Who is Al-Awlaki, the new leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula?

  • 2024-03-11 07:50:28


Saad bin Atef Al-Awlaki, nicknamed “Abu Al-Laith”, is the new leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, succeeding Khaled bin Omar Batarfi.

Media reports indicate that the Yemeni nationality Al-Awlaki is one of those who was returned by the leader of Al-Qaeda, who was killed by America in 2011, Osama bin Laden, from Afghanistan to Yemen.

Thus, Al-Awlaki becomes the fifth leader to publicly lead Al-Qaeda in Yemen, after working for years as the extremist organization’s second-in-command in the country.

Saad Al-Awlaki was born in the town of Al-Shu'bah in Wadi Yasbam in the Upper Egypt District in Shabwa Governorate (south). He comes from the large Al-Awalqi tribe, the same tribe from which the spiritual father of Al-Qaeda, Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was killed by an American drone in 2011, descends.

His exact date of birth was not known, but the US State Department estimated three dates: 1978, 1981, and 1983, indicating that his height was 168 cm.

According to the website of the US State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, Al-Awlaki was a member of the Shura Council of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

 The United States has offered a reward of up to six million dollars to anyone who provides information about him.

The US State Department says that Al-Awlaki "publicly called for attacks on the United States and its allies."

The United States considers Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen, the most dangerous branch of Al-Qaeda since its attempt in 2009 to blow up a plane over the United States.

The organization claimed responsibility for several attacks, especially an attack targeting the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, which resulted in the deaths of 12 people.

A recent United Nations report on Al-Qaeda stated: “Despite the organization’s decline in the Arabian Peninsula, it remains the most effective terrorist group in Yemen, with the intention of launching attacks in the region and beyond.”

Estimates submitted to the United Nations indicate that the total number of Al-Qaeda militants in the Arabian Peninsula ranges between 3,000 and 4,000 active and passive fighters.