Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen: Known al Qaeda operative a member of US trained CT unit

Filed under: Abyan, Security Forces, Tribes, USA, state jihaddists, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 8:01 am on Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is true, and I’m happy to see it in print in the Wall Street Journal: the US trained counter-terror special forces contain al Qaeda members and sympathizers.

Its not that one al Qaeda operative recently infiltrated, its several and they were part of the unit long before the US stepped up its efforts this year. The PSO, the National Security and the Yemeni military all contain substantial elements of al Qaeda, some at the highest positions. And its hard to call them covert or double agents when they are known, protected and facilitated. The challenge in Yemen is elite support of al Qaeda. From the WSJ, via Youweb, an article that explains the very complex events in Mudiyah and the surrender of the 16.

On Oct. 16, al Mai’aser members (the governor’s tribe) surrounded the home of a man they suspected was a key operative in the ambush (on the governor of Abyan). The Yemeni security official says the man is a known al Qaeda sympathizer who also works as an officer in a U.S.-trained counterterrorism special-forces unit deployed in Mudiyah. The military didn’t return calls seeking comment.

When the suspect refused to surrender, a gunfight broke out; one of al Mai’aser’s rivals was killed and at least six others injured, although not the suspect himself, according to local residents.

A day later, tribal elders intervened to mediate a truce, a discussion that involved local government officials and military personnel who were also members of the two tribes. By Oct. 28, in a deal brokered by the tribal mediation, 14 men had surrendered to the governor for their alleged role in the attack on his convoy. The men were taken into tribal custody, to be dealt with under the rules of tribal justice.

Late Monday, the governor announced the 14 men would be handed over to Yemen’s security agency—apparently breaking the tribal guarantees given to the men to surrender.

Update: Those with good will are to be released…

Yemen Post: Abyan Governor Ahmed Al-Maisari said on Monday that 14 Al-Qaeda members handed themselves in to the authorities after they had been convinced by the local government and sheikhs. 5 Al-Qaeda leaders were among the 14 including Jamal Nuairan, said the governor, adding: “We also arrested 3 other terrorists.” — They would be sent to the political security prison in Aden and their investigations would be completed, he said, pointing out that anyone of them would be found guilty of committing illegal acts would be turned over to justice. But those with good-will will be released and rehabilitated, he added, as he said the authorities are continuing a hunt for other terrorist elements.

FBI Arrives in Yemen

Filed under: SK, UPS bombs, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:50 pm on Monday, November 1, 2010

The Yemenis are in the lead on the investigation. I know its the FBI ( and TSA ) and all, but I hope they remember about the South Korean investigators who were targeted by a suicide bomber after they arrived in Yemen to investigate the murder of the South Korean tourists in March 2009. Al Qaeda obtained the route of the convoy from subverted members of the security forces.

Al Masdar Online: U.S. team arrives Yemen to participate in the probe parcel bomb

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 …)

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.

Obama exempts Yemen from US law restricting arms sales to countries that use child soldiers

Filed under: Children, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 7:53 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010


White By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA.

(Read on …)

New Awlaki Video

Filed under: US jihaddis, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Sunday, October 24, 2010

Their new plan– to bore us all to death, although the jihaddi paparazzi always gets pretty excited. Adam Gadhan’s 46 minutes snoozer of a video was released yesterday. Today its Anwar, al Qaeda’s Paris Hilton. Last week it was Inspire. Then there was Qasim al Reimi’s audio, rebranding AQAP as a 12,000 man Aden Abyan Islamic Army, which I assure you exists only in his qat addled head. At least now we know what they are scared of–the Mardin Declaration: The scholars meeting in Mardin issued what they dubbed as “The New Mardin Declaration” in which they declared the fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah unsuitable for our times and should not be used by “extremists to justify violence”. Those are educated Islamic scholars and trained recognized clerics. Adam Gadhan and Anwar Awlaki are neither clerics nor scholars, just megalomaniac psychotic weasels.

Update: One and a half minutes? Not produced by al Malahim? hmmmm…. Where’s your webmaster Anwar? Xinhuanet: “The responsibility lying on the shoulder of the Muslim nation is heavy. The nation needs to be guided under dark circumstances in which the Muslims are exposed to fateful dangers,” Awlaki said in a message criticizing what he dubbed “the Yemeni corrupt religious scholars who are run by the government or political opposition parties.” The one and a half minutes video was not produced by Al-Malahim Foundation, the official media arm of the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

CNN Yemeni-American cleric and militant Anwar al-Awlaki appeared in a new video message Saturday, saying that Islam is in “severe need for guidance in these dark situations” and that the religion is “exposed to fateful dangers.”

In the limited portion of the video that was immediately available to CNN, al-Awlaki called on Muslim scholars to help address the situation.

al Nashiri’s interrogators could face charges before al Nashiri

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

I see. The contractors or agents who used irregular interrogation methods (like threat of a power drill on his kneecaps) against al Nashiri could face legal proceedings before al Nashiri, who has no charges pending against him for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. US Attorney General Eric Holder opened a criminal investigation of CIA operatives who interrogated alleged terrorists overseas, despite the fact that during the Bush administration, professional prosecutors had already examined the allegations of CIA misconduct, conducted a thorough inquiry, and made the determination not to prosecute. Meaning DOJ policies, determinations and legal findings today are non-binding on the following AG, another novel innovation of the Obama administration.

DPC: Yet the state of Al-Nashiri’s case before the military commission seems to have been the subject of some confusion, even within the government. On Aug. 23, federal prosecutors filed a legal brief that suggested the potentially explosive case had been sidetracked indefinitely.

“No charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to Al-Nashiri in the near future,” the brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said. Four days later, after the Washington Post reported the statement, the Justice Department filed an amended brief which changed that conclusion, saying: “No charges are currently pending against Al-Nashiri.”

Another Justice filing last month added a bit more. “Although prosecutors in the Office of Military Commissions are actively investigating the case and developing charges against Nashiri,” it reads, “no charges are currently lodged against him.” (Read on …)

Adnan’s mum Yemeni

Filed under: US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 9:02 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010


I didn’t know that Adnan is half Yemeni. This guy has been on everybody’s sidebar for years already. A report from NPR via WBUR:

The man in the video is Adnan Shukrijumah, thought to be the highest-ranking American in al-Qaida. Intelligence officials believe he is 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s successor, and since he left Florida in the spring of 2001, has made it his life’s work to attack America…

Shukrijumah registered under the name Jumah El-Chukri and enrolled in chemistry, computer science and English language classes. Armstrong says he was a pretty good student. And until a couple of months ago, few had put together that Jumah El-Chukri, the community college chemistry major, and Adnan Shukrijumah, the al-Qaida operative, were one and the same….

Now, all Shukrijumah leaves in his wake are terrorism plots. Officials say he was behind the 2004 foiled plot against financial targets in New York and New Jersey. He was tangentially tied to the plot to try to ignite fuel lines at John F. Kennedy airport in 2007. And then he resurfaced in last year’s subway plot.

He has been indicted in the Zazi case, and the U.S. government has placed a $5 million bounty on his head. Officials believe he has set his sights on one goal: to launch a successful attack against the country where he once lived. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio


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.

The 10th Anniversary of the USS Cole bombing

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 10:28 am on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the USS Cole bombing, I am reprinting my article from 2007. And little has changed since it was written. Primary plotters Al Quso and al Badawi were both released in Yemen. Al Quso, added to the FBI’s most wanted list in 2009, made an al Qaeda video in 2010. Al Quso may be in Pakistan or Shabwa, but he certainly hooked up with his clansman Anwar al Awlaki along the way. Jamal Al Badawi was released upon surrender in 2007, about a week after this article was written. After US objections, he may have in and out of jail. Supposedly he’s on a hunger strike now because he was supposed to have been released again during Ramadan 2010. In US custody, al Nashiri’s trial was going forward but now is “on hold.” Tawfiq bin Attash won’t see the inside of a court room any time soon.

The thing that’s new this year is the emergence of AQAP as an entity that has the ambition to strike the United States homeland. Consequently, the US is putting its security in the hands of the supposedly reformed Yemeni President Saleh, which is quite scary considering his history. Apparently his brutality toward his own people is not an issue, nor his incompetence, nor his criminality. Here in the US, the political fall-out from allying with an al Qaeda appeaser and a security apparatus seriously compromised by al Qaeda, like in Pakistan, is minimal. In Yemen, Saleh’s broad and bloody methods of counter-insurgency have created new civil unrest. Saleh’s propensity for duplicity means that much of it is a dog and pony show targeting his domestic opposition.

