Aeeda explains that upon the arrest of suspected AQAP members, popular committees interrogate them and, depending on whether or not they are found guilty, forward them to the nearest security department in the governorate.
We found out that one of them was Saudi and that the others weren't from Abyan, so we suspected them to be Al-Qaeda and took them to Abyan security," Aeeda said.
According to Aeeda, the Defense Ministry pays each committee member in Abyan a salary of YR30,000 ($140).
While Aeeda says that an agreement exists between the Defense Ministry and the head of the popular committees in Abyan, laying out ground rules, such as payment and tasks, the terms of the agreement are not accessible to the public.
They simply follow the commands of their leaders and it is almost impossible for leading figures on the district and governorate level to control whether or not they are doing their work, according to Aeeda.
The only specific rule mentioned by Aeeda is that popular committees can only use violence in self-defense.