San’a:An offshoot of the Al Qaeda terror network is trying to re-brand itself to shed its negative ‘connotations and baggage’.
Yemen-based terror network, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is trying to rename itself as "Ansar al Sharia", which means Army of Islamic Law, and attract more foreigners to the organization as a part of its re-branding move.
"After Osama Bin Laden``s death and the Arab Spring, the name ``al-Qaeda`` seems to have negative connotations and baggage," The Sun quoted a senior Arab diplomat, as saying.
AQAP was responsible for a suicide bombing to target British ambassador in Yemen in 2010.
It also had a role in the foiled Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 over Detroit in 2009.
The movement is trying to take advantage of the increasing number of foreign fighters visiting Yemen.
A senior Yemeni official estimated that Yemen currently has over 1,000 foreign fighters, which is over four times the number of al-Qaeda operatives reportedly present the Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Centre for Strategic and International Studies’ Homeland Security Director Rick Nelson said "moving away from the larger al-Qaeda brand is something we``re starting to see more of".
He added that terrorists are "finding that the al-Qaeda core is no longer beneficial to be associated with...because their main leader is gone”, and Bin Laden``s successor Ayman al-Zawahiri is "not an effective replacement."