To add to Yemen’s woes, yet another wannabe player in the maelstrom of Yemeni politics has entered the picture, this time announced through a Youtube video picture. Out in the desert in Yemen about a dozen or so masked militia men wielding full battle gear go through basic training maneuvers choreographed for the video. The leader, or at least the spokesman, stands in front of his men about half way through the exercise and pledges his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS caliph who is apparently wounded and perhaps not even alive anymore. Move over al-Qaida, Huthis and loyalists of Ali Abdullah Salih, there is now a small group of video performers somewhere out in the desert who have extended the caliphate to Yemen.

Caliphate allegiance groups are now the rave and not just in Yemen. The ISIS franchise marketing strategy is pure video, sometimes slick but at other times — as in this video — rather poorly done. Imagine a dozen guys with kalashnikovs in a couple of pick-up trucks rolling into Sanaa and terrorizing the Huthis. The problem that the creators of this video face is that not that many Yemenis can see their call due to the lack of electricity. If they are planning to attract disaffected American and European youth, a better format would be a hiphop or rap production, showing a MacDonalds or KFC Chicken or Pizza Hut in the background (there actually is a Pizza Hut in Sanaa, so that could be an incentive for the foreign fighters to take the capital for ISIS).

I think I have seen an earlier version of this video, but with a better ending. Check it out here also on Youtube…