And the question screaming for an answer on this day of all days is to what extent was President Saleh and the upper echelon of his administration involved in the USS Cole bombing? We know there was some mid-level facilitation both before and after the attack which killed 17 US service members, and badly injured 49 others. But current indications are that Saleh had foreknowledge. And we can all shuffle that knowledge from page to page and post to post, but if AQAP — God forbid — succeeds in hitting the US, then the prevailing assessment of Saleh as trustworthy, irreplaceable or mailable will seem ludicrous. Those sailors and their families have given their lives to this country, but they have more to give — truth about Yemen and Saleh, a rare commodity. By whitewashing the facts of their deaths and by forgiving Yemen’s “failures” in this case, the current administration (like the prior two) is endangering not only their mates who are serving today but all American citizens.

The news cycle today is about Samir Khan and Inspire, Qasim al Reimi promising a big surprise soon, whether Fahd al Quso was killed in Pakistan and if Anwar al Awlaki forfeits his constitutional rights when he declares war on the United States from Yemen. The only way to get ahead of them all is by dealing with reality, unpleasant and daunting as it is.

The USS Cole Bombing: What we know today 10/12/07

On October 12, 2000 two Yemeni suicide bombers rammed an explosives-laden dingy into an American destroyer, the USS Cole. Seventeen US service members were killed and forty-nine injured. The destroyer had been invited by the Yemeni government to refuel in the port of Aden.

USS Cole.jpg

In the light of historical perspective, several facts have become clear. Intelligence warnings generated prior to the attack were never forwarded to the commander of the Cole. The investigation afterwards was marred by turf wars within the US government, leaving links between the Cole bombing and the attacks of 9/11 unexplored. The Yemeni government worked diligently to limit the scope of the US investigation. Almost all the Yemenis involved in the Cole bombing are free today. The involvement of some Yemeni officials in the bombing is documented; however, the scope of that involvement is not.


The 1990’s

Military commander and presidential half brother, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar recruited fighters for bin Laden in the 1980’s and set up training camps in Yemen. Thousands of Yemenis at all levels were active in the Afghan conflict. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, the Yemeni regime welcomed thousands of both Yemeni and non-Yemeni “Afghan Arabs” back to Yemen. Many of these hard core Islamists were militarily deployed in defense of the regime during its civil war in 1994 against Southern Socialists. As a result, many Afghan Arabs and other Islamic militants who fought in 1994 against “apostate” socialists are today ensconced in high level government positions. Others were absorbed into the military and security forces. (Read on …)

Feierstein: economic reform, rehab militants, equip CT forces

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 11:33 pm on Monday, October 11, 2010

Without comment

AFP: “My government also recognizes that security cooperation alone will not achieve our goal of defeating violent extremism, and we understand the complexity of challenges in Yemen,” said Feierstein. “Moving forward on the national dialogue process, combating corruption, instituting necessary economic reforms, and empowering women to contribute to family well-being and national progress are all essential steps to ensuring a more secure future for Yemen,” he said.

(Read on …)

American and Canadian South Yemenis Urge Historical Leaders to Stop Wasting Time

Filed under: South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:12 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Its good advice. The US appears to be pushing for a comprehensive dialog. It would be good if there was a unified southern committee to talk to. While differences among political thought, methods and goals are expected and a good measure of pluralism, there is yet to be an impartial southern secessionist structure that is not based on the charisma and pull of a particular historical personality. Its not a democratic movement but another embodiment of the tribal structure. Like the JMP, the Southern Movement does not have a mechanism for the upward flow of the popular will. Its an oligarchy. Another big day of protests is scheduled for October 14.

Washington – London “Eden Press,” Special: 10 – 10-2010: Warned some of the people of the south in America and Canada leaders South historical and the rest of the political actors to ignore the international movements driving the direction of the composite dialogue and unconditional, (Read on …)

Sharif Mobley, another view

Filed under: Counter-terror, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 10:45 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Atlantic City Press has an update on Jersey boy, Sharif Mobley, who apparently is not charged with any terrorism related offenses but murder in Yemen:

A former Buena man jailed in Yemen on murder charges did associate with one of America’s most-wanted terror suspects, but he is no terrorist, his lawyer says. Sharif Mobley, 26, is awaiting trial after he allegedly shot two hospital security guards during an escape attempt while in Yemeni custody in March.
(Read on …)

US Embassy Opens Section to Combat Drugs in Yemen

Filed under: Security Forces, USA, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

I’m just curious if the new ambassador is aware that the drug smuggling business is controlled from the top by one of the president’s close relatives, as I noted in 2005 when I pointed out the private docks. Focus on the issue is very good, regionally and for Yemen. There is also a lot of cross over of the AQ footprint and the criminal enterprises, but we need to be clear on what it is and who it is.

U.S. embassy in Sanaa develop a section of the security aid to combat drug
[10/أكتوبر/2010] صنعاء ـ سبـأنت: [10 / October 2010] Sana Saba:
أعلن السفير الامريكي الجديد بصنعاء جيرالد فيرستين اليوم الاحد ان السفارة الامريكية استحدثت قسما لتقديم المساعدات لاجهزة الامن اليمنية في مجال مكافحة المخدرات . Announced the new U.S. ambassador in Sana’a Gerald Verstin Sunday that the U.S. embassy introduced a section to provide assistance to the Yemeni security services in the fight against drugs. (Read on …)

Able Danger also Identified a Threat to the USS Cole 2 Weeks Prior

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:16 am on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Two weeks prior to the USS Cole bombing in Aden, Yemen in 2000, the DIA data mining group, Able Danger, tried to issue a warning. And again just a few days prior. Whether or not they ID’d Atta may be in dispute, but their thwarted warning on Aden is not. See my 2007 article, The USS Cole Bombing in Yemen: A Seven Year Perspective Also see: What Really Led To 9/11, at Forbes for the CIA/FBI fiasco.

FOX EXCLUSIVE: Witnesses in Defense Dept. Report Suggest Cover-Up of 9/11 Findings By Catherine Herridge

A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as “Able Danger.” (Read on …)

Updated: Al Badawi on Hunger Strike

Filed under: USS Cole, arrests — by Jane Novak at 6:48 am on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well at least we know that he’s in jail.

USS Cole bomber Jamal al Badawi goes on hunger strike

Translated by: Alia Qahtan, edited by: Jane Novak
Hood Online, (The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms)

Jamal al Badawi has been on a hunger strike for 15 days demanding his release from Political Security prison. .

Convicted in the USS Cole bombing Al Badawi was one of 23 inmates who escaped from the political police prison in Sana’a 2006 in the so called the great escape. He turned himself in to the Yemeni authorities in mid-October 2007, when he was accused of his belonging to Al-Qaeda

The government promised if Al-Badawi submitted himself to the Yemeni authority, the Yemeni government would release him to have a normal life, a close resource to Al-Badawi revealed.

Jamal’s father said he was finally able to visit his son and found him a critical health condition. He was prevented from seeing him several weeks ago. (Read on …)

Al-Hota Seige a Show for the Friends of Yemen: Senior Yemeni Official

Filed under: Counter-terror, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:55 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yemen uses the al Qaeda threat as a instrument of foreign and domestic policy. The banner referenced below was hoisted in the south to demonstrate that southerners reject al Qaeda. Meanwhile, a Yemeni official says counter-terror fight a political, seasonal activity, CNN

Yemenis marched this week, hoisting a banner which read: “We condemn terrorism in all its forms all over the world.”

* NEW: A senior government official claims Yemen is exaggerating its campaign
* NEW: He says it’s a ploy to get more foreign aid for Yemen
* Yemen says its forces succeeded in driving out al Qaeda in Hatwa
* Defense official tells CNN that U.S. has assisted in the offensive

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — Yemeni security forces have driven out al Qaeda elements who infiltrated the town of Hawta in southern Shabwa province, the state-run news agency reported. (Read on …)

Yemen Suspends US Airstrike Authority

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:48 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Everything the Yemeni government is a lie to some degree or another, so who knows where the shred of truth is in this story.

Zawya/AFP: Yemen’s foreign minister acknowledged the United States has launched attacks on Al-Qaeda in his country in an interview published on Thursday, the first confirmation from Sanaa of a US military role. (They’ve been denying it since December.) (Read on …)

Friends of Yemen Pledges Political Support, UK Warns of Massive Dangers

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:30 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010

The only solution for Yemen is a caretaker government, as I have previously written. There must be a transition of power or things will continue to decline. If the US wants to address the root causes of terrorism in Yemen, sooner or later they are going to have to own up to the Saleh issue.

