Center for Strategic Communication

“Repulsion of Aggression 5”

Today al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the fifth installment of its video series detailing successful attacks in Yemen, “Repulsion of Aggression,” produced by its media wing, the al Malahim Media Foundation. The latest episode, released to the public via Twitter accounts affiliated with AQAP, focuses on three coordinated attacks carried out by AQAP fighters in the city of Seyoun in central Hadramout province on June 26.

The video begins with a narrated preface clarifying AQAP’s motives in attacking various military targets in Yemen. The anonymous narrator proclaims: “With Allah’s power and strength, and with his grace and blessing, the brigades of mujahideen still go out one after the other, destroying and blowing up the dens of the Crusader agents, that guide and facilitate the work of American drones …. It [the Ummah] provides from among its sons those who seek revenge from the criminal and prepare preparations for him night and day.”

An audio clip from AQAP commander Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari following this preface emphasizes that AQAP’s operations in Yemen are seen by the group as acts of retribution. Al Nadhari flatly states, “Revenge against the Crusaders is a debt upon all.”

The video then turns to detailing three AQAP attacks that targeted “dens of espionage” in the city of Seyoun in Hadramout on June 26. The first attack was carried out by al Walid Abu Rawi al Si’ri, who targeted a military intelligence facility in the city. The video explains that al S’iri successfully accessed the facility by entering the complex through the gate of an adjacent date factory. Once in the complex, al Si’ri quickly advanced towards the military intelligence building and detonated his vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) and “destroyed it with all it contained.”

In the video, al Si’ri justifies his “martyrdom operation,” in a verbal statement apparently given shortly before his attack, by explaining that the Muslims he would target, whom he labels “apostates,” are assisting the American drone program. He accuses them of placing “chips” in AQAP fighters’ cars so that drones can track and strike them, a common accusation AQAP uses to justify its killing of other Yemeni Muslims.

The second operation detailed in the video is an attack on a communications room in Seyoun that AQAP claims was used to facilitate the US drone program in Yemen. The video contains footage of the training procedures in advance of the operation as well as testimony from the four AQAP fighters who carried out the attack.

The four fighters reportedly stormed the communications room and set it on fire before withdrawing safely. As justification for the operation, the four fighters cited Yemeni support for the American drone program as well as a lack of mobilization against the Shiite Houthis in the north. They concluded their testimony with an open threat to the Yemeni government, saying, “Our swords have not yet been unsheathed!”

The third and final operation detailed in the new AQAP video is the attack on Seyoun Airport’s surveillance tower, which was executed by six fighters. After setting fire to the tower, clashes broke out between AQAP fighters and security personnel, resulting in the death of one of the terrorists, Mohammad al Dhaibani. Al Dhaibani is also featured at the beginning of the video, singing while seated with other AQAP fighters, “Oh bird [drone], sent from America, we are for it, we must bring it down, with a special caliber and a PK, how many a mujahid can bring it down?”

The video concludes with footage of al Walid Abu Rawi al Si’ri giving his final advice to his son before embarking on his “martyrdom operation.” He advises his son to “hold firm to this work till death” and to “learn to use weapons and learn even how to kill the enemies of Allah.” He then addresses all Muslim fathers, urging them to encourage their sons to fight in the path of jihad. Al Si’ri seeks to assure Muslim fathers that their “martyred” sons could intercede on their behalf before Allah and guarantee them a place in paradise. “Do not fear death,” al Si’ri beseeches them, “for it is a blessing in the cause of Allah.”