Response to 'proselytizing'? Al Qaeda group claims killing of US teacher in Yemen.

Joel Shrun, an American teaching English in Yemen, was killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen on Sunday. 

Anees Mahyoub/AP
The car American teacher Joel Shrun is towed away after he was gunned down Sunday morning in Taiz, Yemen.

Motorcycle-riding gunmen linked to Al Qaeda shot and killed an American teacher in the Yemeni city of Taiz on Sunday, and Yemeni officials said government forces killed up to 14 militants in clashes and artillery attacks on their strongholds.

The attacks underscore the challenges facing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who took office last month after a year of massive protests against his predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A police source in Taiz said a gunman riding on the motorcycle driven by an accomplice shot a US English language teacher who was also deputy director of a language school, the Swedish Institute.

Officials from the institute identified the victim as Joel Shrun and said he was born in 1983.

The gunmen, who escaped after the attack, were believed to be linked to Al Qaeda, the police source said. A group affiliated with the militant network claimed responsibility.

"This operation comes as a response to the campaign of Christian proselytizing that the West has launched against Muslims," an unidentified person said in a text message to journalists, claiming responsibility on behalf of the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law).

Islamic militants often accuse Western aid groups of proselytising.

Al Qaeda violence on rise

Yemen has seen an escalation of Al Qaeda violence since Hadi took office in February vowing to fight the Islamist network.

Taiz, 120 miles south of Sanaa, is a commercial hub where many foreigners live and work. It was a flashpoint for protests against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule.

Also on Sunday, a government warplane bombed Islamist militants in the southern city of Jaar, causing people to flee their homes, residents said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Ansar al-Sharia captured Jaar in Abyan Province in March last year after the outbreak of protests against Saleh and have turned it into their main base in southern Yemen.

Daily clashes break out around areas controlled by militants in southern Yemen. A local official said that up to 14 militants were killed in artillery attacks and clashes on Saturday north of the Abyan provincial capital of Zinjibar, the area of Bagdar and the town of Jaar.

The United States and Saudi Arabia, Yemen's neighbor and the world's biggest oil exporter, are concerned about Al Qaeda's expansion in Yemen where it has regrouped after suffering reverses in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

In early March, militants killed more than 110 soldiers in twin suicide attacks and said they had also captured some 70 soldiers.

* Additional reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf in Aden; Writing by Sami Aboudi and Martina Fuchs; Editing by Robin Pomeroy.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Response to 'proselytizing'? Al Qaeda group claims killing of US teacher in Yemen.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today