Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

First US airstrike in Saada, Yemen at Wadi Abu Jubarah

Filed under: Air strike, Saudi Arabia, USA, abu jubarah, obits, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:53 am on Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 2011 AQAP eulogy of Ammar al Waeli said, “His father was a leader in the mujahadin in Yemen who was appointed by (bin Laden) to open a training camp in the area of Saada.” The long established Abu Jubarah training camp is discussed in my 2010 article, Large al Qaeda camp in North Yemen dims peace prospects, politician says or see my category Saada, Abu Jubarah.

Air strike kills three al-Qaeda suspects in Sa’ada: Sa’ada Governor
Sunday 28 October 2012 / 26 September Net

26 September Net – Air strikes killed three Al-Qaeda militants on Sunday in the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada, Sa’ada governor told “26 September Net”.

“Three Al-Qaeda suspects were killed in the air strike targeted the suspects on Sunday in Wadi Aal Jubara, Sa’ada province” Sa’ada governor said, adding two of those killed were Saudi nationals and the third one is a Yemeni.

One of al-Qaeda chief called Omar Batais was injured in the strike.

It is believed the Saudis possessed money for financing al-Qaeda operations in some provinces, the governor went on to say.

He revealed the terrorists had been trying (ed- and succeeding) for more than five years to turn Wadi Abu Junbara a station for crossing to Mare, al-Jawf, Shabwa and Abyan provinces.

US drone and foreign fighters:

Brach Net – said a government official in the province of Saada, preferring anonymity in an exclusive authorized ¯ “politics”, said the plane that carried out the air strike on the area of Wadi Al Abu Jabara Directorate كتاف yesterday is an American drone.
And confirmed the existence of at least 70 militants of the leaders and elements of the organization in the Valley of the Abu Jabara, where “they have a training camp and allied by with the Salafists in fighting the Houthis in the past period and killed them more than 150 people at the hands of Houthis, including foreigners of different nationalities Saudi and Egyptian.”

Pres Hadi on US drones: more precise than the Yemeni Air Force

Filed under: Counter-terror, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:04 pm on Saturday, September 29, 2012

Drone strikes are an improvement from aging and imprecise Soviet aircraft in the Yemeni air force, said Hadi, and that’s indisputable. (Why Saleh poured millions on the decrepit MIGs is another story.) Hadi, like Obama, personally approves all strikes in advance.

President Hadi was the only foreign leader that Obama actually had a meeting with, and the US considers him much more reliable than Saleh, not a high threshold to beat. Hadi said there are more controls that should reduce or hopefully eliminate errors and civilian casualties which are the primary concern among Yemenis and others. With 33 airstrikes this year, and 10 last year, the ratio of the death of innocents has dropped substantially, if we use the US metric that every male over 16 killed in a drone strike is assumed a terrorist and legitimate target.

Those in Yemen like HOOD who continually decry a loss of Yemeni sovereignty over its airspace should be reassured, but probably won’t be, by Hadi’s comments that he retains control. Those who see the air strikes as the harbinger of an impending US invasion are disconnected from reality and/or engaging in incitement and wouldn’t be swayed by any facts or adjustments to the program. The Houthis consider the Youtube trailer for the 2002 movie Rules of Engagement to be an CIA blueprint of some sort, really. Its a phrase to be avoided.

NYT: President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, elected in a one-candidate election in February, said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars that the precision afforded by drones gave them a marked advantage over the aging Soviet aircraft in the Yemeni Air Force.

“They pinpoint the target and have zero margin of error, if you know what target you’re aiming at,” said Mr. Hadi, a former army officer and the successor to Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down after protests against his three-decade rule.

The United States “helped with their drones because the Yemeni Air Force cannot carry out missions at night,” he said. “The electronic brain’s precision is unmatched by the human brain.” —

On Tuesday, President Obama underscored America’s gratitude to Mr. Hadi by dropping by as the Yemeni president met in New York with John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser. While Mr. Obama spoke briefly with several heads of state at a reception during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Mr. Hadi was the only one singled out for a meeting.

CT center in Sanaa includes Oman, SA, US and Yemeni reps

WAPO: Yemen’s president said Saturday that he personally approves every U.S. drone strike in his country and described the remotely piloted aircraft as a technical marvel that has helped reverse al-Qaeda’s gains.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi also provided new details about the monitoring of counterterrorism missions from a joint operations center in Yemen that he said is staffed by military and intelligence personnel from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Oman…

Hadi’s comments mark the first time he has publicly acknowledged his direct role in a campaign of strikes by U.S. drones and conventional aircraft targeting an al-Qaeda franchise that is seen as the most potent terrorist threat to the United States.

“Every operation, before taking place, they take permission from the president,” Hadi said in an interview with reporters and editors from The Washington Post. Praising the accuracy of the remotely operated aircraft, he added, “The drone technologically is more advanced than the human brain.”

Hadi’s enthusiasm helps to explain how, since taking office in February after a popular revolt ended President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule, he has come to be regarded by Obama administration officials as one of the United States’ staunchest counterterrorism allies.

In a sign of Hadi’s standing, he was greeted by President Obama during meetings at the United Nations in New York last week and has met with a parade of top administration officials in Washington, including Vice President Biden, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The pace of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen has surged during the past year, as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula gained territory in the southern part of the country and continued to mount attacks against the United States, according to U.S. officials who said they disrupted an airline bomb plot earlier this year that originated in Yemen.

The U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA have carried out 33 airstrikes in Yemen this year, compared to 10 in 2011, according to the Long War Journal Web site, which tracks drone attacks.

In the interview, Hadi alluded to civilian casualties and errant strikes earlier in the campaign, which began in December 2009, but he said that the United States and Yemen have taken “multiple measures to avoid mistakes of the past.”

He also described a joint operations facility near Sanaa, the capital, that serves as an intelligence nerve center for operations against AQAP, as the terrorist group’s Yemeni affiliate is known. “You go to the operations center and see operations taking place step by step,” Hadi said.

U.S. Special Operations drones patrol Yemen from a base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. The CIA aircraft are flown from a separate facility on the Arabian Peninsula whose location has not been publicly disclosed.

AQAP and/or Houthis to Syria? Buzz

Filed under: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 10:36 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

Last week’s local buzz. Using al Qaeda as internationally supported mercenaries against Assad is an ominous concept. Hopefully no one on the planet thinks thats a good idea. Oh wait, that’s what happened in Libya. The Houthis lining up fighters behind Iran and Hezbollah is not impossible, but I’ve never seen them export fighters before, unlike al Qaeda, and they are not lock-step with Iran. It would be new.

Yemen Observer: Former al-Qaeda leader Tareq al-Fadhli said that Ansar al-Sharia militants affiliated to al-Qaeda organization have withdrawn recently from Zinjubar and Ja’ar cities of Abyan province as a matter of partaking in the war against the Syrian regime, local media reported. (Read on …)

Houthis cleaned up drug trade, blame Ali Mohsen for Midi hashish smuggling: report

Filed under: Biographies, Hajjah, Military, Ports, Saudi Arabia, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:09 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

This below is not from the official Houthi media but it is from a Houthi supporter if not an unofficial outlet. As with all posts presented here and explaining various Yemeni viewpoints, I am posting it to demonstrate the narrative and not as an endorsement of its authenticity. However it is well known the 1st Armoured Division did facilitate smuggling into Saudia during Saada War 1-5, and Ali Mohsen was a major figure in the black market international weapons trade as well as fuel smuggling with Faris Manna and Tawfiq Abdel Rahman respectively. As Amb Krajeski correctly noted in a Wikileaks cable:

“Ali Mohsen’s questionable dealings with terrorists and extremists, however, would make his accession unwelcome to the US and others in the international community,” Krajeski wrote.

“He is known to have Salafi leanings and to support a more radical Islamic political agenda than Saleh. He has powerful Wahhabi supporters in Saudi Arabia and has reportedly aided the [Saudis] in establishing Wahhabi institutions in northern Yemen.

He is also believed to have been behind the formation of the Aden-Abyan army, and is a close associate of noted arms dealer Faris Manna.

For years, he acted as Saleh’s iron fist, building a reputation at home that lies somewhere between fear and revulsion,” reported Krajeski.

Googlish below regarding the latest bust : (Read on …)

Saudis give 2.2 bill in oil products to Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Oil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:43 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Saleh’s partner Tawfiq Abdel Rahman still the sole distributor of oil products in Yemen?

Saudis give $2.2 billion in oil products to Yemen at donor conference
Tuesday 04 September 2012 162012000000Tue, 04 Sep 2012 16:12:24 +0300 04 PM / 26 September Net

Saudi Arabia has provided Yemen with fuel and other oil products valued at $2.2 billion to relief its domestic demand, deputy minister for external financial affairs said at donors’ conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Read on …)

Hashish bust at Midi port, Hajjah Yemen

Filed under: Hajjah, Hodeidah, Islands, Saudi Arabia, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 7:56 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

300 kilos (660 lbs) hash, conservatively and roughly valued at $ 2000 per kg is worth over a half million dollars. That’s a lot of money, I’m wondering about a typo. Here’s another report at FNA saying its cannabis.

Yemen Post

The border guard in western Yemen seized on Saturday 300 kg of hashish that smugglers had planned to sell in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry reported.

The stash was seized on the Thu Hirab island in the Midi district, it said, pointing out that the hashish quantities were concealed inside 6 bags.

Two Ethiopian smugglers were arrested, it said, adding that the two and the hashish were given to the army battalion in the Luhaya district as a prelude to hand them over to the police in Hodeida province, the ministry added.

In recent years, Yemen has been as a transit hub to smuggle drugs coming from other countries including Pakistan and Iran to Gulf countries.

Earlier this year, the authorities destroyed tonnes of drugs worth millions of US dollars that were seized last year.
In the past few years, tens of smugglers including Yemenis, Africans, Iranians and Pakistanis were arrested in some Yemeni cities while trading in and smuggling drugs.

Related: “The (US) Coast Guard has determined that the Republic of Yemen is not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures in some of its ports…(with the exception of Ash Shihr Terminal – YEASR-0001; Balhaf LNG Terminal – IMO number not listed; and Port of Hodeidah – YEHOD-0001)”

For earlier happenings on Midi Island include weapons and drug smuggling and many instances of exploding boats.

Related: Revolutionary Guard ‘running Iran drug trade’

Also see my 2008 article: Yemeni Arms Fuels Instability in Somalia, keeping in mind UN sanctioned major weapons dealer Faris Manna (who worked in conjunction with the Saleh regime and Saleh personally for years) is now recognized as governor of Saada.

2012 Donors Conference on Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just saving some references:
Yemen Post

Donor countries and organizations pledged to provide $6.4 billion in aid to Yemen during the transitional period 2012-2014, the Yemeni official agency Saba reported on Tuesday.
Other countries and organizations said they will announce their pledges the Friends of Yemen meeting which will be held on September 27 in New York, the agency said.
Yemen is undergoing the two-year transitional period under the power-transfer deal which was brokered by the GCC countries and backed by the West after the 2011 turmoil.
It is seeking about $11 billion to bridge the financial gap based on the transitional program for stabilization and development 2012-2014 as the country is reeling from the unrest that has deepened its woes.
In May, Friends of Yemen held a meeting in Riyadh and pledged $4.24 billion in aid to Yemen but that will be officially given in the New York meeting later this month.
Prime Minister, Muhammad Salim Basindwa, said the Yemeni government will take special measures to use the external aid including the establishment of an international fund to channel and oversee the spending aid on investments and development.
On the margins of the conference, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed three accords including one under which the Saudi Fund for Development will deposit $1 billion in the Central Bank of Yemen to stabilize the national currency and help the government cope with economic challenges.
The two other agreements were for giving $26 million from the Saudi kingdom, $20 million to help Yemen build a 60-megawatts power plant in Taiz province and $6 million as contribution to the Yemeni health sector.
At a news conference after the first day of the 4-5 September conference, Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said the pledges should be released soon to help the country overcome all challenges at the moment, according to Saba.

al Sahwa

A Yemeni economist, Dr. Mohammad al-Afandi, has expected that the Yemeni government will succeed in absorbing donor’s financial pledges to be provided to Yemen during the donor meeting held on Tuesday in Riyadh.

He affirmed that the government has good program, pointing out that aids presented to Yemen will help implement the political settlement.

He warned that the delay of supporting Yemen will lead to worsening economic problems and impediment of the settlement.

Saudi Arabia had pledged US$3.25bn in aid at a meeting of Friends of Yemen held in Riyadh in May during which a total of $4bn were pledged.

Yemen’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, Mohammed Al Saadi, said last week that his country needs $11bn in foreign aid.

Obama admin leaking intl for political payoff?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, UK, USA, Yemen, airliner — by Jane Novak at 6:17 am on Sunday, May 27, 2012

Examiner.com but not me:

An alleged intelligence leak regarding a covert operation that thwarted an “underwear bomb” plot last week is now creating distrust and ill feelings within the U.S. intelligence community and has led to increased talk about intelligence leaks at the highest levels of government, according to terrorism experts on Friday. (Read on …)

Naif al Kahtani killed again in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 12:21 am on Saturday, November 19, 2011

YT: SANAA, Nov. 13 — At least six Al-Qaeda members were killed in an aerial raid on Saturday in Zinjibar, Abyan, a southern governorate and a stronghold of the terrorist group.

Naif Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia was named as one of the six killed in the raid by the Yemeni army in the north of Zinjibar.

Three other Al-Qaeda members were killed in an ambush by armed tribesmen allying the Yemeni army in the north east of Al-Taria in Zinjibar.

Official sources claimed that Al-Qaeda members have been coming from the Horn of Africa and east Asia, according to the UPL news website.

Despite the fact that news outlets have been talking about the “seizing of Zinjibar” by Islamists since May, Al-Qaeda experts in Yemen said that state soldiers withdrew on purpose to give militants a chance to settle in the area.

According to an Al-Qaeda expert who preferred not to be named, “the whole Al-Qaeda story has no reality and it is only made up by the government”.

The aerial shelling by the Yemeni government and the US, coupled with the conflict between militants and tribesmen in Zinjibar has caused more than 30,000 citizens to flee their home to live in Aden’s schools and other places.

Other critics accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of allowing the militants to take over districts in the south such as Zinjibar in Abyan to support the view that without him, Yemen would become a stronghold of Al-Qaeda.

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef: anti al Qaeda, pro-Wahabbi

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

Following the death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan on Oct 22, King Abdullah appointed Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Interior Minister since 1975, as Crown Prince and next in line to the throne.

Prince Nayef is best known in the US for spearheading the crackdown on al Qaeda that drove many terrorists to find refuge in Yemen. The ramped up Saudi CT posture after 2003 included mass arrests (including torture and detention without trial, a multi-pronged jihaddi rehabilitation program, and increased security measures including a border fence with Yemen. A media campaign designed to shame al Qaeda included televised condemnations from the terrorists’ families that increased social pressure.

Nayef’s successes against AQ prompted Yemen’s AQAP to target him for assassination during a feigned surrender in Aug 09. Nayef suffered only light injuries from a PETN bomb designed by Ibrahim al Asiri (still at large in Yemen), whose brother was the suicide bomber.

Nayef is also known as a “conservative,” and in Saudi Arabia that means thwarting popular efforts toward civil rights and governmental accountability. Nayef is a strong supporter of the supremacist, takfiri Wahabbi doctrine and infrastructure. Domestically he undercut efforts at incremental reforms, including women driving or voting, as well as the continued repression of Saudi Shia’s demands for equal rights.

Nayef served as the de facto head of Saudi Arabia when both the King and Prince Sultan faced medical issues over the last years. Nayef signed off on the deployment of the Saudi military to Bahrain to augment the violent crack down on Bahrain’s Arab Spring (and its Shia majority.)

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia overtly committed substantial war crimes during the Saada War, which was fought near the Yemen/Saudi border. The kingdom provided billions of dollars to President Saleh, and Saudi fighter jets conducted months of air strikes in Yemen, aimed at the annihilation of the Shia Houthi rebels.

These well documented of Saudi violations of international law include indiscriminately bombing villages and civilian infrastructure, denying border passage for humanitarian aid and returning Yemeni refugees to the war zone (refouling). Wikileaks cables reveals that the Saudis were well aware that Saudi airstrikes in Yemen caused substantial civilian fatalities, and successfully leveraged the bombing of a Yemeni hospital and other mistakes to obtain satellite imagery from the US. The Saudi’s aggressive posture toward the Houthis was largely fueled by fear of its own repressed Shia minority.

Earlier this year, Nayef and his son assumed control over Saudi Arabia’s patronage network in Yemen, through which the kingdom distributes billions in direct payments to Yemeni Sheikhs, clerics and politicians as well as Wahabbi institutes and organizations.

TFE: Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud has appointed Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud as the new crown prince, the Royal Court said in a statement issued last Friday, signaling an orderly process of future succession in the world’s largest oil exporter.

The selection of 78-year-old Prince Nayef to succeed Prince Sultan as the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia ushers in the beginning of what promises to be a season of big changes at the top of the royal family and cabinet, all set in the midst of the Arab awakening. Newly appointed Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has been minister of the interior since 1975…

Earlier this year Nayef publicly admonished a member of the mainly consultative Shura Council who had called for a review of the ban on women driving.

“This means less for Saudi Arabia’s external relations than it does internally because a lot of people there, especially women, are apprehensive that Nayef will close back down some of the space that Abdullah has opened up around individual citizens,” said Thomas Lippman, a Saudi Arabia specialist at the Middle East Institute in Washington…

Nayef has strong support among Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi clerics. But he is said to have little sympathy for political Islamist groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, which he views as a threat to the ruling family’s grip on power…In the run-up to Saudi Arabia’s 2005 municipal elections, it was Nayef who decided that women should not be allowed to vote. Scholars say he may pursue policies that expand his base of support within security services and Islamist groups.

Drone strike gets bomb maker al Asiri too; Update: No?

Filed under: Air strike, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, UPS bombs, Yemen, fahd, prince — by Jane Novak at 4:06 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update: Yemen Officials report he was not killed.

Original: Nice! The death of Ibrahim al Asiri is huge and should quell any whining doubting the threat from Anwar, who in reality was fully operational, focused on the US and associated with numerous plots. Al Asiri was responsible for the bomb in the assassination plot on Saudi Prince Naif, the Nigerian’s underwear bomb, the toner cartridges on the UPS plane, and they were experimenting with poisons including the poison perfume plot and there was the warning about riacin and the castor beans. Bad news dudes all around.

The fact that the Saudi bomb maker al Asiri was in the car with two American al Qaeda jihaddists shows in itself what they were up to. The drone strike likely saved the lives of untold thousands and whether Yemenis believe it or not, saved a lot of misery for the Yemeni people. Also the strike was executed perfectly in that there were no civilians anywhere around.

There has been some confusion that the location of Awlaki’s death (al Jawf en route to Marib) means he wasn’t involved in AQAP (??!! really I read that today) or their occupation of Zinjibar; however, earlier reports indicated the terrorists brought items looted from Abyan residents to Marib to be divided up there, causing tension along regional lines.

Now that they are dead, lets get back to the war of ideas and support representative democracy, equal rights and freedom of the press.

There’s less much grumbling about the strike in Yemen than there is in the US, beyond the expected statement by HOOD. Actually many Yemenis are happy to be free of the burden of Anwar and all are cursing AQAP because of the atrocities the fanatics are committing in Abyan, including executing a suspected witch and another man after a dispute ( link to vid here) and cutting off a teen’s arm for stealing. The boy later died. Over 100,000 fled al Qaeda when they took control of, and looted, the provincial capital Zinjibar and the families are living in schools in Aden since May.

Yesterday’s anti-government protests by millions around Yemen was themed in unity with and support of the Syrian people’s struggle against Assad. A secondary theme was in rejection of the fatwa, requested by President Saleh and delivered by 500 state clerics, that finds public demonstrations against the state and for regime change are illegitimate under Islam. I am quite concerned by the fatwa; through the years, Saleh fatwa’d his opposition before attacking them. Nonetheless I am trying to convince the Yemeni protesters to adopt AC/DC’s Highway to Hell as a theme song.

Saleh continues to dissemble, as he will unto infinity, saying that the protests have to end before the VP can sign the GCC initiative: He pointed out that signing of the Vice President to the initiate depends on the readiness of the other side, adding that the Gulf initiative states to remove the causes of tension as tension elements are known to all and power can not be transferred without implementing this item. Saleh also says General Ali Mohsen and Hamid al Ahmar should leave Yemen before he does. The only bright spot is that Sec. Clinton appears to have moved off the GCC plan to an agreement of principles; nonetheless Saleh has never been motivated to any action by what is in the best interests of the Yemeni people. He only operates in self-interest although not in a rational manner.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two US officials say the drone strike in Yemen that killed Anward al-Awlaki appears to have also killed al-Qaida’s top Saudi bomb-maker.

Officials say intelligence indicates Ibrahim al-Asiri also died in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the death has not been officially confirmed.

Al-Asiri is the bomb-maker believed to have made the explosives used in the foiled Christmas Day airline attack in 2009 and last year’s attempted cargo plane bombing.

Al-Asiri’s death would make the attack perhaps the most successful single drone strike ever.

(HT: Weasel Zippers)

Saudis approved and facilitated Saleh’s return?

Filed under: Post Saleh, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 3:05 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

I’m starting to think that claim of three weeks of surveillance is likely propaganda. It would be a typical Saleh move.

CNN: Saleh returns to Yemen as al-Awlaki was killed

But several analysts consulted by CNN said the Saudis were concerned that the growing unrest in Yemen could morph into outright civil war — in a country that shares a long and porous desert border with the kingdom.

The rationale in Riyadh, according to these analysts, was that only Saleh had the guile and stature to pull his country back from the brink, despite his injuries and his array of enemies. And at the same time, Saleh would be best placed to turn up the heat on al Qaeda, now established in at least two eastern provinces and in parts of southern Yemen.

Diplomatic sources in the Gulf say that far from being surprised by Saleh’s return, the Saudi authorities sanctioned and assisted in it, providing a jet that flew him to the southern city of Aden in the early hours of Friday last week. They say Saleh did not fly directly to Sanaa, the capital, because the airport and the route into the city are not reliably under government control. In fact, the capital is now a patchwork of pro- and anti-Saleh enclaves.

A helicopter was waiting at the Aden airport to fly Saleh 200 miles to the presidential palace in Sanaa before dawn. Again, arriving by air was probably preferable to negotiating the chaotic streets of the capital.

Saleh tricked Saudis and escaped, US unhappy: US diplo

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, USA, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:06 am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There is a reason I call him “The lunatic dictator of Yemen,” and “The king of spin”.

Its a difficult story to swallow, and neither the US or SA has a good track record of credibility. Sad to say, there’s just too many times Saleh lied and the Obama administration swore to it.

FT: Yemen’s president appears to have tricked his Saudi hosts when he unexpectedly returned home last week, exacerbating the stand-off between his regime and the country’s pro-democracy protest movement.

According to a senior US official, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, “bolted the kingdom under the pretence of going to the airport for something else”.

Neither the US nor the Saudis were aware of his planned departure, said the official, calling it a “clever, canny” trick by the president. “We are not happy at all.” he added.

Other western officials have also expressed frustration at Mr Saleh’s return to Yemen, with two different versions of his flight circulating in diplomatic circles. One says he told the Saudis he had decided to move to Ethiopia; the other suggests he went to the airport on the pretence of seeing off other Yemeni officials. Saudi officials could not be reached for comment. They have previously described Mr Saleh as a “guest” whose movements were not restricted. A Yemeni government official strongly denied that Mr Saleh had evaded the Saudis at the airport, describing the claim as “baseless”.

The Saudi Arab News: Saleh is the problem

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Monday, September 26, 2011

whoa, thats it. it would be lovely if this is an official position as well

President should know he can no longer be part of the solution to the problem

Yemen is burning all over again. Protesters in Sanaa are preparing for a long, messy revolt. Opposition held mass protests yesterday, escalating demands for the immediate departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Earlier, a general was killed and 30 other troops loyal to Saleh were taken hostage when tribesmen overnight attacked their base north of Sanaa.

The world community, Arabs in particular, expected Saleh to learn from his mistakes and make a fresh start to bring peace and stability to his wounded and long-suffering nation. Clearly though the Yemeni leader seems to have learned no lessons from his own experience or the developments in the neighborhood. All attempts and appeals by the Arab and GCC leadership to make him see reason have so far fallen on deaf ears. Addicted to unlimited power of the past four decades and hubris that comes with it, he remains singularly blind to the havoc his intransigence has wreaked on Yemen and its people. He says his future should be determined at the ballot box.

When Saleh left Yemen after being grievously injured in an attack on the presidential palace in June, people had burst out on the streets in spontaneous jubilations celebrating his departure. Alas, their rejoicing proved premature. They are stuck with someone who genuinely seems to believe he’s indispensable. Nobody expected Saleh to return to Yemen after those unprecedented celebrations on the day of his departure. If he had any love for his people, Yemen wouldn’t be in the mess it finds itself in today. And now with this military crackdown led by his son and use of mortar and heavy weaponry against peaceful protesters, he has crossed all limits. Totally unarmed civilians including women and children are getting killed by their own troops. Not even young people squatting in the Change Square and singing national anthem are spared.

What will it take to persuade a ruler that his time is up? How many innocents have to die before the world community decides enough is enough? Today, the demand for Saleh’s departure is no longer the demand of the Yemeni people alone. All Arab, Muslim and Western countries have been urging him to leave immediately. The Gulf Cooperation Council has come up with at least three initiatives to resolve the crisis. In fact, a peace accord brokered by Gulf states offering him a dignified exit and a fresh start for Yemen has been ready for months. Saleh twice came close to inking it but opted out at the last minute. He simply refuses to see that he cannot be part of a solution. He is the problem.

Clearly, the world community needs to take some bold and effective steps — and fast — to break this impasse in Yemen and bring the much-needed reprieve to its people. The silence and inaction of the international community only emboldens the discredited regime in Sanaa. The United States must stop treating Saleh with kid gloves. Unfortunately, it has been more concerned with the “war on terror,” building its military bases and expanding drone attacks and military campaign against Al-Qaeda. But the longer the world remains silent over the brutality of regimes like that of Yemen and Syria, the more innocents are killed. Silence kills — literally.

Saleh the mass murderer returns to Yemen from Saudi Arabia: state media

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:55 am on Friday, September 23, 2011

He is like a sickness, a disease that has plagued Yemen for 30 years and is killing it now. He is a walking disaster. How could the Saudis let him leave? There’s going to be a lot of blood shed before he goes again. We are going on five straight days of violence already. Saleh paid AQAP to take over Zinjibar, there is no doubt. When is there going to be a US policy in Yemen that is forward looking and matches the realities on the ground?

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni state television and radio say President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to the country from Saudi Arabia after an absence of more than three months following a rocket attack on his compound.

The media say Saleh arrived in Sanaa by private plane at dawn on Friday, as heavy fighting raged in the Yemeni capital. There were no other details.

Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia in June, after he was seriously injured in an attack on his presidential compound.

Yemen’s turmoil began in February as the unrest spreading through the Arab world set off largely peaceful protests in the deeply impoverished and unstable country.

