In a series of tweets posted by an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) affiliated account on Oct. 15, the terrorist group claimed credit for four separate attacks aimed at a variety of targets in Hadramout, Shabwa, and Abyan provinces in Yemen. These attacks come as AQAP has been stepping up its terrorist activity in conjunction with the advance of Shi’ite Houthi militants throughout the country. On Oct. 14, Houthi fighters consolidated their control over the city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea coast as well as on the key central city of Dhamar.
The first AQAP attack was a drive-by assassination attempt targeting Omar Faraj al Mansouri, whom the jihadist spokesman described as a Houthi leader, in the coastal city of al Shihr in eastern Hadramout province on Oct. 12. Local media reports stated that “anonymous militants” on a motorbike fired at al Mansouri in the vacinity of the Shiqaq neighborhood of al Shihr. Eye witnesses claimed that al Mansouri was in a moving vehicle that was pursued by the assailants on the motorbike and that he was seriously injured in the head by gunfire. While some local sources claimed that al Mansouri was an “ordinary citizen” with no political connections, others suggested that he was linked to the Houthis.
In a statement claiming credit for the attack, AQAP said that al Mansouri was severely injured by the assassination attempt and initially taken to the main public hospital in al Shihr. The statement continued by noting that al Mansouri’s condition deteriorated significantly, prompting his transfer to the Ibn Sinaa’ Hospital in the provincial capital of al Mukallah. The statement also claimed that al Mansouri “has been active for a time in the Hadramout coast calling for the spreading and embracing of the Houthi rafidi [Shi’ite] religion.” […]