as Muhammad Salih al-'Awlaqi, told the crowd that his group was opposed to the U.S. and its war against Muslims (in AQAP's view) and was not against the Yemeni people.
The speaker references AQAP's amir [leader], Abu Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi (sometimes transliterated as "al-Wahayshi"), a former secretary of al-Qa'ida Central (AQC) chief Usama bin Laden. AQAP is a regional ally and affiliate of AQC and is today based in Yemen after its Saudi branch was decimated in a bloody war with Saudi security forces between 2003-2005.
Watch video of the AQAP members speech