VOA British Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan said after Friday’s meeting that Yemen’s stability is one of the most pressing international issues right now. (Read on …)

Dowry for Yemeni-American women up to $75K due to high demand

Filed under: USA, Women's Issues — by Jane Novak at 6:12 pm on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dowries for women with American citizenship range now from $30K to $75K. The reason being that the newlywed husband can gain a visa to emigrate to the US. It is considered fraud and illegal in the US for an American citizen to marry someone just to enable their spouse to get a green card. The rest of the article deals with the hardship the women endure, while their fathers profit well. I checked to see if the article means riyals, but no, in Yemen they are saying its dollars. Many Yemeni-Americans come from Ibb.

al Masdar The marriage of nationality” (Citizen) is spreading in the province of the “father” – which has the largest Yemeni community in America – and I mean to marry a Yemeni who have the U.S. citizenship, the fact of carrying a U.S. citizen can give her husband, “Visa” to immigrate to America.
ولقلة الفتيات الحاصلات على الجنسية الأميركية، وزيادة الطلب عليهن، ارتفعت المهور بشكلٍ ملفت، حتى أصبحت المرأة -بمعنى أو بآخر- سلعةً تجارية خاضعة لقوانين البيع والشراء، وعلى الطريقة الأميركية؛ السوق المفتوح. Girls and a few crops to U.S. citizenship, and increased demand for them, the higher the dowry dramatically, to become women – in the sense or another – a commodity subject to the laws of buying and selling, and the American way; the open market. إذ وصل المهر في بعض حالاته إلى 75 ألف دولار أميركي، بيدَ أنه في أدنى مستوياته لا يقلّ عن ثلاثين ألف دولار أميركي، وأصبحت المرأة تنكح لجوازها الأميركي، دون النظر إلى جمالها أو حسبها أو دينها، ودون الرجوع إليها. Dowry, as it reached in some cases is 75 thousand U.S. dollars, but it at the lowest levels of not less than thirty thousand U.S. dollars, and women are married to American permissible, without regard to her beauty, lineage, religion, and without reference.

Barak Obama Writes Ali Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, Reform, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:01 pm on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

White House press release:

Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer on the visit of Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan to Yemen (Read on …)

Freds may or may not charge Anwar Awlaki with something

Filed under: TI: External, US jihaddis, airliner, anwar — by Jane Novak at 12:10 pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

they’re not sure, its complicated… BTW, he’s not a cleric, just a lunatic. In related news, Farouk the Nigerian fired his lawyers and wants to represent himself in court. WASHINGTON –The Obama administration is considering filing the first criminal charges against radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in case the CIA fails to kill him and he is captured alive in Yemen. The decision continues the White House’s strategy of fighting terrorism both in court and on the battlefield.

Al-Awlaki, a U.S. and Yemeni citizen born in New Mexico, has inspired a wave of attempted attacks against the U.S. and has become al-Qaida’s leading English-speaking voice for recruiting and motivating terrorists. Counterterrorism officials said al-Awlaki, since mid-2009, has become a key operational figure who selects targets and gives orders. (Read on …)

Two Americans face charges of aiding AQAP

Filed under: TI: External, US jihaddis, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:27 am on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Earlier reports here and here.

HST FBI charges against US citizens follow report from Bipartisan Policy Center

Additional charges, unveiled Tuesday, of aiding al Qaeda against two American citizens added fuel to a recent report that US domestic terrorism remains on the rise as terrorists seek to recruit American foot-soldiers.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed the charges against Wesam El-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff for providing material support to al Qaeda, including money and computer assistance. US District Judge Kimba Wood will arraign the suspects on Thursday morning. (Read on …)

Freds: 300 Americans trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Dammaj, Education, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:57 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

I’m dubious and I hope its an inaccurate assessment.

Al Qaeda-trained Americans Washington Times: The FBI is working to track down several hundred American Muslims who traveled to Yemen in recent months and received training there at the hands of the al Qaeda terrorist group, according to U.S. government officials.

Intelligence reports from Yemen indicated that as many as 300 of the U.S. Islamist trainees had been given terrorist training and that many had converted to Islam while in U.S. prisons. It is not known specifically when the American al Qaeda trainees made the journey to Yemen, or — more significantly — how many of them returned to the United States, said officials familiar with U.S. counterterrorism intelligence and operations. (Read on …)

Hate Crimes against Muslims 100 in 2008, 1000 against Jews, 7000 in total

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:44 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

Al-Jazeera aired a TV Program Titled ‘The Right In America Declared War On Islam Inside and Outside America’ which is total garbage.

Hate crimes directed against Muslims remain relatively rare, notwithstanding the notoriety gained by incidents such as recent vandalism at the Madera Islamic Center.

Jews, lesbians, gay men and Caucasians, among others, are all more frequently the target of hate crimes, FBI records show. Reported anti-Muslim crimes have declined over recent years, though they still exceed what occurred prior to the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

“We see hate crimes generally go in spurts, and are often in relation to international or domestic events,” Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Friday.

In 2008, 105 hate crime incidents against Muslims were reported nationwide. There were 10 times as many incidents that were recorded as anti-Jewish during the same year, the most recent for which figures are available. (Read on …)

US officials propose more than billion dollars to support Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Security Forces, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:28 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

The short term packages make much more sense but the strategy overall is flawed because Saleh is the source of nation-wide, legitimate grievances and is a war criminal. The US alliance with Saleh is akin to the alliance with Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds. Furthermore, aspects of the state itself have been co-opted by al Qaeda. Strengthening Saleh strengthens al Qaeda, its that simple.

US officials propose more than billion dollars to support Yemen
Source : Wall Street Journal VIA Nasir al Arrabyee: By ADAM ENTOUS, SIOBHAN GORMAN and JULIAN E. BARNES
WASHINGTON—The U.S. military’s Central Command has proposed pumping as much as $1.2 billion over five years into building up Yemen’s security forces, a major investment in a shaky government, in a sign of Washington’s fears of al Qaeda’s growing foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

The timing and the final funding amount will depend on how supporters of the effort overcome resistance from some officials at the State Department and the Pentagon, who have doubts about Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the ability of his government, seen by many as corrupt, to effectively use a flood of American-taxpayer money.

The threat to the U.S. from al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has become a priority concern for the Obama administration, fueling a robust internal debate over how to calibrate assistance to address what many officials see as the biggest counterterrorism challenge outside Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Read on …)

Leaky leaky

Filed under: USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:26 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

I was hoping the Afghan anti-corruption model could be replicated in Yemen, but with the CIA as part of the corruption in Afghanistan, its not very promising. Wasn’t the CIA paying the al-Qaeda supporting mass murderer, Ali Mohsen al Ahmar? I thought the book by Kaplan said as much. But its a few years old, maybe they wised up. Its bad to leak info to the media but its more immediately deadly to leak it to the Yemeni regime.

AP: The Obama administration on Friday accused an analyst who worked at the State Department of leaking top secret information about North Korea to a reporter. Steven Kim, who worked at State as an employee of a contractor, maintains his innocence.

He was named in a federal indictment unsealed Friday and charged with illegally disclosing national defense information, which carries a top penalty of 10 years in prison, and with making false statements to the FBI, which has a maximum five-year sentence. It was the latest move in an aggressive campaign to crack down on leaks, even as the administration has supported proposed legislation that would shield reporters from having to identify their sources.

Recent disclosures to news media have revealed the potential for using CIA drones in the counterterrorist fight against al-Qaida in Yemen, the close relationship of the CIA station chief in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the CIA’s practice of paying some members of the Afghan government for information.

Obama Drops Charges Against USS Cole Bomber, Nashiri

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:21 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

1) What are they afraid of? Losing the case or exposing the Yemeni government officials complicity? Now that would be tacky. Nashiri got weapons permits and travel documents from the Interior Ministry and one report says he hid out in Yemen for months after while the Y govt denied he was there. 2) The old military commissions worked fine, the “reformed” commissions are supposed to be even better somehow. 3) What an insult it is to the US service members and the families of the deceased that politics again is determining US policy toward terrorists. WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has shelved the planned prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged coordinator of the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, according to a court filing.

The decision at least temporarily scuttles what was supposed to be the signature trial of a major Al Qaeda figure under a reformed system of military commissions. And it comes practically on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attack, which killed 17 sailors and wounded dozens when a boat packed with explosives ripped a hole in the side of the warship in the port of Aden. (Read on …)

CIHRS: To the Obama administration: Don’t defile your hands with the blood of innocent Yemeni Civilians

Filed under: 3 security, Counter-terror, Security Forces, USA, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies strongly condemns the Yemeni army’s shelling in the Lawdar district in the Abyan province, Southern Yemen, which has severely harmed the civilian population located there.

