Local News

Bin Laden bodyguard says gov’t attacks against al-Qaeda amount to “promotion”

Yemeni soldiers

BY Anwe Haidar

Nasser Ahmed Al-Bahri, formerly a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden, has stated that the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization practically disappeared, with elements merging with other organizations, following the death of Osama Bin Laden.

“Al-Qaeda merged with other organizations like the Islamic state in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan,” he stated. According to him, Al-Qaeda members lost sight of their goals and began adopting certain ideologies which they didn’t subscribe to in the first place. He added that actions by Yemeni authorities with American support in some of areas of the country have simply amounted to promotion for the organization, and that those being fought against are not genuine members of Al-Qaeda.

“When Yemeni authorities conducted air strikes, targeting two members of Al-Qaeda at Al-Mo’ajela District, they killed around 60 innocent citizens while those two were buying qat at the market,” he stated. In response to questions concerning the best way to eliminate the effect of such organizations, Al-Bahri said all segments of Yemeni society should propose an inclusive project, which would represent a real start for a calming truce. Al-Bahri added that Al-Qaeda militants were helped by Anwar Al-Awlaqi in joining with Ansar Al-Shariah.

Al-Bahri believes that Bin Laden would not have agreed with recent operations Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for. “Bin-Laden used to tell his followers to leave Yemen aside and to never attack its people or government,” he stated.

According to him, members of Ansar Al-Shariah never lived with Bin Laden and so don’t know what his project and goal was.”He never called for fighting against Muslims throughout the world; all he called for was fighting against nonbelievers.”

Regarding the motives which compel people, and especially the poor, to blow themselves up in suicide attacks, Al-Bahri said that such people are misled youths who only see one side of an issue. “They are misled and are usually told they are fighting against non-Muslims and are promised Paradise and its blessings.

He noted that such misled youths may either blow themselves up at an operation’s appointed time or that others will trigger the explosion from a remote location.