A video showing the confessions of al Qaeda commander and former Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al Awfi has been distributed online today. Al Awfi had been featured in another video released by al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula last January. He was introduced as the group's military commander and threatened attacks against western interests in Saudi Arabia.
(al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula)
Shortly after the release of his al Qaeda tape, news emerged that the man had turned himself in to the Yemeni authorities which handed him over to their Saudi counterparts. The news struck a blow to the group, and al Qaeda supporters who had still been cheering and hollering over the tape, were left in serious denial.
In his latest 18-minute confessions tape, al Awfi clearly said he regretted what he said in his al Qaeda tape and admitted that he was simply asked to go where the video was filmed, and was given a written statement that he was asked to read it "without any discussions" although there were many things he did not approve of in it.
Al Awfi said that all the militants in Yemen refused to pledge allegiance to Nasser al Weheishy as the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, but then he was endorsed by al Qaeda's number two Ayman al Zawahri in one of his tapes, so the men felt obliged to take him as their leader. Al Awfi also said that the video released by the group mainly aimed to generate donations from around the Arab world.