Yemen: Major air strikes as fears grow of AQAP expansion

Issue 969 - 09 May 2014 | 5 minute read

In late March, the media arm of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Malahim, posted a video online of a large gathering of AQAP leaders and members, a bold show of numbers and force which included Nasir Al-Wahayshi, who is the head of AQAP and widely seen as the Al-Qaeda number two. The video, entitled ‘First of the Heavy Rain’, is thought to have been shot in Marib province. It shows a reception for the 29 convicted members of AQAP who escaped from Sanaa Central Prison on 13 February, their prison break apparently the fulfilment, in part at least, of Al-Wahayshi’s August 2013 promise to release brothers imprisoned in Yemen, made around the time of mass prison breaks in Iraq, Pakistan and Libya.

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