On Sept. 22, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit for two separate attacks carried out earlier that day, in the midst of serious political and sectarian upheaval rocking the country. The attacks, a suicide operation in Yemen’s northern Sa’adah province and a bombing in Sana’a, both targeted Shiite Houthi rebels who have been leading an open insurrection in the Yemeni capital for the past several days.
AQAP reported that the the suicide operation in Sa’adah was carried out by Mu’awiyah al San’ani at exactly five o’clock in the evening as he detonated his truck, which was carrying a ton and a half of explosive materials. The suicide attack targeted a gathering of Houthis in front of a local court administered by the Shiite Zaydi sect in the Beqa’ region on the edges of Sa’adah and Jawf provinces, both traditional Houthi strongholds.
“It is important to mention,” the news report released by AQAP concludes, “that the aforementioned suicide operation comes a day after the crimes committed by the rafidi Houthi group’s militias … against the Sunnis in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.” In a follow up report, AQAP claimed that more than 50 Houthis had been in killed in the attack.
The statement on the attack in Sana’a, dated Sept. 23 but released on Sept. 22, claimed that the group “targeted a Houthi military unit” on the afternoon of Sept. 22 with an improvised explosive device (IED). The attack reportedly occurred as the military unit was passing along Television Road in the Yemeni capital. The AQAP statement provided no additional information.