It is with deep concern, that CIHRS observes the nearly week-long shelling campaign, supported by heavy artillery and tanks, which has prompted hundreds of Yemeni families to flee the Lawdar district and take refuge in the mountains as the authorities continue their military siege of the area, sealing off all entrances and exits. According to information received from Yemeni human rights organizations and other sources, at least three civilians have been killed and dozens more injured, among them at least two children, while the artillery fire hit a local market and severely damaged homes, agricultural land, and a nursery.

The assault was launched after several Yemeni troops were killed in an ambush by either al-Qaeda operatives, as the Yemeni authorities claim, or elements involved with the Southern Movement. Exiled Southern Yemeni officials and leaders of the Southern Movement state that the attack was launched in an attempt to turn the international community against the peaceful Southern Movement by associating it with terrorism. It should be noted that the Yemeni regime used Yemeni fighters returning from Afghanistan to quell the rebellion in the South in 1994. Consequently, al-Qaeda began to establish a base in the area, which later became the largest in the Arab world.

The Yemeni authorities have persistently sought to stigmatize the popular protest movement and its leadership in the south as terrorists, in an attempt to justify the use of excessive force and increasing repression against citizens in the Southern provinces.

CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that the Southern province of Abyan has been the target of a series of brutal attacks over the last year. One of the bloodiest attacks took place in December 2009 ; when the Yemeni army, with support from the U.S. government, launched two air strikes on alleged al-Qaeda camps. At least 42 civilians were killed in these raids, most of which were women and children.

CIHRS stresses that counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda should not be used as a pretext for the international community to turn a blind eye to the grave abuses perpetrated by the Yemeni government against individuals suspected of affiliation with al-Qaeda; or against the regime’s political opponents. A noticeably large segment of the citizenry has become the target for various types of collective punishment in light of the militarization of the country and the civil strife being stoked by the regime in the Sa’ada region, North of Yemen, and the South to secure its monopolization of power. In this context, CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that it is these very policies that created such fertile ground for al-Qaeda to grow in the Arabian Peninsula.

Additionally, These policies have created an auspicious atmosphere for the recruitment of more terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers, both from inside and outside Yemen.

CIHRS further warns that the unconditional support given to the Yemeni regime by the U.S. administration and some parties in the EU will only exacerbate the dangers of terrorism. Numerous individuals are swayed to terrorism on a daily basis, driven by their growing sense of injustice and injury, which is fed by the daily practices of extrajudicial killings; abductions; forced disappearances; torture; repression of peaceful protests; vicious attempts to silence the press and human rights defenders; the increasing political, economic, and social marginalization of broad swathes of the population; the rampant spread of corruption; in addition to the spread and ascendancy of an extremist religious discourse fostered by the Yemeni regime itself.

Thus, CIHRS believes that averting the threat of terrorism requires concerted efforts by the international community to push Yemen to construct a rule of law; prevent impunity for grave human rights abuses; adopt an enlightened religious discourse; and refuse to sacrifice human rights under the justification of combating terrorism. Yemen’s allies in the fight against terrorism must guarantee that the military, security, and financial aid given to the Yemeni government is not used to perpetrate more war crimes and crimes against humanities or violate the rights of suspected al-Qaeda members or the thousands of Yemenis civilians who are paying a catastrophic price for the policies of the Yemeni regime, which threaten to bring about the wholesale collapse of the central state.


CIA: AQAP more dangerous than bin Laden

Filed under: TI: External, USA, Yemen, airliner — by Jane Novak at 9:10 pm on Tuesday, August 24, 2010


For the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA analysts see one of al-Qaeda’s offshoots – rather than the core group now based in Pakistan – as the most urgent threat to U.S. security, officials said.

The sober new assessment of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has helped prompt senior Obama administration officials to call for an escalation of U.S. operations there – including a proposal to add armed CIA drones to a clandestine campaign of U.S. military strikes, the officials said. (Read on …)

Updated: Yemen hunting Abdel Rauf Nassib, previously arrested in Lauder (2004), released 2006

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, attacks, personalities — by Jane Novak at 1:19 pm on Saturday, August 21, 2010

They are all coming back to haunt us, every single one. Nassib was a former intelligence officer, acquitted in the USS Cole bombing. He survived the 2002 air strike on al Harithy, was captured with Dr. Fadl in 2004. Nassib was released in 2006, after the big prison break by 23 al Qaeda operatives.

AFP: The latest deaths add to an earlier toll of 11 soldiers and three civilians killed on Friday. The defence ministry said it had managed to identify one of the slain Al-Qaeda fighters as Adham Shibani, adding that the wounded militants were currently being interrogated.

The security forces were tracking “other terrorists” who took part in Friday’s fighting, the ministry said. The militants who managed to flee were named as Ahmed Mohammed Abdu Daradish, Abdel Rauf Abdullah Mohammed Nassib and Jalal Saleh Mohammed Saidi. (Read on …)

Another Former Gitmo Surrenders in Yemen (Updated)

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:10 am on Saturday, August 21, 2010

and promises to be good! Of course if he’s going to “serve the country,” he can’t stay in jail. There are/were a lot of this group in Sa’ada. Update: Yemen Times Released from Gitmo to Yemen in Dec. 2006: Esam Hamid Al-Jaefi, Ali Hussain Al-Tais, Mohammed Ahmed Al-Asadi, Tawfiq Al-Murwai and Muhassen Al-Asskari.

Lahj News Net: A security source said an official former detainee at Guantanamo Bay and a member of Al Qaeda (Ali Hussein al Tais) surrendered to security forces and expressed regret and remorse to the period spent in the ranks of al Qaeda and expressed its readiness to cooperate all that would serve the country and maintaining security and stability, and called on other items that were deceived by the organization to follow in the delivery of the same security services and to renounce violence and integration into society and contribute to nation-building process. (Read on …)

Yemen Captures Previously Surrendered al Qaeda Hizam Majali

Filed under: Air strike, USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 9:47 am on Thursday, August 19, 2010

Limburg defendant survives hellfire attack

Bombs a ship and tried to down a helicopter, sentenced to death in 2004, escapes Feb 2006, surrenders Aug 2006 and released, survives Arhab airstrike and captured again August 2010

Original post: In 2006, 23 high value al Qaeda prisoners escaped the Political Security jail in the capital Sana’a, aided by some government officials. Supposedly they used a spoon to dig the tunnel but actually used a drill according to other prisoners in the jail at the time. Some escapees were later killed by security forces. All the rest surrendered and were then released on loose house arrest. The only two who remain on the lam are Nasir al Wahishi and al Qasim al Reimi, currently the leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

At the time, the releases were condoned by some as the way things are done in Yemen. Now the state is labeling them as dangerous al Qaeda (and any convicted murder and friend of Fawaz al Reibi certainly is) which the security forces managed to catch to the glee of the US. Its a total crock. Either they called him up and asked nicely to go to jail for a few weeks or worse yet, the previously surrendered, convicted al Qaeda murderer was actually plotting attacks. Today’s news from AFP :

SANAA — Yemeni security forces have arrested a suspected Al-Qaeda militant who was sentenced to death for attacking a French ship and was among 23 prison escapees in 2006, a security official said on Thursday. Huzam Majali, who is considered a leading figure of Al-Qaeda in the area of Arhab, north of the capital, was arrested on Wednesday. “He surrendered after a successful raid by the anti-terrorism forces on a house he was hiding in,” the official said.

Hiding, why is he hiding when he made a deal with Yemen’s president for his release? The background:

Jamestown: Hizam Salih Ali Mujali (b. 1980): Hizam is the older brother of Arif Mujali. He is from the governorate of Sanaa. Yemeni forces arrested him along with Fawaz al-Rabay’i in late 2003. The two resisted arrested, and fired at the security forces, killing one soldier, Hamid Khasruf. Hizam, like his younger brother, Arif, was part of the 15-man cell that went on trial in 2004. Hizam was charged with attacking a Hunt Oil helicopter and for participating in the attack on the Limburg. On August 30, 2004, he was sentenced to death for killing Khasruf. This sentence was upheld by a higher court in February 2005. Both Hizam and Arif turned themselves into the government in August 2006 (al-Wasat, August 30, 2006). Their surrender was orchestrated by Sheikh Hadi Dalqim, a tribal leader from Marib, who served as a mediator between the government and the brothers. It is unclear whether Mujali’s sentence was commuted as a result of the negotiations.

Its certainly clear now.

Update: SABA the state propaganda agency:

SANA’A, Aug. 19 (Saba) – Al-Qaeda suspect Hizam Mujali has surrendered himself to the security authorities, the Defense Ministry-run reported on Thursday…He was also part of the infamous 2006 prison break. However, he eventually turned himself back in to the security authorities, striking a deal that would allow him to keep his freedom on the condition that he did not rejoin al Qaeda.

