News / Middle East

    Yemen's al-Qaida Leader Vows to Attack America in New Video

    New YouTube video from Islamist militant web site.
    New YouTube video from Islamist militant web site.
    Reuters
    The leader of al-Qaida's wing in Yemen has vowed to attack the United States, in a video apparently showing a gathering of the group celebrating a mass jailbreak of fighters.
     
    In February, attackers mounted a bomb, grenade and gun assault on the main prison in Sanaa in which 29 inmates, including 19 jailed for terrorism-related crimes, escaped.
     
    The 15-minute video, dated March 2014 and posted on a website used by Islamists, shows masked men waving al-Qaida's black flag and celebrating the arrival of the freed prisoners.
     
    Its authenticity could not be independently verified.
     
    “The Crusader enemy, dear brothers, still possesses cards which he moves around. We have to remember that we are always fighting the biggest enemy,” says a man speaking in the open in a mountainous area, whom the video identifies as its leader Nasser al-Wuhaishi.
     
    “We have to remove the cross, [and] the bearer of the cross, America,” said Wuhaishi, who appeared with his face uncovered, wearing a T-shirt and sporting the dagger common among Yemeni men.
     
    The video, entitled Images from the reception of the freed prisoners from Sanaa's central prison, included testimony from fighters involved in the jailbreak.
     
    “We planned that we would need 10 hand grenades,” said a man identified as Munir al-Bouni.
     
    Another man said: “Once you got out, you turned right and the guys were waiting.”
     
    Drinking juice and singing songs
     
    The video showed men arriving in white pickup trucks and others greeting Wuhaishi. Others carried rifles, and some sat on the ground drinking juice. Some spoke or sang through microphones and loudspeakers.
     
    Abdulrazzaq al-Jamal, a journalist who has interviewed members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said it was the largest known gathering of al-Qaida in Yemen.
     
    “It included about 400 people, and these are not all the members of the group. This gathering is a confirmation that al-Qaida is gaining strength and influence,” he told Reuters.
     
    Formed in 2009, AQAP has attacked military targets, tourists and diplomats in Yemen and taken over territory for long periods.
     
    U.S. drone attacks have killed several suspected AQAP figures, including Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamist cleric accused of links to a plot to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and U.S. cargo planes in 2010.
     
    “Al-Qaida will gain strength as there continues to be division and weakness in security performance,” said Ali al-Sarari, political adviser to Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa.
     
    “The last appearance [the video] shows that Yemen is confronting a dangerous challenge. And if the security performance continues in this manner, then Yemen will face an even bigger failure than what it has faced in the past.”

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora