Yemenis compete for AK-47 in al-Qaeda quiz, residents say

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Most of the questions focus on the organisation's interpretation of Islam

A damaged mosque in Taiz, Yemen (MEE)
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Last update: 
Friday 12 May 2017 8:48 UTC
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Al-Qaeda has started reaching out for recruits in Yemen by handing out quiz sheets, with an AK-47 assault rifle as top prize, residents and media have said.

Militants have been touring the southwestern city of Taiz in the build-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, putting up posters advertising the contest, residents reported late on Thursday.

They encourage people to pick up the sheets from group members. Most of the questions focus on the organisation's interpretation of Islam.

"Name three articles of the (Yemeni) constitution which contradict Islamic law," read one on a sheet seen by Reuters.

'Name three articles of the (Yemeni) constitution which contradict Islamic law'

Al-Qaeda quiz question

"Any person who follows a law other than Islamic law is an infidel who must be killed. List three (scriptural) references for this," asked another.

The first prize was a Chinese-made AK-47, the second a motorcycle and the third a laptop.

Others included a pistol and cash prizes of 20,000 rials ($80).

Yemen has one of the highest gun owenership rates in the world. The Small Arms Survey of 2007 estimated Yemen had about 58 weapons per 100 people. The United States had about 89 per 100 people.

The sheets did not give details on where to submit entries, but residents told Reuters the group's offices and mosques in the city were widely known.

Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch, one of the most active in the militant network, has taken advantage of the chaos in the Arabian Peninsula country to strengthen its positions, particularly in remote southern regions.