Maybe Saleh took Obama’s UN speech (defining the enemy of the Yemeni people as a corrupt system and the solution as early elections) as a green light: “In Yemen, men, women and children gather by the thousands in towns and city squares every day with the hope that their determination and spilled blood will prevail over a corrupt system. America supports those aspirations. We must work with Yemen’s neighbors and our partners around the world to seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition of power from President Saleh, and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible.” ( Politico)

Conversely, maybe the US’s giddy statements last week (Brennan, Nuland) anticipating the VP’s signing the GCC accord on Monday irked him.

US, SA continue push for immunity as death toll mounts

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 4:41 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Its just unbelievable that the US keeps re-upping the immunity deal as people are being slaughtered in the streets. It shows the lack of value the US places on Yemeni lives. Its a free pass to murder. The drone campaign shows a similar callousness. Are Yemenis less than human or just not quite as human as Americans? The US position is all the worse considering the complicity of the Saleh regime in creating the AQAP threat to the US and Yemen.

Yemen: Protester Killings Show Perils of Immunity Deal
Rights Council Should Call for UN Monitors

(New York, September 20, 2011) – Yemeni security forces used excessive force when they opened fire on anti-government protesters in Sanaa on September 18, 2011, and in Taizz on September 19, killing at least 27 and wounding hundreds, Human Rights Watch said today. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that security forces in Sanaa first sprayed demonstrators with sewage, and then, after protesters responded by throwing rocks, fired directly on them without warning, using rocket-propelled grenades as well as assault rifles and heavy machine guns.

The attacks began six days after President Ali Abdullah Saleh authorized his vice president to resume negotiations on a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered accord, backed by the United States and the European Union, under which the president would resign in exchange for immunity from prosecution for any crime. The immunity deal would extend to Saleh’s relatives, who control key security forces, including Central Security. Negotiators should ensure that a resignation deal does not include immunity from international crimes, including crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said, especially in light of the continuing, unjustified lethal attacks by security forces on largely peaceful anti-government protesters. (Read on …)

Republican Guard flees base, Saleh meets king

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:41 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saleh meets Saudi king for the first time since June, as reports emerge of Saudi weapons and vehicle shipment to Yemen.

M&C: Cairo/Sana’a – Thousands of opposition protesters backed by military defectors late Monday seized a base of the elite Republican Guards who are loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh in the capital, Arab media reported.

Just hours after 32 protesters were killed by Yemeni troops, the protesters and ex-soldiers stormed the base without firing a single shot, Al Arabiya quoted witnesses as saying. The Republican guards fled the base, leaving their weapons behind, the channel said.

Ahram: Forces of Yemen’s embattled president Ali Abdullah Salih fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation.

The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base Monday without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials.

Some carried sticks and rocks. They used sandbags to erect barricades to protect their comrades from the possibility of weapons fire from inside the base, but none came and the Republican Guards eventually fled, leaving their weapons behind.

Although the base was not particularly large _ the Republican Guards have bigger ones in the capital and elsewhere in Yemen _ its capture buoyed the protesters’ spirits and signaled what could be the start of the collapse of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year-old regime.

Saudi al Qaeda Qahtani surrenders from Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, obits, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 4:19 am on Monday, September 19, 2011

also two wanted Saudis killed in Zinjibar, see SG

Al Arabyia: An alleged al-Qaeda member who is one of 47 on an Interpol wanted list has said he will turn himself in, the Saudi interior ministry said on Sunday.

“The wanted man Mujab Mohammed Jamal al-Qahtani has called his family telling them of his decision and asking them for help to return home and hand himself over,” said a ministry spokesman in comments carried by state news agency SPA.

“Security services have arranged for his arrival and for reuniting him with his family upon his return,” the spokesman said in the statement, which gave no details on Qahtani’s current whereabouts or when he will return.

He will be dealt with “according to the procedures followed in similar cases, and his initiative will be taken into consideration when looking into his case,” the spokesman said.

Saudis funded Islahis in al Jawf for battles against Houthis

Filed under: Dammaj, Islah, Media, Sa'ada, Saudi Arabia, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 12:34 pm on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The following interview with the manager of Saada Radio gives a glimpse into Saada and al Jawf including the recent clashes between the Houthis and local Islahis:

Yemen Times
Q: But, some locals in Sa’ada told us that the Houthis do not allow anyone to air an opinion against them, for instance, describing them as Twelver Shiites.

A: First of all it is misleading to say that the Houthis are Twelver Shiites. They are not. They are Zaydis.

Are you a Houthi?

No I’m not Houthi, I’m a state-employee at Sa’ada Radio. We used to be against the Houthis. I’m Zaydi and over 99 percent of the population in Sa’ada is Zaydi, but there is no group here called Twelver Shiites.

And it is not true that the Houthis prohibit others from expressing their opinions. If this were true, they would prevent the Salafists from practicing their traditions such as Taraweeh prayer [a prayer done at night during Ramadan after the Al-Esha festival], which does not exist in the Zaydi school.

But if you went to Sa’ada today, you would find the religious traditions of both Zaydis and Salafists performed in their mosques with no problems. They are not going to bring their prayers out of the mosque and argue that our Zaydi School approves of this religious practice. And not only Salafists, but Islahis practice there as well.

There is also hard-core group of Salafists called Muqbil group. They are extremists and they have their school in Damaj, Sa’ada. They carry out their traditions in complete freedom. (Read on …)

Saudi most wanted terrorsts in Zinjibar, Abyan, Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:32 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Throwing all Saudi related AQAP news here: (Read on …)

UN fails to issue war crimes indictment for Saleh, issues statement about Al Qaeda

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 6:55 pm on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Unbelievable!! UN Envoy Jamal Benomar was in Yemen twice, for weeks, supposedly to conduct an investigation. He issued his report today, and apparently failed to recommend a war crimes trial for Saleh or even freezing his assets. Instead the UN SC issues a statement deploring the humanitarian situation and expressing concerns about al Qaeda. One of the opposition politicians called Benomar “Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN,” and I see why.

“All parties” cannot form “an inclusive government,” because Saleh and his regime have been excluded by the Yemeni people, who have a right to determine their own government. “Saleh’s followers” are his western-armed family and paid operatives. Saleh and his family are the problem and not part of the solution. The UN SC supports the GCC plan which is never going to happen without the consent of the governed, and they don’t consent. And after Saleh rejected it three times, the US, UN, UK are just looking foolish for acting as if there’s some shred of credibility to anything Saleh says. There’s not and has never been. What a total failure international efforts have been; well if their goal is slowing and delaying the transition then I guess they’ve worked as planned so far.

Al-Qaeda threat in Yemen: UN


August 10, 2011 –
: The UN Security Council says al-Qaeda could exploit the power vacuum in Yemen to gain an even greater foothold in the country.

The 15-nation council urged followers of ailing president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition to quickly settle Yemen’s fate because of the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the country.

The UN body gave strong support to efforts by the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to end the Yemen crisis. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Saleh released from hospital, stays in Saudi

Filed under: Post Saleh, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:48 am on Sunday, August 7, 2011

Its ironic that the racist Saleh, who laughingly called southerners “Somalis” as an insult, is several shades darker now. Its funny that jurists are arguing if he has been incompetent for 60 days, which constitutionally triggers new elections, when Saleh has been incompetent for decades. Its pathetic that the shriveled up old megalomaniac thinks he and his family can still rule.

Related post by News of the Yemeni Revolution, a great site for hourly updates from across Yemen in English on FB: “Deputy Secretary-General of the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, Sakhr Alwajeeh, denied what was confirmed by the US ambassador in Sana’a on undisclosed negotiations between the ruling party and the opposition. Alwajeeh confirmed that there are no negotiations at all for the transfer of power between the opposition parties (JMP) and the ruling party (GCP).”

NYR later notes the mythical negotiations got stuck when the GPC insisted Saleh will transfer his power as head of the ruling party, which was rejected by the JMP who require Saleh transfer his presidential powers. Saleh’s side has never negotiated in good faith and will never carry out an agreement in good faith. The JMP has never been an effective mechanism of representation It was the failure of the entire political system, the JMP and GPC, that brought about the revolution. Negotiations between these two sides is not the solution–the solution as the youth said from day one is for Saleh and his family to go.

8/6 RIYADH AFP — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh left hospital Saturday, more than two months after he was wounded in a bombing at his Sanaa residence, but he will remain in Riyadh, a Saudi official told AFP.

“The Yemeni president left the military hospital this evening at 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) after receiving the necessary treatment and was taken to a temporary residence for a recovery period,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He did not say how long Saleh would stay, as an uprising continues in Yemen against his government.

Saleh was admitted to the Saudi military hospital the day after the June 3 attack on his official residence. He appeared on television on July 7 for the first time since the bombing, covered in bandages.

Three days later, he was shown on television receiving John Brennan, US President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser. Saleh was in better shape than in his earlier appearance, although burns on his face were still visible.

The White House said Brennan had called on Saleh during the meeting to sign a transition plan sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that would see him cede power within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Since Saleh’s departure to Saudi Arabia, Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has assumed power but has not been designated the de facto head of state.

The opposition, meanwhile, has called for the creation of an interim council, to prevent Saleh’s return.

Saudi al Qaeda surrenders

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, other jihaddists, prince, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 5:38 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011

Excellent lets hop ehe brought back a substantial amount of inside information on AQAP. Maybe all their questionable practices like dressing up like women,

Riyadh, 4 Aug. (AKI) – A Saudi fugitive accused of being a member Al-Qaeda and hiding in neighbouring Yemen recently turned himself in to police in Saudi Arabia, according to newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. (Read on …)

Aden, Yemen bomber identified as Saudi al Qaeda Turki al Sharani

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Saudi Arabia, obits, security timeline, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:54 am on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Odd the explosives expert would kill himself, normally these cowards send brainwashed teenagers to do the dirty work. We have al Shahrani showing up several times on the lists of the Saudi Most Wanted. Yemen is becoming the proxy location for the conflict between the Saudi royals and the Saudi fanatics. Related: Wahishi pledges AQAP loyalty to Zawaheri, a tad late no? Jealous or under pressure maybe. Wahishi notes both the government and the opposition support the drone campaign.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni authorities identified the bomber who rammed an explosive-laden car into a military convoy on Monday in Aden as Turki Saad Muhammad Qulais Al-Shahrani. (Read on …)

Obama policies drive Yemeni protesters to boycott

Filed under: Counter-terror, Post Saleh, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 am on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

boycott3.jpg

Protesters in Yemen announced a boycott today of US and Saudi products, a largely symbolic move in light of Yemen’s grave humanitarian crisis. Protesters allege that the Obama administration has thwarted their efforts for regime change.

Millions across Yemen have demanded the end to the 33 year reign of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family in six months of protests. State forces have slaughtered nearly 1000 protesters, often by firing directly into crowds of the unarmed protesters.

US intransience is thought to be linked to efforts to salvage hundreds of millions of dollars spent to train and equip Yemeni counter terror forces under the direction of Saleh’s relatives, known as The Four Thugs.

Protesters charge the US trained counter-terror forces have perpetrated many of the many fatal attacks on the civilian population. US military officials have said they have seen no direct evidence. The US has seen very little return on its investment as the security forces are riddled with al Qaeda supporters.

The protesters’ platform called for a transitional council to replace President Saleh who is in Saudi Arabia recovering from injuries suffered in a bombing. Another top demand is the restructuring of the security forces which have a long history of torture, corruption and al Qaeda facilitation. The Obama adminstration vetoed the idea and instead has imposed a transition plan that leaves most of the Saleh regime in place.

The Yemeni public has very little support for al Qaeda and is demanding a modern civil state that affords equal rights to all sects in Yemen’s religously pluralistic landscape.

By Jane Novak, Yemen Headlines Examiner

Houthis battle Islah in al Jawf

Filed under: Islah, Post Saleh, Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:48 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

Its been a low grade conflict in al Jawf for some time, as discussed earlier, the Islahis take turns with the regime forces fighting the Houthis.

Reuters: (Reuters) – Factional fighting in Yemen’s north entered its fifth day on Tuesday, bringing violence closer to the border with Saudi Arabia, while the United States’ top counter-terrorism official visited Sanaa.

Twenty-three people have been killed and dozens injured in the northern province of Jawf since clashes broke out on Friday between members of Yemen’s main opposition party Islah and northern Shi’ite rebels known as Houthis. (Read on …)

Rejecting guardianship and foreign interference Friday in Yemen

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, USA, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:20 am on Friday, July 8, 2011

Huge nationwide demonstrations today in nearly every governorate in Yemen against foreign interference (US and Saudi Arabia) thwarting the rev, vids at al Masdar US policy continues to alienate and frustrate millions in Yemen.

Ghamdi sanctioned by US as AQAP fundraiser, two other Ghamdis in SA

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 7:51 pm on Saturday, June 18, 2011

YOL Former Guantanamo detainee in Yemen named to US terrorist list 18/6/2011

The State Department Thursday added a freed Guantanamo detainee to its list of government-sanctioned terrorists, saying the Saudi Arabian soldier is now a fundraiser for the Yemeni offshoot al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula. (Read on …)

Saudi King calls for Saleh’s departure: Mareb Press

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:26 am on Saturday, May 28, 2011

According to Mareb Press, Saudi Arabia withdrew its objection to sending Ali Abdullah Saleh to the UN’s ICC, and King Abdullah called for Saleh’s departure, an excellent development. But there’s nothing in the western media about the call.

Diplomatic sources said that the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz told Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a telephone conversation with him yesterday he ’should be giving up’ for power after a bloody confrontation with all the Al Ahmar in Sana’a during the last few days…The sources added that the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council yesterday decided to take a complete file of Yemen to the UN Security Council to take decisive action shifting to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the authority immediately after the GCC states has made strenuous efforts to persuade him to do so during the last period.

I have the documentation and a timeline of Saleh’s violations of international law. The year 2005 alone is enough to convict Saleh of crimes against humanity. 2009 was another doozy between crimes against the southerners and in Saada. Bringing Saleh to the ICC is an important development that will foster national cohesion, as it is the Southerners’ long standing demand and will broaden national understanding of crimes in the south as well as Saada. The hundreds killed in recent protests and financial crimes are additional topics.

A trial balloon? Pressure tactic? al Masdar reports the information came from a Saudi TV talk show and has not been announced in the official Saudi media. Al Arabyia is reporting it now as well.

(Read on …)

Saleh afraid of coup if he leaves Yemen to sign agreement

Filed under: GCC, GPC, JMP, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, USA, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:22 am on Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saleh was never going to honor the GCC plan anyway, and his balking at leaving the country is reasonable (there very well could be a coup) and another tactic to encourage yet more concessions and reset the clock.

CNN: Yemen’s president says he won’t leave the country to sign a hard-fought political deal because he fears his departure could spark a coup, a senior ruling party official told CNN on Saturday.

The stance threatens to collapse an agreement brokered by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to end the violent political standoff across Yemen, still reeling this week from one of the deadliest days in months of protests that have pitted demonstrators against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Read on …)

Yemen’s JMP sets 2 week deadline for Saleh’s exit from power

Filed under: GCC, JMP, Military, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Thursday, April 14, 2011

They decline to attend talks in Riyadh. Saleh and Ali Mohsen accept the proposal for dialog, the US and EU support the idea, the JMP and the protesters reject it. If the JMP had gone to Riyadh, they would have lost all credibility with the protesters. Its unclear what the JMP are going to do after the two weeks when Saleh is still in power. Whatever promises the GCC extracts from Saleh will be broken. Furthermore the exclusion of the southern mobility from the whole process is a big mistake.

AJE Yemen’s opposition has set a two-week deadline for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step aside, rejecting a Saudi-brokered, Gulf-backed initiative to end the country’s political turmoil.

“We have renewed our emphasis on the need for speeding the process of (Saleh) standing down within two weeks. Therefore we will not go to Riyadh,” Mohammed al-Mutawakkil, a prominent opposition leader, said on Thursday, referring to the proposed talks in the Saudi capital.

This comes a day after five people were killed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa as forces loyal to a defected army general and pro-government fighters clashed, Al Jazeera’s correspondents said. (Read on …)

US, China, Russia & the GCC

Filed under: China, Donors, UN, GCC, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update: Saleh refuses GCC initiative to mediate a peaceful exit, says its unconstitutional, this coming from a war criminal who hasn’t obeyed a law in…ever.

The GCC Saudi Initiative

1) President Saleh to announce to step down and transfer his powers to his deputy.

2) emphasis on ensuring safety and the lack of any prosecution of him and all his relatives and the Elements of the system.

3) to form a government of national unity to have the mission operation and running of the country for a limited period and to prepare for a referendum on the constitution and parliamentary and presidential elections and may also form committees as it deems necessary.

4) If this initiative to be approved by all parties then all are invited to Riyadh to sign it and begin its implementation immediately.

In the same context, the GCC sources said that the GCC mediation recognizes and understands the importance of the need to contain the aspirations of the initiative of all parties of Yemen, led by young people, which Saleh leave/Departure is their main demands.
(Read on …)

Internet oddities in Yemen & regional status

Filed under: Communications, Media, Military, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, Syria — by Jane Novak at 1:20 pm on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Yemeni DOD’s 26 Sept website is down, and mine and the dozens of Yemeni news sites blocked for years (including the newly blocked al Masdar) are accessible again from within Yemen. In 2008 everything was unblocked for a week while they upgraded and expanded the censorship software. I thought this was the precursor to the regime taking down twitter and facebook, as opposed to, you know, Saleh allowing more political space. Odd 26 Sept is down when the independent sites are are. But its lovely what ever it is, for as long as it lasts. Update: 26 Sept back up and I’ll probably be re-blocked soon. But Yemen has strong traditional communications methods as a result of the lack of electricity, roads and internet, so I don’t think it will impact the protest movement even if they cut the net entirely. Update 2: The www.26sep,net is wobbling as I’m reading it, losing parts and coming up again. Really bizarre. Also the sites that were open are now closing in Yemen. Gotta be an upgrade.

Regional: Syria is waking up a tad but there’s still a lot of understandable fear. The Omani protests seem to have petered out. Libya is not looking good with the murderous lunatic Qaddafi retaking many towns. The no-fly zone is not established. Hamas harassed protesters in Gaza and confiscated cameras. With Saudi sending a thousand troops into Bahrain, and the imposition of martial law there, the democracy dominoes are shifting in the other direction. It will be up to Yemeni protesters to keep going as external momentum diminishes if thats what it comes to. But they are taking down chunks of the regime daily.

Putting a face on Yemeni political prisoners in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 10:29 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is a follow up to our earlier post regarding Yemeni political prisoners in Saudi Arabia: YCFHR: Saudi Arabia imprisons Yemenis since Saada War # 6

alkebsiSAprisoner.jpg

Name: Muhammad Qasim Kibsi
Nationality: Yemeni
Age: 23 years
Place of Arrest: Investigation Riyadh – Saudi Arabia.
Date of Arrest: 2010
Accusation: political – sympathy with the rebels in Saada Houthis.
(traveled from Sanaa to deal with his sick mother with cancer in the blood in hospitals in Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, was arrested by a hoax from the Yemeni authorities to the authorities in Saudi Arabia).

Two al Qaeda killed in Saada, al Tais again, were mourning AQ death in Marib

Filed under: 9 hostages, Marib, Sa'ada, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, arrests, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:31 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

The point to note with regard to the following article is the two AQ were killed during a mourning ceremony for another who was killed in Marib. For the readers convenience, I am re-posting my article, Large al Qaeda camp in North Yemen dims peace prospects, politician says to illuminate the al Taiz clan. Saada, as you will note, is where Ammar al Waeli (see the 2002 FBI alert) was, as I heard it, standing on a roof exhorting the residents. In the same ruling last week that released Badr al Hassani, Al Waeli was recently sentenced to fifteen years in jail, in absentia I am assuming. The hostilities between the al Tais and the state began after the Houthis captured their commander, Hussain al Tais, and turned him over to the state. Then AQ captured Col Hosam in Saada and issued an ultimatum. According to local reports, Col Hosam was not killed despite the AQ vid announcing his death (see below). The point is the linkage between the well established al Qaeda presence in Saada and the better understood al Qaeda in Marib and what is currently known as AQAP.

Two al-Qaeda elements killed in Saada north Yemen al Motamar: Wednesday, 09-March-2011
- Local sources in Saada province in north Yemen have confirmed the killing of two elements from al-Qaeda organisation and injury of a third in exchange of fire with gunmen from Al Tais in Kitaf district. The sources clarified that the clashes resulted in the killing of two of al-Qaeda elements; Ali Nasser al-Tais and Abdullah Hassan al-Tais in addition to the wounding of Arif Saleh Rashid. The sources pointed out that the clashes erupted during mourning on the death of al-Qaeda element called Abdullah Hadi al-Tais killed by security men in clashes in Mareb last week.

My article from March 2010: (Read on …)

YCFHR: Saudi Arabia imprisons Yemenis since Saada War # 6

Filed under: Refugees, Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Houthis returned the Saudi soldiers they had captured as a condition of the cease fire. The continued incarceration of Yemenis in Saudi Arabia is a sore spot, especially as the PR notes, there’s been videos leaked of beatings. Saudi Arabia refouled, refused entry to, civilians seeking safety from the bombing, a violation of international law. The Saudi bombing of Saada was indiscriminate, and the arbitrary arrests and continued detention of hundreds of Yemenis without charge are also illegal under international law. You’d think the Saudi Arabia would just return the prisoners and be done with the issue but apparently they are busy outlawing protests of their own. YOHR contact information below. I also have the list of names in Arabic.

The Yemen Center for Human Rights requests from King of Saudi Arabia to direct and order to reveal the names of all the Yemeni prisoners and work to release them promptly (Read on …)

Anwar Awllaki’s internet training center in Yemen

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Counter-terror, Media, Saudi Arabia, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:26 pm on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ABC

An Arab intelligence agent has told the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program that Australian citizens have been seen in Al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Yemen.

Yemen is fast earning a reputation as a launching pad for Jihadi-inspired terrorism.

The Arabian Peninsula nation is also the refuge of American-born radical cleric Anwar Al Awlaki, who recently became the first US citizen to be placed on the CIA’s official assassination list.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has listed 20 Australian citizens as persons of interest because they seem to have disappeared from the radar after travelling to Yemen.

Now there is new evidence young Australian men have indeed been recruited to Al Qaeda training camps.

For several months Foreign Correspondent has been in touch with an Arab intelligence agent who says he visited Al Qaeda camps and observed several Australians there.

“They have all kinds [of training]. They have Islamic studies; they have training in weapons; they have training in explosives,” he said.

“They also have a classroom with computers for training on the internet.”

The intelligence operative claims the camps are directed by Anwar Al Awlaki, a man whose other devotees have included the so-called underpants bomber – a young Al Qaeda-trained Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

“Their leader is Anwar Al Awlaki; he is their spiritual guiding father; he is second only to Osama bin Laden,” he said.

“He knows that the internet is more powerful than the gun.”

In a desperately poor country with little oil or water, Al Qaeda has taken root in small desert villages in Yemen’s south.

There are sporadic clashes with government troops, but in some places Al Qaeda is the law. Its fighters have the run of communities.

Al Qaeda in Yemen: four sentenced, one escape

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Abyan, AfPak, Hadramout, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:04 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

One escapes. Why don’t the drug dealers or tribesmen ever escape prison?

YP An Al-Qaeda suspect escaped from an Aden hospital, with reports suggesting an unknown group could have infiltrated into the hospital and helped him escape. Amin Al-Sayed was arrested along with four other terrorist suspects last week, and was hospitalized at the BaSuhaib military hospital. Last week, the authorities announced the arrest of almost ten Al-Qaeda suspects in Abyan and Hadramout, amid the continuous hunt for and large-scale operations against AQAP militants, mainly in southern, southeastern and eastern regions.

Yemen Post: A Yemeni court specialized in the cases of terrorism in Hadramout sentenced four suspected Al-Qaeda militants between three to five years in prison. (Read on …)

3500 Yemeni child beggers arrested monthly in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Economic, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

Riyadh police round up 109 in clampdown on beggary
ARAB NEWS: Jan 21, 2011, RIYADH: Riyadh police rounded up 109 beggars in the capital city during the past week as part of an intensive campaign against beggary, authorities announced on Friday. A police official said most of those caught were foreign nationals….A survey conducted by UNICEF in 2007 found that up to half of child beggars in the Kingdom entered the country with their parents.

It is reported that Saudi authorities arrest each month around 3,500 Yemeni children who are smuggled into the country to work or beg.

Saudi Arabia seeks interpol help to arrest 47 terror suspects

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, prince — by Jane Novak at 7:46 pm on Sunday, January 9, 2011

16 in Yemen they say, names below

Kingdom seeks Interpol help to arrest 47 terror suspects ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 10, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday published a list of 47 wanted terror suspects abroad who are believed to be planning attacks in the country. The Kingdom has asked for Interpol’s help to track them down. (Read on …)

Bogus bills flood Yemen

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, banking, counterfeiting — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Thursday, January 6, 2011

Several years ago the Central Bank began stamping the bills as counterfeit to prevent General Ali Mohsen from putting them back in circulation, as told by a bank employees present at the time. As often occurs, the counterfeiting rings are often simultaneously engaged in other criminal activity such as drug smuggling etc.

Counterfeit Saudi riyals sees upsurge in Yemen, ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 5, 2011

SANAA: Yemen has seen a recent upsurge in the number of currency counterfeit crimes and police reports show that the scale of the problem in the country is grave. A day hardly goes by without a new case involving fake currencies being disclosed. (Read on …)

AQAP’s Naif al Qahtani dead

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 7:11 pm on Thursday, December 23, 2010

Apparently Abdulelah was correct when he declared Naif dead the same week the US sanctioned him. People’s Daily

The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing announced the founder of its Arabic-language media arm was killed in one of the clashes with Yemeni troops over the past few months in a statement posted on jihadist forums on Tuesday.

Nayefbin Mohammed bin Saeed al-Kudari al-Qahtani, a 24-year-old Saudi national who is the founder of the official media arm of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Al-Malahim Foundation, was killed in a gunfight with Yemeni security forces in the past few months. (Read on …)

“Saudi cleric appeals to Qaeda chief (al Awlaki) in Yemen”

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 8:14 pm on Saturday, December 18, 2010

Repent and change your evil ways you deviant Anwar!

via Intel wire

Stop bloodshed, Sheikh Oadah urges Qaeda’s Awlaki
Friday, 17 December 2010

Al Arabiya: The General Supervisor of IslamToday Sheikh Salman al-Oadah made a TV appeal on Friday to Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the top al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, to refrain from bloodshed and to fear Allah (God) for all the spilled blood that he will have to answer for on the Day of Judgment. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia dumping migrants on Yemeni border

Filed under: Hajjah, Haradh, Refugees, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:20 pm on Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yemen Post: At least 30 people, deported from Saudi Arabia to the Yemeni border area of Haradh, died in the last four weeks after being stranded without food or water. (Read on …)

Saudis: Next from AQAP, assassination via toxic perfume

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, arrests — by Jane Novak at 12:33 pm on Saturday, December 4, 2010

Its a good idea to beware of al Qaeda bearing perfume, or any gifts. One indication of terror financing success is that they are planning to rob banks. Several financiers and networks were disrupted by the Saudis.

