Inspire X Eulogizes AQAP English-Speaking Operative Abu Yazeed Al-Qatari, Described As Close Friend To Slain American Jihadis Samir Khan, Anwar Al-‘Awlaki

March 1, 2013

On February 28, 2013, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released issue X of its English-language online magazine Inspire. The issue includes an article titled “Brother ‘Askar, Abu Yazeed Al-Qatari” by one Abu Ziyad Al-Muhajir, who presents Al-Qatari as having been a close friend of slain American jihadi Samir Khan and radical American-Yemeni cleric Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, as well as having been a member of the Inspire team. According to Al-Muhajir, Al-Qatari is of Yemeni origin but lived most of his life in Qatar. He had also traveled to and lived in the UK for some period, during which he studied science.

According to Al-Muhajir, after spending some time in the UK and “witnessing firsthand the hypocrisy of the West,” Al-Qatari decided to travel to Yemen. There, he was easily able to blend in, thanks to his Yemeni background. Later on, Al-Qatari joined the mujahideen, and due to his broad knowledge of the English language and the customs of the West, became a member of the Inspire team. While working for Inspire, Al-Qatari is said to have developed a close friendship with Samir Khan and Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, even “spending time together with them camping in the deserts.”

Al-Muhajir says that Al-Qatari was activities were not limited to his work for Inspire, but that he had also fought alongside AQAP against the Yemeni army in Abyan. He was also appointed as a “supervisor” at an AQAP training camp there. Later, however, after hearing of the death of both Samir Khan and Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, Al-Qatari returned to work on Inspire, publishing a eulogy of Samir Khan in issue IX. Al-Qatari was killed shortly after work on issue IX concluded. Al-Muhajir writes that Al-Qatari “was struck by a tank projectile, leaving nothing except a small piece of his body.”

It is noteworthy that Al-Qatari had previously appeared, albeit with his face hidden, in an AQAP video commemorating the death of Anwar Al-‘Awlaki and Samir Khan in December 2011.[1] In the video, he was introduced simply as “Brother Abu Yazeed.” As previously noted, Al-Qatari also wrote an article following the death of Samir Khan in issue IX.[2]Following the death of Samir Khan, it was suggested that Al-Qatari, due to his purported command of the English language, might have taken over Samir Khan’s responsibilities in Inspire. Now that Al-Qatari is dead, it remains unclear who will be take Khan’s place in these duties.

Endnotes:

[1] See MEMRI JTTM report Al-Awlaki In Previously Unreleased Video Message To Muslims In the West: ‘You Have Two Choices… Leave and Live Among Muslims, Or… Stay Behind and Follow the Example of Nidal Hassan and Others’, December 20, 2011.

[2] See MEMRI JTTM report AQAP’s Inspire IX Features Last Statements of American Jihadi Samir Khan, May 3, 2012.