Al-Qaeda reacts to UAE-Israel peace deal with image criticizing Abu Dhabi rulers

An image reportedly showing an al-Qaeda video responding to the Israel-UAE peace deal. The Arabic reads Who is for Bin Zayed? He has wronged Allah & his Prophet. (Twitter, Elisabeth Kendall)

The terrorist organization al-Qaeda in Yemen appears to have reacted to the historic peace deal between Israel and the UAE with a video thumbnail criticizing Abu Dhabi’s rulers, according to a post by an analyst on Twitter.

Earlier this month Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize ties in exchange for Israel halting its proposed annexation of the West Bank, paving the way for commercial deals, telephone links, and flights between the two countries.

While many, including the US and Bahrain, have praised the agreement, others have criticized it as premature and lacking solid concessions for the Palestinians.

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On Friday, the global terrorist organization al-Qaeda, the same group behind the infamous September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, also appeared to weigh in on the issue.

According to a post by Oxford University’s Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, whose specialisms include Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, the group has released a video featuring graffiti that criticizes Abu Dhabi’s ruling family on an image of the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.

“Who’s for Bin Zayed? He has wronged Allah & his Prophet,” says the graffiti, in reference to the UAE President and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan or Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The video, which Al Arabiya English could not access for verification, appears to be from the organization’s al-Malahem Media channel. It shows an image of Ibrahim al-Qusi, a Sudanese paymaster for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who was previously held in the US Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

According to Kendall, the image of al-Qusi and not AQAP leader Khalid bin Umar Batarfi, could suggest infighting in the group.

Despite the US and its allies killing former al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden and hunting the group globally, al-Qaeda and its affiliates remain active in many countries including Yemen and Libya.

Israel’s Tel Aviv lights up city hall with UAE’s flag following the historic deal. (Supplied)

Israel’s Tel Aviv lights up city hall with UAE’s flag following the historic deal. (Supplied)

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Last Update: Saturday, 29 August 2020 KSA 13:08 - GMT 10:08
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