Yemen Online: Al Qaeda militants now in detention planned to kill Saudi government and security officials and media workers by sending poisoned gifts to their offices, an interior ministry official told Reuters on Saturday. The group “planned to rob banks and companies to finance their operations,” said the official, who declined to be named. (Read on …)

Saudi al Qaeda coordinator Naif Qatani dead or not dead?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, other jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:55 am on Saturday, December 4, 2010

Generally, the smart money is always on not dead. Click here for earlier on Qatani in Saada and his association with Ammar al Waeli and the (confirmed) deceased Hamza al Qaiti. Qatani was reported killed in Saudi Arabia last May by journalist Abdulelah al Shaea, the same week Qatani was included on the US sanctions listing. The Saudis have no confirmation yet and are keeping him on the MTW list.

Al Riyadh: كشفت معلومات مهمة حصلت عليها “الرياض” عن أدوار محورية ئيسية خطيرة للمطلوب رقم 81 على قائمة المطلوبين ال85 التي سبق أن
أعلنت عنها “الداخلية السعودية” المدعو (نايف محمد القحطاني) في تنسيق التواصل بين خلايا القاعدة في اليمن والخلايا الإرهابية التي فككتها وزارة الداخلية في عدد من مناطق المملكة. Revealed important information obtained by the “Riyadh” on the roles of central and major serious Required No. 81 on the wanted list of the 85 previously announced by the “interior” named (Naif Mohammed al-Qahtani) in the coordination of communications between al-Qaeda cells in Yemen and the terrorist cells that dismantled the Ministry of Interior number of regions of the Kingdom. (Read on …)

Al Fayfi performs Hajj

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, prince — by Jane Novak at 11:41 am on Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well one would assume if you go infiltrate al Qaeda, thwart a plot of mass murder and then make it back alive, you would get a few perks like performing Hajj and getting your name dropped off the MWT list.

Shamar Press – Nasser Hagbani

بين المليونين الذين أدوا الركن الخامس من أركان الإسلام، حاج يحتفظ بأسرار تنظيم إرهابي يعمل على استهداف أمن المملكة ويتخذ اليمن مقراً. Among the two million who performed the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrim keeps the secrets of a terrorist organization works to target the security of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to take home. فقد مكّنت السلطات السعودية التائب جابر الفيفي من أداء مناسك الحج هذا العام. Saudi authorities have allowed the penitent Jaber Alfaifi of performing Hajj this year. وكان سلّم نفسه إلى السلطات السعودية بعد التنسيق مع نظيرتها اليمنية في محافظة لودر في أيلول (سبتمبر) الماضي، وأسقط اسمه من قائمة المطلوبين من عناصر تنظيم «القاعدة». He surrendered to Saudi authorities in coordination with counterparts in the Yemeni province of Lauder in September (September) the past, dropped his name from the list of most wanted members of the organization «base». (Read on …)

Former AQAP al Awfi: intelligence directs suicide attacks, powers use jihaddists as political tool

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:38 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Intelligence officers take the youth to remote areas to train for suicide attacks. The use of al Qaeda mercenaries in false flag attacks and for political ends is a concept familiar in Yemen. Accused terrorist Badr al Hassani said in court that the PSO paid him to train jihaddists in Marib. Ah, maybe al Awfi’s debriefing is why the Saudis suddenly took a hard line against al Qamish. This interview was published by the Saudi media, so it has its own spin but other terrorists in Yemen have made the same charge.

Saudi ex-Qaeda militant urges group to renounce violence
RIYADH, Dec 01, 2010 (AFP) – A Saudi ex-Guantanamo detainee has urged Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen to renounce violence, saying they are tools of intelligence services of unnamed regional countries, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.

“I have seen things which others present now in Yemen have not seen,” former militant Mohammed al-Awfi told Saudi television Tuesday, according to a transcript on the Sabq.org news website.

“I have found there are those who … use the mujahid (holy fighter) as a political tool. We are, without doubt, targetted by countries in the region,” said Awfi. (Read on …)

The Houthis view of al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP): a beneficial clone

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, UK amb, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:04 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is not a statement from Abdelmalik al Houthi directly but the analysis does give a good overview of the Houthis world view regarding al Qaeda in Yemen verses the real al Qaeda, and its relation to Saudi Arabia, the Saleh regime and the bombings last week. The thinking is much more sophisticated than “Al Qaeda is an American creation.” What they say is that the al Qaeda in Yemen is distinct from the al Qaeda of bin Laden because the genesis of the organization in Yemen was guided and exploited by both the Saleh regime and the Saudis. The continued presence of al Qaeda operatives and Afghan Arabs in the Yemeni military, intelligence, security forces and mosques and their participation in the Saada War demonstrates that it is a distinct and artificial organism. Other operatives, mercenaries, receive salaries from the state and even health insurance, the author states, and this cloned al Qaeda has carried out numerous plots (from the assassinations of the socialist leaders in the 1990’s to the 2009 kidnapping of the Germans) designed to relieve pressure from Saleh and bolster Saudi Arabia, and it paves the way for US intervention in Yemen. Much of this is historically correct and not a view unique to the Houthis, it overlaps in many places with the southerners and other Yemeni observers’ conceptualization of AQAP in what I call the Anti al-Qaeda narrative. Unfortunately I got the article in Arabic, and the following is a google translation, the original below:

Some still believe the existence of the so-called al-Qaeda in Yemen, as an organization sub-base I’m not den that is hostile to the intervention of the Americans and their allies in the region, and this is an illusion refuted by the reality of this organization and the reality of its operations, and ratings of his enemies, and the source of funding, and the goals established in Yemen for it,

That there is no confusion in Afghanistan organization called al Qaeda linked to bin Laden and Zawahiri, regardless of connections and its role and functions assigned to it hidden a lot of observers, including the relationship between the Americans and older since the wars in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union,

In Yemen, Al-Qaida real it can not be established here, (Read on …)

Saudi al Qaeda wives

Filed under: Religious, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:38 am on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Arab news: Saudi women played a marginal role in deviant group’s activities

Wafa Al-Shehri is another notable Saudi female terrorist. She is wife of Saeed Al-Shehri, the second in command of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Her association with Al-Qaeda started with her marriage to Abdul Rahman Al-Ghamdi, who was killed in a clash with police in Taif in 2004. Later, Wafa married former Guantanamo detainee Al-Shehri after fleeing to Yemen.
(Read on …)

Saudi doctor abducted in Sa’ada, Update: AQAP demanding release of Hussain al Tais, Update: Dr. released as Ali Mohsen intervenes

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Medical, Sa'ada, Saudi Arabia, abu jubarah, hostages, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Monday, November 29, 2010

Summary: The Houthis captured AQAP operatives and Dammaj “students” -perhaps teachers- Hussain al-Tais and Mashhour al Ahdel in al Jawf in August. Al Tais, a former Gitmo detainee, was active in Saada, associated with General Ali Mohsen and Ammar al Waeli and thought to be involved with the kidnapping of the Germans in June 09. The rebels turned the two over to the security forces. AQAP then kidnapped the deputy director of the PSO in Saada, Ali Hosam, and issued a deadline for al Tais’s release. There was no further news on al Hosam. The two suicide attacks this week on the Houthis are thought to be in retaliation for al Tais’s capture. Yesterday AQAP kidnapped the head of the hospital in Saada to bargain for al-Tais’s release. They took him to the Wadi Abu Jubarah al Qaeda training camp. Ali Mohsen negotiated successfully with the AQAP kidnappers for the doctor’s release, based on a promise of the prisoners’ release, according to al Eshteraki and Yemen Online. Or possibly blacklisted weapons dealer Fares Manna did the negotiating, according to AFP via al Sahwa:

“Dhafer al-Shihri was freed after mediation led by a tribal chief, Sheikh Fares Mannaa,” the source told AFP, on condition of anonymity. He said the kidnappers who seized the doctor on Sunday had agreed to the release after a pledge that one of the jailed men, Abdullah al-Dibai, held for more than a year on charges of belonging to Al-Qaeda, would be freed…

“The kidnappers drove the hostage to the region of Wadi al-Ghabara,” 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of Saada, a local official who asked not to be identified told AFP. They had demanded the release of nine members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) imprisoned in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

“Among them are Saleh al-Tyss (ed- a/k/a Hussain al Tais) and Abdullah al-Ahdal (ed- a/k/a Mashhour al Ahdal per an earlier AQAP statement), two leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula held in Yemen, and Saleh al-Shihri, another AQAP leader jailed in Saudi Arabia,” the local official added….

Tension has been rife between the Shiite rebels and AQAP in northern Yemen since the rebels detained five Al-Qaeda members whom they handed over to Yemeni authorities over the past two weeks.

Also the doctor in an interview after his release reports seeing three other kidnapped Yemenis, including a military officer, so that’s a hopeful indication of the fate of kidnapped PSO Commander Hosam.

(Read on …)

No big surprises from Wikileaks on Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Monday, November 29, 2010

Another non-surprise, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry denies the cables are accurate:

Yemen’s stances obvious, WikiLeaks memos do not concern it-Yemen FM
Wednesday, 01-December-2010
Almotamar.net – An official source at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry has commented on the documents leaked by WikiLeaks site and what it publishes in a number of newspapers about Yemen by saying that what came in those documents on what was discussed between Yemeni officials and the American side was not considered accurate and true reporting of what had actually been exchanged in those meetings. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia arrests 149, mostly linked to AQAP

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, arrests — by Jane Novak at 2:16 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

Saudi arrests 149 militants, most linked to Qaeda in Yemen ABC: Saudi Arabia has arrested 149 suspected Al Qaeda-linked militants in 19 separate cells planning attacks on state officials, foreigners and journalists, according to the interior ministry.

The arrests, which took place over the past eight months, involved both Saudi and foreign nationals with links to Al Qaeda operations mainly in Yemen, but also in Afghanistan and Somalia, interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told reporters. (Read on …)

Good Luck to Yemen’s Soccer Team in the Gulf 20! Update: Watch streaming live, Update 2, Dang it! 0-4

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Civil Society, GCC, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:10 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

Update: a good game but they lost!!! They play again Thursday same time. Original: Yemen playing Saudi Arabia in the opening game today, 7:30 pm Aden time, 11: 30 am EST, Watch the pre-game show and the game live, streaming now at http://www.watchfomny.com/Sport-tv-3.php or, if that goes down, click here.

gulf20.jpg

(Read on …)

France, not US, gave Saudis intel on Houthis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am glad to see the US State Dept recognizes there are substantial war crimes committed by the Yemeni government in its conduct of the Saada War, and the UK recognizes that as well apparently. These crimes really need to be factored into the overall equation going forward.

MTP: A year ago, Saudi Arabia was fighting a nasty border war against the Houthi rebels across its frontier with Yemen. The Saudis began bombing Houthi targets inside Yemen on Nov. 5, 2009, but the airstrikes were inaccurate, and there were reports of civilian casualties.
(Read on …)

Bad intel from Yemen to Saudi Arabia promted crisis of confidence

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, prince, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:53 am on Sunday, November 7, 2010

There have been many false and/or unsubstantiated statements from Yemen to the Saudis, one such incident prompted the canceling of the third donors conference in February 2009 when Yemen had to retract their announcement of seven arrested Saudis. The al Masdar article notes Yemen’s announcement of the arrest of a Saudi financier without notifying the Saudis (and they still have no confirmation) and during the Saada war giving coordinates for the Houthi leadership but really the location was General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar… Part of the difficulty in unpacking the “terror attacks” in and from Yemen is that sometimes different factions of the (Yemeni) royal family acts through their jihaddist proxies.

al Masdar: What is behind the deterioration of the relationship and lack of trust between the security of Yemen and Saudi Arabia?

Along with several other things, the incident revealed “packages” recent deep crisis of confidence between the security of Yemen and the Saudi government, and apparently it is a reflection of the deteriorating relationship between the two regimes, or vice versa. (Read on …)

UPS Cargo Plot: Or the tip came from Afghanistan and goal was Lockerbie 2, Updated: Saudis say al Fayfi flipped

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, UK, UPS bombs, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:33 pm on Saturday, October 30, 2010

Updated: Saudi sources indicate Al Fayfi flipped entirely after his surrender to the Saudis and was the source for the info on the parcel plot: Shaharah Saudi sources said that Alfaifi which occupies the number (20) in the wanted list of the most dangerous to the Kingdom of the Queen has revealed all information related to the transaction in exchange for not punishing him for trial and to ensure his release after the remand prison in the center of care and counseling.

Original: This Express article has an entirely different origin for the intel tip that began the search for the UPS packages–Afghanistan, where a bunch of intel dudes in a converted shipping container managed to save the world from Lockerbie 2. The significance of this scenario if true is that it would pin the attack back to Afghanistan/ Pakistan border area. The most significant global terror event prior to the UPS plot was the al Qaeda summit in Wazeristan that brought together Saif al Adel, Saed bin Laden, a variety of characters including Brits and Germans and our Yemen representative, the potentially former Fahd al Quso.

And this would make sense to the extent that AQAP learned to handle PETN from a Pakistani bomb expert, and there was another Pakistani who trained them on poison gasses, according to the governor of Abyan in an interview last year. The operational ties between the two organizations are significant.

Express: AL Qaeda bomb plotters hoped to stage a Lockerbie-style outrage over Britain.

Explosives found inside a modified printer ink cartridge on board a cargo plane at East Midlands ­Airport were primed to detonate in mid-air. The device was active when counter-terror police swooped on the aircraft early on Friday. Yemen-based terrorists had built the bomb to go off in British air space, just like the Lockerbie atrocity of 1988 which killed 270 people.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday said: “I can confirm that the device was viable and could have ­exploded. The target may have been an aircraft and had it it detonated, the aircraft could have been brought down.” ——– The alert was triggered by intelligence from a unit of GCHQ surveillance experts stationed in Afghanistan, the Sunday Express can reveal. Operating from a converted shipping container in Helmand, the team picked up the words “A wedding gift is being delivered”.

The phrase is an Al Qaeda code meaning a bomb is in transit. With the help of Saudi agents, GCHQ alerted MI6, which raised the alarm in London and Washington.

And investigators are taking a second look at the recent UPS cargo plane crash in Dubai on 9/3/10. Update: the packages were on two prior to arriving in the UAE and Inspire contained the words “cargo planes.”

WASHINGTON – Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen offered a hint only a week ago for why they would target U.S.-bound cargo planes, the Daily News can reveal. That’s the type of American aircraft that delivered one of its Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s “commanders” to prison in Guantanamo Bay after the 9/11 attacks. AQAP leader Uthman al-Ghamidi wrote in the new issue of the online “Inspire” magazine that he was flown “onboard a cargo plane for a long journey” in 2002 from Afghanistan to the U.S. naval base in Cuba. Read more: NYDN

WSJ Officials said the two packages intercepted on Friday appeared to contain as much as four to six times the amount of PETN as AQAP used in the Christmas Day plot. Investigators believe both of the packages were shipped by individuals with possible links to the Yemen American Institute for Languages-Computer-Management, known as YAI, or the American Center for Training and Development, or ACT, officials said.

Updated: Ibrahim al Asiri ID’d as likely bomb maker in UPS plot

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, UPS bombs, USA — by Jane Novak at 3:44 pm on Saturday, October 30, 2010

Update: al Asiri has “toxins training”: Asia One: According to Asiri’s resume at the Saudi interior ministry, he left the country at an undisclosed time to join Al-Qaeda after a series of 2003-2006 attacks, including assassination attempts and plots against oil installations. “Underwent arms training in Yemen on SAM-7 (rifle), Milan (anti-tank) missiles, RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), explosive, toxins,” it says. And the governor of Abyan, al Masiri earlier said that Pakistani experts came to Yemen in 2009 to train AQAP on explosives and chemical weapons.

Ibrahim al Asiri is the brother of the suicide bomber Abdullah al Asiri who targeted Saudi Prince Naif in 2009, corroborating earlier reports that a well known terrorist was behind the plot. The devices match and the women who mailed the parcels, if that report is true, may have been used because they were low profile, leaving the question of the odd choice of addressees, the intended targets and goals. Asiri is thought to be in regular contact with Anwar al Awlaki.

Yemen parcel bombmaker believed to be al Qaeda terrorist Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri

Telegraph: The man believed to have made the parcel bombs is Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri, a Yemen-based terrorist described as one of the most ruthless and fanatical of all al Qaeda’s followers.

US intelligence officials say the detonator on one of the devices is almost exactly the same as one he is thought to have made for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Underpants Bomber.

Originally born to a pious family in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim is one of 85 people on the kingdom’s list of wanted terrorists. After serving jail time in his home country, he fled to neighbouring Yemen two years ago with his brother Abdullah to become key members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has bases in the lawless mountain areas beyond the writ of central government. (Read on …)

20 suspicious packages shipped from Yemen to US, Update: explosives found, sent by a known terrorist?

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, UPS bombs, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:47 pm on Friday, October 29, 2010

A package containing a toner cartridge with wires attached to it and white powder and thought potentially to be a bomb was shipped from Yemen to Chicago. It was discovered on a lay-over in the UK, prompting a sweep of other UPS planes in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Other reports indicate all 10-20 packages from Yemen while suspicious were cleared. One report has the packages shipping to a synagogue in Chicago. Frances Townsend tied the incident to, “a tip from a very credible US ally who provided some, I’m told, very specific information about packages coming out of Yemen.” There’s also reports of radioactive substances and that authorities in the UK found 200 to 300 grams of TATP, an explosive used by suicide bombers, along with a cell phone.

Yemen denies: Mohammed al-Shaibah, Air Cargo Director for Yemenia Airways said to Yemen Post, “No UPS cargo plane left Yemeni lands over the land 48 hours. These accusations are false and baseless.” He added, “No UPS or DHL cargo packages heading to Chicago through Yemen took place in the last 48 hours as well…All packages are checked very carefully in Yemen, and there is no evidence to prove that this package came through Yemen.” UPS shipments coming out of Yemen are put on other carriers, so in this respect Shaibah is correct.

There’s so much organized smuggling in Yemen, the entire shipping system is compromised

White House statement: Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States. Based on close cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in East Midlands, United Kingdom, and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen. As a result of security precautions triggered by this threat, the additional measures were taken regarding the flights at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia International Airports.

Update: WSJ U.S. officials say two military fighter jets are escorting a commercial airliner from the Canadian border to New York City. The plane is carrying cargo from Yemen…Authorities on Friday were investigating whether suspicious packages shipped aboard cargo planes from Yemen to the U.S. were part of a terrorist plot.

Update 2: Officials in Dubai report explosives were found in the package en route to the US from Yemen.
WRAL: A suspicious device discovered in an air cargo shipment in Dubai that was headed for the U.S. contained explosive materials, an official UAE security source said Friday.

Update 3: Marib Press reports: The diplomatic source pointed out that the initial information indicates that the person who sent the packages “has a long history of terrorism.”

Update 4: President Saleh pledged his full cooperation to President Obama in a phone call. Obama was briefed before the first package was found.

Update 5: Tip came from the Saudis, as did the tip to France after the surrender of al Fayfi.

Its an illogical or immature target. The conversion of the ink cartridge is somewhat reminiscent of the March 2009 attack on the South Korean tourists where the terrorists rigged a picture frame and a cassette player as IEDs. I can’t wait to see who is the long time terrorist who shipped the packages, but mailing a bomb from Sana’a seems rather a rather complicated way to blow a synagogue in Chicago.

A write up on the lax security at Sana’a airport yesterday:

CBN: Here are a few interesting details on Yemen that I became aware of this afternoon after speaking with an intelligence source who actually flew out of Sana’a, Yemen to Dubai yesterday, around the time the explosives were found.

1) The source noticed several things which seemed strange or outright alarming at Sana’a International (El Rahaba) airport in Yemen. For one, according to my source, pre-teen boys were pulling bags out of x-ray machines and essentially acting as porters, complete with uniforms. And you thought TSA had problems.

2) The source noticed a good deal of large bags, “30 or 40 of them,” being brought by porters (grown adults, this time) to the personal baggage terminal, rather than to the cargo terminal, which seemed odd. Given the conditions my source described, it obviously isn’t very hard to imagine a suspicious package making its way onto a plane flying out of Yemen. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda planned Saudi attack during Saada War, undead Naif Qatani along with Ammar al Waeli

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Hadramout, Sa'ada, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, abu jubarah, personalities, prince, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:11 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ammar Al Waeli is apparently multi-tasking in Saada, plotting with Qatani on Saudi while fighting the Houthis for Saleh. Naif al Qatani was reported dead in May by Abdulelah Shaea, normally a credible source on AQAP. The US sanctioned Qatani the same week. The attack was planned for 12/09, about the same time that the US resumed air strikes after a seven year lull.

Al Qaeda Planned to Attack Saudi Arabia during Saudi – Huthi Conflict – Report 21/10/2010
Awasat: Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Documents obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat reveal that Saudi Arabian national, Ahmed Abdel Aziz al-Jasser – who Yemen yesterday offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest – was planning to carry out a terrorist operation on Saudi soil during the conflict that took place between the Saudi military and the Huthi insurgents in late 2009. These documents also reveal that al-Jasser was working with 4 other Saudi nationals whose names are included on the Saudi Arabian list of 85 suspected militants wanted around the world. (Read on …)

Major Drug Dealer Arrested in Amran

Filed under: Amran, Crime, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:42 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

The black market is one of the most robust elements of the Yemeni economy, and the drug trade is well established. Yemen has become like Syria in this regard. In addition to Keptagon from Eastern Europe, there’s oodles of hashish from Pakistan. It is encouraging that the US embassy is setting up a section to focus on the issue of drug smuggling, which is often closely tied to counterfeit currency and a range of criminal activity.

Yemen Arrests Notorious Interpol-Hunted Drug Dealer
Yemen Post Staff Police in Amran Province have arrested a drug dealer wanted by Yemen and Saudi Arabia, who was being hunted by the Interpol, the News Yemen reported on Saturday. The website quoted the province security director, Abdullah Dabwan, as saying that the dealer had been arrested in Amran and would remain in custody as a prelude to handing him to the specialized authorities.

The dealer’s name was circulated by the criminal police four years ago on charges of smuggling drugs to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, it said. He was a notorious dealer and his arrest represented a blow to the trade and trafficking of drugs that have flourished in Yemen in the last years.

Saudi Prince Funds Orphan Marriages

Filed under: Children, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 am on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Its just a happy story. The inability to procure funds for a dowry is one of the many social stressors young Yemenis face.

Saudi crown prince funds 3,200 marriages
October 22, 2010

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has funded the marriage of 3,200 Yemeni orphans, described by local officials as the largest mass wedding in the region, Saudi newspapers reported on Friday.

The couples tied the knot after getting the nod from Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who is also Saudi Arabia’s deputy premier and defence minister.

The wedding, which was staged in Sanaa on Thursday is “a unique and unprecedented marriage even in the Middle East,” said Hameed Zaid, head of the Yemeni Orphans Charity Establishment, which organised the wedding.

Saudis never heard of al Qaeda financier Saleh al Rimi

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:33 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saudi authorities had no information about him before his arrest and haven’t been notified of his arrest.

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry informed Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday that it had not received any information from Yemen implicating Yemeni national Saleh al-Rimi of involvement with the Al Qaeda organization. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda using civilians in south Yemen as human shields: al Fayfi

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Saudi Arabia, arrests, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Saudi view of the al Fayfi surrender. Earlier reporting here including the alert on France. The murderer of the French engineer was a fan of Anwar Awlaki.

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior is expected to release details soon of a Saudi on its 2009 list of persons wanted in connection with security issues who has expressed the wish to return from Afghanistan, sources have told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The move would reduce the list to 70, following the ministry statement Friday announcing the return of Jabir Bin Jibran Ali Al-Faifi from Yemen.
A Yemeni official told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that security authorities in the Lawdar area of the Abyan province in south Yemen took Al-Faifi into custody on Sep. 9 after he had informed them of his whereabouts with other members of the so-called Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and his desire to hand himself in.
The official said that a second member of the organization, Jalal Al-Saidi, handed himself in at the same time in Lawdar, and that the two events happened during a two-week long Yemeni security forces campaign in Ramadan in pursuit of Al-Qaeda members who managed to flee. (Read on …)

Saudis complete section of border fence with Yemen

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:01 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

Is it an apartheid fence when the Saudis build it? The fence construction triggered clashes with those on the Yemeni side in past years but apparently that’s been worked out.

Saudi Arabia establishes 119km of barriers along Yemeni border
RIYADH, Oct. 15 (Saba) – Saudi Arabia has established 119km of security barriers along Yemeni border to prevent smuggling and infiltration from Yemen, a senior Saudi military official said. (Read on …)

Saudis warn of AQAP attack on France

Filed under: Donors, UN, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 6:45 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

I’m not sure the threat is wholly distinct from the alerts from Pakistan regarding Europe, especially if Fahd al Quso is/was at the summit. Or if it has anything to do with the AQAP/security officer/ Anwar disciple who killed the French national recently. Maybe Anwar got them all riled up against France. In a relatively minor discrepancy, Yemen reported Al Fayfi was captured during the battle of Lauder, while the Saudis are saying he surrendered to Yemeni authorities.

Update: Saudis confirm issuing warning about a new AQAP threat to Europe.

Telegraph: Saudi intelligence services have warned of a new terror threat from al-Qaeda against Europe, particularly in France, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said yesterday. He said the warning of a potential attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was received “in the last few hours, few days.”

European officials were informed that “al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was doubtless active or envisioned being active” on the “European continent, notably France … The threat is real,” he said on RTL-LCI-Le Figaro’s weekly talk show.

The warning from Saudi Arabia is the latest in a series of alerts that have put security forces, including in Britain, in high-vigilance mode…The warning may be linked to a series of arrests announced in recent days of senior operatives of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula…

However, at the beginning of last month, Saudi police say, one of the former Guantánamo inmates, Jabir Jubran al-Fayfi, contacted them to say he wanted to return home. He handed himself in to the Yemeni authorities, and was transferred to Riyadh.

In the last few days, the Yemen state news agency Saba has reported the subsequent arrests at Sana’a airport of Khaled al-Obeidi, a Yemeni accused of kidnapping a Japanese engineer in 2009, and, more significantly, Salah al-Raimi, 33, a Saudi citizen who appears to have been able to coordinate financing for al-Qaeda operations from his home in the kingdom.

The Saudi authorities have yet to comment on the French revelations, and a spokesman for the interior minister could not be contacted last night.

However, if the warning is connected to the latest arrests, it would make the threat separate from the recent alert over attacks in European cities which were said to be intended to follow the model of the Mumbai killings of November 2008. That alert was said to emanate from a group of jihadists based on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Former Gitmo, Al Fayfi arrested in Lauder, surrenders to Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Abyan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, arrests, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 4:44 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

Al Fifi was arrested in Abyan on September 4. At least he didnt have a bomb up his butt like the last AQAP who surrendered to the Saudis. Our earlier post on al Fayfi is here. More at Naba.

SABA: Wanted Saudi surrenders to authorities

RIYADH, Oct. 15 (Saba)- A former Guantanamo prisoner who later joined Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has repented and given himself up to the Saudi security authorities. In a statement issued on Friday, the spokesman of the Saudi Interior Ministry said that the wanted Saudi national Jabir Bin-Jubran Bin-Ali al-Fayfi has surrendered to his country’s authorities. The Saudi official added that al-Fayfi’s return to Saudi Arabia was coordinated with the security authorities in Yemen.

