Some Evidence for the Islamic State's Presence in Yemen (Part 2)
08 March 2015
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
The previous post on the Islamic State (IS) presence in Yemen looked at a
sample 'Shari'a Committee' document from a declared Wilayat Shabwa,
reflecting on the activist nature of the IS presence. Other documents that
have emerged from IS declared provinces in Yemen bear similar implications.
Note that the next statement below from 'Aden Province' (not marked with a
shadowy 'Shari'a Committee' label), while pointing out the vast array of
enemies (including the Yemeni national army), focuses primarily on the
sectarian dynamic of the perceived Houthi [Shi'a] threat to Sunnis. The
statement explicitly draws an analogy with the notion of protecting Sunnis in
Iraq and that narrative Abu Mus'ab Zarqawi had in mind in aiming to provoke
Sunni-Shi'a sectarian civil war. There is indeed little hint of the issue of
American drone strikes, which, of course, have targeted IS' rivals in al-Qa'ida
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and so are a grievance for AQAP to play on.
With AQAP's lengthy rationale for rejecting the Caliphate declaration, there
is also no notion of common solidarity with AQAP in the face of the drone
strikes and other threats to jihadis.
It remains to be seen whether IS in Yemen can realize its promise of attacks
on Houthis. I am inclined towards skepticism as AQAP can play on the
perceived threat of Houthi expansionism to bolster its support. There is no
local dynamic in particular about IS in Yemen that should necessarily make it
more attractive on the ground than AQAP. Nonetheless, policymakers should
remain vigiliant as more evidence emerges.
Specimen B: Aden Province Statement
Date: 5 Jumada al-Awwal 1435 AH [c. 24 February 2015]
Thanks be to God, the Powerful, the Strong, who lowers the disbelievers by
His vanquishing and elevates the Muslims by His victory. And prayers and
peace be upon the one He sent by the sword as a mercy to the worlds. As for
This is a statement from the soldiers of IS in Yemen bearing in their folds
and sides good tidings, news and words with denseness that will be translated
to deeds written in blood, covered in corpses, to be a lesson/admonition to
the disbelievers and to heal what is in the believers' chests.
So to our people the Ahl al-Sunna in Yemen, the land of help and support, we
However much you have been harmed by the gathering of the apostates against
you from the Rafidite Houthis and others besides them from the idolatrous
army, know that victory is for the patient mujahideen Muslims and the
religion of God is victorious in great glory or despised humiliation, so seek
aid in God and be firm until you should inherit the land that God promised to
His just servants. God said: "Moses said to his people: Seek God's help and
be patient. The land belongs to God: He causes it to be inherited for
whomsoever He wills, and the outcome is for the righteous. They said: We have
been harmed before and after you came to us. He said: Perhaps your Lord will
destroy your enemy and grant you succession in the land so He is seeing how
you will fare."
And know that the religion of God, even if those waging war on it be
numerous, grows stronger, and if they abandon it, it expands; and know that
God is able to do without whoever apostasises. The victory for this religion
is to be realized only from God whoever the enemy may be and whatever their
numbers or ammunition may be, so do not fear them or despair and you are the
supreme, victorious ones by your faith and might in realization of your
So, oh Ahl al-Sunna, your blood is our blood, your honour is our honour, so
to support you is among our foremost obligations. So we will not abandon you
as easy prey for the Houthi servant of the Majus, for by God do our eyes well
up in tears with sadness at what we see from the dominance and supremacy of
your enemies over you, the disgrace to your honour, and indeed our ears
reverberate from the screaming of our women and children. And indeed our
hearts beat in blood that has only wished to be spilled in support of you.
And be sure that all this will not pass without reckoning or consequence. And
this promise of ours is not mere ink on paper but you will see from us in the
coming days how your chests will be gladdened by God's permission.
And our defence of you will not be a defence of the cowards of partisanship
in hotels but a defence of the men of the rifle in the trenches to raise
supreme your religion and take revenge for you as like the revenge of our
brothers in Iraq against the filthy Rafidites [Shi'a] and feeding their
corpses to the dogs until there will be no seeing or hearing of a dog hungry
in a land soiled with the corpses of the Rafidites.
If the Zarqawist knives took revenge for the Ahl al-Sunna in Iraq, so you
should see the plates of Yemen taking revenge if God wills, for we have sworn
not to sleep over the injustice against an oppressed Muslim, degraded from
his religion and honour. And indeed we will take revenge for him even if
after a while we will indeed take revenge and come for you oh enemies of God
with men who love killing and martyrdom just as you love the material world
and leadership. And indeed the dominant soldiers of the Caliphate will have
on their side by God's permission the Living, the Everlasting, the One
Powerful [i.e. God] over everything, for He is our Lord, whereas you have no
lord and what you worship and assert without it has no power over anything.
So take heed, oh heretic Houthis, you who have reviled and declared to be
disbelief the glory of the companions whom our Lord commended in the Noble
Qur'an whose ayat [verses] you reject, declare to be disbelief, and by which
you purchase a small price. So take heed and expect a torment that will wound
you from God or at our hands. Indeed we lie in wait for you.
And we warn our Muslim brothers not to approach the bases and gatherings of
the Houthis, not to attend their occasions or ride in their cars with them,
for indeed the Houthis and whoever supports or mixes with them is a
legitimate target for us and our coming attacks by God's permission. And God
is predominant over His affair but most people don't know it.