That condition appears to have recently been broken. The government targeted him in a raid launched in Arhab area December 2009. Although his brother Arif was captured, Hizam managed to escape.

The Defense Ministry said that security forces in Apian (Abyan) Province have captured after a manhunt operation a senior al-Qaeda suspect called Anis al-Oli. Security sources told the website arresting such suspects and many others came as a result of information have been taken from al-Qaeda leaders and elements have been arrested recently.

The United States of Double Standards: Samir Khan Chargable?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The US never brought “incitement to violence” charges against American citizens and jihaddist bloggers Anwar Awlaki, Samir Khan, Jesse Morton, Zach Chessler, and Yousef al Kattab. Meanwhile former federal stooge, racist blogger Hal Turner was convicted–after 14 months and three trials–of incitement to violence for a blog post saying he believed three judges were worthy of execution for a ruling against handguns. Turner was under a gag order while the freds were leaking his file to the Star Ledger. He was denied bail and wound up sharing a cell with an Aryan Nation murder after it was known Turner was a federal rat on the skinheads. Meanwhile Awlaki’s blog was online for years and hosted in the US. While the site may have had some intel value, it was never followed up on. Condolences to the Fort Hood families.

Later the US determined Anwar was operational in AQAP. Awlaki still hasn’t been indicted for incitement to violence, even after numerous persons said they were inspired to violence by Awlaki, including the two latest in Alaska. Awlaki himself claimed the mass murderer Nidal Hassan as his student as well as the would be killer Farouk Abdulmattalab. Anwar also ruled (as if he’s an actual cleric or something) that all Americans should be killed because they pay taxes and have the opportunity to vote. This is one of the issues the ACLU is bringing up- there’s no charges against Awlaki, just a capture or kill order.

Samir Khan ran the Inshallahshahid blog openly calling for jihad against Americans. Sami went to Yemen, apparently not on the no-fly list, and hooked up with AQAP. He is now thought to be the designer of the fanatics’ latest magazine, the English language Inspire. US authorities are just now wondering if Sami is guilty of anything and convened a grand jury to contemplate the question. They are considering if there is enough evidence to support a material support charge and conspiracy to murder, but not apparently incitement to violence. Yousef al Kattab, the Revolution Muslim blog founder, is now in Tetouan, Morocco. Apparently he was also not on no-fly list.

Joey was never charged with incitement to violence, although the RM blog is among the foremost English language proponents of violence under the banner of Islam and he posted specific death threats. Jesse Morton (Younis Abduallah) is another Revolution Muslim flunky, whereabouts unknown, uncharged. Zach Chesser called for the death of the South Park creators and posted their home addresses along with a picture of Theo Van Gogh dead with a knife in his chest. Zachy wasn’t charged with incitement to violence. Zachy became a RM administrator and was only pinched when he tried to go join al Shabab–bringing his infant son as cover. The only one is custody, indicted for material support, Zach flipped in a day and began cooperating with authorities. So the post-racial Obama administration brings a clearly malicious prosecution against a racist blogger but gives a pass to all the jihaddist bloggers. The DOJ, for the first time in a long time, has an overt political agenda in many areas. This is just one instance of selective application of the law. However, others have a more optimistic view.

GPB: One of the jihadi world’s most famous bloggers could be brought up on U.S. terrorism charges soon, NPR has learned. A federal grand jury in Charlotte, N.C., convened to consider evidence against Samir Khan, a 24-year-old North Carolina man who is thought to be the editor of Inspire, a new al-Qaida online magazine….Sources close to the case tell NPR the grand jury convened Tuesday to see if there was evidence enough to charge Khan with terrorism offenses. Among the charges people close to the case said the grand jury is considering: material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The FBI, for its part, declined to confirm or deny there is an investigation. And the grand jury is unlikely to come out with any decision in the case for weeks. Grand jury deliberations are secret until indictments are announced….Intelligence officials now say they believe Khan’s al-Qaida patron was Anwar al-Awlaki, the same U.S.-born radical cleric linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. They say he invited Khan to Yemen and Khan packed his bags and went.

Veil lifts on covert action in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:27 pm on Sunday, August 15, 2010

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — At first, the news from Yemen on May 25 sounded like a modest victory in the campaign against terrorists: An airstrike had hit a group of suspected al-Qaida operatives in the remote desert of Marib province, birthplace of the legendary queen of Sheba. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki, the Elvis of al-Qaeda

Filed under: US jihaddis, anwar — by Jane Novak at 1:18 pm on Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Anthony Shaffer is of course the agent who got totally screwed by DIA after trying to point out that the 9/11 commission skipped any inquiry into Able Danger’s (ignored) warnings two weeks prior to the USS Cole bombing in Aden. Although the Yemen hub was under close scrutiny prior to (and after) the attack, no warnings were generated from that intelligence either.

ABC: Anthony Shaffer is a CIA trained intelligence officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve with more than 25 years experience in the intelligence community. He doesn’t have any sympathy for Anwar al Awlaki’s activities or his alleged terrorist connections, but he does think the US cleric is due what he calls “due process”.

“I think the best answer is to capture him and bring him back and have him stand trial,” he says. And he’s made another intriguing point. He believes Anwar Al Awlaki wants to be martyred. “He would become the Elvis of Al Qaeda if we kill him and so I think there’s a great downside to that,” he said. The lawyers who are now acting for Anwar al Awlaki’s father don’t know how far their legal case will get. But it’s certainly going to create a very awkward situation for the Obama administration.

“Arming Yemen Against Al-Qaeda”

Filed under: A-analysis, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:37 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update: And another at Foreign Policy from May but the following is a current analysis from Professor Sheila Carapico at the Yemen Times:

Americans got a crash course on Yemen for Christmas.

That’s because we’ve wanted to know more about the little-known, dirt-poor country in southwestern Arabia where the “underwear bomber” who tried to blow up a plane—bound for Detroit from Nigeria on Christmas Day—says he was trained. President Barack Obama says, correctly, that “large chunks” of Yemen “are not fully under government control.” So it seems to make sense to strengthen the Yemeni government, to get at “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” as the local gang of Islamist extremists is known.

The State Department has duly doubled aid to Yemen, pledging $63 million in 2010, $12.5 million of which will buy military equipment. And there will be more from the Pentagon: Yemen received $67 million for its armed forces from the Defense Department in 2009, an amount set to increase this year.

But what kind of government rules Yemen, and how is it using these boatloads of Pentagon boodle?

Its elected parliament makes Yemen a democracy in name only. Its president, Ali Abdallah Salih, has held office longer than any other Arab ruler except Libya’s strongman, Muammar Qaddafi, and is grooming his son to take over.

Salih’s regime has battled rebels in the far north since 2004, and today it also faces a very disaffected population throughout the south. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a tertiary concern at best. In fact, Salih has a history of strategically enlisting radical jihadis to keep his political opponents in check. (Read on …)

US SD Report on Terrorism 2009

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, TI: Internal, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:08 pm on Friday, August 6, 2010

Press Conference:,

Our coordinator of the office of counterterrorism here at the Department of State, Ambassador Dan Benjamin…Let me turn to Yemen. We recognize that al-Qaida has taken advantage of insecurity in various regions of Yemen that have been worsened by internal conflicts. We also know that Yemen is grappling with serious poverty and is the poorest country in the Arab world. The lack of resources inhibits good governance, the delivery of services and the effectiveness of the security provision that is needed to deal with terrorism. So to have any chance of success, U.S. counterterrorism policy has to be conceived in strategic and not merely tactical terms. That’s why the Administration has adopted a two-pronged strategy for Yemen: helping the government confront the immediate security concern of al-Qaida and mitigating the serious political, economic, and governance issues that the country faces over the long term.

US State Department Report on Terrorism 2009:

(11) The attempted December 25 bombing provided a further reminder that un- or under-governed spaces can serve as an incubator for extremism and underscored that we cannot expect al-Qa‘ida affiliates to be focused solely on the near enemy – the governments in their own countries and regions – or American facilities in their immediate surroundings.