Saudi funding of the Saada wars

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:00 pm on Monday, October 11, 2010

Yemen Times, David Hughes, NATO Review
Throughout the conflict, President Saleh has accused the Iranian government of militarily, financially and politically supporting the Shia uprising in Sa’ada. Although the latter might be a possibility, no concrete and verifiable evidence supports the first two allegations. For its own political purpose, Iran has played this game allowing others to exaggerate its regional power and military reach. When Saudi Arabia started to echo Yemeni complaints of Iranian intervention, it condemned joint Yemeni – Saudi action.

Although it is true that the Houthi movement cannot fund the insurgency with pomegranates and grapes, many argue that the Yemeni government is accusing Iran to extract precious resources from the US and Saudi Arabia to fund its military repression in Sa’ada. Saleh knows how sensitive these two countries are to Iran’s growing regional power and may have been playing on these fears to help secure his regime.

While Iran’s involvement remains a matter of speculation, Saudi Arabia’s is much more real. Indeed, it has numerous reasons for concern: Iran’s growing clout in the region; the development of a Shia movement in Yemen; the import of a Shia –Sunni civil war into Saudi Arabia; and wider border instabilities.

Yemen allegedly received $10 million per month in 2007 from Saudi Arabia during the war. The Saudis also intervened physically in November 2009 with extensive air and naval power. Saudi Arabia has even lost over 100 troops and border forces, with 5 being held by rebel forces. With Saudi military operations failing to defeat the insurgents on the Yemeni border, this might encourage Iran to be more proactive in Sa’ada to pressurize the Saudis. Consequently, while this affair is originally local, many experts accept a regional narrative.

Saudi Intel Led to Lauder Air Strikes on Saudi Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Air strike, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:59 pm on Monday, September 6, 2010

Al Qaeda using civilians as human shields would only make sense if the Yemeni government or al Qaeda had any respect for civilian immunity, which neither does. How did they “escape” Lauder? Supposedly the Saudi, Battarfi, ordered the attacks on Yemeni security forces in Abyan. All these Saudis should go home and fight their war on Saudi soil not in Yemen.

Saudi named new leader of Al-Qaeda in Arab Peninsula
Saudi Gazette
RIYADH – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen and using it as a launching pad for targeting the Kingdom, has appointed a Saudi of Yemeni origin, Khaled Battarfi, as the leader of the organization in Abyan Governorate, a Yemeni government official disclosed to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The move follows the killing of the former leader Jameel Al-Anbari in an air strike on March 14 that targeted the organization’s members in Moudiah city, said Ahmad Ali Al-Qufaishi, director general of Lodar Province, which is located in southern Yemen. Speaking by telephone, he said Battarfi, 35, who is also known as Abu Miqdad Al-Kindi, is the “Shariah-in-charge” in the terrorist organization in Yemen. (Read on …)

Saudi War Crimes in Sa’ada, Yemen Used UK Planes

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, UK, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:53 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yes, Saudi Arabia was indiscriminately bombing residential areas in Yemen for months. UK Press

Tornado fighter-bombers supplied by the UK to Saudi Arabia are “extremely likely” to have been used in attacks on civilians in Yemen, human rights campaigners have said.

Amnesty International UK called for the Government to suspend all arms supplies to Saudi Arabia pending a full investigation.

The UK must ensure that any support it has provided for the jet fighters “did not facilitate violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, by the Saudi Arabian air force,” it said. (Read on …)

Smuggling Across the Saudi-Yemen Border

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:20 pm on Monday, August 16, 2010

Yermen Times: SANA’A, August 11 — About 395,000 Yemenis seeking jobs opportunities failed to infiltrate the Saudi border over the last two years, according to report published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper last week.

The report, that was written by Saudi journalist Turki Al-Saheel, stated that “at least one Yemeni infiltrator is arrested every ‘five minutes’ in the border region.” The report said that there are dozens of would-be Yemeni infiltrators camped out along the border waiting for chance to enter into Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

AQAP Urges Saudi Soldiers to Assassinate Govt, Royals and Westerners

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, aq statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:15 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MEMRI: On August 10, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a 15-minute audio recording from Sa’id Al-Shihri, aka Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi, the Saudi deputy commander of AQAP, who is also a former Guantanamo detainee. In the recording, Al-Shihri says that the organization has received communications from supporters of Al-Qaeda in the Saudi armed forces, who asked whether they should remain in their positions, or whether they should leave to join up with AQAP in Yemen. Al-Shihri tells them that they should remain in the Saudi armed forces and take advantage of their positions to further infiltrate the armed forces, carry out assassinations against the government, the royal family, and Westerners living in the country, and to provide logistical assistance to the mujahideen. (Read on …)

500 Al-Qa’ida in Yemen, Awlaki Radicalized in US: al-Iryani

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Al-Iryani also said AQAP presents a threat to Saudi Arabia more than Yemen, quite true. People’s Daily

A political advisor of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh denied on Friday that cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been radicalized in Yemen. (Read on …)

130,000 Smuggling Attempts from Yemen to Saudi Arabia in 2009

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:12 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

That’s the number the Saudis caught.

Arab News: JEDDAH: Immigration authorities in Jazan said on Wednesday that 2,454 Yemeni infiltrators, illegal residents and beggars were caught in the past one month.

“Infiltration of Yemenis into Saudi Arabia from the southern border is still continuing despite the heavy presence of border guards,” said a written statement from the local Passport Department, pointing out that border officials have increased their vigilance since the conflict with Yemeni rebels earlier this year.

“Border guards have cut new passages in (mountainous) areas that were not accessible in the past in order to be able to patrol the area and prevent infiltration and smuggling,” said the statement.

Saudi Arabia’s long and porous border with Yemen is one of highest concern for the authorities. Last year, officials responded to more than 130,000 smuggling attempts, including weapons and humans, compared with about 140,000 such incidents in the rest of the Kingdom.

Yemen: Trafficking in Persons Report 2010

Filed under: Children, Crime, Donors, UN, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:53 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Somebody is making big money from this. Some of these kids are very young four and five years old.

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010
YEMEN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Yemen is a country of origin and, to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate across the northern border with Saudi Arabia, to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a, or – to a lesser extent – to Oman, and are forced to work primarily as beggars, but also for domestic servitude or forced labor in small shops. Some of these children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in transit or once they arrive in Saudi Arabia by traffickers, border patrols, other security officials, and their employers. The government and local NGOs estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of children in forced labor in Yemen. (Read on …)

Al Shihri Threatens Kidnappings after al Qassir arrest

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, aq statements, personalities — by Jane Novak at 1:22 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

Earth Times

Istanbul – A top official of terror network Al Qaeda called Thursday on followers to kidnap Christians and members of the Saudi royal family to help gain the release of jailed group members.

The audio message from former Guantanamo prisoner Said Ali al- Shihri, Al Qaeda’s number-two man in the Arabian Peninsula, was carried on various Islamic websites.

In it, he called on Muslims to help to take “Christians and princes of the Al-Saud family, as well as ministers and officers” as hostages. These would then be used to gain the freedom of jailed members, including women who were subjected to torture, he said. (Read on …)

Saudis Dry Up AQAP Funding, Arrest al Qassir

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, banking — by Jane Novak at 1:20 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nice. But they got a good chunk of funds already via this pipeline.

AlawasatAsharq Al-Awsat – Al Qaeda revealed on Thursday the identity of one of the most dangerous women in the organization who was detained by Saudi security forces last February. Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Haylah al Qassir was arrested as part of a group of 113 terrorists for having links to Al Qaeda in Yemen. The arrests were announced last March.

An audiotape attributed to Al Qaeda was released on Thursday in which Saeed al Shehri, a deputy leader within Al Qaeda, called for kidnapping Saudi government officials in revenge for Haylah al Qassir’s arrest that was carried out by the Saudi authorities in Riyadh. Al Qassir is described as one of Al Qaeda’s most dangerous women. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda in Yemen: No Recruits and No Cash

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:52 am on Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Al Qaeda in Yemen is going through a rough patch lately. In their last magazine, they were imploring Saudi women to come to Yemen and explode themselves. They used Awlaki to try to appeal to Arabic speakers for support. After the deaths of three operatives, they just named a Saudi as top commander. Now they’re begging for cash again. The last was a cell phone vid circulating in Saudi Arabia. So they have Saudi commanders, want Saudi recruits and are seeking cash from Saudi Arabia.

AL-QAEDA has launched a worldwide appeal for cash to finance training camps for strikes against Britain and the US.

Osama Bin Laden’s chiefs in Yemen are posting messages on extremist websites urging fanatics to disguise donations as charity gifts.

British forces and firms in the Middle East are identified as priority targets for suicide and other attacks. (Read on …)

Naif al Qahtani’s family doubts his death

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Saturday, May 29, 2010

al Qahtani was recently sanctioned by the US and then the US said he was killed in an explosion while working on a bomb. Meanwhile, al Qaeda expert Abdulelah Haider Shayer says he died in a shoot out with Saudi forces last month. Qassim al Reimi was sanctioned at the same time as al Qahtani. Related: with the Yemenis staying home, al Qaeda in Iraq has a suicide bomber shortage.

Saudi Gazette Sa’eed Bin Muhammad Al-Koudari Al-Qahtani, the elder brother of wanted terrorist Naif Al-Qahtani who has been implicated in the 2009 assassination attempt on Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, has denied receiving official information that his brother had been killed in Yemen. Speaking to Okaz, Al-Qahtani, who describes the brother he remembers as “kind and quiet”, recalled his last contact with him. (Read on …)

AQIY Saudi Liason Al Qahtani: Dies in Work Accident

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Saturday, May 22, 2010

The US sanctions al Qahtani after his death, and then the US says he died previously building a bomb. Meanwhile, expert Abdulelah Haider Shayer says he died in a shoot out with Saudi forces last month. Qassim al Reimi was sanctioned at the same time as al Qahtani.

Fox: A man whom the U.S. described as a key figure in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula accidentally blew himself up, U.S. military officials told Fox News. The officials say Nayif Al-Qahtani was “messing with a bomb” when it went off. U.S. officials had been watching him, but Fox News’ sources insist the U.S. had nothing to do with his death.

Al-Qahtani was “a vibrant guy linked to ongoing operations planning, and his death will have an impact,” one official told Fox News.

An Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula newsletter was the first to announce his death a week after the United States put terror sanctions on him. The newsletter did not say when it happened but said Al-Qahtani died in Yemen’s Abyan province in the south of the country.

The State Department recently described al-Qahtani as “a liaison between Al Qaeda cells in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.” It said he manages Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s operations in Yemen and receives financial support from abroad to launch attacks in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Two Kidnapped German Toddlers Freed in Yemen

Filed under: 9 hostages, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 am on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

imagesCAJ0G9O5.jpg

CNN reports a Saudi-Yemeni operation secured the release of two kidnapped German toddlers in Yemen. German authorities report the two little girls are in the hospital and will be flying home tomorrow, but their brother is probably dead. The children were rescued from somewhere in the war torn Sada’a province, the same area they were kidnapped from. The Germans and Saudis are still working to secure the release of their parents. A British engineer is also still being held. (Read on …)

‘Reports of Saudis kidnapped in Yemen lack verification’

Filed under: Amran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:22 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

Update: Saudi Ambassador, four were kidnapped by a tribe not the Houthis and released, Yemen Post

There is just so much of the Yemeni regime’s propaganda coming out of Reuters lately. I wonder how much it costs to buy a wire service. In this case, the Saudi government says it has no knowledge of a Saudi citizen kidnapped by the Houthi rebels as Reuters earlier reported. Saudi Gazette

SANA’A – A Saudi diplomatic source at the Kingdom’s embassy in Yemen said that he has no information about reports that Saudi citizens were kidnapped and then released by Houthi rebels near Amran Province 30 km north of the Yemeni capital.

The source emphasized that the embassy has been following up these reports with the responsible authorities at the Yemeni Ministry of Interior in an attempt to verify them.

Gaza, al Qaeda in Yemen, the Houthis, Israel and Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Palestinians, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:16 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

This is such a bizarre story, not readily believable. The Houthi rebels intercepted communications from al Qaeda in Yemen to an anti-Hamas Salafi group in Gaza and they sent it to Haaretz. Al Qaeda in Yemen is planning to send Somalis from Yemen to Gaza for attacks and also to attack Jews in Yemen and launch a rocket from Saudi Arabia on a nuclear reactor in Israel. The Houthis, in sending the letters, are trying to demonstrate the difference between their ideology and al Qaeda’s in a bid to elicit US support for their cause, which they say is an end to discrimination by the Yemeni government.

Haaretz

The Yemen-based arm of Al-Qaida is examining the possibility of infiltrating terrorists into Israel disguised as Somali refugees crossing the border from Egypt or even as new immigrants from Ethiopia.

Shi’ite rebels yesterday sent another letter to Haaretz, the latest of several, in which they quote from a letter sent by Al-Qaida to members of a Salafist group in the Gaza Strip that is opposed to Hamas. (Read on …)

Round Up: Naval Jihad and Saudi Arrests

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, arrests, pirates — by Jane Novak at 8:48 pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WaTi

The Navy is warning ships sailing in waters near Yemen that al Qaeda is planning seaborne attacks similar to the 2000 suicide boat bombing of the USS Cole. A warning notice posted on the Web site of the Office of Naval Intelligence and dated March 10 stated that the alert was issued to promote security for shipping companies and other vessels transiting the piracy-plagued region.

“Information suggests that al Qaeda remains interested in maritime attacks in the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Yemen,” the special advisory notice stated.

Yemen Observer: US Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James R Clapper has met president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a to discussed the joint cooperation between the United States and Yemen.

Naval Intelligence warns al Qaeda remains interested in attacking ships in the bab al Mendab

Guardian: Saudi security services have arrested more than 100 militants believed to be linked to al-Qaida, the country’s Interior Ministry said today.

The suspects include 47 Saudi nationals, 51 Yemenis, a Somali, an Eritrean and a Bangladeshi, a ministry statement said.

The arrests of the suspects – accused of planning attacks on oil plants and other infrastructure – were carried out over five months.

Many of those detained had come to Saudi Arabia on visas to visit holy sites or by sneaking across its borders. The ministry alleges that they wanted to join up and organise attacks with al-Qaida.

Most of those held were arrested in the southern province of Jazan, near the border with Yemen, according to Saudi media reports.

Explosives belts, apparently intended for use in suicide attacks, were also reported to have been seized.

One of those being held is a Yemeni national described by security officials as a prominent member of al-Qaida, according to Reuters.

Separately, the authorities arrested 12 people from two al-Qaida cells originating across the border in Yemen, where a branch of the terrorist network has established a significant base of operations over the past year.

The two cells were also in the preliminary stages of planning attacks on oil and security facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province, home to the world’s biggest oil refinery.

“The 12 in the two cells were suicide bombers,” security affairs spokesman Mansour al-Turki said. “We have compelling evidence against all of those arrested, that they were plotting terrorist attacks inside the kingdom.”

One India Fox News quoted Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour Al-Turki as saying that the arrest of the alleged plotters not only had prevented the attacks, but broken up a network of Al Qaeda-affiliated radicals that included two suicide bombing cells.

“They were ready but waiting for an order which fortunately didn’t come,” he said of the militants.

While Al-Turki declined to identify which facilities the suspects were allegedly targeting, he said one of the suspects, a Saudi national, was employed by a private Saudi industrial security company responsible for protecting oil sites and other critical infrastructure.

“As an employee, he had access to all of those sites and to current plans for protecting them,” he said.

He did not dispute news reports indicating that the plotters had been exchanging e-mails with a man in Yemen believed to be a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.ccording to reports, members of the two suicide cells had been exchanging coded e-mails about the planned strikes with a man in Yemen whom the accounts called “Abu Hajer.”

One Saudi official said “Abu Hajer” is believed to be a nom de guerre for Said Al Shihri, a Saudi leader of AQAP.

He was released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in December 2007 after being held there for six years, and he was taken to a Saudi rehabilitation center from which he disappeared. (ANI)

29% of Child Mortality in Sa’ada War due to Starvation or Lack of Medical Care: SEYAJ

Filed under: Children, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes, reports — by Jane Novak at 12:49 pm on Monday, February 22, 2010

Dawn

SANAA: One hundred and eighty-seven children have been killed since August in the conflict in north Yemen, a report by the local SEYAJ children’s rights organisation and the UN Children’s Fund said on Monday.

The report also accused both north Yemen Shiite rebels and a pro-government militia of using child soldiers. 71 per cent of the 187 were killed in the fighting, while the remainder died from lack of food or medical services, the report said.
The most recent round of a six-year conflict between the rebels, also known as Huthis, and government forces began on August 11, when the government launched an all-out offensive aiming to crush the uprising. (Read on …)

Cease Fire Spurned

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:04 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This article is well worth reading but the following is certainly true:

Houthi’s Ceasefire Offer Spurned
Saada War Rages On
By RANNIE AMIRI

To understand the true motive behind the relentless bombardment, one only need return to the primary demand of the rebels: an end to the ever-increasing socioeconomic marginalization and religious discrimination of the Zaidi community in Yemen.

This war was not just to aid the fledging Saleh regime in combating an enemy far less threatening to its existence than al-Qaeda, but to send a clear message to Saudi Arabia’s own citizens who suffer the same systemic and institutionalized discrimination as do the Zaidis. Namely, Shia Muslims, Ismaili Muslims, Sufi Muslims and any who dare challenge the authority of the House of al-Saud or the doctrines of the officially-sanctioned Wahabi school of thought.

AQAP Received Training on Poisen Gases from Pakistani Expert

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, USA, airliner, prince — by Jane Novak at 10:48 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

This is all coming from the governor of Abyan, al Maseri. A Pakistani expert came to Yemen last year to train them on smaller, undetectable explosives and he died at some point in a work accident. Another Pakistani gave training on poisen gases. Four months ago they got aid with the help of non-Yemenis in the organization. Al Maseri says the security forces found a similiar substance to that used to attack Prince Naif.

Saudi Gazette Pakistani built bomb to kill Prince, says Yemeni official
By Abdullah Al-Oraifij
ABYAN, Yemen – Dramatic new claims have been made that a Pakistani explosives expert was responsible for manufacturing the bomb that was used by a suicide bomber in a failed attempt to assassinate Prince Muhammad Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Interior Minister for Security Affairs at his palace in Jeddah last August.
Talking to Okaz, Ahmad Al-Maseeri, Governor of Abyan in Yemen, said that the man who made the explosive capsule, used by Abdullah Hasan Al-Asiri in his attempt to kill the Prince, was a Pakistani. (Read on …)

Saudi “Aid” Keeps Yemen Fractured

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Friday, January 29, 2010

True. By paying money directly to the sheiks, the Saudis divorce the sheiks’ relationship with and accountability to both state and their constituencies, the tribe. Victoria Clark at the Independent

Saudi aid in the security field is already reckoned to be around double the $140m to be offered to Yemen by the US this year, and there is more – harder to quantify precisely – in the form of mosque-building, charity and religious education. But the hardest Saudi aid to quantify is the cash flowing straight out of a Saudi “Special Office” to the sheikhs of many Yemeni tribes, especially ones located anywhere near the Saudi border.

A Yemeni civil rights activist laments the Saudis’ financial clout, portraying it as one of the chief banes of Yemen’s existence: “Although Yemenis hate Saudis,” he explains, “the Saudis know how to spread their influence by their wealth and they have corrupted everything in Yemen.” He claims that two thirds – in other words, 6,000 of Yemen’s approximately 9,000 tribal sheikhs – benefit from Saudi handouts, the most powerful of them to the tune of $3.5m a month.

The Saudis’ apparent reluctance to invest in the long-term development and improvement of the country and help educate its people is what makes Yemenis baulk at the now frequently voiced Western opinion that Yemen’s rich neighbours, rather than any Western countries, should be taking the lead in supplying aid to Yemen.

Saudis Bomb Refugee Camp? (Again)

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:24 pm on Monday, January 18, 2010

Arab Monitor: Meanwhile sources claim that Saudi fighter planes launched two separate missile attacks against a camp for displaced persons located about 15 km north west of Saada and four attacks in the Jabal Qatabir region. Al-Houthi sources also claim they managed to repel Yemeni government forces from regaining control in the area north of Saada. Sanaa had hoped that a Saudi Arabian military intervention against the al-Houthi movement on and beyond the borders with Yemen would help back up the government in its stand-off with the separatist ambitions in the south, in an effort to ultimately liberate military capacities for the US-dictated crack-down on al-Qaeda clusters presumed to be hiding out in Yemeni territory.

82 Saudi Soldiers Killed Since Saudi’s November Intervention

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saudis claim to have “cleansed” a village. Homes and mosques bulldozed. Meanwhile, cold weather threatens the lives of the 200,000 displaced war refugees, and Yemen’s blockade on aid continues.

NY Times: Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s assistant defense minister, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, said Tuesday that Saudi forces had killed hundreds of Yemeni rebels occupying a border village, as fighting between the rebels and Yemen’s military also intensified nearby in the Yemeni city of Sadah. (Read on …)

Abdullah not Qasim al Raimi (Raymi)

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:04 pm on Sunday, December 27, 2009

This one totally went by me the first time I read it. Abdullah al Raimi is thought complicit in a major terror attack in Saudi Arabia in 2003. According to the Yemen Times, Abdullah al Raimi was in the crowd when al Qaeda showed up at the protests in Abyan. Having escaped prison in the 2006 big al Qaeda escape, he was recaptured and released. He was thought cooperating with Yemeni authorities. (Another individual with the same name spent a year in jail and was recently released although it was immediately clear that it was a case of mistaken identity.)

Yemen Times: Al-Jazeera Channel showed part of the protests, Abdullah Ahmad Al-Raimi, Al-Qaeda leader who is currently on the Yemeni government wanted list, was recognized in the crowd. Al-Raimi had escaped from Yemeni security after serving three of the four year sentence he was given by a Yemeni court after he was handed over from Qatar.

from Global Jihad website, a refresher on Abdullah al Raimi:

On 01/09/2004, the Swiss police arrested 10 suspects related to the financing of the Riyadh Suicide Attacks in Saudi Arabia, on 05/12/2003. (Read on …)

Less Stability After Foreign Interventions

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:19 am on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Arab Monitor:

Yemen’s government farer away than ever from restoring political stability

Sanaa, 22 December – Saudi Arabian Deputy Defence Minister Khaled bin Sultan admitted that his country’s military intervention in neighbouring Yemen has so far resulted in 73 soldiers killed and 470 wounded, while 26 are missing. According to him, 12 of the missing are believed to have been killed, while the fate of the remaining 14 is still unclear. Following these announcements, the Deputy Defence Minister said his country’s armed forces are mulling an attack on the border village of al-Jabiriya, where the al-Houthi movement is still present. (Read on …)

73 Saudi Soldiers Killed in Saada Since Nov 2

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 4:51 pm on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The civilian casualties of Saudi airstrikes must number over a thousand. Saudis say operations are winding down:

(CNN) — Fighting that has spilled from Yemen into Saudi Arabia has killed 73 members of the Saudi security forces since November 3, a Saudi spokesman said Tuesday.

Another 26 Saudi soldiers have been reported missing since clashes broke out between Saudi forces and Houthi rebels from northern Yemen, said Abdul-Rahman Al-Hazza, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Information.

The assistant Saudi minister of defense, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, announced the casualty figures Tuesday, al-Hazza said..

“Scaling back” is a good idea at this point… (Read on …)

Sa’ada War Among World’s Worst Humanitarian Crises

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:44 am on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh my! Someone noticed that the Yemeni government is deliberately starving tens of thousands of people in the war zone in Sa’ada:

Guardian: There is no question that civilians are increasingly victimised in conflicts and further cut off from lifesaving assistance, often deliberately,” said Christophe Fournier, the MSF international council president. “In places like Sri Lanka and Yemen, where armed conflicts raged in 2009, aid groups were either blocked from accessing those in need or forced out because they too came under fire. This unacceptable dynamic is becoming the norm.”

The press release::
Five prior unsettled wars in Yemen’s northern Saada Governorate led to a sixth in 2009, the most intense so far. The Yemeni army ratcheted up its offensive against a rebel group drawn from the dominant community in the region, and the humanitarian fallout was unprecedented. Civilians and non-military targets such as hospitals were heavily affected by fighting. Hundreds of thousands were displaced and humanitarian assistance came to a virtual halt. A malnutrition emergency was discovered among children uprooted from their homes. For the first time, a foreign neighbour, Saudi Arabia, was drawn into the conflict, further complicating the plight of civilians. (Read on …)

GCC to Establish “Quick Reaction Force”

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:11 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Sort of like NATO for dictators? Will crush any calls for power sharing, civil rights or financial transparency…. Any attack on Saudi Arabia is an attack on all, they say, gearing up for Sa’ada intervention apparently.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to establish a regional quick-reaction force in part due to conflict along the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia Returning Fleeing Civilians to War Zone

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Refouling, when civilians are not granted refuge but instead returned to the battle field.

Arab News

Saudi troops stationed at the border with Yemen reported on Saturday receiving “a large number” of Yemenis fleeing fighting between Yemeni forces and rebels in the mountains of Al-Malaheet and Razah. The Yemenis arrived at a border checkpoint in Al-Milaihi and were transferred to internally displaced refugee camps in Yemen after they were checked medically. The Yemenis were taken to the Tawwal point of entry and transferred back into Yemen.

54 in Three Families Killed in Missile Strikes in Sa’ada

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 6:28 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni Shi’ite Muslim rebels said Saudi air attacks on northern Yemen killed 54 people on Sunday, many of them women and children.

The rebels, who often report attacks by Yemeni and Saudi fighter planes, said on their website that the strikes destroyed five houses in the town of Razeh, in mountainous Saada province where they are based. The report could not be verified… Last Sunday, the rebels said at least 70 people were killed in a Saudi air raid on a market in Razeh. That attack could not be confirmed either.

The following video documents the recovery efforts at one house where a 30 year old man, his wife and three children, his 63 year old mother and a niece were killed in an air strike. Scalps in a bucket somewhere around 7 minutes in:

Updated: Arrests in Marib, 34 Killed in Abyan and Sana’a Raids

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update 5: Mareb Press: Where said raw statistics obtained by the site of Marib Press Fifty people were killed in the Abyan province, mainly women and children in addition to the death of eighteen an element of al Qaeda were killed and more than seventy other people were taken to each hospital in the Abyan and Al-Razi hospital in Aden, Captain , while the outcome of the confrontations in the Directorate of four people, welcome to Al Qaeda and three wounded were in critical condition and expected death, some by private sources. (Read on …)

Other Sa’ada News

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:06 am on Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBC: Somalis forced to fight for rebels under threat of execution.

And ta da, a good analysis, International Crisis Group Yemen: “Disorder on the Border”, Joost Hiltermann in Foreign Affairs:

In June 2004, the Houthis, a group of rebels in the Sa’dah governorate of northwest Yemen, began taking up arms against the Yemeni national army. They claimed, and continue to claim, to be defending their own specific branch of Shia Islam — Zaydism — from a Yemeni regime they say is too dependent on its northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia, and its partner in the war on terrorism, the United States. Yemen’s political and military leaders have labeled the Houthis a terrorist group supported by Iran. This smoldering civil war attracted little outside attention until last month, when, on November 5, Saudi Arabia sent its warplanes to bomb Houthi positions around the border, both on Saudi territory and inside Yemen. It was Saudi Arabia’s first cross-border military intervention since the Gulf War in 1991. (Read on …)

Saudi Intel Opens Sana’a Office to Coordinate War Efforts and to Hunt and Kill al Qaeda

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:00 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, the PSO and other Yemeni security agencies are seriously compromised by al Qaeda infiltration. The Saudi intell in Sana’a are working with Prince Ahmed Saleh, who heads the Special Forces and Republican Guard. So far, in the Sa’ada War, Saudi Arabia is helping President Saleh with money, media propaganda, intell on the ground, tanks and other weaponry, fatwas, a naval blockade, arrests and deportations and air support including bombing villages. Meanwhile Saleh, with all due bluster and pomp, hotly rejects external interference or mediation. The article mentions Qamish, head of the PSO, who had the pissing match with al Qaeda cell leader Hamza al Qaiti after a trio of mortar attacks early in 2008. Al Qaiti blamed al Qamish for a double cross (or faulty equpment) when the mortars missed. Al Qaiti was killed shortly thereafter and before the September 2008 attack on the US embassy.

