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The New Arab

Trigger warning: Al-Qaeda starts 'jihadi book club' in Yemen

The United States regards the AQAP as the extremist network's most dangerous branch [TNA]

Date of publication: 7 May, 2017

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Al-Qaeda in Yemen has been encouraging people to read more by kicking off a book review contest...with a Kalashnikov assault rifle going to the top submission.

Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen has launched a book review contest in the besieged city of Taiz with promises that the top bookworm will land themselves a Kalashnikov rifle as their prize.

Members of al-Qaeda's promotional committee handed out flyers in the streets of the flashpoint city this week advertising the competition, The New Arab's Yemen correspondent reported.

"Conditions of the contest: You must carefully read and listen to our assigned book and audio material and summarise them in 30 pages," the flyer for the contests reads.

"Your review must not resemble any other contestant's work. If plagiarism is discovered both contestants will be disqualified," it said.

The handout explained that first place submission will receive a brand new Chinese-made automatic rifle, second place a motorcycle, third place a pistol, fourth place a laptop with mobile phones and cash prizes for the other winners.

The group have called the contest "This is Our Message", indicating that the book that will be scrutinised will be a manifesto promoting al-Qaeda's cause.  

The extremists set the deadline for the book reviews to be handed in on the 15th of the upcoming Islamic month of Ramadan but warned that only "sincere contestants not interested in winning cheap material goods" were eligible.

     
      The group have called the contest "This is Our Message" [TNA]

Al-Qaeda fighters have reportedly been fighting for months in Taiz shoulder to shoulder with pro-government forces against the Houthi rebels.

This week, the group's leader said that his militants have often fought alongside their "Sunni brothers" against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

"We are fighting alongside all Muslims in Yemen", including "the Muslim Brotherhood and also our brothers among the sons of [Sunni] tribes," Qasim al-Raymi said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] has exploited a power vacuum created by the war between the government and Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa and number of major cities along the Red Sea coast.

AQAP seized the city of Mukalla, the capital of Yemen's largest province of Hadramawt in 2015, but was forced to withdraw last year.

The United States regards the group as the extremist network's most dangerous branch.

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