In accordance with the UN, the chief of al Qaeda throughout the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Khalid Batarfi, was arrested and his amount two, Saad Atef al Awlaqi, died all through an “operation in Ghayda Metropolis, Al-Mahrah Governorate, in October. ”
That’s the main time Batarfi’s arrest has been formally confirmed. The UN provided no further particulars regarding the operation or on Batarfi’s current whereabouts. In early October, the SITE Intelligence Group drew consideration to “unconfirmed tales” indicating Batarfi had been arrested by Yemeni security forces throughout the Mahra Governorate after which handed over to Saudi Arabia.
Batarfi turned the chief of AQAP in early 2022 after his predecessor was killed in a US airstrike. Batarfi, who’s in his early 40s, is from a Yemeni family nevertheless was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He educated with al Qaeda in Afghanistan sooner than 9/11 and later joined al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. Batarfi turned a key ideologue for the group and, in conserving with the UN, helped oversee its exterior operations sooner than he turned chief.
The reality that Batarfi allowed himself to be captured alive all through the raid fairly than securing “martyrdom” like Osama bin Laden could be a severe embarrassment to al Qaeda. In his inaugural deal with as AQAP chief closing March, Batarfi acknowledged that “as per our methodology, the martyrdom of leaders is proof of its truthfulness, and it’s a badge of honor adorned by these leaders,” in conserving with a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Given Batarfi was the “emir” of thought-about one in every of al Qaeda’s key regional associates, there has arguably not been a additional senior al Qaeda chief captured alive since bin Laden based mostly the group higher than 30 years in the previous. No matter inserting out statements on completely different points in present months, AQAP has not acknowledged Batarfi’s arrest.
The dearth of Batarfi is the most recent in a string of setbacks for AQAP. In February 2022, the US authorities launched that Batarfi’s predecessor Qassim al-Rimi had been killed in an airstrike in Yemen. That adopted a deadly taking footage assault in December 2019 at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi air energy officer who was coordinating with AQAP, in conserving with the US Justice division.
“Together with administration losses, AQAP is struggling an erosion of its ranks introduced on by dissentions and desertions,” and was pressured to disperse from Bayda Governorate after an enormous military defeat, the UN report states.
It states that the worldwide al Qaeda group “faces a model new and pressing drawback relating to its administration and strategic route, following an distinctive interval of attrition of its senior leaders” in Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia, Yemen and Syria’s Idlib province.
The report acknowledged that no member state had been able to confirm tales of the demise from pure causes of al Qaeda’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in October. Remaining month the US authorities publicly confirmed tales that his deputy Abu Muhammad al-Masri had been killed in Iran in August.
The UN report suggests the probably subsequent in line to take over from al-Zawahiri is Saif al-Adel, a veteran Egyptian al Qaeda operative who like al-Masri is believed to have prolonged resided in Iran.
The report states: “Must a succession to al-Zawahiri flip into essential, it might be robust for the model new chief to take up residence in Afghanistan, as such a switch might affect the pursuits of the Taliban, given their peace course of obligations . Al-Qaida is anticipated by Member States to beat these challenges, nevertheless it isn’t clear whether or not or not it’s going to lastly emerge stronger, beneath a additional dynamic administration, or definitely the place its leaders will lastly uncover a protected haven from which to perform. “
A doable future surge in ISIS terror assaults
In its wide-ranging analysis of the worldwide jihadist threat, the UN report warns that as coronavirus restrictions are eased, “a rash of pre-planned assaults would possibly occur” because of ISIS is determined to make world info headlines as quickly as as soon as extra.
The UN report notes that ISIS has beloved a “captive viewers” amongst Islamist extremists cooped up indoors and spending additional time on-line all through the pandemic, in all probability creating an gathered threat.
Between September and November closing 12 months, jihadis carried out a spate of terror assaults in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, underlining the enduring threat to Europe. Just a few of the attackers may need been motivated to behave sooner than it turned harder to give attention to people congregating in public.
A deadly terrorist stabbing assault in a church in Good, France, in late October and a deadly marauding gun assault throughout the coronary heart of Vienna, Austria, in early November have been carried out merely hours sooner than nationwide coronavirus lockdowns have been on account of enter impression in France and Austria.
In accordance with the report, one jihadi group in Europe inflicting concern is the so-called “‘Lions of the Balkans’, a world group composed of components based in a minimal of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and western Balkan worldwide places.”
In accordance with the UN, every the Vienna attacker and a kind of arrested in reference to an ISIS plot to assault US and NATO military bases in Germany thwarted by German police closing April have been linked to this group, as have been three jihadis arrested in September in North Macedonia “detected to be involved throughout the remaining drawing board of a terrorist assault.”
A darkening world threat picture
The report warns that ”