UPI Dec. 15 — Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service has established a station in Yemen’s capital ostensibly to help coordinate a joint campaign against northern Shiite rebels along the kingdom’s border.

But its main task is understood to be hunting down the Yemen-based operatives of a resurgent al-Qaida that threatens the Saudi monarchy, and eliminating them with extreme prejudice…The Saudi General Intelligence Presidency, the kingdom’s principal intelligence agency, set up its Sanaa operation in June following talks between King Abdallah and Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 40 years. (Read on …)

Saudis Arrest War Refugees, Bomb Civilians

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Saturday, December 12, 2009

KHaleej Times

11 December 2009, RIYADH – Saudi forces have detained 1,805 people so far this month on the border with its southern neighbour Yemen where it is battling Shiite rebels, the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Friday. (Read on …)

Al Mazraq Refugee Camp, Yemen

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:10 pm on Saturday, December 5, 2009

dying_baby_mazraq.jpg

This 15 month old toddler is in the al Mazraq refugee camp, or was. The child may be dead by now. The UN is struggling to save hundreds of children like this one from dying of malnutrition in the Yemeni refugee camps. But due to lack of funding and lack of access, they are really struggling. Tens of thousands of children are outside the camps and beyond the reach of food aid, as the Yemeni government continues to deny access. If there are 200,000 (notice that number going up?) internally displaced Yemenis, than statistically at least 100,000 are under the age of 15.

HRW Lists Multiple Actions by Warring Parties that Harm Yemen Civilians

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 5:47 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

Human Rights Watch

(New York) – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Huthi rebel forces involved in the armed conflict in northern Yemen should take all necessary measures to spare civilians from the fighting and ensure that they receive humanitarian assistance, Human Rights Watch said today. (Read on …)

As Yemeni Kids Starve, Saudi War Refugees have Air Conditioned Tents

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 1:03 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

With over 150,000 internally displaced persons, Yemeni refugee camps are not only squalid but woefully understocked on water, food, medicine and tents. A shipment of high energy biscuits is a triumph. There are tens of thousands of refugees not in the camps who have recieved no support since the war broke out again in August. On the Saudi side, the tents are air conditioned, and the families receive three hot meals a day and $300/week cash payments. So if the Saudis are bombing Yemen, maybe they should send some air conditioned tents to those vicitims of their actions as well. (Read on …)

Moroccan Commando Join Saleh’s Forces?

Filed under: Military, Other Countries, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:50 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

The reports of Moroccan commandos have been floating around for a few days, here’s one. So now in the Sa’ada war we have the Yemeni army and air force strongly augmented if not led by Saudi troops and air strikes. As well as reports of Jordanian and Moroccan special forces on the side of the Yemeni government. These foreign militaries previously received much US aid and training. Can’t the US get them to stop bombing civilians and enable the food and medicine to flow? There are children starving to death in the refugee camps. Once the smoke clears, there’s going to be bodies everywhere. All for the sake of propping up an irrational, brutal, anti-democratic dictator who utilizes al Qaeda when convenient. Its really a hair brained policy that is entirely counter-productive to both long term and short term US goals. Its also immoral and the kind of actions that give al Qaeda fanatics a platform. Related: Yes, the worst possible move at the present moment is Predators.

Amnesty Calls On Saudi Arabia to Investigate Yemeni Civilians Killed in Bombing

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:37 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

This is a follow up on our earlier report, Children in Yemen Killed by Saudi Bombs. Amnesty is asking for an investigation, just like the UN said Yemen must investigate widespread torture, and Amnesty called for an inquiry into the disappearance of Mohammed al Maqelah and the killing of 87 civilians in September in a bombing assault reported by al Maqelah. Saudi Arabia is really taking the wrong path here by bombing civilians.

Amnesty: Amnesty International has urged the Saudi Arabian authorities to investigate the reported killing of seven civilians in an air raid attack in the Sa’da region of Yemen. (Read on …)

Yet More Happenings on Midi Island (Old)

Filed under: Iran, Islands, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:56 am on Thursday, December 3, 2009

This article is about a week old, but overall the timeline on Midi is very interesting. An earlier post has links to older posts which follow up on the fishing boats that started exploding in May. (Read on …)

Children in Yemen Killed by Saudi Bombs

Filed under: Children, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 8:34 am on Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In their quest to quell the Houthi rebellion in northern Yemen, (its not a civil war but may become one), the Saudis continue indiscriminately bombing deep inside Yemeni territory. Following months of bombing by the Yemeni airforce, the latest bombing raid by Saudi warplanes in Yemen occurred at noon yesterday in Mithab in the Al Ammar Distict. Three huge bombs landed, residents report. One hit a house, killing seven women and children and injuring 9 others. Medicine (as well as food) is under embargo by the Yemeni government in the war zones. International humanitarian groups including medical workers have been prohibited access to the conflict areas. It is very likely the nine severely injured women and children have nothing to treat their injuries or pain, and will endure hours and days of agony if they live that long. It is estimated that hundreds of women and children have been killed in the war effort that the Yemeni military dubbed “Operation Scorched Earth.”

Over 175,000 civilians have fled the fighting since August, but only a fraction are in UN refugee camps. The camps themselves are woefully understocked. The UN continues to have difficulty obtaining funding for its relief efforts. Access to the refugees is severely limited, and many thousands have spent months without any support whatsoever.

The Dead
Children:
1. Hassan Amir Muthanna Amir
2. Amin Muthanna Amir
3. Hassan Hadi Abdullah Amir

Women:
1. Nashra Hadi Zeid
2. Fatima Muthanna Amir
3. Ramia Ali Muthanna Amir
4. Hinah Muthanna Amir

Injured Women and Children:
1. Qirfishah Mohammed Wasil
2. Zeid Ali Muthanna Amir
3. Naifah Salih Mujammal
4. Asaad Muthanna Amir
5. Maryam Saghir Muthanna Amir
6. Hind Muthanna Amir
7. Safa Muthanna Amir
8. Omar Muthanna Amir
9. Aminah Ali Mujrim

Rivers of Blood Flow in Yemen War

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 3:24 pm on Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alert net

SANAA, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Yemeni forces and Shi’ite rebels waged pitched battles on the outskirts of Saada on Saturday after regular troops thwarted an attempt by the insurgents to enter the northern city, a Yemeni military official said. (Read on …)

Yemen Rebels Display Captured Saudi Weapons

Filed under: Proliferation, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 11:16 am on Friday, November 27, 2009

Video here and another here. I wonder how much of that (and I know nothing of weapons) is of US origin. The Saudis are using F15s and Apaches.The rebels have alleged that some of the strikes hit civilians. The Saudis have forceably returned Yemeni civilians fleeing the violence across the border back to the war zone. One of the few humanitarian aid corridors established crosses the Saudi border into northern Yemen. SA reports nine soldiers missing after rebels report their capture.

Jordanian Commandos Reinforce Saudis on Yemen’s Border?

Filed under: Other Countries, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 3:22 pm on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is unbelievable. Maybe if we all say it slowly: There is no military solution. The Yemen Times details reports of Somalis fighting alongside the Hotuhis and picks up reports in the Saudi media of yet another player, Jordan, on the side of the Saudis:

Saudi media sources revealed on Saturday that Jordanian commandos are backing the Saudi army in its operations against Houthis at the Dukhan Mountain.

The Eco of Najd and Hijaz newspaper said that the Jordanian commandos arrived at Saudi camps in the northern city of Tabuk a few days ago, and were then transported by planes to the southern part of the Kingdom. The newspaper revealed that those forces suffered great losses as a result of Houthi assaults against them.

Seche was right when he said both sides were exploiting the ban on journalists in Sa’ada to make up their own truths. More from the YT:

Circulated by email, the (rebels) statement continued that Houthis took over 134 military positions and eight Sa’ada districts since the sixth Sa’ada war broke out in mid-August. It accused the Saudi army of using phosphor bombs in its aerial shelling on Jabal Dukhan, Hasama and Dhahr Al-Himar areas.
Six Saudi soldiers were killed were killed in a Houthi assault on Thursday, Saudi media sources said, adding that Saudi Marines are taking control of the 64km-long coastline between Jaizan and Mausem towns to prevent potential infiltration of militants into Saudi territory. They confirmed that Saudi fighter jets destroyed two Kaytusha launch-pads, belonging to anonymous militants.

Yes the Saudis are unlikely to suceed militarily in Sa’ada

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First, preening with bombs: the Saudi boys become men with the blood of Yemeni children. The following is a snippet from an article in Al Quds that addresses internal Saudi dynamics:

“(Political science professor at British universities and Saudi author Madawi) Al-Rasheed then indicated that the response to the infiltration of certain Houthi elements was only part of the story, the other part being related to the ongoing preparations to transfer the authority in Saudi Arabia to the second generation of the royal family. She said in this regard: “Saudi Arabia engaged in a war to strike the Houthis, and to ripen the battle over command in the Kingdom and allow the succession of the second generation of the ruling family. Indeed, Muhammad Bin Fahd who was the object of a failed attempted assassination a while ago, wants to assume the Interior Ministry. Today, another name was added, i.e. that of Khalid Bin Sultan, who is expected to assume the Defense Ministry. He is thus talking as though he was fighting a superpower, while in fact he is fighting a group of outlaws who are blockaded in a small area. Therefore, the war on the Houthis partially aims at resolving domestic Saudi disputes.”

Next from Mai Yameni at the Guardian makes the point that Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen is a policy failure of the first degree.

A crucially important conflict, woefully under-reported in the west, has now come to a head in the Middle East. In response to an ongoing fight that could spill out beyond the Arabian peninsula, Saudi Arabia has entered into direct war with the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.

Saudi military intervention marks the first time in the kingdom’s history that its army has crossed its borders without an ally. Previously, the kingdom engaged only in proxy wars. The Saudis used royalist Yemenis to fight Nasser’s Egypt in the 1960s, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to fight Iran in the 1980s, and the US to fight Iraq in the 1990s. (Read on …)

Blue on Blue: Iran Accuses Saudi Arabia of Wahabbi State Terrorism

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:07 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Iran accusing anyone of state terrorism is rather ironic.

Kansas City: Iran’s chief of staff has warned Saudi Arabia over its military offensive against Shiite Yemeni rebels, saying it signals the start of “state terrorism” and endangers the entire region. (Read on …)

Saudis Reveal Weapons Stash Likely Smuggled from Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Proliferation, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:58 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

281 machine guns could spell trouble, Mumbai style. The cache is linked to the 44 arrested educated Saudis who were thought to be financing the weapons purchases. What is says about AQAP is a whole other story.

Saudi Gazette

RIYADH/DUBAI – New details have emerged concerning the discovery of the weapons stash at an “istiraha” rest house near Riyadh and the arrest of 44 suspected Al-Qaeda members which were announced at the beginning of November. (Read on …)

Northern Aid Corridor Open

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 1:28 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is much better. Aid is flowing through Saudi Arabia for a week but swome people are still cut off.

SANAA, Yemen, Nov. 10 (UPI) – WFP said it was delivering food aid to the IDP population in the northern provinces of Yemen where fighting between government forces and Shiite al-Houthi rebels is at its worst.

The relief organization said much of the recent aid was from cross-border routes originating in Saudi Arabia. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Yemeni Red Crescent Society began ferrying supplies through the northern route last week.

WFP said that while the aid delivery has improved, it was worried some of the IDP population in the north remains cut off from vital resources.

“WFP is calling for the establishment of reliable humanitarian corridors to guarantee safe and continued passage for relief convoys,” said Gian Carlo Cirri, the WFP representative in Yemen…

Yemen’s al Qaeda Recruting Fighters for Government

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, TI: Internal, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:04 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Xinhuanet: – An al-Qaida-linked group in Yemen warned Tuesday the Yemeni and Saudi majority Sunnis against Shiite Iran’s dangerous plots.

In an audio recording posted on an Islamist website, Mohamed bin Abdul Rahman al-Rashid, one of the Saudi most wanted suspected terrorist, said “Shiite Iran poses an extreme danger to Sunnis of Yemen and Saudi Arabia than Jews or Christians.”

“Driven by a greed to take over Muslim countries, Shiite Iran has long been plotting to install a Hezbollah-like group to occupy areas at the joint-border of Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” al-Rashid added, inciting the Saudi-Yemeni Sunni Muslims to “fight Iran-backed Shiite rebels.”

Yemen’s al Qaeda is coming down on the side of Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government against the rebels and Iran. That’s an amazing maneuver right there, an al Qaeda statement recruiting for the Yemeni government in the Sa’ada War.

Saudi Blockades Yemen’s Coast

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 12:36 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What happened to Mr. Sovereignty, the President Saleh? The Saudis are shelling the North Yemen and apparently have take up residence in Yemen’s territorial waters. I guess as long as they are on his side, Saleh will let the Saudi forces fight his war and go where ever they want to go. Some think the rebels may outmatch the Saudi forces.

Japan Today: Saudi Arabia imposed a naval blockade on the Red Sea coast of northern Yemen to stem the flow of weapons and fighters to Shiite rebels along its border, a Saudi government adviser and media reports said Tuesday. (Read on …)

Houthis Capture Saudi Soldiers, Saudi Bombing Yemen for Third Day

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 3:03 pm on Friday, November 6, 2009

DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels have captured an unspecified number of Saudi soldiers, a rebel spokesman told Al Jazeera television on Friday, following clashes near the border between the two countries.

“We will carry out interviews with them (for the media) … they will be treated with respect,” Mohammed Abdel-Salam told Al Jazeera television by telephone..

Saudi bombing run in Yemen, a video posted today with over 6000 views already. Another here with 4,000 views.

Clashes with foreign security leave 2 dead

Filed under: A-SECURITY, Agriculture, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What a bloody day.

Border guards kill qat smuggler HARADH, Nov. 04 (Saba) – A Yemeni qat smuggler has been shot dead by Saudi border guards while trying to smuggle qat leaves, which is banned in Saudi Arabia, across the Yemeni-Saudi border,

Interior Ministry reported on Wednesday that Yemen’s security authorities of Hajjah province have delivered the body of the man, 21, to his family.

Though it is not banned in Yemen, qat is strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia, which considers as a narcotic.

On the sea… They are reporting it as a French warship in the Arabic Elaf, and recently Yemen’s official media stated an investigation showed France shot down a civilian airliner although that is improbable.

1 dead as Anti-Piracy Forces attack Yemeni boat

SANA’A, Nov. 04 (Saba) – A Yemeni fishermen has been killed and three others wounded after their boat was attacked by international forces combating piracy off Somalia, the Interior ministry said on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Houthis Claim to Seize Saudi Territory, Updated

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 9:41 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Update: Arab News: JAZAN: A Saudi border guard was killed and 11 others were injured when armed infiltrators from across the Yemeni border fired on Saudi border guards. The incident took place at Dukhan Mountain close to the Khald border post in Al-Khoba sector of Jazan province on Tuesday, a Saudi official source said on Wednesday.

Original: The rebels invade Saudi Arabia. News Yemen reports they say one Saudi security officer killed. I’m astonished.

Also, as the media war rolls along, Saudi and Egyptian based satellite operators drop Iran’s Arabic language TV Al Alam for breach of contract.

(Reuters) – Yemeni Shi’ite Muslim rebels said they had seized mountainous territory inside Saudi Arabia, and Saudi authorities said on Wednesday a security officer had been killed by gunmen crossing from Yemen.

Saudi Arabia said the attack took place on Tuesday morning in a border region next to the northern part of Yemen, where Yemeni government forces have been battling the rebels.

“Complete control has been taken yesterday evening of Jabal al-Dukhan …after attacks during which the aggressor was eliminated,” the rebels said in statement posted on their website late on Tuesday.

The rebels have accused Saudi Arabia of involvement in their conflict with the central government in Sanaa.

Houthis Accuse Saudi Again

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The quasi-governmental Yemen Observer: Conflict erupted today between a group of al-Houthi rebels and Saudi border security guards, resulting in several deaths and injuries on both sides, at the area of Smoke Mountain. Trying to illegally enter Saudi Arabia, al-Houthi rebels were caught, and conflict broke out between them and Saudi border guards.

al AhramIn a statement the rebels said that Saudi Arabian artillery had pounded the area of Al-Husama, where rebel fighters are positioned near the Saudi border…At least two Saudi border guards were injured in clashes with the Al-Houthi rebels in the Al-Husama area after the allegations had been made, press reports said. (Read on …)

Regional Support for Yemen’s Genocidal War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:52 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh yes, Egypt, thats what this war needs, BETTER PILOTS???? There is no military solution to the Sa’ada War. Bringing in Ukrainian pilots make sense considering that the Ukranian Defense firm upgraded the Migs for several million dollars. The Saudis bankrolling the fighting to the tune of millions a week sounds about right. Little to no concern about the slaughtered and starved civilians is also par for the course from Saleh’s dictatorial allies who would like to see another hereditary tyranny installed with Prince Ahmed as heir to the throne.

SANAA, Yemen, Oct. 29 (UPI) - – Things are so bad in Yemen, the most populous country on the peninsula, that it is in danger of collapsing as a state with its wars and insurrections spilling over into Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer.

The Saudis have backed Yemen’s beleaguered president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in his five-year war with Shiite Zaidi rebels in the unruly north, centered on Saada province.

His government in Sanaa says the tribesmen are backed by Shiite-dominated Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival in the oil-rich Gulf, and its proxies in Iraq and Lebanon. (Read on …)

Yemeni Govt Hiring al Qaeda as Mercenaries in Sa’ada War?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Proliferation, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, TI: Internal, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:32 pm on Monday, October 26, 2009

The following report indicating a deal between the regime and al Qaeda is from the rebels website, link here, but the Yemeni government does use al Qaeda as mercenaries. Yes the report could be push back to the trial of Yahya al Houthi, but there’s lots of details there. Al Qaeda in Yemen is a multi-pronged organization, and Wahishi’s is the most visible group at the moment, but there’s several other factions equally dangerous and well connected, operating below the radar. If there is a deal, then the Chinese ship of weapons informally imported by government officials possibly makes more sense. A kind soul helped me out with the following summary:

According to some sources confirmed that the leader of Al Qaida in Abu Dubarah. They agreed that the govt, will provide them with light weapons and the Al Qaida fighters will participate in the war against the rebels. Omar Obadah and his followers who just came back from Saudi Arabia and stated that they received some training in Afghanistan. The article mentioned that the leaders were sent to prison by the Saudi authorities. The article also mentioned that Al Qadia leaders presently at Abu Jabarah valley were part of the group who plotted escape from the political prison in Sanaa, part of the tunnel scandal.

Many sources affirm that this coalition is beneficial to both parties Yemeni govt, and al AQida leaders, and the Saudi’s as well. The Saudi embrace and supported because they consider the Hothi’s rebels in the north as infidels from their perspective. The Yemeni govt is trying to keep this coalition as secretive from the public.

What is interesting in this case is the area of abu Jabarah is located in the Ruba Alkhali valley “the deserted area between Yemen and Saudi Arabia” on the north eastern side of Yemen. In this area there are such an extensive and concentrated militia who are wanted by the Yemeni and Saudi authorities as well. (Read on …)

Yemen Still Exporting Jihad and Jihaddists

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:13 am on Sunday, October 25, 2009

Now maybe the Saudis will understand why the Iraqis are so cranky with Saleh. Yemen exported hundreds of Jihaddists for years to Iraq, and they killed so many people. But when the fanatics turn their attentions to Saudi, its a crisis! News 24

Riyadh – The Saudi interior ministry says the two al-Qaeda militants killed in a recent shoot-out entered the country from Yemen and were planning to carry out attacks in the country. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda in Womens Clothes

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, arrests — by Jane Novak at 6:29 pm on Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You remember those exemplars of total submission, Yemeni al Qaeda, and their astounding innovation: “The third tactical shift is perhaps the most interesting, and that is the use of an IED hidden in the anal cavity of the bomber.” Well, they’re still at it:

UPI Saudi officials blame al-Qaida militants who crossed the southern border from Yemen for a shoot-out that left one police officer and two terrorists dead…Shoais had stopped a car of men dressed in women’s clothing believed to be hiding explosive belts, Emirati newspaper The National reports. The spokesman said security officials believe the men were preparing for a suicide operation.

Yemeni al Qaeda also wear make-up on a regular basis.

wahishi.jpg

Is that a Jheri curl?

UN Aid Trucks Held 12 Hours at Border, Don’t Cross

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 12:30 pm on Sunday, October 11, 2009

Read it and weep.

Update: Crossed on Sunday?

Related: WFP denies convoy attacked by rebels.

Hundreds of al Qaeda Flocking to Yemen from Pakistan

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 9:48 am on Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This has been going on for some time. There was a foreign jihaddist build-up before the outbreak of the current round of the Sa’ada War.

Just some random influx or centrally directed? – Centrally directed for sure
Setting up their own cells or joining Wahishi? – Own cells with links to AQC, maybe some lip service to Wahishi
Settling in Sa’ada or Marib or Sana’a? – Everywhere including Somalia
Main target? Certainly not Saleh, likely Houthis, Saudi Arabia and western targets

CBS: Hundreds of hardcore Arab fighters loyal to al Qaeda have fled the Afghanistan-Pakistan region this year, heading mainly to Yemen to bolster an Islamist insurgency targeting oil-rich Saudi Arabia, according to Arab, Pakistani and Western officials who spoke to CBS News…

“The trend is very, very clear,” one Western diplomat based in Islamabad told CBS News on condition of anonymity. “There is no question about Arab members of al Qaeda increasingly seeking ways to travel to Yemen.

“Some have been arrested along this route,” said the official, who refused to name the countries in which arrests have taken place, or the number of people arrested.

A senior Pakistani official who spoke to CBS News confirmed that Arab militants linked to al Qaeda were heading to Yemen in growing numbers. The Pakistani official claimed the militants had traveled to Yemen via Iran, using remote locations along the southern Iranian coast to discretely board fishing vessels.

However, the Western diplomat said it was not possible to establish a single route taken by the militants. “It is impossible to say if these people made their transit in Iran or just traveled out of Pakistan to another country first before reaching Yemen, or may have found ways to sail straight to Yemen” he said.

The revelation of militants transiting to Yemen, with the likely intention of trying to destabilize Saudi Arabia, follows last month’s attack on Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, the Saudi deputy interior minister, who has led his kingdom’s efforts against terrorists.

Al Qaeda from Pakistan to Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, prince — by Jane Novak at 9:23 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Related: al Alawi’s sons in PK arrested, said to be involved in failed keister bombing of Prince Naif: (Read on …)

AQAP Fund Raising in SA

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:16 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reuters

DUBAI, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s Yemeni wing is targeting Saudi individuals to ask for donations to support its fight against the U.S.-allied government of Sanaa, Al Arabiya television reported on Sunday. (Read on …)

Saudi allows aid shipments

Filed under: Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 7:29 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yemen Post

Saudi Arabia showed its positive cooperation with the High Commissioner for Refugees, allowing UNHCR to transfer aid across its borders to thousands of Yemeni displaced. As a result of the outbreak of fighting against Houthi rebels, according to Saudi sources.

Spokesman of UNHCR said that he received a formal approval of the kingdom to carry out its proceedings across the borders to provide Yemeni displaced population in North Yemen by aid.

He added” We don’t know when the security conditions will be guaranteed, describing the situation there “tense and volatile.”

The United Nations fired at the beginning of September an urgent appeal to collect 23.5 million dollars, in order to assist about 150,000 displaced people in northern Yemen. UNHCR considers the lack of security in the Yemeni areas, to prevent the arrival of aid to displaced people.

SEYAJ Apeals to Saudi Arabia to Rescue 120 Children Stranded at the Border

Filed under: Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 6:31 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

THere are thousands of people in a similiar situation.

Seyaj Organization for Protecting Childhood: A Humanitarian Appeal

More than 120 children stuck at the mosques with their families in Alib area, which is boundary with Saudi Arabia, since mid- September of 2009, are at risk.
This appeal is a response to a distress call made by relatives of the displaced families, who are more than 70 families. Seyaj volunteers in Baqem district, northern of Sa’ada province, confirmed the dangerous place the displaced people stuck at.
Seyaj indicates that the mosque people resorted to is not safe. Add to that the displaced doesn’t have the basic necessaries of life; they have no water, food, covers or blanket, shleter and basic aids. They only country, according to Seyaj, can support them is Saudi Arabia.
Seyaj organization demands Yemeni government to have diplomatic action with the government of Saudi Arabia to open the borders to the displaced people, who have relatives in Suida Arabia. Moreover, Seyaj demands the Saudi King Abdullah to deal with this distress out of the Islamic duty, neighborhood and international treaties and conventions.
Seyaj considers Saudi government the decision maker of rescue the life of the war victims because they stuck between Saudi borders and areas controlled by al-Houthi groups. They neither are able to come back to their homes, nor enter Saudi Arabia.

Two Saudi al Qaeda (One ex-Gitmo) Killed while Fighting for Saleh against Houthi Rebels in Sa’ada

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well now, that really backs up the Zawaheri connection to Saleh’s regime. I’m referencing the intercept indicating that Saleh asked Zawaheri for fighters prior to the onset of the current war. Within months, local media began reporting that foreign al Qaeda was gathering and organizing themselves in Sa’ada. Reportedly now they are all in one camp and duties include preaching in mosques and military camps, as well as fighting. Yemeni jihaddists have been supporting the Yemeni government in its battles in Sa’ada since 2004, but because of the media black-out, documentation is sporadic. Since there weren’t many big names, known foreigners or because they had earlier “surrendered” to the state, this critical linkage never received the proper attention. However, the security implications are enormous for the US. This quid pro quo is among the central factors defining al Qaeda in Yemen as a movement. With two wanted Saudi al Qaeda killed in Sa’ada fighting on behalf of the Yemeni government, the regional risk becomes yet more clear. Al Qaeda as a part-time mercenary force is more dangerous when it has the loyalty of a state. Saleh’s contingent of well rewarded apologists disagree that this is even occurring, but that’s their job. Some people just can’t comprehend the regime is so duplicitous; unfortunately it is.

Saudi Wanted Suspects Killed in Yemen Fighting

* Yemen Post Staff
Two terrorists wanted by Saudi Arabia were reported to have been killed in the confrontations between the army and the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen, the Saudi-published issue of the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper has reported.

Citing Saudi informed sources, the paper said one of the two wanted terrorists, the terrorist 62, Fahd Saleh Sulaiman Al-Jatili, 27, has been identified and the other terrorist whose name was on a list of 85 most wanted suspects released by Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry in February along with Al-Jatili’s name was not.