(115) After the failed December 25 attempt on NWA Flight #253, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had trained in Yemen with al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), attempted to detonate explosives over the continental United States, the international community intensified its focus on Yemen‘s security situation, which continued to deteriorate in 2009. The Yemeni government‘s response to the terrorist threat improved dramatically in December, exemplified by the heightened pace of counterterrorism operations. Still, the government‘s focus on other internal security challenges, including the ―Sixth War‖ of the Houthi rebellion in the northern Sa‘ada governorate, which began in August and had not ceased by year‘s end, often diverted it from broader counterterrorism activities. (Read on …)

US Grants ACLU Status to Represent Al-Awlaki

Filed under: Civil Rights, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Thursday, August 5, 2010

Washington (CNN) — Federal authorities Wednesday granted two civil liberties groups a license they need in challenging the government’s authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens designated as terrorists. (Read on …)

US Raises Development Aid to 300 Million

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:10 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The news was not well received in Yemen. SABA

US raises annual aid up to $300 million to Yemen

SANA’A, Aug. 02 (Saba) – The US Administration stated on Monday its decision to raise the annual aid for the democratic and economic development in Yemen to $300 million. (Read on …)

Yahya al Houthi Objects to US Mil Aid Used in Saada War in Letter to Parliament

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:06 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yahya al-Houthi, an MP and brother of Abdel-Malik, sent a letter to the Yemeni parliament about the Senate’s finding the US military aid may have been mis-used (diverted) to Saleh’s efforts against the Houthis. Its extremely difficult to believe that the transfer of mil aid comes as a shock to anyone in DC. The Sa’ada region has been cut off from journalists since 2004, and the civilian casualty toll is anyone’s guess, but the Yemeni regime’s tactics are clearly in violation of international law and include sustained blockade and indiscriminate bombing. While Saleh is using US military support against the Houthis, he is also using al-Qaeda operatives as mercenaries and has been doing so since 2005-ie, the US is equipping an (al-Qaeda supported) jihad against Shia civilians. The Yemeni state itself calls it a jihad and has produced fatwas claiming “Houthi blood is free.” This is not news, but an ongoing pathetic failure of integrity and foresight.

We continue to expose our deep concern of the military and financial help of Western and especially the assistance the United States, European Union, as well as Arab aid provided to the system of Yemen in response to Western demands to provide such assistance to the regime in Yemen, and we reiterated our concern that such assistance will increase the tension conditions in our country and increase the unjust compulsion, the arrogance and injustice, emphasizing that he would use the aid in the suppression of the people and strengthen the dictatorship and the rule of domestic and install the corruption, rather than commitment to a democratic political and institutional governance, and it will expand the popular discontent against the corrupt system more, thereby expanding the cycle of violence and prolonging it.

We are today before the important recognition of the Chambers of the U.S. published a lot of media sources, reporting on the health of our apprehension of that aid has recognized that the system used actually against Houthis, rather than hunt for alleged terrorists, and people saw that it did not distinguish between one was people of all age groups and orientations of the target of bombs and missiles and one incident of camp the normal people too-distant future where the regime killed this aid, scores of children and women and the elderly, as well as it beat for the accommodation of prisoners from the Yemeni military in Sa’ada, where he spent more than 100 prisoners, as well as hit the markets and the displacement camps and cities inhabited by the civilian population. (Read on …)

ACLU Sues in order to Represent Anwar Al-Awlaki

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 10:53 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010


MSNBC: Two civil rights groups today sued the US government, seeking the legal authority to challenge the Obama administration’s targeting of a radical cleric in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki — who may now be America’s most wanted terrorist.

The government says al-Awlaki has become one of the dominant recruiters of Americans for violent attacks on the homeland. He’s said to have communicated with Major Nidal Hasan before last year’s shootings at Ft. Hood and with Faisal Shahzad, who planted a car bomb in Times Square earlier this year. In addition, the FBI says he played a key role in the Christmas Day airline bomb plot. Intelligence sources say he has been the target of several unmanned drone attacks.

Now, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights say they’ve been asked by al-Awlaki’s father to challenge the government’s targeting of al-Awlaki, who is a U.S. citizen, born in New Mexico. The groups say the government has improperly “asserted authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens located far from any battlefield without charge, trial, or judicial process of any kind.” (Read on …)

Ayyam Zawaheri Wants to Be King of Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Religious, TI: External, USA, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 11:42 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh yes, that’s what Yemenis need is another foreigner inciting bloodshed. The lunatic Egyptian wants Yemeni clerics to declare jihad on the US. Certainly strengthens Saleh’s position with the US though, how handy.

Reuters: Zawahri, in his second message this month released on Islamist websites, also ridiculed Yemeni clerics, who he said promised jihad, or holy war, against the United States if it interfered in Yemen, but who he said ignored signs that the government was cooperating with U.S. forces.

Noting that Amnesty International had called on Washington to explain its role in Yemen, Zawahri asked: “Is Amnesty International more concerned about defending the Yemeni people than they (the clerics) are?”

Amnesty International released a report in June suggesting that the United States may be playing a role in Yemen after releasing photographs that showed remnants of alleged U.S. missiles and cluster bombs used in an attack in south Yemen.

“What more are they waiting for to call for jihad? … are they waiting for the U.S. soldiers to appear on the streets of Sanaa in their tanks?”

Open Letter to President Obama from South Yemen

Filed under: South Yemen, USA, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 11:30 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mr. President Barack Hussein Obama:

We the people of Aden in the south are suffering humiliation and oppression, murder and torture by the regime of the State of North Yemen, Sanaa

We also know we have an independent state and we have entered into unsuccessful unity with North Yemen, Sanaa, a country with a tribal, military and Baathist structure, that is usually backward for us and takes us back a century.

Today, the Arab people in Aden struggle to disengage from the North Yemen, Sanaa, and his re-Arab and to re-establish a southern capital of Aden, known as a free state on their national soil, known to the May 21, 1990

We want your support and your support and you with the free world in order to restore our nation and peaceful coexistence among the nations of the earth

يافعي حضرمي متواجد حالياً with my regards
journalist from south yemen

alkhader alhasani
sana a 25/7/2010

Yemeni-Americans Mobilize to Draw Attention to Children in Prison and other Political Prisoners

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Hadramout, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A letter to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from southern Yemenis in the US:

The South Yemen community in U.S.A sincere regards, and thank you for your efforts for the past years and your positive interaction, whether by descending on the ground in the south and especially the governorate Aden, and some nearby provinces, Your meeting with some of the families of the martyrs and prisoners, or through your reports on the bitter reality and the serious daily violations of human rights in under the occupation of Yemen, and heinous practices against the people of South Arabia are engaged in struggle for independence.

We appreciate these efforts and urge you to exert more pressure on the occupying government in Sana’a to stop all methods of repression, torture and killing, siege and arrests, and pursuits, committed against peacefully protesters and activists, and move quickly to rescue the Political prisoners of Sana’a regime, and the rest of the detainees from daily torture of those who are still in detention including minors.

First the Political Security prison in Sana’a

Ahmed Alkuwma – correspondent

Maged Althammah – Age 14 years (Read on …)

New US Ambassador to Yemen: Yemen’s Main Threat is Terrorism

Filed under: Corruption, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:32 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In a cringe-inducing remark, Mr. Gerald M. Feierstein, Ambassador-Designate to the Republic of Yemen, said to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, July 19, 2010: “Yemen faces many challenges and threats, the chief of which is terrorism, a global threat that requires a global response.” No. The main threat to Yemen is President Saleh. Could the US State Department possibly believe that Yemen’s main threat is terrorism or are they deliberately spinning a load of hogwash? There’s two US advisers that have a clear view, the rest have been in love with Saleh for a long time.

Well they are trapped in the Embassy and only talk to pro-regime Yemenis: Sen. Lugar expressed his concern over the U.S. embassy team’ being unable to travel outside of Sana’a to monitor key projects on the ground. I guess Obama like Bush prefers a dream world to reality, especially when the reality is the US is allied with an al-Qaeda supporting mass-murderer.

This is a little more realistic Jerry: Regarding how U.S. can measure the effectiveness of U.S. financial aid, Feierstein explained that “We are less confident that we can assure the Congress in particular that this money is being well-spent,” Feierstein concluded.

Samir Khan in Yemen, Edited “Inspire”

Filed under: TI: External, US jihaddis, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 8:41 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2010


NYDNA slick new Al Qaeda magazine written in English to lure U.S. jihadists may be the work of a former New Yorker with an eye for graphics – and a lust for American blood. Intelligence officials see chilling similarities between a militant blog Samir Khan produced and the Internet-based magazine Inspire. Khan landed on intelligence radar in 2007, when he was 21, after posting an Osama Bin Laden screed to the blog he maintained from his parents’ basement.

The blog boasted crisp graphics, an easy familiarity with American culture and attitudes, and a pipeline to hard-core rhetoric. Fast forward to last month, when Al Qaeda put out Inspire, with the message that U.S. military action in the Arab world must be avenged. The packaging spooked experts with its potential for recruiting Western youth. It also seemed familiar to those who track militants, like the Jawa Report blog…

Khan has been in Yemen since October – and the mag was posted by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen branch with ties to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki uses English to get his message out in the West.

