Al-Qaeda Tempts Yemen Recruits With Quiz Offering AK-47 as Top Prize

Yemen's Taiz
Yemeni anti-regime gunmen flash V signs while patroling in the streets of the second largest city of Taiz (Taez) on December 4, 2011. Al-Qaeda is luring recruits, handing out quiz sheets with an AK-47 assault rifle as top prize. AFP/Getty Images

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 said on Thursday.

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.

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

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

"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).

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 souhern regions.