Wanted 53, Othman Al-Ghamedi, and wanted 85, Yousuf Al-Shahri, on the list, called their families asking them to inform the Al-Jatili’s family of the death of their fellow, according to the paper.

The family then contacted the police in the kingdom in an attempt to confirm the death.

The mother of Al-Shahri, by telephone, told the paper her son called her on the second day of Eid congratulating her upon the Eid Al-Fitr and telling her about the death of his relative Al-Jatili.

Al-Jatili left Saudi Arabia eight years ago for Qatar and then for Afghanistan where he was arrested and sent to the U.S. jail in Guantanamo, Cuba. He was sent back to his homeland three years ago.

UN Urges Saudi Arabia to Shelter Yemeni Refugees

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 11:38 am on Thursday, September 17, 2009

Considering Yemeni women are being bombed by the Yemeni military and many civilians are massing near the Saudi border, Saudi humanitarian assistance would help. Yemen’s brotherly neighbor is ignoring the UN appeal for funds to feed the displaced neighbors, as is the rest of the GCC and other brotherly and friendly countries. Not one nation has offered funds. Are they all scared of Saleh or just indifferent?

Press Release: UNHCR shocked by civilian deaths in Yemen

GENEVA — UNHCR is alarmed by reports that dozens of people have been killed and wounded yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 16 September 2009) in an air raid on Al Adi, in the Yemen’s Amran Governerate.

UNHCR again strongly urges all parties to the conflict to ensure the safety and well being of the civilian population in conformity with international law and standards.

The latest media reports add urgency to the UN’s repeated appeals for opening of humanitarian corridors in northern Yemen that would allow civilians to leave the conflict zone and enable humanitarian workers to deliver much needed aid to thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in this remote part of the country. This remains a top priority for UNHCR. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Instability Threatens Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:42 am on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A comprehensive round up, but I dont think its a full blown proxy war yet because Iran is not funneling vast amounts of money the way the Saudis are. It could become one.

Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) – Yemeni MiG-29 fighter jets roar through the skies daily above the country’s capital of Sana’a as they fly north to bomb rebel positions on the Saudi border.

They are part of Yemen’s intensified drive to crush Shiite Muslim insurgents, whom it says are backed by Iran. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival; Yemen is a Saudi ally.

At the same time, al-Qaeda is using bases in Yemen to launch terror strikes at Saudi Arabia and at Western interests. Last month it tried to assassinate the top Saudi anti-terrorist official, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, and Yemeni police detained four men with explosives and weapons outside the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, officials said late yesterday. President Barack Obama promised to help boost Yemen’s security earlier this week.

Saudi King Abdullah may decide to intervene militarily if the conflict on his border threatens to spread to the country’s own disaffected Shiite minority in the eastern oil-producing region, said Mustafa Alani, a regional security expert at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.

“If you have a terrorist issue and a rebellion that is unfriendly to Saudi Arabia, that is a recipe for disaster for the Saudis,” said Rochdi Younsi, head of Middle East research at the New York-based Eurasia Group.

The conflict in Yemen may also be part of a pattern of confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia as the two vie for regional pre-eminence. They already are engaged in a proxy battle for influence in Lebanon and are at odds over Iraq and possible Iranian efforts to exploit dissatisfaction among the Shiite communities in other Arab Persian Gulf states.

No Collaboration

There is no collaboration between the local Shiite Houthi rebels and the al-Qaeda militants who are operating in Yemen, said Rohan Gunaratna, head of the Singapore-based International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research. The Yemeni government is making use of radical Sunni tribesmen to fight the Shiite Houthi rebels and these Sunnis could be recruited by al- Qaeda, a Sunni group which is hostile to the Shiites, he said. (Read on …)

Saudi Terrorist Drives from Yemen to Saudi for Wife and Returns to Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, personalities — by Jane Novak at 7:24 am on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Al-Shehri’s mother-in-law backs ‘kidnapping’ theory
By Abdullah Al-Oreifij Saudi Gazette
RIYADH – The mother of Wafa, wife of second man in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Saeed Al-Shehri, has spoken of the details of her daughter’s flight to Yemen to join her husband, adding support to her husband’s previous claims that Wafa was forced to go in the company of her husband. (Read on …)

Saudi Bomber Detonated with Call from Yemen

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, prince, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 8:17 am on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I guess they couldn’t do a trial run on this one:

Bomber had half kilo of explosives inside his body
Saudi Gazette:
JEDDAH – Suicide bomber Abdullah Asiri had inserted around half a kilogram of explosives into his own body to carry out his failed assassination attempt of Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, last week.
As more details emerged of the events surrounding the attack that took place at the Prince’s home in Obhur, sources told Okaz newspaper Friday that Asiri’s mobile telephone was equipped with two SIM cards, one of which was used to speak to call members of the terrorist organization in Yemen, and the other to detonate the device located inside Asiri’s rectum via a call from the group. (Read on …)

No Serious Fight Against al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, attacks, prince — by Jane Novak at 9:12 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

The arrest of the 44 Saudi al Qaeda raises the question if these 44 were elements of AQAP based in Yemen and, considering their age and education, what is their role in the organization. Who is taking orders from who? As in the bombing of the US embassy in Sept 08, the assassination attempt on SA’s counter-terror chief likely required approval from the leadership of Al Qaeda Central. Conversely, considering the loose cell structure of Al Qaeda, were these 44 a semi-autonomous Saudi group with little to no relationship to AQAP in Yemen? The attack on Prince Naif certainly does re-direct focus on the inability of President Saleh’s regime to maintain a consistent posture on counter-terror. Just as the Southerners and the Houthis do not have a partner for peace in Saleh, Saudi Arabia and the US don’t have a sincere ally in regional efforts to diminish al Qaeda.

AFP

In the latest blow to Al-Qaeda, Saudi security forces last month arrested 44 members, many of whom were described as highly educated, and uncovered large arms caches.

“The new tactic for Al-Qaeda is to be based in Yemen and execute attacks in Saudi Arabia,” said Saudi writer Faress bin Hezam.

“It is clear that the Yemeni government has limited capabilities to combat Al-Qaeda. They are also not able to benefit from the Saudi experience in this field… There isn’t a serious fight against Al-Qaeda in Yemen,” added Hezam who specialises in monitoring Islamist groups.

Government capabilities in impoverished Yemen are already stretched thin, with a Shiite rebellion in the north demanding its troops, and a growing separatist mood in the former South Yemen.

“Trouble in Yemen makes it a suitable environment for Al-Qaeda to grow,” said Khsheiban, stressing that such territorial growth should be contained.

More on Midi Island, Yemen

Filed under: Refugees, Saudi Arabia, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

Continuing our previous discussion of the huge explosion on Midi Island, news from Al Motamar

On the other hand Yemeni security apparatuses arrested 107 African migrants in the island of Midi holding Nigerian, Chadian and Sudanese nationalities. The security men also said 2 of the African migrants; one Nigerian youth and a woman in her 6th decade have died and doctors said the death was natural.

The rest of the African migrants were transported to the Centre Al-Jazeera Leadership for investigation and then they were detained in Hudeida province. It is to be noted that this is the third rime African migrants to attempt to infiltrate into Yemeni territories via the island of Midi. On most occasions investigations proved that the African migrants, mostly Sudanese, were intending to infiltrate into Saudi territories across Yemeni territories.

Saudi Otaibi Surrendered After Being Rejected by AQ Afghanistan

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Iran, Saudi Arabia, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 8:23 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

This guy wasn’t in Yemen but its interesting that AQ is rejecting new recruits in Afghanistan. Fear of spies perhaps, shortage of funds? Those permitted to join were tasked with photography, highlighting the importance of the media war and propaganda. He transited Iran as many before. Arab News:

RIYADH: It was his disenchantment with the real goals of Al-Qaeda and differences with its commanders that made Fawwaz Al-Humaidi Al-Otaibi take the decision to turn himself in, Al-Watan daily reported on Thursday. (Read on …)

Takfirism, lets kill everybody who disagrees

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Religious, Saudi Arabia, prince — by Jane Novak at 12:51 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Aha, getting to the actual roots of the issue, Takfir and the legitimizing of others deaths based on doctrinal disagreements. AFP follows up on the assassination attempt on Prince Naif.

“We need to restructure Islamic teaching at schools,” said Hezam, arguing that the fight has been confined to the security front and did not address the real threat.

Another Saudi analyst, who did not wish to be named, said the “roots of the problem have so far not been addressed,” insisting that the Takfiri discourse, which accuses opponents of being apostates, continues to flourish in Saudi Arabia.

“People who promote Takfiri thoughts are not held accountable unless they start to form a danger to the government,” he told AFP. “There has not been a serious strategy to combat this ideology.”

Khsheiban argued that AL-Qaeda ideology in Saudi Arabia should be tackled by allowing more space for moderates.

“The best way to combat the extremist ideology is not just through military confrontation, but also through strengthening the moderate discourse… It is there, but it needs the support of society and the state,” he said.

“The open religious discourse in Saudi Arabia is moderate, but the danger is in the extremist discourse… This creates extremist elements and nourishes terrorism,” he added.

But hope of seeing a change appears dim, said Hezam.

“Nothing will change in Saudi Arabia in the next 30 years. Even if change (strategy) starts right now, it would take at least 15 years to start seeing results,” he said.

Salah to Morocco to Chat with Saudi Prince Sultan

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, prince — by Jane Novak at 9:24 pm on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And the Hashemite king of Jordan sat in as well… Just a friendly get together so they both could praise Saleh and brotherly relations. Prince
Sultan Abdul Aziz is the Saudi Defense Minister.

Almotamar.net, Saba – President Ali Abdullah Saleh held talks IN THE Moroccan city of Agadir on Wednesday with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz and King of Jordan Abdullah II. (Read on …)

AQAP Operative Hid Explosives in his Buttocks: Al Arabyia

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, prince — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

akkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Fill in the blank: “What an _______!”

Gulf Daily News: KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has tightened security at oil facilities after the country’s anti-terror chief, Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, escaped a suicide attack, guards at Abqaiq, the world’s biggest oil processing plant, said yesterday….

Al Qaeda, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack and said that the bomber, Abdullah Hassan Taleh Al Asiri, had managed to pass security checkpoints and board a private aircraft, Site Intelligence said yesterday…Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said Asiri was a 23-year-old Saudi whose brother Ibrahim was also on the wanted list.

It said the attacker concealed the explosives in his anus, allowing him to evade detection.

The network also quoted an expert as saying that the method of concealment aimed the blast away from the target, while blowing the bomber to bits….

Saudis Spying on Al Qaeda?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, prince — by Jane Novak at 9:38 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

awwwwwwwww

NEFA: Al-Qaida also claimed to have uncovered “a network of spies and collaborators who are in league with that criminal [Nayef] and which the government of Yemen is oblivious to. There are exciting details that we will announce later, Allah-willing.”

But where’s Saleh’s network of spies? That was always the justification given for all the terrorist releases, they were going to report back to the Yemeni government.

Saudi Suicide Bomber from Marib, Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, prince — by Jane Novak at 8:22 pm on Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update: Abdullah Hassan Aseeri, from Aseer in Saudi Arabia, Saudi origin and citizenship

JEDDAH // The suicide bomber who targeted Saudi Arabia’s deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed Bin Naif on Thursday had been based in an area of Yemen known to be a base for many al Qa’eda militants, Yemen’s foreign ministry said yesterday.

The fact that a militant was able to get into Saudi Arabia so easily and target a high-ranking politician and prince has added to fears in Riyadh that the current unrest in Yemen could pose problems in the conservative Gulf kingdom.

The suicide bomber had come from Mareb, east of Sana’a, Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu-Bakr al Qirbi, said. The foreign minister said the man claimed he wanted to hand himself over to Saudi authorities and urge other militants to turn their back on al Qa’eda.

Its not the unrest that is posing problems but the lack of the Yemeni government’s committment to battling al Qaeda. Of all the insurgencies the Yemeni regime is facing, including the southern separatists and northern rebellion, al Qaeda is the most manageable and the most beneficial.

With the Yemeni government is deploying terrorists in its war against Shiite rebels, as it has before, there is a little motivation to crackdown on the group. Note the Yemeni FM says Yemen knows that al Qaeda is based in Marib, but the government doesn’t attempt to engage them.

The Al Qaeda threat brings foreign aid from Saudi Arabia and the US to Yemeni President Saleh’s regime that other anti-government groups do not. Thus the southern protesters get shot on the street and the Yemeni military is currently bombing cities in the north, but al Qaeda gets a pass.

The Saudi/Yemeni border is difficult to control because much of the smuggling is accomplished by Yemen’s security forces.

Related: The recent arrest of 44 al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia shows the “Saudi AQ moved to Yemen” meme in a new light. I’m not questioning that there are Saudi AQ in Yemen, just the broader structure:

They are mostly aged from their late twenties to early sixties, the ministry said. He told Agence France-Presse: “These people have links to the original al Qa’eda organisation.

“These people, I would describe them like a base, they actually work in the area, recruiting young people, giving young people the ideology of al Qa’eda, and financing terrorism in the kingdom,” he added.

Alawsat:

the Interior Ministry’s statement focused on the high academic qualifications obtained by the detainees, their experiences and mature ages, and this is evident in the positions they held. The statement mentioned that some of those suspects abused the trust that had been placed in them.

However, in my opinion, the most important issue that the statement tried to highlight was that those suspects did not only encourage and support [terrorism] but are in a more advanced stage of violent activity by religious groups; a stage in which there is experience and high-level qualifications. Some of them work as lecturers, some are established employees and others are businessmen.

Alleging Saudi Bombing in Sa’ada, al Houthi Vows “War of Attrition”

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 5:29 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009

The article from News Saddah is entitled “War has not begun yet.” Man, apparently being bombed (or perceived to be bombed) by a foreign country is much worse.

In a telephone conversation with the official office of Al-Sayed . Abdel Malik alhouthi to follow the latest developments, confirmed to us that what was published by the Office of the Houthi of Saudi air planes launched an attack on their areas.

In terms of our sources have confirmed to us the commander of the Houthi, said that he is preparing his followers to go to war with the long-term, and he is finalizing the necessary arrangements to do what is necessary in order to enter a war of attrition, and is expected to announce the start of the war in the coming hours, It should be noted here that these arrangements were not an infringement only after mediation failed and the announcement of authority pressing in rooting out sedition.

How do they know it was a Saudi plane anyway? Are the markings visable? This is so bad and spiraling faster, wider and deeper than any prior outbreak.

Almotamar.net – A Yemeni official source mocked Thursday the false news of the terrorist elements alleging that Saudi jetfighters carried out raids on some hideouts of the destruction elements.

The source said those lies and allegations are groundless and it has become familiar for these elements and some media outlets supporting them from outside Yemen repeating such lies. He described them as exposed attempts to involve the brother in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the ongoing confrontations of the armed forces and security against those elements to force them to surrender and quell the sedition that the elements ignited it.

If its not a regional proxy war now, it could very easily become one. This thing is going to blow. Yemen needs immediate confidence building measures, not only in Sa’ada, but also in the South. A partner in peace, so to speak. However, Saleh can’t engage in authentic power sharing or reconcile with his enemies. Co-opt, decieve or kill are the only games he knows. Unless, after three decades, he woke up a new man today.

Baharain and the Sa’ada War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Other Countries, Religious, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009

IN 2005, the Saleh regime accused Shiite individuals in Bahrain along with Kuwait with supporting the rebels. Later, during the next round, they accused Libya (which had some truth) and Iran. Qatar mediated the last official cease fire. Saudi Arabia has serious concerns of course, and Egypt is willing to act as a mediator currently. Iraqi MP’s said Iraq should host the rebels headquarters in retaliation for Yemen hosting wanted Iraqi Baathists. The US and some western allies are worried that the war is a distraction from Yemeni efforts against al Qaeda. Currently Iran and Yemen are having a media war over the Iranian media coverage of the war.

To the extent the Saleh regime keeps calling the rebels “Satanic”, as it has for years, and imposing sectarian overtones on a essentially political conflict, Sana’a risks stimulating ever wider fractures both in Yemeni society and the region.

the Media Line: Deadly clashes in Yemen between government forces and a radical Shi’ite group are fueling tensions throughout the Gulf region.

A member of the Bahraini ruling Sunni coalition is accusing Al-Wefaq, the largest opposition Shi’ite party, of supporting the Al-Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.

MP Sheikh Jassem A-Sa’idi, an independent MP from the coalition bloc, talked of “suspicious movements” Al-Wefaq was making towards the Al-Houthi rebels. A-Sa’idi argued overtures to the Al-Houthis could have a “dangerous” impact on official relations between Bahrain and Yemen.

“I have proof to confirm that prominent Al-Houthi figures from the highest ranks visited Bahrain and met exclusively with MPs from Al-Wefaq,” A-Sa’idi told the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat, added that the political meeting had preceded the latest round of fighting which began on August 11.

“This is a big lie,” MP Jalal Fairooz, from the Al-Wefaq party told The Media Line. “[A-Sa’idi] is very well known in Bahrain for explosive words which are groundless and have no reality.”

Egypt willing to mediate… from al Sahwa

Egypt and other Arab states would intervene to end the conflict between the Yemeni government and al-Houthi rebels in Saada, high-profile sources have revealed.

The sources disclosed that al-Houthi rebels demanded the Arab League to visit Saada, but the league refused the request and confirmed that the Yemeni government has the decision on this issue.

Saudi Influence Contributes to the Talibanization of Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Religious, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 9:53 pm on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yes thats true.

Reuters: Hassan Abu Taleb of the Al Ahram Centre for Strategic and Political Studies in Cairo said that despite Saudi fears, its puritanical brand of Sunni Islam had played a key role in creating a fertile environment for al Qaeda in Yemen.

“Over the last 20 years Yemen has been a launchpad for al Qaeda elements and some tribes in the centre of the country have blood and close links with al Qaeda elements,” he said.

“Yemeni judges now go to Saudi Arabia for training and come back filled with Wahhabi thoughts,” he added, referring to the austere Saudi school of Islam.

Boucek also said that though there was no unified Saudi policy to boost Sunni fundamentalism — known as Salafism — in its southern neighbour, Saudi Arabia played a role.

“The importation of Salafi extremists, funding of scientific institutes, return of Yemenis from Saudi, and the radicalisation process going on in younger Yemenis have all been problematic and have changed the ideological environment,” he said.

30 Currency Counterfeiters Rounded Up in Yemen

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, USA, counterfeiting — by Jane Novak at 9:24 pm on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another significant criminal enterprise in Yemen, currency counterfeiting rings often overlap with drug and antiquities smuggling. This story is from the Yemen Observer:

Thirty traffickers of various counterfeit currencies have been detained since the beginning of July 2009 in different Yemeni cities, said a security source at the Ministry of the Interior. (Read on …)

Faris Manna and Hamid al Ahmar in Saudi?

Filed under: Islah, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:49 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2009

According to the Houthis they are..

According to informed sources to the news that Sheikh Sa’dah / Manna Knight Chairman of the Committee for mediation between the authority and Houthis are extensive discussions in Saudi Arabia, accompanied by Sheikh / Red Hussein. (Read on …)

Shihri’s Wife in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, personalities — by Jane Novak at 11:03 pm on Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Saudi commander of al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP) is Sa’id Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri (aka Abu Sufian al-Azdi) The following article from the Saudi Gazette has the details on his wife and step-son joining him in Yemen.

JEDDAH – Saoud Aal Shaye’ Al-Qahtani waits for a telephone call, a knock at the door, a sign, anything to give him hope that he will one day see his 10-year-old son Yousef again after he was taken by his mother to Yemen to join up with members of Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qahtani, speaking to Okaz newspaper, told of how he left his first wife and sought a new spouse of a more religious persuasion, and so contracted marriage in 2000 with Umm Yousef, whom he believed to be “moderate in her beliefs.” (Read on …)

Eight Million Yemenis Abroad? USD 1 Billion in Remittances

Filed under: Demographics, Donors, UN, India, Ministries, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen-Statistics — by Jane Novak at 9:05 pm on Thursday, July 2, 2009

Whoa, last time we checked, it was 2 million abroad. What did they do- give out six million bogus passports in the last two years? (The statistical anomaly is not unusual- during the 2006 elections, there were more registered male voters than men. The official unemployment statistics are pretty funny too.) And now the plan is to establish a monitoring system on Yemeni expats… Does Yemen really need 62 embassies; they’re such money pits. There were those big and repeated announcements in 2005 that the regime was going to close some embassies as money saving measures, Romania I think it was, but it never happened. From the Yemen Observer:

Yemen plans to conduct comprehensive surveys for Yemeni expatriates that would focus on their numbers, jobs, families and activities, and their remittances to their homeland. (Read on …)

Saudi List of 85 Wanted al Qaeda: English

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Friday, June 19, 2009

Issued Feb 2, 2009, Following are the names of the wanted militants:< Yalibnan

1- Ibrahim Hassan Tali Assiri, Saudi

2- Ibrahim Suleiman Hamad Al-Hablain, Saudi

3- Ibrahim Salman Mohammed Al-Rubeish, Saudi
(Read on …)

Another Al Harbi Surrenders in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, a2, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Thursday, June 18, 2009

A few days ago, the Saudi Interior Ministry denied being notified of the arrest of Alwan, the “major financier” recently captured, just like the Saudis never officially heard about the seven Saudis captured that Yemen announced in the spring. This guy I think may be on the Saudi issued list of 85, I recall there were a lot of al Harbis there. Earth Times

Sana’a, Yemen – An alleged Saudi member of al-Qaeda has surrendered to police in Yemen, the Defence Ministry reported on Thursday – one week after the arrest of a Saudi man described as the senior financier of the terrorist group in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The man, identified as Naif Duhais Yahya al-Harbi, has provided “important information that will lead to the arrest of a number of dangerous members of the organisation,” the ministry said in its online newspaper.
(Read on …)

The Saudis have to be searching for the Yemen hostages also, yes?

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 8:09 am on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Regarding the nine hostages in Yemen, three nurses have been found dead. The missing are two men, three small children and their mother. The Yemenis are searching.

I have been concerned that al Qaeda had a new hostage taking method in the works since the Saudis found that cave on the Saudi/Yemeni border (somewhat near the kidnap site) that had rooms or holding cells in it, clearly designed to imprison captives. The cave overlooks AQAP deputy al Shihiri’s village.

In that kind of scenario, the kidnapped group needs to be smaller than nine for logistical considerations. The Saudis must be frantically checking their side of the border, yes? If we are assuming the remaining six are still alive, which we must, there is NO reason to assume they are still in Yemen. The merger of the Saudi branch of al Qaeda with the Yemeni branch means there is no border in these kind of operations, and the indigenous terror resources of both branches are available to the unified group (AQAP). The cave article from Alshaq Alawasat, dtd June 09:

According to one of the [governmental] escorts, the cave that the Al Qaeda cell used overlooks the village of Said Ali Al Shihri, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who recently appeared in a video attributed to the Al Qaeda in Yemen organization threatening to carry out attacks against Saudi Arabia. The Southern Cave is in close proximity to the border region between Saudi Arabia and Yemen

The main cave was used by members of the cell for the storage of arms and foodstuffs, and occasionally as a temporary place of shelter also. The cave is located 155 km or two hours from the city of Abha, which is the capital of the Asir province. The cave is one of a series of small isolated caves in the Sarwat mountainside, which stretches from the Western region of Saudi Arabia to Yemen. This mountain range is 1000 meters above sea level at its lowest point and 2200 meters above sea level at its highest…

Amongst the items found in the cave were; military uniforms, boots, helmets, knives, various types of weaponry and other miscellaneous items. This gives a clear indication to the type of terrorist operation planned by the cell. It seems that the location of the Southern Cell’s cave was chosen in mind of the difficulty of it being discovered, and the ease with which members of the cell might flee in the event of this actually occurring.

The Al Qaeda cell did not even discount the possibility of escape from the security authorities by use of parachute (ed- hang gliders? ?) , and Asharq Al-Awsat has learnt that a number of the cell members were intending to use parachutes in order to jump from the high mountainside and land safely in an effort to escape the security authorities.

The location chosen for the cave indicates that it was to be used as a safe house for their operations, and may have been used to imprison hostages, and film them for propaganda purposes, as well as in order to shelter the cell members from the security forces.

AQAP Financier Arrested

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, a2, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:49 am on Sunday, June 14, 2009

DUBAI Reuters – Yemen has arrested a man described as al Qaeda’s top financer in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, a security source told Reuters on Sunday, and seven Germans, a Briton and a South Korean have been kidnapped in north Yemen.

Saudi national Hassan Hussein Alwan was seized two days ago in Marib province in eastern Yemen, the security source said.

The most he can get three years like al Ahdel:

The alleged top al-Qaeda financier in Yemen has been arrested, security officials say.

He has been named as Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi Arabian national. Reports say he was detained two days ago in Marib province, east of the capital, Sanaa, and is facing charges of forming an armed group.

New Transit Route for Human Trafficking from Sudan

Filed under: Fisheries, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:22 pm on Friday, June 12, 2009

Very interesting, I’ve been waiting for more Sudan/Yemen news after the Yemeni fishing boat exploded in Sudanese waters and the Yemeni small plane crashed after take-off in the Sudan.

Cars waiting to take them to the Saudi border is well coordinated, indicates good communication and, for human trafficking to Yemen, elaborate. Landing is not the norm. Often the poor refugees get dumped from the boat and swim to shore; no one is waiting. Landing on the islands I think is new also. I wonder what the boats are taking back? Drugs, guns, diesel? Article is from the Yemen Observer:

Yemen’s Medi Island of Hajjah province close to the Saudi borders has become a new passing point for African refugees to the Gulf countries. The past few days witnessed the arrival of large groups said that an anonymous groups of African refugees from different nationalities-Nigerians, Sudanese, Chadian.

The Red Sea has become also the new passing through point for African refugees after it was only confined to Somalis and their fatal trips in the Gulf of Aden.

Yemen’s Coastguards have captured more than 500 Africans while attempting to sneak into the lands of Saudi Arabia. The coastguards also have captured 110 African refugees in the Medi Island after thie arrival on a smuggling boat. Sources at the coastguards said that there were several cars that were waiting for them to carry them to Hardh district located at the Saudi borders to smuggle them into Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Funds from Saudis Fund Southern Opposition: Saleh

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:34 pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ABU DHABI [MENL] — Yemen has identified Saudi princes as having funded therevived separatist movement in southern Yemen. Officials said Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh relayed details of Saudi funding to the separatist movement during his talks with Saudi KingAbdullah on June 1. They said Saleh appealed to Abdullah to stop the flow ofmoney from his kingdom to the growing separatist movement. “Saleh is telling Abdullah that a separatist movement in southern Yemenwill be immediately coopted by Iran and other enemies of the Saudis,” anofficial said.

The Cave

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:38 pm on Wednesday, May 6, 2009

There’s a lot of interesting tidbits in this article which overall adds a bit of weight to the arguement that the linkage from AQAP is more closely connected to all things Afghanistan than all things Iraq, . This bit with taping the hostages is freaky bad, the weaponry is predictable.

Asharq Al-Awsat Goes Inside Al Qaeda’s Hideout
(Read on …)

Saleh Harrasses Al Asnag and al Attas

Filed under: Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:35 pm on Monday, April 27, 2009

The thing about Saleh is he has no morals whatsoever. The regime targets kids without a whim. In this case, Saleh is putting the screws to some historical leaders abroad, for the crime of political activity or opinions. But what often happens in reality is the Yemeni government and media makes inflammatory charges, and former leaders abroad refute the wild statements.

