Al Awfi, who was a key figure in the resuscitated al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, recently appeared in a video along with three other al Qaeda leaders, including former Guantanamo detainee Saeed Ali Al Shihri, where he threatened attacks against foreign interests throughout the Gulf region, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
"We tell the policemen of the Saud family, the guardians of the Jews and the Crusaders, repent to God what you have been doing by guarding the gates of their embassies, their churches, their compounds, and their military and intelligence headquarters," he had said in the video.
Realizing how al Awfi's surrender undermines the credibility and the status of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, many forum members chose to refute the news of his surrender and claim that al Awfi had been arrested.
One member even claimed that "the Americans must've planted metal chips in al Awfi's body or else how did they manage to nab him so quickly?!"
Abu Dujana al Azdi, a pro-al Qaeda author and a regular contributor to the militant Islamist websites, published a "warning message" that was posted on all forums today. He told fellow members not to believe reports on the surrender of al Awfi until it's been confirmed by a trusted jihadi source. He suggested that this might be an ambush set by the Saudi intelligence to arrest many of the militants who would try to contact al Awfi upon hearing the "fabricated news."
Yesterday, al Arabiya News channel aired video of al Awfi looking weak and tired boarding a plane that was taking him back to Saudi Arabia from Yemen.
Following major arrests, Saudi authorities often run television broadcasts of what it calls "the confessions of the misled ones." If al Awfi appears on national television and retracts his militant ideas, it would be considered a serious blow to al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and its credibility.