The National Team for Foreign Outreach (NTFO) is pleased to extend its kind greetings to all friends over the world and wishes to update the international community with recent achievements of the Yemeni Army, popular committees and security forces in facing Al-Qaeda and ISIS networks (classified by the UN as terrorist groups). They started their military operations against the two organizations in 2014 and continue the operations, despite the aggression against Yemen launched on 26 March 2015 by the Saudi-led and US-backed coalition, who have provided these two terrorist groups with military and logistic support and considered them as part of their coalition forces.
The team wishes also to expose the established relationship between Al-Qaeda and ISIS networks and the countries of aggression coalition and their mercenaries (the so-called legitimate government).
First: The Battle of Al-Bayda
On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, the Yemeni army forces and popular committees, supported by security forces, declared the start of a large-scale military operation in Qifah area of Al-Bayda governorate, which is of great importance to Al-Qaeda as well as ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula, due to its significant geographical location that links eight governorates. This governorate is considered a spearhead for their presence and departure from Marib city to launch attacks against the army forces and popular committees with a view to control Al-Bayda governor
ate and then the other governorates. Qifah has been the center for managing terrorist operations against civilians and an advanced military barracks for the main den in Marib Governorate, where training camps, factories and workshops for manufacturing explosive devices and belts, are located. It is considered a shelter for many leaders of the two terrorist groups.
1- Successes Achieved:
The joint qualitative military-security operation in Al-Bayda governorate has led to the following successes:
- The liberation of more than a thousand square kilometers, which were controlled by Al Qaeda and ISIS elements.
- Hundreds of al-Qaeda and ISIS elements have been killed, captured, or wounded; among the dead are members of Arab and foreign nationalities, most of them Saudis. The most prominent ISIS leaders who were killed in this qualitative operation are following:
- Radwan Mohammad Hussein Qanan, nicknamed as “Abu Walid Al-Adeni,” is the leader of ISIS in Yemen.
- Abu Suleiman Al-Jazrawi, a Saudi national, is the liaison officer in the terrorist group.
- Suleiman Al-Adeni, formerly in charge of manufacturing explosive devices and belts, and recently the assistant of the group leader and his body guard.
- Muaeen Nasser Al-Maflahi Al-Yafei, nicknamed as Abu Mohammad Al-Adeni, the former brigades security officer of ISIS. Later, he was assigned to communicate with the ISIS elements outside what the they call the Islamic state of Al-Bayda.
- Hamid Abdu Mohammad Ali Anam, nicknamed as Khattab Al-Ibbi, is the public relations and procurement officer of the organization.
- Abdullah Musa’ad Mohammad Al-Jarrah, is one of the founders of the so-called the Islamic state of Al-Bayda, and recently appointed a delegate with the legitimate leader of ISIS to solve the problems that occur among its elements.
In addition, several Al-Qaeda leaders were killed, most notably:
- Abu Muslim Al-Uzbeki (an Uzbek national).
- Abu Walid Al-Dhamari, is a commander of military groups.
- More than a dozen camps and gatherings of these elements were destroyed in the same area.
- A large quantity of weapons was confiscated, and hundreds of explosive belts and explosive devices were found.
- Part of the archive of al-Qaeda and ISIS was seized.
2. Support Provided by Aggression Countries against Yemen and their
The Saudi-led and US-backed coalition of aggression countries have supported Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements throughout the period of aggression, especially by providing aerial protection for these two networks. The Battle of Qifah is a stark instance of this support in an attempt to prevent the Yemeni army and popular committees from advancing towards their positions.
The military media affiliated with the Yemeni army and popular committees documented these raids. In addition, the coalition of aggression supports them with money, weapons, medical care and supplies, and various means to facilitate the movement of the two organizations’ elements. Special quality weapons and military equipment have been found in the possession of the two terrorist groups that only the armies of some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the United States, possess. These evidences confirm the close relationship between the two parties and the amount of support the two terrorist groups receive from the coalition of aggression against Yemen and the so-called countries sponsoring anti-terrorism, led by the United States of America.
Documents were also found proving evidently that elements of the two organizations have obtained financial support and monthly salaries from Saudi Arabia under the name of supporting the resistance affiliated with the so-called legitimacy (Qifah Resistance, Hazmiyah Resistance, Al Humaiqan Resistance). There were also some military ID cards for elements of the two organizations issued by the Ministry of Defense of the so-called legitimate government.
Moreover, documents were found proving that the mercenaries of the aggression granted passage permits to Al-Qaeda militants from the security checkpoints of the so-called legitimate government. Besides, there were other documents indicating the treatment of a number of Al-Qaeda and ISIS wounded elements in hospitals in Saudi Arabia, as well as in Marib city – which is under the control of the so-called legitimate government – including Marib General Hospital and the Military Hospital.
Before and after the joint military-security operation, a number of Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements fled to some occupied areas under controlled by the coalition of aggression countries against Yemen, particularly the city of Marib, which is a base for the various activities of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, in addition to some areas of the South. These elements have repositioned themselves and joined the forces of the so-called National Army, and all facilities have been provided to them.