The Yemeni regime frequently tries to control the speech of people outside its borders through a variety of tools. Sometimes it works. There’a a variety of individuals who self censor for a variety of reasons. Some pay a big price anyway.

al Motamar

Almotamar.net – Well-informed sources said Monday that Yemen addressed a request to authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman asking them to hand over to it a number of wanted Yemeni elements living inn the twp countries , indicating they take advantage of their presence in the two countries by practicing hostile acts against Yemen.

The sources added that files were delivered to authorities of the two countries including the hostile activities those elements carry out against Yemen and its unity, security and stability.

According to report by 26september website Yemen depended in its demands on treaties and agreements signed between Yemen and each of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. It depended on the consideration that the security and stability of Yemen a matter that concerns each of Saudi Arabia and Oman and vice versa.

Obama’s Yemen Quandry

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, gitmo, mentions — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Commenting on the following NTY article, The Weekly Standard notes Gitmo detainee al-Hilal, a top PSO officer with foreknowledge of 9/11, phoned home from Gitmo and accused Saleh of using the detainees as bargaining chips, and then al Hilal’s two young sons were killed (playing with a hand grenade?) while home alone.

Speaking of money, the Miami Herald reports the Defense Department’s request for $83.4 billion in supplemental funds included $81 million to fund President Barack Obama’s order to move or release the 240 or so detainees by Jan. 22. Here’s theNYT article about the problem of returning Yemenis from Gitmo to Yemen where support for “resistance” is governmental policy, prisons have a revolving door and jihaddists are defined by their willingness to negotiate with the government (and we see how well thats working out in Swat). The Yemeni govt puts the price tag at about a mil per detainee to take them back but notes the Obama administration appears to have rejected its offer.

(Then there’s Yemen’s role in piracy and instability in Somalia, the collective punishment of its civilians n Sa’ada, the institutionalized looting of the South, and Yemen’s substantial role in smuggling drugs, weapons and persons all over the region.)

The Obama administration’s effort to return the largest group of Guantánamo Bay detainees to Yemen, their home country, has stalled, creating a major new hurdle for the president’s plan to close the prison camp in Cuba by next January, American and Yemeni officials say. (Read on …)

Saudi-Yemeni Joint Border Ops, Fence

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Military, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:46 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

A good idea. Gen. Turki says AQAP are the greatest threat to Saudi Arabia. We knew that was their focus way back when the nine shoulder fired missles were smuggled from Yemen to SA. Also Saudis are planning an electronic fence to go with the berms and metal fencing. If its an effective fence, then it will cut into Yemen’s substantial black market economy- smuggling drugs, people and weapons into SA and the Gulf. That would prompt an economic crisis of different proportions.

al-Watan

خاص ( الوطن ) – Special (home) –
بحث نائب رئيس الوزراء لشئون الدفاع والأمن وزير الإدارة المحلية اللواء رشاد العليمي مع الجانب السعودي آليات عمل جديدة لمواجهة البلدين لحضر تنظيم القاعدة في الدولتين. Deputy Prime Minister for Defense, Security, Local Administration Minister Rashad Al-Alimi Brigade with the Saudi side of new mechanisms of action to address the two countries attended the al-Qaeda in the two countries. (Read on …)

Three Accused Al Qaeda Confess in Court to Getting Funds from Saudi Figures

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: Internal, arrests, attacks — by Jane Novak at 1:37 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

But not enough apparently because they were also planning to rob banks.

The mortar attacks in the capital are what led to the verbal sparring between al Qaiti and al Qamish.

Yemen Post

Three terrorists of a 16-member suspected Al-Qaeda cell, currently on trial on charges related to committing and plotting terrorist attacks in the country, confessed during Monday’s court session to planning to attack banks, steal money and target tourists in Yemen. (Read on …)

Awfi Still Evoking Analysis

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Iran, Libya, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, arrests, personalities, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 1:28 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I believe Libya more than Iran on funding the Houthis and Iran more than Libya on funding and facilitiating AQAP but thats just me. The idiots haven’t figured out that they are pawns in a much bigger game and never considered that they are being two timed by their own side. Its an amazingly complicated tangle of alliances going on over their heads.

Al Hayat: Al-Awfi is still “lost” despite his recantation and the fact that he handed himself in. As proof, he did not apologize for his “terrorist” acts and intentions. This is important because a confession is different, to the mentality of these men, from an apology. His admiration of the actions and intentions of his former colleagues and his Sheikh, Osama Bin-Laden, also casts doubts about the sincerity of his recantation of their course and ideology. (Read on …)

The “Whole Government Approach” to Marib, Yemen? Potatoes

Filed under: Agriculture, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:39 pm on Friday, April 10, 2009

Saudi potatoes are causing a stir this year, and all agricultural enterprises in Yemen need support considering 90% of grains are imported. More on the dramatic decline in wheat imports below the fold.

Yemen Post

Farmers of Marib province confirmed that the citizens’ losses are estimated to be hundreds of millions that are going even higher if the ‘export mafia’, as they said, continues damaging the national economy of the country.

A number of farmers in Marib province threatened to stop the supply of gas to the capital Sanaa in response to ignoring their repeated demands by the competent authorities for stopping potatoes import from various countries. (Read on …)

Donors Conference Held in Sana’a

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Saudi Arabia, prisons — by Jane Novak at 2:01 pm on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saudis fund road from Sa’ada to Aden. This is the conference that was postponed at the last minute a few months ago.

Saudi offers Yemen 2 grants & $ 325 million loan for road & malaria control
Sunday, 05-April-2009
Almotamar.net – Yemen and the Saudi Fund for Development on Sunday have signed the final agreement memorandum for contribution to financing the project of the dual highway linking the governorates of Amran-Sana’a –Aden, the second part linking Sana’a to Beit Al-Kumani at a cost of $329 million. (Read on …)

Yemeni Diplomat Found to be Fraud

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, counterfeiting   · — by Jane Novak at 10:11 am on Sunday, April 5, 2009

The guy was working in the Yemeni embassy in SA, for a year, with forged documents and apparently selling favors from the Yemeni security forces to Yemeni ex-pats in SA…

Diplomat Arrested after Year on Job with Forged Documents

Yemen Post: The Yemeni authorities are investigating a citizen who has been working as a diplomat at the Yemeni embassy in Saudi Arabia with fake documents for a year. (Read on …)

US May Send Gitmo Yemenis to Saudi

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 10:41 pm on Friday, March 13, 2009

CNN

100 detainees, 15 to go to trial, 15 cleared for release, some of the remaining 70 with family in SA may go for rehab there.

Story Highlights

-Rehab plan would involve only Yemenis with family ties to Saudi Arabia, paper says

-Yemeni spokesman opposes plan: “We want our detainees back to the homeland”

-Saudis may have underlying motive to interrogate detainees wanted for terror

This is rather important as well: In a dramatic break with the Bush administration, the Justice Department on Friday announced it is discarding the “enemy combatant” designation, which allowed the United States to hold suspected terrorists at length without criminal charges.

More on the new de-designation: CO:

In a court filing in Washington, the Justice Department dropped the term “enemy combatant” to refer to those being held in Guantanamo. It also said that the government’s authority to continue to jail terrorist suspects would hinge on proving that they “authorized, committed or aided” the Sept. 11 attacks or that they “were part of or substantially supported” the Taliban or al-Qaida.

Some lawyers said the decision not to use the term “enemy combatant” marked the death knell for military commissions, which Congress established specifically to try Guantanamo detainees. Under federal law, the commissions have authority to try only persons declared “unlawful alien enemy combatants.”

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, who defended Osama bin Laden’s driver before such a commission, said Friday’s move effectively gave the war court “jurisdiction over a category of persons that doesn’t exist.” (Read on …)

Saudi-Yemen Border Closed by Disgruntled Sheik

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Saudi Arabia, Tribes, Yemen, land disputes, political violence, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 1:39 am on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Says a lot, Yemen Online

Yemeni Sheikh closed “Ilb” Yemen-Saudi border crossing in Sa’ada governorate, calling for the implementation of the agreement terms between his grandfather and Saudi Arabia.
YemenOnline. March 01 – Armed elements believed to be followers to Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Moqait, Baqim district, Sa’ada governorate closed on Saturday morning “Ilb” Yemen-Saudi border crossing, denying entry and exit of people and vehicles to and from Saudi Arabia, learned tribal sources reported to Al-Ishteraki Net. According to the sources, hundreds of cars and trucks piling up on both sides of the border of Yemen Saudi Arabia since the early hours of Saturday morning To reopen the border crossing, Sheikh Moqait , a senior Baqim sheikh, demanded that both Saudi Arabia and Yemen authorities implement his terms, in particular allowing the people of his tribe to enter to Saudi Arabia and work there without having to obtain what is known as the Saudi “sponsor”.
According to Sheikh Moqait , Saudi Arabia is obligated to implement the agreement terms between “AL Saud” and his grandfather in particular allowing Yemeni-Saudi border tribes, including Baqim and Monabbih tribes, to work in Saudi Arabia without having to obtain work permits or a Saudi sponsor.

Notably, Ilb border crossing is one of the most important crossings between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

GCC Requested Donors Delay, WB Grants not Loans

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, GCC, Investment, Reform, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:30 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2009

al Motamar

Almotamar.net – The World Bank WB said Monday that it intends to assist Yemen for facing ramifications of the drop in oil prices for enhancement of efforts and orientations of the Yemeni government aimed to diversify sources of national income and lessening dependence on oil revenues.

Vice President of the WB for the Middle East and North Africa Daniela Gressani, currently on a visit to Yemen, said there is a steady progress Yemen has achieved in implementation of reforms. Gressani added that the WB has raised the ceiling of the annual support to Yemen to $ 120 million and adopted since the last year to offer all forms of assistance to Yemen in the form of gifts instead of loans in order to support the Yemeni government efforts for encountering the world rise in food prices and facing consequences of the floods disaster that hit governorates of Hadramout and Mahara.

Gressani also praised the level of improvement in the government performance in Yemen especially in regards to carrying out the foreign sources-funded projects. She has also stressed the significance of donors meeting of their commitments to Yemen pertaining to completion of allocations they had pledged at London Donors Conference in November 2006. She revealed that the WB would work for urging donors to speed up completing allocations of their pledges.

On the reasons behind postponement of the 3rd consultative meeting between the Yemeni government and donors, scheduled to be held last Sunday in Sana’a, Ms Gressani said the postponement was imposed by coincidence of its convening with the date of holding an international conference of donors for the reconstruction of Gaza Strip. She added, in a statement to Saba news agency on Monday, the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC states proposed postponing the meeting to a later date in order to secure large attendance. And that has been agreed between the Yemeni government and the donors.

Third Donors Conference Canceled in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:48 pm on Friday, February 20, 2009

OK the Saudis are peeved. This is a big move. It reminds me of when the US canceled the MCC award and the Forum for the Future after al Badawi was released.

Why would the Saudis be peeved? Maybe Yemen’s false announcement on the seven captured Saudi al Qaeda that wasn’t true, and which Yemen’s news agency retracted today. Maybe its the rest of the BS that Saleh is shoveling lately as counter-terrorism including the release of al Qaeda prisoners to fight the Southerners. About third of the six billion promised at the 2006 donors conference came from Saudi Arabia. The other Gulf states also ponied up substantial funds.

Yemen says they canceled the donors’ meeting because of a conflict in scheduling with a conference on Gaza.

Yemen, Donors delay third consultative meeting

SANA’A, Feb. 20 (Saba) – Yemen and its Development partners of donor countries, organizations and funds agreed on Friday delaying the third consultative meeting.

The date of the meeting, which was to be held next Sunday in Sana’a, will be set later, head of the Foreign Aid Coordination Unit at the Planning and International Cooperation Ministry Nabil Shaiban said. (Read on …)

Al-Harbi Arrested in Yemen 20 Days Ago

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 7:29 pm on Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are these actually two people: the first returned to SA, Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, Gitmo #333, and the second returned today, Ahmed Owaidan Al Harbi?

Yemen reports a second repatriation from Yemen to Saudia Arabia today of Ahmed Owaidan al-Harbi. This is following on the heels of the return of Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, the Gitmo detainee 333. We’re good up to this point.

The NYT previously said the first, Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi (al-Oufi) was identified in the vid as Mohamed Atiq Awayd al-Harbi. Probably related to Ahmed Owaidan Al Harbi, but gee, the names are very similiar. The Saudi list of the 85 has one name that is close to both with a third spelling, al Aufi:

73- Mohammed Otaik Owaid Al-Aufi Al-Harbi, Saudi

and more

15- Badr Saud Owaid Al-Aufi Al-Harbi, Saudi

26- Khaled Saleem Owaid Al-Luhaibi Al-Harbi, Saudi

29- Rayed Abdullah Salim Al-Zahiri Al-Harbi, Saudi

43- Abdullah Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Harbi, Saudi

60- Fayez Ghuneim Hameed Al-Hijri Al-Harbi, Saudi

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) — Yemen says it has handed over another alleged al-Qaida operative to authorities in Saudi Arabia.

The Interior Ministry says it sent back the Saudi national, Ahmed Owaidan al-Harbi, on Thursday, 20 days after his arrest in eastern Yemen. The ministry hasn’t released any details on al-Harbi’s case.

The extradition comes two days after Yemen returned another Saudi national who was once held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo and later became an al-Qaida operative in Yemen. Officials say that suspect, Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, surrendered himself.

So al Harbi was arrested Jan 30/31? The vid came out on Jan 25. There was a lot of hunting, the arrest of the Kuwaiti, and other round-ups that week. The Saudi list of the 85 was published Feb. 3 after a visit from the Saudi Interior Minister. Al Harbi imay be a family member of al Awfi with a similiar name who was arrested prior to the publication of the list. But you never know what to believe with the Yemeni regime, they lie more than they tell the truth.

Its strange that SA says they have no notice of seven Saudis that the Yemeni regime previously announced they arrested. Maybe its something else, maybe Yemen is spinning the international media.

Oh, Seven Saudi al Qaeda Weren’t Captured in Yemen?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 4:22 pm on Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spin and lie fast enough and everyone will be too confused to walk, like that the story of the rats twirled in a bag. Or maybe they are turning them.

Al Watan reports the Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any information on the arrest of seven Saudi al Qaeda highly publicized by the Yemeni regime last week.

And the other pressure point to be considered in the overall picture is Saleh’s ability to manipulate Saudi Arabia (like the US) through playing the terror card, and its been suggested, to dampen any enthusiasm SA may have for the Southern seperatist movement. The southern mobility is among the foremost threats to Saleh’s throne.

Update: below forum reactions to al Wahishi surrender.

Update: English article at Yemen’s Official News Agency, sounds like somebody got a spanking:

KSA denies nationals arrested in Yemen

RIYADH, 20 (Saba) – A spokesman for the Saudi Interior ministry has denied reports that seven Saudi terrorism suspects were arrested in Yemen who received trainings in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Major General Mansour al-Turkey said Yemeni officials had told him the reports were untrue. (Read on …)

Seven Member Saudi Cell Apprehended in Yemen, Update: Al-Awfi Surrenders in Shabwa

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 4:04 pm on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Updated: Al Awfi surrendered in Sahbwa, not Marib where all the hunting was going on, where Saleh was threatening the tribes. He surrendered to the Saudi authorities through a Sheikh and contacted his rehab program first. Its a good development but says more about the Saudis than Saleh. Actually it says a bit about Saleh. Update two: there’s link, handy. More:

JEDDAH: A wanted Saudi terrorist, who had become an Al-Qaeda commander in Yemen after returning from Guantanamo prison, has turned himself in to Saudi authorities, an Interior Ministry spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said the man, Mohammed Ateek Al-Aufi Al-Harbi, surrendered as a result of the combined efforts of Saudi and Yemeni security agencies. He expressed his desire to surrender through his family.

One more: Earth Times: The ministry said in a statement the man gave himself up to police in the south-eastern Yemeni province of Shabwa. How did he get to Shabwa? And where are the others?

Another update: The Saudis said on 2/19 there was no arrest in Yemen of 7 Saudi AQ and the Yemeni govt retracted the following story:
Original post: Coordination pays dividends (Saudi/Yemeni border patrols). The seven were a well trained cell, familiar with remote control bombs. They were trained inside Saudi Arabia and arrested along the border- Saada, al Jawf or Hadmarout? They were sent on orders from AQ central. But but…

Investigation with a 7-member terrorist cell almotamar.net – Security authorities in Yemen have begun investigating with a terrorist cell composed of seven persons from among 30 persons arrested during a storming operation carried out by police in a number of areas situated along the borders between Yemen and Saudi Arabia last week.

A security source told almotamar.net Monday that first investigations disclosed that members of the cell were receiving orders from al-Qaeda organisation leadership to infiltrate into the Yemeni territories and to prepare for carrying out a series of terrorist attacks against foreign interests and tourist facilities in Yemen in addition to training a number of al-Qaeda members in Yemen.

According to the source the members of the cell hold the Saudi nationality. They had received intensive combat and offensive trainings inside Saudi Arabia on the use of different weapons, planting bombs and detonating them from distance and engagement with security men and launching direct attack.

This development comes at a time the when Yemen and Saudi Arabia have risen their level of coordination for fighting terror and controlling the borders of the two countries with the aim of preventing infiltration attempts by al-Qaeda elements after its announcement of establishing a new unified leadership in the Arabian Peninsula.

Update: Yemen: Field Commander of Al-Qaeda military operations in the Arabian Peninsula turns himself in to Yemeni security authorities

YemenOnline. Feb 17, 2009 – One day after the statement by the Minister of Interior that al-Qaeda no longer exists in Yemen, Mohammed Al-Awfi, a Saudi national who has been an ex-gitmo, turned himself in to Yemeni security authorities, which in turn handed him over to Saudi Arabia, security sources said. Al-Awfi recently appeared in an online video with a number of Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen and with Sa’ad Al-Shahri, who both escaped from Saudi Arabia into Yemen, and was declared as a field commander of military operations. Al-Awfi’s surrender is in line with what was circulated today about commencing investigations with a terrorist cell composed of seven Saudi nationals who had been arrested during a raid launched by the Yemeni security agencies in a number of areas on the Yemen-Saudi Arabia borders between last week.

Maybe he’s sorry.

Fox: Sheik Mohammed al-Nujaimi, who helps run the rehab program, said al-Awfi had contacted the program’s headquarters and “expressed a desire to surrender and return to Saudi Arabia.” Saudi government officials confirmed that he would return to the rehabilitation center.

Yemen Unrolls New Counter-Terror Measures Against 4000 Most Wanted

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, JMP, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:25 pm on Sunday, February 1, 2009

Yes Ali Abdullah Saleh is jumping on the ball with demonstrable counter-terror measures, the standard routine that includes:

a) beat up people with names that sound like Zawahiri:

Sahwa Net – A Yemeni citizen ,Mohammad al-Zahiri, has been cruelly assaulted by security forces in Dhala governorate on grounds of his affiliation to al-Qaeda and kinship to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahi. Mohammad al-Zahiri told Sahwa Net that he was attacked as security forces suspected his name which is close to al-Zawhiri’s name.

2) Accuse the opposition of supporting al-Qaeda, which is just fricking hysterical considering all the dithering the regime is doing:

almotamar.net – Head of the political office at the General People’s Congress GPC Abdullah Ahmed Ghanim accused the Islah and Yemen Socialist Party YSP of embracing terrorist groups and promoting for their extremist ideas via their own papers with the aim of hindering the democratic process and parliamentary elections through the4 attempt for destabilizing security and stability.

In a statement to 26september.net Saturday he clarified that the Joint Meeting parties JMP want to go into alliance with extremist forces of the al-Qaeda, advocates of secession and rebels through what they term conference of national consultation in order to impede the parliamentary elections.

Mr Ghanim added the consultative conference planned for by the JMP is only for creation of a new political alliance groups , beside the parties of the JMP, the remaining of al-Houthi insurgents in Sada and those promoting for the culture of hatred and secession in the southern and eastern governorates in addition to representatives of the extremist and terrorist currents which the Islah party has lately adopted through highlighting anti-democracy views of those forces in the Annas and Al-Thawri newspapers.

3) Make announcements including a vow to hunt down the 4000 persons wanted by security.

almotamar.net - Yemen Ministry of Interior announced Sunday the implementation of a large-scale campaign for hunting down the wanted for security as a part of a plan dawn up by the Ministry and carried out in all governorates of Yemen.

Minister of Interior General Mutahar Rashad al-Misri said in the past few days the security apparatuses captured about 30 persons of the wanted by security , the latest of whom three persons of terrorist elements caught in Al-Baidha after they managed to escape from security men chasing in the governorate of Shabwa . He added that among those captured are accused of sabotage, kidnapping and killing crimes. He said about 4000 persons wanted by the security will be hunted down according to the Ministry’s plan

Other announcments include, typically, strong Yemeni-Saudi cooperation, hunting operations and arrests.

Its going swimmingly well.

.

Foreign Funding for Attacks on US UK Interests in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trying to block the Saudi border. At least the Yemeni seciurity knows where all the smuggling routes are.

Terrorist plot for strikes at foreign interests in Yemen

Almotamar.net – Security source has Saturday told almotamar.net that Yemeni authorities have begun deployment of hundreds of soldiers in their border areas in precaution for infiltration of al-Qaeda members from neighbouring countries into Yemeni territories for implementation of a terrorist plot against foreign interests and vital installations in Yemen.

The source that asked not to be identified said these measures came in the wake of the Yemeni security authorities have obtained information on some elements of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia attempting to infiltrate into the Yemeni territories in order to join colleagues present in Yemen and to launch joint terrorist attacks on vital installations and foreign interests in the country.

The source also disclosed of confessions made by persons suspected of affiliation to al-Qaeda organisation, among them Saudis with whom investigations are still going on, their confessions mentioned they receive logistic support from foreign parties for perpetrating their terrorist acts, particularly targeting the American and British embassies in addition to some tourist facilities and establishments in Yemen. The source declined to mention about the identity of those sides for reasons he said related to being connected to security measures.

Assistant OF THE Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud last week visited Yemen carrying a message from the Saudi Monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to President Ali Abdullah Saleh pertaining to bilateral relations and areas of coordination and cooperation especially in security fields and combating terror.

The Saudi official visit to Yemen came days after a blitz operation carried out by Yemeni security that involved armed confrontation with elements from al-Qaeda organisation cell and resulted in the killing of two members of the cell

I Question the Timing

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, USA, personalities — by Jane Novak at 1:49 pm on Friday, January 30, 2009

First, Zawahiri promises Saleh more fighters:

Long War Journal – Tensions between the Saleh government and al Qaeda increased after an al Qaeda assault team conducted a coordinated attack on the US embassy in Sana’a. “Saleh feared his government would be the next target, but Zawahiri wanted al Qaeda prisoners released from Yemeni jails and committed al Qaeda foot soldiers to fight the Houthi rebels. Zawahiri does not want to sour relations” between al Qaeda and Iran, “so he took great care by reaching out to the Iranians.”

Second, the Saudi branch of Al Qaeda merges with the Yemeni branch, and unrolls a media blitz.

Third, Zawahiri promplty acknowledges the new organization, AQAP.

WMRC : Al-Qaida groups in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia have announced their intention to merge operations, heightening fears about a resurgence of attacks in the region. The announcement was made in a video recording by al-Qaida’s spiritual leader Aymen al-Zawahri which was broadcast online yesterday, according to Al Jazeera network. Nasir Wuhaishi was named as the new head of the joint al-Qaida group, a former Guantanamo Bay inmate Said al-Shihri was named deputy of the group. According to the video recording, the group would carry out attacks across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

The only question here is how credible is the information that Zawahiri promised fighters to Saleh. Its coming from “a senior US intelligence official” according to The Long War Journal, which is a highly credible site. Some analysts in Yemen insist the AQAP merger must be regime-sanctioned, and they don’t know about the reports of a Zawahiri-Saleh agreement.

Saleh is under huge domestic pressure, of his own making. He needs US and Saudi support. From Saleh’s side, the last step in the sequence would be a politically advantageous terror attack or to unleash AQAP on his domestic enemies- the Houthis or the Southerners. Meanwhile al Qaeda central would take advantage of the situation to advance its long term strategy, as it has been doing all along, or shorter term goals.

That’s a freaky but not improbable scenario.

Update: Fourth, AQAP explains the strategy to its members and legitimizes fighting for the state by referencing the 1994 war.

The Empty Quarter notes the letter obtained by News Yemen from AQAP leadership to members says Saleh wants AQAP to fight for him, especailly those who did already in 1994, and AQAP demanded more prison releases and unimpeded travel to external theaters of jihad.

The letter seems like an explanation to make AQAP’s mercenary trade-off acceptable to the members by reminding them of the 1994 war when jihad for the state was “good (mercenary) jihad” and by showing members that AQAP will be getting a good deal in return. But it sounds like the Zawahiri deal hitting the streets.

Update: Releases, 11 with 170 to follow, later reports openly confirm this.

al Sahwa

Sahwa Net – Yemeni security forces released on Tuesday 11 al-Qaeda suspects who were held at al-Mansour prison in Aden , well-informed sources told Sahwa Net.

According to the sources, the release came following issuing official orders to the prison management , pointing out that these orders would include 140 prisoners charged with affiliation to al-Qaeda.

The sources also revealed that the freed persons pledged to abandon terror acts which could damage Yemen , its security and stability.

Yemeni security sources had declared last month that it managed to thwart escaping attempt from al-Mansoura prison, indicating that an underground tunnel was discovered inside the prison.

Just as an aside, the 2006 foiled plot on the oil facilities led by Wahishi came days after a Zawahiri rant about Crusaders and oil blah blah.

Zawahiri Signs Off

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, USA, personalities — by Jane Novak at 3:06 pm on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wonder if Zawahiri discussed it in the negotiations with the regime about new releases and fighters for Sa’ada? That’s the opposition meme, the merger is a power play by Saleh on SA to diminish any support for the southern liberation movement. The article has a good characterization of the strategic importance of Yemen to al-Qaeda Central, “huge”.

AJ: Al-Qaeda groups in Yemen and Saudi Arabia have announced they are merging their operations, raising fears of new attacks in the region.

The organisation said on Tuesday that the joint forces would carry out operations across the Arabian peninsula and beyond.

Nasir Wuhaishi was named as the head of the new combined al-Qaeda unit.

Wuhaishi’s appointment was confirmed by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the deputy al-Qaeda chief, in a video posted online.

The group’s deputy was named as Said Ali al-Shihri, a former prisoner at the United States’ Guantanamo Bay detention facility, who was released from Saudi custody in 2007.

Yemeni authorities said they had stepped up security following the announcement.

‘Huge significance’

Analysts say Yemen is of huge significance to al-Qaeda.

“Weapons, training, crossing points and the launch of operations have all come from Yemen,” Abd Alelah-Haidar, a “terrorism” specialist who has met Wuhaishi, told Al Jazeera.

“This country is seen as having strategic significance, not only by al-Qaeda, but also by others. [However,] their operations are not confined to the Arabian peninsula but also include Iraq, Afghanistan, Nahr al-Bared [in Lebanon], and Palestine.”

Second Rehab’d Saudi ID’d in AQAP Vid from Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, security timeline, statements — by Jane Novak at 1:56 am on Sunday, January 25, 2009

Its quite a professional vid, they have good cameras, editing. I try not to link this trash, so see Trey if you’re interested. I still want to know if al Shahri is related to the 9/11 mass murderer of the same name.

