Al-Qaeda vows to sever hands of ‘corrupt’ Yemen officials

Boys walk on the ruins of their school which was bombed by Shi’ite militants of the Shi’ite al-Houthi group during conflicts against local tribes in the Hamdan area west of the Yemeni capital Sanaa March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Al-Qaeda has threatened to sever the hands of “corrupt” officials in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, where the jihadists have been trying to impose their strict version of Islamic sharia law.

“After we eliminated agents of the United States in Hadramawt and after we fought witchcraft and sorcery, we warn all corrupt officials in Hadramawt… that we will apply Allah’s law by kidnapping them and severing their hands,” said a statement signed by Ansar al-Sharia, the name under which Al-Qaeda in Yemen sometimes operates.

The statement was printed on leaflets distributed in the province, residents said.

Earlier this week, members of the network distributed similar leaflets forbidding women to leave their homes without a male guardian — known as “mahram” — and threatening to punish those who fail to comply with sharia…