Second: The Relationship between Al-Qaeda-ISIS Networks and the Countries of Aggression against Yemen and their Mercenaries
A- Participation in Joint Military Operations:
Since the declaration of aggression against Yemen on 26 March 2012, terrorist-classified groups have had wide-ranging partnerships with the coalition of aggression countries against Yemen and their mercenaries on many fronts. In mid-June 2015, Al-Qaeda – through its spokesman, Khaled Saeed Omer Ba Tarfi, its current leader in the Arabian Peninsula – declared their participation in the fighting against the Yemeni army forces and popular committees on 11 fronts within the aggression coalition forces and its mercenaries. In this regard, the BBC also released a documentary film entitled “Taiz between a Rock and a Hard Place,” which confirmed the presence of forces from the UAE, Sudan, and Al-Qaeda militants fighting side by side against the Yemeni army and popular committees.
Al-Qaeda Participation in Battlefronts in Several Forms:
First: Fighting on separate fronts from the aggression coalition forces and the so-called legitimacy.
Second: Fighting within non-official military formations bearing multiple names, stationed in Al-Bayda, Taiz, and the Saudi border.
Third: Involving Al-Qaeda elements in the fighting, along with formations of the so-called legitimacy on various fronts, including Lahj, the West Coast, Hajjah, Al-Jawf, and Al-Bayda fronts.
Confirmed statistics indicate that out of every 1,000 mercenary elements, there are 50-70 elements have links Al-Qaeda, or were members of the organization.
B- Participation in Training:
In addition to participating in the fronts, there is coordination between Al-Qaeda network and the coalition of aggression against Yemen and its mercenaries in the field of training. Al-Qaeda elements have been trained within the mercenary groups and formations of the Aggression Coalition. Besides, Al-Qaeda is allowed to set up special training camps near the aggression mercenary camps. They also allowed the establishment of Al-Qaeda camps in some occupied areas.
C- Nominations in Government Leading Positions:
The coalition of aggression countries against Yemen and its mercenaries also provide support and cover to Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements, which has culminated to nominating leaders and elements affiliated with Al-Qaeda in high government positions, although some of these elements are listed by the US Treasury Department as supporters and sponsors of groups classified by the UN as terrorist groups. This includes, for instance:
- Ali Mohsen Saleh Al-Ahmar, Vice President of the outgoing president, Hadi, is associated with Al-Qaeda, as confirmed by the Washington Institute for Middle East Studies in 2011, and the New York Times in November 2000.
- Naif Saleh Salem Al-Qaisi, appointed by the outgoing President, Hadi, in 2015 as Governor of Al-Bayda governorate.
- Adel Abdo Farea Al-Dhabhani, nicknamed as Abu Al-Abbas, who was appointed by the so-called legitimate government as the commander of military forces called Abu Al-Abbas Brigades, affiliated with the so-called Taiz military zone.
- Khaled Ali Mabkhout Al-Arada, one of the military leaders within the formations of the so-called National Army, and brother of Sultan Al-Arada, Governor of Marib, in the so-called legitimate government.
- Abdul-Wahab Mohammad Abdul-Rahman Al-Humaiqani, who was appointed advisor to the outgoing President, Hadi, in addition to his appointment as a member of the Geneva negotiations team held in 2015.
- Al-Hassan bin Ali Abkar, who was appointed commander of the so-called resistance, which is fighting for the coalition of aggression against Yemen in Al-Jawf Governorate.
- Abdul Rab Saleh Al-Salami, who is the Minister of State and Member of the Council of Ministers in the so-called legitimate government.
- Juma’an Hamad Safyan, who is an advisor to the Minister of Defense in the so-called legitimate government.
- Hassan Ghaleb Al-Ajda’, who was appointed commander of the Shaddadi Brigade in Marib governorate, within the formations of the so-called National Army.
- Amin Ali Al-Akimi, who is the governor of Al-Jawf and appointed by the so-called legitimate government, was one of the first to shelter Al-Qaeda militants in Al-Jawf after their return from Afghanistan, and he used to collect donations in support of Al-Qaeda.
- Yasser Hussein Qaid Mujali, who was appointed in 2017 as commander of the “63rd Brigade” within the formations of the so-called National Army in Baqim region, on the border with Saudi Arabia. He and his brother, Osman Mujali, were among the main suspects in the 2008 kidnapping of German citizens.
The coalition of aggression countries against Yemen is coordinating, through elements affiliated with its mercenaries in the governorate of Marib, with some leaders of Al-Qaeda to carry out a process of attracting and recruiting many young men for the benefit of the countries of the coalition of aggression. The target those who were transferred to the governorate of Marib and joining them to the recruitment lists of the brigades and camps of the mercenaries of aggression or those located inside Saudi territory to throw them onto the border fronts.
