Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Audio Message from Anwar al-'Awlaqi "To the Media" about Yemeni Journalist 'Abd Ilahi Haydar al-Sha'e'a

Al-Sha'e'a interviewing AQAP leader Nasir al-Wihayshi in 2009

A new audio message was released today from Shaykh Anwar al-'Awlaqi, the radical American Muslim preacher in Yemen who is believed to be affiliated with or a member of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It is entitled, "Message/Letter to the Media" and addresses the recent conviction of Yemeni journalist 'Abd Ilahi Haydar al-Sha'e'a (عبد الإله حيدر شائع), whose last name is more frequently spelled in Arabic as شايع. In English his last name is often spelled "Shaia" or "Shai." In listening repeatedly to al-'Awlaqi's pronunciation of the name it sounds, to me, more like the latter but I will check with one of my knowledgeable colleagues here at McGill who is a native speaker. Al-Jazeera also spells his name شائع

Al-Sha'e'a was recently sentenced to a five-year prison term for allegedly aiding AQAP. In January 2009 he interviewed the group's top leader, "Abu Basir" Nasir al-Wihayshi for Al-Jazeera in a piece published on January 26th. Yemen expert and Princeton University doctoral student later wrote that the interview apparently took place in the Yemeni capital city of San'a. The journalist has denied the charges he aided AQAP and says he was acting as a journalist. Al-'Awlaqi alleges that the journalist was arrested because he was being honest in his coverage of U.S. and Yemeni government transgressions, such as military attacks on civilians, in Yemen. Al-Sha'e'a should be supported, he says, by the Yemeni people.

Al-Sha'e'a was freed earlier this month after Yemen's president 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh issued a presidential order, according to a report from the Yemeni government's official September 26 media outlet.

The new audio message's advertising GIF does not bear the logo of AQAP's official media outlet, the Al-Malahem (Epics) Media Foundation, and it is unclear who produced it. Al-'Awlaqi's last video, released in November 2010, was similarly not attributed to Al-Malahem, which usually puts its logo on advertising GIFs for its videos and audio and written messages.

Ever the clever speaker, al-'Awlaqi addresses the world's media.

The audio message may be accessed via these NON-militant URLs. These links are provided for academic reasons only (more links to come):

The password to unpack the ZIP-ed files is:

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