(Read on …)

More Awlaki Fans Busted, 1267 Listing

Filed under: US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 7:52 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They plead guilty to lying about a hit list. Below is the State Department’s notice about Awlaki addition to the UN’s 1267 terrorism sanctions list. The list is meaningless in Yemen; Sheik Zindani is on it and his assets were not seized and in fact he traveled with President Saleh to Saudi Arabia a few years ago. Update: Zach Chesser, arrested after admitting to trying to join al Shabab, is another Awlaki drone.

NWCN: ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Alaska couple accused in a domestic terrorism plot is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to federal charges of lying about creating a hit list of possible targets. (Read on …)

US Sanctions Awlaki, Yemen will Release 437 Prisoners

Filed under: Saada War, US jihaddis, USA, prisons — by Jane Novak at 9:17 pm on Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two entirely unrelated stories, 1) US freezes Anwar Awlaki’s assets and criminalizes providing material support to him; 2) After February truce agreement and May’s amnesty announcement, there’s still over 400 rebels in jail and dozens of southerners. In theory, Saleh agreed to release them but we’ve heard it dozens of times before. He uses the prisoners as a bargaining chip against the opposition and the general public.

Gulf Times: Yemen’s government has agreed to free more than 400 people, mostly northern rebels, as the Arab state tries to launch a dialogue with opposition groups, an opposition leader said yesterday.

An opposition coalition and the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party signed an agreement yesterday to set up a joint body for a national dialogue, state media reported.

The government is trying to halt conflict in the northern province of Saada with Shia rebels as well as with secessionists in the south.

“As demanded by the opposition in order to sign the agreement, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has issued a directive to free 27 from the southern movement and 400 with links to the fighting in Saada,” the opposition figure, who declined to be named, told Reuters. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki fatwas Molly and the entire US, again

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, Yemen, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 8:35 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The new Al Qaeda mag in English had pages of corrupted code but the second release includes an article by Anwar Awlaki calls for death for a cartoonist in Seattle. But since we all pay taxes and vote, everybody in the US is a “combatant” according to Awlaki and deserving of death, so it doesnt matter either way what anybody says or does,

Google News “The proper solution to this growing campaign of defamation” of the prophet is “the execution of those involved,” reads the article in web magazine “Inspire,” in a text provided by the US monitoring service SITE on Sunday. (Read on …)

US Bumps Humanitarian Aid $42 Mil and Calls for Saleh to Act in Good Faith

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:19 am on Friday, June 25, 2010

The US is deeply troubled now? What a load of hooey. There was five months straight of carpet bombing of civilians and there was nada, nothing, zip from the US except a blatant disregard for civilian slaughter- in the north and the south. The US is troubled by the violence now only because the resumption of war will mean that Saleh will remain distracted from a dedicated counter-terror posture against al-Qa’ida. However, thats the point. The regime is structurally reliant on corruption, repression and detante with al-Qaeda. This is pathetic.

Peoples Daily: The United States is “deeply troubled” by violence in the northern Yemen and calls for a comprehensive dialogue between all opposition parties and the government, said the White House on Thursday.

“We are deeply troubled by reports of fresh outbreaks of fighting in Sa’ada, and urge full compliance with the ceasefire agreement announced in February, and an end to the violence,” said a White House statement, referring to recent violent conflicts in the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada.

“The United States calls for a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue between all opposition groups and the ruling party. Such a dialogue needs to be undertaken in good faith and with haste by all parties to address legitimate grievances and increase stability in Yemen,” said the statement. (Read on …)

Al-Qa’ida distributes CD’s in Sana’a Mosques calling for jihad on U.S.

Filed under: Religious, Sana'a, USA, aq statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:48 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Really getting desperate, aren’t they? I guess the Saudi women didn’t come flocking to Yemen after al-Qa’ida’s last appeal to them for suicide bombers. Short of funds they are as well. Interesting how AQIY can distribute the CDs in such a systematic manner without drawing the attention of the state-funded Imams and security. Oh yes, it was actually the state funded Imams who first warned against US intervention in Yemen, threatening jihad in a statement. Yeah that was it. The AQIY zealots are hoping that US backing of the widely reviled dictator and his messy messy methods of counter-insurgency will create a backlash in their favor, not an improbable outcome even without the CDs, but there are a lot of other options for those with anti-government inclinations. Anti-US sentiments grew geometrically after the slaughter in Abyan (cluster bombs??!!) and the US’s extremely poor follow-up. (Nary a word. Even after the Yemeni government apologized, the US kept congratulating.) Inciting against US intervention incidentally and conveniently dovetails with Saleh’s position. This Abdulelah mentioned works for (gets a paycheck from) the state news agency SABA and is the brother-in-law of Abdulmajid al-Zindani, a long time Saleh loyalist. Abdulelah is the one who manages to interview all the top al-Qa’ida (including his bestest friend Anwar Awlaki, Nassir al Wahishi and Fahd “but I thought he was reformed” al-Quso) without a problem as we noted first in January 2009. We’ll file this about the CDs under the heading “flaky stuff”.

Yemen Post An unidentified group has distributed a CD at a number of mosques in Yemen’s capital of Sana’a that some people said contained interviews with Al-Qaeda leaders and videos about U.S. raids on terrorist targets in the country, independent sources said on Thursday.

Uthman Al-Ghamidi, Fahd Al-Qusa, Abu Musab Muhammad Saleh Umair and Saeed Al-Shari, all of the most wanted terrorist suspects by Yemeni and Saudi authorities, appeared in the CD speaking about U.S. crimes and calling for reviving Jihad, holy war.

They talked about terror raids that took place in late last year and early this year in Abyan, Shabwa and Sana’a with a focus on the raid in Almajalah district, Abyan, in which many were killed including civilians. Murdered terrorist Abu Umair was seen discussing Jihad with young Jihadists.

Abdul Elah Shaea, a local expert in terrorism issues, also appeared speaking about Al-Qaeda in Yemen including remarks he previously gave to Aljazeera Satellite Channel.

The CD was intended to incite the people against the U.S. intervention as concerns, mainly by the west, continued to grow about Al-Qaeda presence in the country and to praise the role of Al-Qaeda and its acts.

It also contained photos of some Arab leaders described as agents for the west including Egypt’s Mubarak and President Saleh.

Society for charitable welfare US funded, Zindani Awlaki

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Civil Society, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:57 am on Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Society for Charitable Welfare does good work in Yemen, actually delivering services to the poor, unlike some others.

Intel Wire : A spokesman for the Yemen-based Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW) has denied an INTELWIRE report that the charity is linked to Al Qaeda figures Anwar Awlaki and Abdul Majid Zindani. INTELWIRE stands by the story.

“All information in this article is baseless and fabricated,” said Dr. Jamal Al-Haddi, the program manager of CSSW’s of ACCESS-Plus Program, wrote in an e-mail on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

The program, intended to to fight child labor and child trafficking, is funded by a $3.5 million partner-grant from the U.S. Department of Labor starting in 2008 and slated to run for three years. The grant is shared by CHF International, a Maryland-based foundation. The funding was granted despite CSSW’s apparent links to extremism and terrorism financing. INTELWIRE is continuing to investigate the grant, and additional stories will follow.

According to Al-Haddi, “Abdulmajeed Al-Zendani or Anwar Al-Awlaki never have been part of CSSW either as founders, members of Managerial Boards, employees, consultants volunteers or any position in CSSW.”

But substantial documentation supports the reported claims. (Read on …)

12 American Students Detained in Yemen among 50 Westerners

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, US jihaddis — by Jane Novak at 7:06 pm on Monday, June 7, 2010

CNN Yemen has detained a dozen Americans among a larger group of foreign students reportedly being held for security reasons, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Citing “privacy issues,” P.J. Crowley would not provide details about the detentions nor would he confirm other media reports that the students may have had connections with the terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“We have great cooperation with the government of Yemen,” Crowley said when pressed on the issue. “Together, we are doing our best to help Yemen, you know, reduce the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That’s a threat to Yemen. It’s a threat to the United States.”

Earlier media reports indicated the arrests of as many as 50 students suspected of having connections with the Yemeni-based terror organization were made last week. CNN has been unable to confirm those reports.

Imprisoned Australian citizen, Shyloh Giddins, likely to be deported HOOD reports

Filed under: Counter-terror, Judicial, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:07 am on Monday, June 7, 2010

There’s 30 or 50 foreigners in detention on suspicion of terror activities.

An imprisoned Australian women was able to visit with her children for the first time since her arrest, and security officials indicate that she is about to be deported to her home country, HOOD’s lawyer said yesterday.