E- Exchange of Information
There is an exchange of information between Al-Qaeda network, on the one hand, and the coalition of aggression against Yemen and its mercenaries, on the other, especially information related to the coordinates of the Yemeni army and popular committees’ locations to be targeted by the aggression coalition air forces or by the elements of Al-Qaeda. This cooperation was evident when the aggression coalition air forces targeted the Anti-Terrorism Security Units affiliated to the National Salvation Government in Sana’a.
F- Military Support
There is much evidence that the countries of aggression against Yemen have supplied Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements with weapons. This was made clear by the documentary report of the German DW TV channel entitled “The Last User,” which revealed the presence of heavy weapons – bought by the aggression countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, from the US and other European countries – with organizations and groups that the channel called “terrorist and extremist.” In addition, the CNN investigation concluded that the US weapons and equipment had been transferred to fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and what the report called the militias allied with the coalition, namely “the Giants Brigades.” The Yemeni army forces and popular committees have documented pictures of samples of these weapons, especially in recent battles in Al-Bayda governorate.
G- Media Support
Among the aspects of the functional relationship between the two parties is also the misleading media coverage provided by the media of the coalition of aggression countries against Yemen and the so-called legitimacy in support of Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements. They declare that the operations carried out by the two organizations fall within the framework of the so-called popular resistance and the national army of the so-called legitimate government.
H- Cooperation Regarding the Prisoners’ File:
During negotiations on the prisoners’ file, the so-called legitimate government requested the release of 96 Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements, who are held by the National Salvation Government in Sana’a, under the pretext that they are among the mercenaries’ prisoners, while they are actually members of Al-Qaeda and ISIS who have been involved in carrying out terrorist operations against civilians. Besides, some of them have been in detention since the period before the aggression on Yemen, on charges of carrying out terrorist operations. This is clear evidence that Al-Qaeda is an essential component of the coalition of aggression against Yemen, and an integral part of the so-called legitimacy of Hadi, which is unfortunately recognized by the UN Security Council.
In addition, a number of prisoners of the Yemeni army and popular committees, who were arrested during battles with the coalition of aggression against Yemen, were handed over to Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The same was done to the prisoners of the National Salvation Government in the battles of Aden, as a group of them was handed over to the two terrorist organizations that tortured and executed the prisoners in a brutal manner, as shown in the video footages published by ISIS. Such incidents were repeated in other battles in Hodeidah, Taiz, and the border fronts with Saudi Arabia.
It is worth noting that Al-Qaeda network in Yemen started in the last decade of the last century (1990s), after the return of those known as “Arab Mujahedeen” from Afghanistan to their home countries, including Yemen, with direct support from the United States, as stated by its former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The leading figures of Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen (i.e. leaders of Islah Party, the Yemeni Congregation for Reform) – such as Abd Al-Majeed Aziz Al-Zindani (Chairman of Islah Party Shura Council, Rector of Al-Iman University), whose name is included in the consolidated list of the Security Council Sanctions Committee established under Resolution No. 1267 (1999), and the so-called Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar (Vice President of the outgoing Hadi) – played a great role in receiving these elements. They contained them in several camps and places, most notably Al-Iman University, from which many leaders of the organization graduated, as well as the First Armoured Division (FAD) camp in which these elements were trained. The First Armoured Division (FAD) was considered one of the most important dens for attracting and training Al-Qaeda militants, as well as attracting youth through extremist mobilization and training them in terrorist acts such as beheading and others.
As for ISIS, which was established by the US, as stated by its President Donald Trump, it declared its presence in Yemen at the beginning of the year 2015 through the heinous terrorist operations it carried out in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Abyan and Hadramout. However, this organization was not able to achieve the deployment it intended thanks to the efforts of the Yemeni intelligence services, army operations, and popular committees. Hence, the areas of its range are still limited when compared to Al-Qaeda regions.
In conclusion, the National Team (NTFO) indicates that it is fully aware of the commitment of the National Salvation Government in Sana’a to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The team stresses the need for concerted efforts by all in the international community (states, institutions, political and human rights entities and individuals) in order to fight and eradicate terrorism. It also asserts the importance of supporting the continued efforts of Sana’a government to chase the elements and remnants of these two terrorist networks to their main den in Marib governorate in order to secure all the territories of the Republic of Yemen from its danger.
The Yemeni people hope that the achievements made by the Yemeni army and popular committees in Al-Bayda governorate against Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements will be appreciated, encouraged and supported by you as eminent personalities, free pens and the international community, as these achievements are victories for the Yemeni people and for all humanity. They positively result in maintaining the security and stability of the region and the world beyond. It is also hoped that you will collaboratively condemn the existing cooperation between the countries of aggression coalition against Yemen and its mercenaries and Al-Qaeda-ISIS networks. We wish also that you press the aggression countries to stop their financial and military support for Al-Qaeda and ISIS networks in Yemen, closing their camps located in the areas controlled by the coalition countries, and facilitating the Yemeni army operations in the governorates of Marib, Shabwa and Lahj, which intend to pursue these two organizations in their concentration areas.
The National Team for Foreign Outreach (NTFO) takes this opportunity to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to all friends.