According to multiple stories Yemen arrested the Saudi national Hassan Husayn bin ‘Alwan on Friday in Marib. All of these stories are claiming that ‘Alwan is a “major financier” for AQAP, which if true would be a blow – I’m skeptical of how major – to the organization.
But one word of caution, ‘Alwan was not on the list of 85 that Saudi put out earlier this year, which begs a number of questions: Is he really that important? Did he just arrive in Yemen? If so, it is doubtful he is as important as the Yemeni government is claiming. Or is it possible, just maybe, that Yemen is looking for a victory and the arrest of one Saudi, no matter his role or stature within the organization, warranted a media blitz.
The usually reliable al-Tagheer drops the ball on this one, claiming that the merger came in February (actually January) and that Muhammad Hazmi is al-Wahayshi’s Saudi deputy (actually, Said al-Shihri).