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Al-Qaeda Leader in Yemen Succumbs to Car Crash, Not U.S. Intel

Posted on January 18 2010 10:25 pm
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The Long War Journal reports that Yemen says they have captured Said al-Shihri, the former Gitmo detainee who went to the Saudi terrorist rehabilitation program and celebrated his recovery by becoming the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula:

The Interior Ministry claimed that Said Ali al Shihri and another al Qaeda operative identified as S. Lamankib were captured after overturning their car at a checkpoint in Shabwa province.

The initial report of Shihri’s capture, at the Yemen Observer, claimed he overturned his car at a military checkpoint in the Sylan district in Shabwa. The Interior minister said Shihri and Lamankib were captured after a traffic accident in Shabwa’s Asailan district, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

There are a few remarkable things about this. First, it was a car crash, not a U.S. drone strike, Yemeni raid, or U.S. special operations attack that nabbed al-Shihri. Second, these guys believe that Allah is on their side, but they fall because of a car accident? There’s something wrong here. Al-Shihri has now been captured twice. It doesn’t look like Allah is giving him any help in his quest to become a martyr.

Part of the reason Ayman al-Zawahiri’s mentor, Dr. Al-Fadl, turned against Al-Qaeda is because he thought it was clear that they weren’t acting in accordance with Allah’s will because they were getting their clocks cleaned and causing destruction in the Muslim world. If a top terrorist like al-Shihri is captured (not even killed) because of a car accident, right after he helped hatch the nearly-successful underwear bomb plot, then his followers should start questioning how much Allah is blessing them.

Based on this incident, I’m personally in favor of setting a few of these traps up to help our intelligence community locate the bad guys:

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