Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula executed one of its members at dawn today. Yemeni media sources reported that an unidentified man was found dead this morning, his body hanging on a pole in a soccer field in the coastal city of Al Shajar in Hadramout province. Arabic-language news reports confirmed that the man was shot in the head before being hanged for all to see. The Yemeni media said the location where the corpse was found was the site of an American drone strike on Dec. 24, 2013 that killed five Yemenis.
The man was apparently killed because it was suspected that he was working with the Americans. An al Qaeda flag and black banners were found beside his body reading, "American Spy in the Arabian Peninsula," and "Whoever fights with the government or cooperates with it is not a Yemeni, not a Hadrami, but a traitor." Another banner read, "Guider of American planes to kill Muslims."
Arabic reports also claimed that AQAP sources alleged that the man had planted microphones in AQAP vehicles and meeting places in order to guide American drone missiles. Additionally, AQAP operatives have reportedly disseminated flyers to locals in al Shajar warning that the "punishment" meted out to the man will be the fate of anyone who cooperates with the Americans.
This execution comes on the heels of the latest American drone strike in Yemen, on March 5, in which al Qaeda commander Ali Juraym was killed [see LWJ report, US drones kill al Qaeda operative who fought in Iraq].
Photograph & video of man executed by AQAP [Warning: graphic]