Article from the NYT:

2 Ex-Detainees in Qaeda Video
By ROBERT F. WORTH
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two former Guantánamo Bay detainees now appear to have joined Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch, which released a video on Friday showing them both and identifying them by their names and Guantánamo detainee numbers.

American counterterrorism officials have already confirmed that Said Ali al-Shihri, 35, who was released from the American prison camp at Guantánamo in November 2007, is now the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch. He is suspected of playing a role in a deadly attack on the American Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana, in September.

In the video released Friday, Mr. Shihri sits alongside a man identified as Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, who appears with a script at the bottom of the screen giving his Guantánamo identification number, 333. That number corresponds to a man known in Pentagon documents as Mohamed Atiq Awayd al-Harbi, who was also released to Saudi Arabia in November 2007….

In the video released Friday, Mr. Awfi warns fellow prisoners about the Saudi program and threatens attacks against Saudi Arabia. He also speaks angrily about the Israeli attacks on Hamas in Gaza.

Gitmo Gitmo Gitmo

Filed under: Counter-terror, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 12:10 pm on Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Military Commissions, once they started, worked well. The Yemeni detainees cleared for release apparently are not an issue for the messiah. The US is going to put its security in Saleh’s hands and hope counseling will do the trick. I hope theres some overarching plan to deal with the spread and empowerment of al Qaeda in Yemen.

US donates $500,000 worth of equipment to keep track of them.

Depute Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James W. McJunkin has delivered to the Yemeni Government state-of-the art thirty biometric collection systems. As part of the United States’ commitment to assisting Yemen combat terrorism and other criminal activity, these systems, with a total value over $503,000, will assist in the collection and comparison of biometric data, specifically fingerprints.

IHT: released Saudi gitmo detainee is now #2 of AQY.

YO The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday that a total of 94 Yemeni Guantanamo detainees will be released to Yemen within three months.

He said Yemen had refused an offer from the former US administration to the release the Yemeni men to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation.

“We refused the offer to release the Yemenis to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation, and we told them we would establish our own centre for rehabilitating them and helping them get rid of extremism and violence,” said President Saleh in an annual conference for security leaders held in Sana’a Saturday.

“Now, within 60-90 days, 94 Yemeni detainees will be here among us,” he said

Late last week, the Yemeni government announced it has started to establish a special centre for receiving, re-qualifying and reintegrating its citizens in the Guantanamo detention when they are released. (Read on …)

“The presence of Iran in Yemen has helped it to have a real dominance in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. “

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 7:23 pm on Sunday, January 4, 2009

That’s a good point and this is an interesting analysis on Yemen’s external affairs from the Yemen Post, if only because it says some different things. The relationship between Iran, Yemen and the war in Iraq is an important point. (There’s no mention of Syria, Iran’s proxy state but if you take a good look at Yemen and Syria, you get a sense of things.) Yemen is the playground between Saudi Arabia and Libya, and the Sa’ada War in some ways reflects that.

Yemen has a strategic location; however, there has been constant increase of weakness points and waste of strength factors. The strategic location is connected with the interests of regional and international powers. What happens nowadays is a clear manifestation of the feverish conflict between these countries over the Yemeni field.

Active Diplomacy

The authority has turned to be diplomatically active and through different manifestations:

- President Saleh made two telephone calls with Libyan President Col. Mu’amar Al-Qadhafi and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.

- Sending Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Affairs Rashad Al-Alimi to Saudi Arabia.

- Sending Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi to Oman

- Sending Col. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, Commander of the Republican Guards, to the United Arab Emirates.

Regional Struggle

At the present time, there are four main players in the Yemeni field: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya and Qatar and these contesting parties have different goals to achieve. (Read on …)

Saudi Support for Yemen: Billions

Filed under: Military, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 9:35 pm on Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Russians are Yemen’s main arms supplier and the Saudis are the main financial donor. Related: Yemen may be financially unviable in a year.

Reuters: Jan 18 (Reuters) – The United States is the main foreign backer of Yemen’s counter-terrorism efforts against al Qaeda, according to published figures, but its support is believed to rank behind a large undisclosed contribution from Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia Deports Yemeni Bloggers for Arrest

Filed under: Media, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Targeting, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yemen Post

On the other hand, authorities have arrested two persons from Al Dhale province who were handed over by Saudi authorities in connection with reports they published on a website backing the southern anti-government movements. However, the fate of a third partner remains unclear, as there were reports he is still held by Saudi authorities.

Sources close to the families of the arrested said the Political Security in Sana’a seized Sami Ali Nassir and Ali Sahyef al-Hariri four months ago, but there were not specific convictions against them under which they may go on trial.

The two along with a third partner were said to have created a website known as ‘ the southern movement’. The sources expected Saudi authorities had held the Yemeni nationals under a request from the Yemeni government.

Families of the arrested called on human rights organizations to intervene to release their relatives either in Yemen or in Saudi Arabia.

Border guard in Hodeidah Prevent Yemeni Coast Guard

Filed under: Corruption, Ports, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:00 am on Tuesday, December 9, 2008

www.alghadyem.net

Received an official note tomorrow to complain about the Coast Guard and the Customs Directorate of the coastal province of Hodeidah beard that their employees are threatened by the border guards prevented from carrying out their duties in the seizure and prosecution of smugglers of petroleum products, sheep from Africa across the coast of the Directorate.
وأوضح مصدر محلي مسؤول في المديرية، فضل عدم الكشف عن هويته، بأنه قد تم إبلاغ الجهات المعنية بالمحافظة والعاصمة بالقضية، إلا أنه لم يتم اتخاذ الإجراءات القانونية لوقف عمليات التهريب، ومحاسبة حرس الحدود المرابطين في المنطقة ممن يقومون بحماية المهربين بالتعاون مع مجموعة من مشائخ المنطقة المتنفذين. The source said a local official in the Directorate, on condition of anonymity, that he had been informed stakeholders and to maintain the capital case, however, are not taken legal action to stop the smuggling operations, and to hold the border guards stationed in the region who were protecting the smugglers in collaboration with a group of the region Mchaik powerful.
وأكد المصدر بأن ظاهرة تهريب الأغنام والمشتقات النفطية إلى بلادنا من إفريقيا تسير بوتيرة عالية وبصورة علنية عبر سواحل المديرية، وخاصة في خور المديرية ومرسى العلوي دون أي حسيب أو رقيب، وبحماية من حرس الحدود المتواجدين في المنطقة، والذين يقومون بمنع أفراد خفر السواحل والجمارك بالمديرية من مزاولة أعمالهم في مكافحة التهريب وضبط المهربين وهم في حالة تلبس، كما يمنعونهم من ترقيم القوارب اليمنية والأجنبية والكشف عليها أو تفتيشها. The source added that the smuggling of sheep and oil derivatives in the country of Africa is moving quickly across the public and the coast of the Directorate, particularly in the Directorate and the creek without any upper berth total impunity, and to protect the border guards who are in the area, who are members of the prevention of the Coast Guard and the Customs Directorate of the to operate in the fight against smuggling and smugglers who are controlling in the case of flagrante delicto, and prevented the boats from the numbering of the Yemeni and foreign disclosure or inspection.

Najran Gets New Prince After Clashes with Minority Shiites

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:18 am on Thursday, November 6, 2008

Alert net

RIYADH, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has removed the prince of a remote governorate that has seen violent clashes between police and minority Shi’ite Muslims complaining of discrimination, state media said on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Saudis Extradite Blogger to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Media, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yemen hands over terrorists; Saudi Arabia gives back a blogger. He was writing on the Southern forums. They will probably charge him, if they ever charge him, with treason or undermining the state or something.

Sahwa Net – Saudi authorities have extradited the blogger Abdul-Fattah Al-Shanfra who was arrested last June in Tabook, according to sources close to Al-Shanfra.

It said that Abdul-Fatah called his relatives and told them that he has been in a prison of the Political Security Organization since September.

According to the sources, Saudi authorities had arrested Abdul-Fatah, the blogger of the South Forums on fabricated charges filed by Yemen Intelligence.

Saudis to Try About 200 Yemenis for Terrorism

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:31 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saudi Gazette

RIYADH – Saudi authorities have planned to try nearly 1,200 new detained terror suspects on charges that they participated in terrorist attacks carried out in the Kingdom over the last five years, sources said Saturday.
Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz said that the ministry is preparing the charges with the help of the Investigation and Prosecution Bureau. The new 1200 suspected militants, rounded up in anti-terror raids across the country in recent years, will be added to the 991 suspects already referred to court for terrorism charges.
The legal proceedings mark a big step in the country’s fight against terrorism as more terror suspects stand trial in the judicial circuits within the General Court in Riyadh.
Among the arrested were 520 terror suspects who were netted earlier this year in different five terror cells as they were planning to bomb the Intelligence Building in Khafji and an oil installation facility in the Eastern Province, a long-time dream of Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda terror network.
The detainees included 208 terror suspects who formed six cells that planned a series of assassinations targeting senior Muslim scholars in the Kingdom topped by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti and chairman of the Board of Senior Ulama, and Sheikh Saleh Bin Fowzan Al-Fowzan, member of the Board of Senior Ulama. The security forces also arrested another cell consisting of 18 terror suspects led by a 37-year-old Yemeni. The cell, named Al-Sawareekh (missiles), was planning to target vital installations and sensitive facilities in the Kingdom. The Yemeni cell leader was found to have trained his followers to launch missile attacks at the Farouq camp of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Authorities said that 70 percent of the 991 terror suspects, indicted last week, are Saudis while the remaining 30 percent are of different nationalities, mostly Yemenis.

Hash

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, drugs — by Jane Novak at 7:32 pm on Saturday, September 27, 2008

Security seize 135 kg of hashish in Harad city

[16 September 2008]
SANA’A, Sep. 16 (Saba) – Security sources said on Tuesday that about 135 kg of hashish and a big quantity of wine were seized at Harad city of Hajjah province.

The sources were quoted by the military-run 26sep.net as saying that the hashish and wine were prepared to be smuggled into Saudi Arabia.

Yemenis Denied Access to Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:19 am on Saturday, September 13, 2008

NY

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Yemeni Foreign Ministry summoned on Monday the Saudi Charge de’ Affairs in Sana’a and expressed Yemen’s depression over the Saudi embassy’s refusal to issue visas for Yemeni diplomats to perform Umrah.

Foreign Ministry denounces that “unjustified” measure of Saudi embassy.

NewsYemen could not contact with Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi and Saudi embassy in Sana’a for further information.

The Saudi authorities prevented dozens of Yemenis last week from entering the Kingdom for work after the Saudi embassy had given them entry visas.

1000 per day caught, Saudi’s erect fence

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:47 pm on Monday, August 25, 2008

Poverty, illegal immigrants, a fence….

Al-Sahwat- Saudi authorities have affirmed that its border guards seize over 1000 Yemeni infiltrators a day trying to enter the Saudi territories to work as beggars in Ramadan month, according to a Saudi paper, Okadh .

It is worth mentioning that Saudi patrols held 250,000 infiltrators who entered Saudi illegally last year.

Officials at Yemen’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour say the Saudi authorities arrest an average of 10 Yemeni children a day as they attempt to cross into Saudi border illegally.

SANA’A, Aug. 22 — The Saudi Border Guards Authority has announced the completion of a steel fence to prevent Yemenis from infiltrating Saudi Arabia and protect Saudi villages adjacent to the Yemeni border from smuggling.

Saudi’s Okadh newspaper reported that by erecting this fence around Saudi villages, the Saudi Border Guards leadership is seeking to prevent smuggling and infiltration activities that occur in the region, particularly at night.

The leader of Jazan district’s Saudi Border Guards maintains that the authority installed the steel fence to prevent smugglers from entering the villages of Al-Khawjarah, Mabkharah and Al-Hizb.

The newspaper noted that these villages have witnessed extensive smuggling operations, particularly flour smuggling, which has created a crisis in that region, where the price of a bag of flour currently sells for 70 Saudi Riyals (YR 3,735). (Read on …)

15 Al-Qaeda Suspects Confess to Targeting Oil Facilities in Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Oil, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, arrests, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:36 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2008

The YSB?

SAN’A, Yemen: A Yemeni security official says that recently detained members of al-Qaida have confessed to plans to attack oil facilities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The official says authorities “obtained during interrogation” confessions from 15 militants arrested after a shootout earlier this week in the town of Tarim in Hadramawt province.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

He says Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz was dispatched to Yemen after learning about the confessions. Riyadh did not comment on Nayef’s visit.

The following article says the YSB group was responsible for pretty much all the recent attacks attacks, including the three mortar attacks in Sana’a, the three suicide bombings and the attacks on the Belguin tourists. And makes the point that some predict, “The international community, mainly the US, will approve of government plans to prioritise security rather than democracy.” (furthering the ultimate Talibanization of Yemen)

SANA’A // The killing this week by Yemeni security forces of a key al Qa’eda mastermind will initially sow confusion among the group, but is likely to provoke a violent backlash, an analyst said.

“This operation is a big blow to al Qa’eda and will, of course, invite an angry response from al Qa’eda to retaliate. It is clear now the confrontation between the government and al Qa’eda is open,” said Saeed Thabet, a political analyst who follows Islamist movements.

Yemeni authorities announced on Aug 12 that Hamza al Quaiti, al Qa’eda in Yemen’s number two, was killed along with five other terror suspects in a shoot-out with police the previous day in Tarim, in south-eastern Hadramaut province.

Another two suspected militants were wounded and arrested by police. Two police officers were killed in the clash.

The ministry of interior has blamed Quaiti for masterminding several terror attacks in Yemen in recent months, including four car bomb attacks and an attack on Belgian tourists in Hadramaut on Jan 18 that killed two Belgian women and two Yemeni drivers. The ministry has also accused Quaiti of being behind the US Embassy bombing in March. The attack killed a security guard and wounded 13 students at a nearby school. (Read on …)

8 to Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 12:11 am on Monday, August 11, 2008

Sana’a, Yemen – Yemen has extradited to Saudi Arabia eight Saudis one week after Yemeni police uncovered suspected plots by al- Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, a state-run weekly reported Thursday.

The eight men were “wanted by Saudi security authorities on security-related charges,” said the 26 September newspaper, the defence ministry mouthpiece.

“The handover was made within the past two days in line with cooperation between the two brotherly countries, and under the security cooperation agreement,” the paper quoted an unnamed security source as saying.

This is the latest such handover between Yemen and its oil-rich neighbour Saudi Arabia under an extradition agreement inked in 2003.

Last week, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said police had discovered plots by al-Qaeda to strike targets in inside the country and in Saudi Arabia.

Documents and blueprints for the plans were reportedly found after police forces raided a hideout for al-Qaeda in south-eastern Yemen on August 12.

Police killed five suspected members of al-Qaeda in the raid in Tarim town of Hadhramout province.

Among the suspects killed was Hamza al-Quaiti, a suspected mastermind of several car bomb attacks that hit Yemen in recent years. Two other suspects were injured in the firefight and arrested by police. Two police officers were killed in the clash. (dpa)

Red Sea Bridge Plan Fishy

Filed under: Business, Investment, Saudi Arabia, Transportation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:33 pm on Saturday, August 9, 2008

from The Economist:

A fantastic plan to span the Red Sea’s troubled waters is raising eyebrows

ONE OF Osama bin Laden’s many half-brothers, Tarek bin Laden, this week signed a deal with tiny Djibouti which may—or may not—mark the start of one of the world’s boldest engineering projects. Djibouti’s president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, promised Mr bin Laden 500 sq km (193 sq miles) of land to start building Noor City, the first of a hundred “Cities of Light” the vast Saudi Binladen Group plans around the world. “A hope for all humanity, the first environmental city of the 21st century,” gushed the promotional video at the signing. The audience, mostly American military contractors near retirement age, clapped enthusiastically. Engineers elsewhere say the scheme is a fantasy. (Read on …)

Conflict Renews in Sa’ada War; 27,000 Jihaddists to Fight

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Religious, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Thursday, July 17, 2008

There was a two day lull. From the Yemen Times:

Alleged human rights abuses in Bani Hushaish

The Yemeni Socialist Party-affiliated Aleshtaraki.net reports that the Yemeni army has committed human rights abuses against several residents of Bani Hushaish, located east of Sana’a. It quoted local sources as saying that the army attacked Beit Al-Aghrabi village with heavy weaponry, although Houthi gunmen withdrew from the village and stopped fighting, according to a tribal mediation.

“The army destroyed residents’ homes and property before raiding the village. [Army personnel] evicted residents, including women and children, to a nearby school,” Bani Hushaish sources say, adding that the soldiers beat, badmouthed and insulted citizens.

According to the same sources, female soldiers from counterterrorism units deployed in the area arrested numerous women from Beit Al-Aghrabi village on suspicion of supporting Houthi gunmen. They further noted that the Yemeni army has arrested the majority of the village’s male residents under age 50.

In a statement published by state-run Al-Thawrah daily newspaper on Wednesday, an official government source in Bani Hushaish denied the authenticity of the report by Aleshteraki.net, clarifying that the Yemeni army is searching for wanted fugitives and that no human rights abuses have been committed.

Various sources allege that several army commanders, tribal leaders and regional forces have intervened to foil the mediation efforts that played a notable role in ending the war, unblocking the Sana’a-Sa’ada Highway, releasing besieged troops and transporting food supplies to the war-affected governorate.

Regarding the proposed “Popular Army” to be comprised of 27,000 recruits under the command of the Hashid tribe to fight Houthis, tribal sources affirm that the establishment of this army is underway.

In its most recent issue, Al-Ahale independent weekly newspaper blamed the Saudi Special Committee, chaired by Emir Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, for establishing and funding what it described as the “Janjawid Army,” hinting at the prospective popular army.

The weekly continued, reporting that an unnamed Saudi committee member recently visited Yemen to meet with tribal leaders, encouraging them to back the government in its war against Houthis.

Worries over potential sectarian conflict

A religious forum including Salafi members and tribesmen was held Tuesday, chaired by Sheikh Abdulmajid Al-Zindani, rector of Al-Iman Islamist University and also on the U.S. terror list. At the forum, participants agreed to contribute to the gathering of tribesmen under the name of a “Popular Army” to fight against Houthis, who belong to the Zaidi Islamic sect.

Reliable sources report that Salafi leaders promised to gather thousands of well-trained jihadists, most of whom are called “Yemeni Afghans,” to back the Yemeni army in its fight against Zaidi Houthis in Sa’ada and other areas.

The Yemeni government’s intent to form a religious committee in collaboration with Salafis to fight against Zaidi Houthis has raised sharp controversy among all of those concerned, who predict that doing so will create a new crisis, as well as sectarian and political conflicts that may harm Yemen’s social fabric.

Various social figures believe that establishing such a committee with religious powers constitutes a threat to personal and civil freedoms, noting that it also creates obstacles to Yemen’s emergency democracy.

Saudi Border Guards Capture Arms, Drugs; Weapons Dealers Released

Filed under: Proliferation, Saudi Arabia, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:22 pm on Monday, July 14, 2008

AFP

RIYADH (AFP) — Saudi border guards have seized almost a tonne of explosives and large quantities of arms and drugs on Yemen’s border over the past three months, making hundreds of arrests, Okaz newspaper said on Saturday.

The paper, quoting the guards, said 13 hand- and rocket-propelled grenades, 99 sticks of dynamite, 100 fuses, 12 detonators, more than 100 guns and 15,000 cartridges figured in the seizures.

Okaz praised security guards for their vigilance which had prevented the weapons and drugs from falling into the hands of “terrorists and other elements seeking to destabilise” the Saudi kingdom.

As many as 800 suspected arms and drugs dealers were arrested over the same period, along with 83 illegal immigrants, the report said.

Some 1,600 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of hashish, two million amphetamine pills and 280 bottles of alcohol, which is banned in the ultra-conservative Muslim country, were also seized.

Interior Ministry releases detained weapon dealers
Saturday, 12-July-2008
Almotamar.net – Yemen’s Ministry of Interior on Saturday released all merchants of weapon it has arrested in its campaign carried out by security authorities for closing own shops trading with weapons. The shops included in the campaign amounted to 234 until the end of last week.
Security sources said instructions of the Interior Ministry decided to keep weapons shops closed and continue the seizure of the weapons it captured in the campaign that covered all governorates of Yemen until to decide what to do about them later.

The Security Information Centre at the Ministry of interior sad that Ministry released weapons merchants after they submitted written pledges of not practicing again this type of activity that is violating the law and their pledge to report to security authorities whenever they are requested.

Yemeni Saudi AQ Alliance

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:33 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Forgot to pos tthis earlier, I think… “Come to Yemen,” Al-Qaeda in Yemen appeals to “Saudi Brothers”

8 May, 2008

Nicole Stracke
Researcher
Security and Terrorism Department

“Come to Yemen…” This is an appeal by Nayef bin Mohamed Al-Khatany (Abu Humam), a Saudi member of Al-Qaeda who is wanted by Saudi security forces and is believed to be hiding in Yemen. Al-Khatany was recently accused by the Yemen authorities of being the main financier of the two major attacks on Yemen’s oil installations in Marib and Hadramaut carried out by Al-Qaeda in Yemen in September 2006. The ‘call’ appeared in the March edition of Sada al-Malahim, the organization’s magazine that surfaced for the first time on Jihad websites early this year. The magazine published a two-part interview with Al-Khatany. Asked why he, as a Saudi, decided to come to Yemen instead of fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, Al-Khatany said that Saudi Arabia remains the main battlefield for two reasons: its symbolic value as the home of Islam and its strategic value as the major oil producer and supplier. The Khatany statement admits that the Al-Qaeda branch in Saudi Arabia has lost its battle in the Kingdom as most of its members have been either killed or are in prison. He calls upon the remaining members of the Saudi branch to migrate to Yemen without delay “in order to escape sure arrest by Saudi authorities.” In his statement he invites his “brother mujahideen in the land of the two holy places” (Saudi Arabia) to join him and his colleagues who have already moved to Yemen, asserting that the “liberation” of the land of the two holy places “starts from here.” Al-Khatany calls for united efforts, and urges that the “life and the money of the Saudi mujahideen” be combined with the “land, life and the experiences of the Yemeni brothers.” (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia Funded Saada War USD 55 Million: Habra

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Friday, June 13, 2008

Mareb Press:

A spokesman for the leader of the Sa’ada armed rebellion, Abdul Malek Al Houthi, accused yesterday Saudi Arabia of supporting the Yemeni government troops to crush the rebellion.

The spokesman, Saleh Habra, called upon Saudi Arabia to be a mediator like Qatar rather than a supporter for one side against the other.

“We would like to see Saudi Arabia be a mediator like Qatar, not a supporter of the government troops,” Harbra told reporters over phone yesterday from Sa’ada where battles between rebels and troops are going on for about a month now and journalists are not allowed to go there.

“We have information that Saudi Arabia has given the Yemeni government $55 million (Dh202 million) to ignite the war here in Sa’ada,” Habra said.

Habra, who was Al Houthi’s representative in the previous failed mediation committees, said he was still in contact with the leaders of the main oppositions parties to make them exercise pressure on the Yemeni government to reach a ceasefire and resume implementation of the Qatari-brokered deal to end the rebellion.

The two conflicting parties have been exchanging accusations over foreign support for the war which has been waged in Sa’ada since 2004. The officials occasionally accused Iran of supporting Al Houthis, who are Shiites, but Iran always denied the accusations.

Saudi Al-Qaeda Regrouping in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:27 pm on Thursday, May 15, 2008

yeah yeah, its safe in Yemen

Khaleej Times

Local News: Why Al Qaeda in Yemen is wooing the Saudis
Saturday 10 May 2008 / Mareb Press

“Come to Yemen… “ This is an appeal by Nayef bin Mohamed Al-Khatany (Abu Humam), a Saudi member of Al Qaeda who is wanted by Saudi security forces and is believed to be hiding in Yemen. Al-Khatany was recently accused by the Yemen authorities of being the main financier of the two major attacks on Yemen’s oil installations in Marib and Hadramaut carried out by Al Qaeda in Yemen in September 2006. The ‘call’ appeared in the March edition of Sada al-Malahim, the organisation’s magazine that surfaced for the first time on Jihad websites early this year.

The magazine published a two-part interview with Al-Khatany. Asked why he, as a Saudi, decided to come to Yemen instead of fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, Al-Khatany said that Saudi Arabia remains the main battlefield for two reasons: its symbolic value as the home of Islam and its strategic value as the major oil producer and supplier.

The Khatany statement admits that the Al Qaeda branch in Saudi Arabia has lost its battle in the Kingdom as most of its members have been either killed or are in prison. He calls upon the remaining members of the Saudi branch to migrate to Yemen without delay “in order to escape sure arrest by Saudi authorities.” (Read on …)

Saudi Yemeni Military Cooperation

Filed under: Military, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:03 pm on Friday, May 2, 2008

YSJMC kicks off activities in Sana’a

[26 May 2008]

SANA’A, May 26 (Saba) – Yemeni-Saudi Joint Military Committee (YSJMC) commenced its activities here on Monday.

Co-chaired by Chief of Staff Ahmad al-Ashwal and Saudi counterpart Saleh al-Muhya’a, the committee discussed on Monday a number of topics included in Sana’a Meeting’s agenda held during the past period.

Al-Ashwal welcomed Saudi delegation headed by al-Muhya’a, noting importance of the meeting that would discuss results of YSJMC’s activities based on Jeddah Treaty signed between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Custodian of the two Holy Mosques Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz.

For his part, al-Muhya expressed pleasure for being in Yemen these days for meeting with committee’s members, highlighting unique relations between the two countries.

Drug Trader

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, drugs — by Jane Novak at 6:56 pm on Thursday, May 1, 2008

Saudi/ Yemeni cooperation:

Police arrest dangerous drugs trader

[01 May 2008]

SANA’A, May 01 (Saba)- Police have arrested a dangerous drugs trader, 26 September weekly reported on Thursday.

The weekly quoting a reliable source said that the man identified as M.M. H. is accused of drugs trading and hidden in Yemen for four years. The source said that this man has links with international tourist organizations. The arrest comes within security coordination between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Tourist or terrorist organization? Both make sense.

Hussain al-Ahmar

Filed under: Biographies, Islah, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:23 pm on Saturday, April 26, 2008

Libya is a commercial relationship, but SA is a historic one.

Mareb Press

Southern crisis is political and rioters must be tried for high treason, says Al Ahmer
Wednesday 23 April 2008 / Mareb Press

The Head of the National Solidarity Council (NSC) and Member of Parliament, Hussain al-Ahmer, described his relations with Saudi Arabia as historical while he said, “his relation with Libya is commercial one and it is currently suspended but it will be resumed at any time”.

Al-Ahmer said in interview with Mareb Press the current southern crisis is political crisis.
“Some parts in Yemen want to exercise political pressures by moving the street in order to achieve their goals. I wonder if there is any Yemeni person boasting of secession” he added.

Al-Ahmer accused the committees which were formed to resolve the issues of the southerners of procrastination.

He added there is no problem in arresting and trying those people who carried out sabotage and riot acts. He demanded to try them on the charge of high treason.

About the aim of opening new branch for the NSC in Aden city, al-Ahmer said “The aim is to stand with people irrespective of their partisan affiliation and to spread awareness among them and to solve their problems.”

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