17 June 2015, NYT: For U.S., Killing Terrorists Is a Means to an Elusive End
8 May 2015, NYT: Top Qaeda Figure Dies in Yemen Drone Strike
21 March 2015, NYT: Suicide Attacks at Mosques in Yemen Kill More Than 130
JUNE 17, 2015
ISIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Bombings in Yemen
By SHUAIB ALMOSAWA and SAEED AL-BATATI
SANA, Yemen -- A branch of the Islamic State in Yemen claimed responsibility for a series of car bombings here in the capital that killed at least 30 people on Wednesday, adding a new layer of peril to a city terrorized for months by airstrikes as well as by antiaircraft fire that has fallen on civilian homes.
The bombings, outside mosques where many Shiite Muslims worship and a headquarters of the Houthi rebels, were the deadliest attacks claimed by the Sunni extremist group since March, when suicide bombers killed more than 130 people  at two Shiite mosques here.
The March attacks helped accelerate the country's slide toward civil war, sharpening sectarian tensions and aggravating the confrontation between the Shiite Houthi rebels, who are from the country's north, and supporters of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia entered the war days later, beginning a bombing campaign that it says is intended to restore Mr. Hadi and dislodge the Houthis as the country's dominant force.
The bombings on Wednesday, which occurred during prayer times, were another attempt to inflame tensions at a sensitive moment, as representatives of the Houthis and Mr. Hadi's government were engaged in cease-fire negotiations in Geneva, under the auspices of the United Nations. In an online statement, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, said the bombings were intended as "revenge" against the Houthi "apostates."
The prominent re-emergence of the Islamic State came as many Yemenis were waiting to see how the country's Qaeda affiliate would react after the killing of its leader in a United States missile attack.
The leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi,  was killed in the southern port city of Al Mukalla last week as he gathered with other militants near the beach. The city has been under the control of the affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, since early April.
He was the latest in a growing list of senior operatives who have been killed apparently in American missile strikes over the last two months. The string of losses has led some Qaeda supporters to demand that the group adopt the discipline and brutal tactics of the Islamic State as a warning to enemies and spies.
On Wednesday, the group seemed to offer a response, by holding a public execution in Al Mukalla of two men it said were Saudi spies who had helped provide information for the drone strikes.
Local journalists said Qaeda militants had asked them to attend the execution on the Asseteen Corniche -- the same area where Nasr bin Ali al-Ansi,  a top Qaeda ideologue, was killed in a missile strike on May 7.
A journalist who attended the executions and requested anonymity for fear of retribution, said, "The militants brought the two men and shot them in the head after indicting them of spying for the Saudis and the Americans."
Shortly afterward, the bodies of the two men were crucified and displayed on two traffic bridges in the city.
Shuaib Almosawa reported from Sana, and Saeed Al-Batati from Al Mukalla, Yemen. Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.