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PoliCon
05-04-2011, 06:58 PM
By Laura Rozen Wed May 4, 12:03 pm ET

In the wake of Osama bin Laden's demise, is al Qaeda falling apart?

The Saudi Interior Ministry said today that a senior al Qaeda member on Riyadh's most-wanted list named Khaled al-Qahtani called from abroad and turned himself in.

"Interior Ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said in a statement Wednesday that Khaled Hathal Abdullah al-Atifi al-Qahtani contacted the security authorities from an undisclosed country and expressed his wish to come home," the Associated Press reports.

"Al-Qahtani was reunited with his family and his surrender will be taken into consideration while looking into his case, Al-Turki said."

The Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman did not indicate when Khaled al-Qahtani gave himself up, but many members of the group's Yemeni wing, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have recently fled from Yemen, the AP writes.

It wasn't immediately possible to ascertain whether Khaled Al-Qahtani is the brother or relative of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi-born al Qaeda militant detained at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed al-Qahtani, now 32, had been picked up in the battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan from which bin Laden is believed to have escaped.

UPDATE: The two men are not brothers, Gregory Johnson, a Yemen expert with Princeton University, told the Envoy:

"Al-Qahtani is a common Saudi name and there are many individuals in AQAP with that name...They may be related in some other more distant way."


http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenvoy/20110504/ts_yblog_theenvoy/al-qaeda-member-surrenders-saudi-arabia-says

Articulate_Ape
05-04-2011, 07:03 PM
Well, that's a positive development, if true. However, I am not sure that we can expect this to become a trend.

PoliCon
05-04-2011, 07:05 PM
I'm sure he was aware that he was on the list for similar treatment to what Osama got and he figured he'd be better off turning himself in.

djones520
05-04-2011, 07:05 PM
Well, that's a positive development, if true. However, I am not sure that we can expect this to become a trend.

Agreed, but I'll take it where I can. Honestly though, I'm surpised he turned himself into Saudi authorities. He's almost assured to face death with them. I'd have walked up to a US Embassy myself.

PoliCon
05-04-2011, 07:34 PM
Agreed, but I'll take it where I can. Honestly though, I'm surpised he turned himself into Saudi authorities. He's almost assured to face death with them. I'd have walked up to a US Embassy myself.

but that does not get you a martyrs death

djones520
05-04-2011, 07:35 PM
but that does not get you a martyrs death

If you want a martyr's death, strap a bomb to yourself. Don't meekly turn yourself into the authorities that are going to make you disappear down some hole somewhere.

PoliCon
05-04-2011, 07:37 PM
If you want a martyr's death, strap a bomb to yourself. Don't meekly turn yourself into the authorities that are going to make you disappear down some hole somewhere.

Maybe then his hope is to win leniency by selling out others.

Articulate_Ape
05-04-2011, 07:41 PM
Agreed, but I'll take it where I can. Honestly though, I'm surpised he turned himself into Saudi authorities. He's almost assured to face death with them. I'd have walked up to a US Embassy myself.

You are right, but the Saudis are gonna be under uber pressure not to do what they are wont to do in such instances. Hint: It was the Saudis that announced it, they didn't have to.

I hope that folks at the State Department are capitalizing on the bin Laden dirt...er water nap in the way they should be. Hard to know.

I just don't think that this Islamic djinn is going back in the bottle that easily.

Odysseus
05-05-2011, 01:39 PM
Agreed, but I'll take it where I can. Honestly though, I'm surpised he turned himself into Saudi authorities. He's almost assured to face death with them. I'd have walked up to a US Embassy myself.

The Saudis have been extremely lenient with terrorists. They've actually had a program involving art therapy for jihadis that was a source of ridicule for a while.