“There is a promise from security bodies that Mrs. Giddins is about to be deported to her home with her children. The children remain under house arrest with Rafa Hussein, a Bengali citizen, who was earlier arrested on suspicion of terrorism, said Abdul Rahman Barman, a HOOD representing Ms. Giddins. .

Shylon Giddins, an Australian citizen, was arrested on May 15, 2010. She came to Yemen to live in Islamic country and works as an English teacher. (Read on …)

US Jihaddi Coached by Anwar Awlaki Arrested for Support of AQAP

Filed under: TI: External, US jihaddis, anwar — by Jane Novak at 1:23 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

WSJ: Federal authorities arrested and filed terror-related charges against an American man who they say received advice from radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and attempted to provide money and materials to an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.

Barry Walter Bujol, 29 years old, was arrested Sunday in a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting after he used fake documents supplied by an undercover informant to board a ship in Houston he thought was bound for the Middle East, the Justice Department said Thursday…. (Read on …)

Two New Jersey Jihaddis Heading to Somalia Inspired by Anwar Al Awlaki

Filed under: US jihaddis, anwar — by Jane Novak at 1:16 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

The defendants, identified as Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, were arrested at JFK International Airport. They conspired within the US to commit murder outside the US, which is illegal, unlike in Yemen where it is encouraged. They were arrested boarding a plane to Egypt, with the ultimate destination Somalia where they were looking to hook-up with al Shabab. Yemen reiterated today that if captured, Awlaki will not be extradited but instead tried in Yemeni courts for his offenses within Yemen.


“8. On December 20, 2009, in New Jersey, the DEFENDANTS listened to a recording of Anwar al Awlaki promoting violent jihad and martyrdom”.

“22. On May 25, 2010 in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, ALMONTE played for ALESSA a video-recorded interview of Awlaki, during which Awlaki justified the killing of civilians in the course of waging violent jihad.”

Strange supposed al Qaeda statement takes credit for death of al Shabwani

Filed under: Air strike, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Saturday, June 5, 2010

The implication being that al Qaeda used US drones to kill their enemy al Shabwani. Naba News has it. It was first posted to a political forum, and the members objected to a terrorist in their midst. So it could be propaganda, if not by al Qaeda then by someone trying to discredit the intelligence and discourage people from talking about where the al Qaeda are.

Naba’s Interview with American Kidnapped in Yemen

Filed under: Interviews, Tribes, USA, hostages — by Jane Novak at 8:34 am on Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quite a fascinating interview at Naba News with the American Ludmila Yamalova after she was freed from her kidnappers in Yemen.

1. Your feeling as a woman when tribesmen kidnapped you, did you think that they may kill you or being raped?

a. Answer. Yes, after the first half-hour of denial that this nightmare was happening and the intense conviction that it was going to end …the fear of physical violence kicked in. I started remembering previous hostage situations, which had ended tragically. Images of rape and killing kept crossed my mind for the next fifteen or so minutes… These fears were further perpetuated because for the first hour or so, we had no idea what was going on and what the agenda was. There was a lot of screaming, yelling, talking on multiple mobile phones, anger, angst and, what seemed like, confusion. It was difficult to tell how I fit into the whole picture and what their motives were against me, individually, and us, as a couple.

2. How did they treat you during the period of hostage? (Read on …)

American among foreigners rounded up in Yemen including Australian woman

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Judicial, TI: External, UK, USA, airliner, anwar, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Several other foreigners were arrested in Yemen including Americans, Brits, French, Asians and Africans, at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies. Yemeni security said the group was linked to the Nigerian’s airliner terror plot and Anwar Awlaki who repeatedly announces how proud he is to have been Abdulmattalab’s “teacher.”

An Australian woman, Shyloh Giddins, was arrested in Yemen May 15. Her two children are under house arrest alone, with a neighbor tending to them twice a day. Giddens was associated with some Bengali citizens who were later deported from Yemen. ”

Yemen holds Americans, others in al-Qaida probe

SAN’A, Yemen — Yemeni authorities have detained several foreigners, including Americans, Britons and an Australian woman, in connection with an investigation into al-Qaida’s increased activity in the country, security officials said Wednesday.

The arrests were made after foreign intelligence agencies provided lists of names of people they wanted detained or put under surveillance, the two security officials said. (Read on …)

The History Prior to the Arrest of the Australian Woman

Filed under: Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:49 am on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More on the Australian woman, her friends, the two kids under house arrest and the context of the arrests

Tens of detainees in Yemeni prisons, under the name of counterterrorism

By: Nisreen Shadad, edited by Jane Novak

The Yemeni authority detained tens of people in the beginning of this year, under the name of counterterrorism. Rafah Hussein and her brother Sadman, Bengali citizens, were arrested on February 14, 2010. Rafah was released after hours of interrogation. Her brother and three other Bengalis imprisoned in February, 2010 are in custody of the Political Security. The four are being held incommunicado and have joined the ranks of Yemen’s “disappeared.”

Rafah found no one to stay with except a friend of hers named “Umm Omar.” Shylon Giddins, an Australian citizen, was arrested as well on May 15, 2010. (Read on …)

Two Australian Kids Under House Arrest in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, TI: External, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:20 am on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The woman is being held without charges on suspicion of ties to an “Islamist group.” Her children aged 5 and 7 are under house arrest, under the supervision of police officers, and a 17 year old Bangladeshi girl is with them in the house. A neighbor is allowed in twice a day to tend to them. HOOD’s letter to the Australian Foreign Affairs Office follows.

TVNZ: An Australian woman who converted to Islam and moved to Yemen in 2006 has been detained in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on suspicion of links to unnamed radical Islamist groups, her lawyer said today. (Read on …)

Fahd al Quso in new Al Qaeda in Yemen video threatens US

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, aq statements, personalities — by Jane Novak at 2:38 pm on Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Short version: Al Quso attended the al Qaeda summit in Malaysia in January 2000 that planned both the USS Cole attack and 9/11. Other attendees included Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Khallad bin Attash, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Hambali. Yazid Sufaat, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Al Quso was part of the conspiracy that targeted the USS Cole in October 2000 in the port of Aden. On day of the attack, al Quso was supposed to video the attack, which killed 17 US service members and wounded 49. He told investigators that he overslept. He was jailed in 2002, escaped prison in 2003 and indicted on 50 counts of terror related charges in US Federal court. He was returned to jail in 2004. In 2007, al Quso was given a early release by the Yemeni government within a larger pattern of al Qaeda releases, defended by many as “co-optation” by the Saleh regime, when it is the Saleh regime itself that has been co-opted. Here in 2010, al Quso makes an AQAP video threatening the US.

The danger of al Quso in particular is that he is trusted by bin Laden, has operational experience, international connections and already blew up a US warship, so we could expect his next plan to be even bigger. On the other hand, my take on Al Qaeda in Yemen’s strategy is that they are trying to suck the US troops into Yemen. And their media strategy reflects that. And that would generate substantial opposition in the heavily armed country from many with no affiliation or sympathy to al Qaeda.

Memri: On May 26, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a 55-minute video containing new statements by Fahd Al-Quso, a senior Al-Qaeda operative who is under U.S. indictment for his alleged role in the USS Cole bombing. This is the first time that Al-Quso, whom Yemen released from prison in 2007, has appeared in an AQAP production. The new release is also the origin of the footage of Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab that was leaked to ABC. In addition, the video contains statements by Othman Al-Ghamdi, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee whom the video now refers to as an AQAP commander, as well as Qasim Al-Rimi, AQAP’s chief military commander. The video is dated Rabi’ I 1431, i.e. February-March 2010. The video praises the Yemeni tribes and mentions the tribal affiliations of the various AQAP operatives it eulogizes. A number of them are from the ‘Awalik, Anwar Al-Awlaki’s tribe. Fahd Al-Quso, himself from the ‘Awalik, specifically mentions Anwar Al-Awlaki.

For a comprehensive overview of the bombing, see my earlier report The USS Cole bombing, a seven year perspective. Excerpt below:

(Read on …)

Yemen Questions US Citizen Mobley

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, US jihaddis, arrests — by Jane Novak at 3:49 pm on Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sure took them long enough

SANAA, May 6 (Reuters) – Yemeni authorities have begun questioning a U.S. citizen suspected of being an al Qaeda militant who is accused of killing a guard as he tried to escape a hospital, a state-run website said on Thursday.

Sharif Mobley, arrested in March along with 10 al Qaeda suspects, was handed over to a court in the capital Sanaa. He also faces charges of wounding another guard as he tried to shoot his way out of the hospital where he was being treated, the Yemeni Defence Ministry website said. (Read on …)

NY Bomber Faisel Shahzad Knew Anwar Awlaki, Updated: “Inspired by”

Filed under: US jihaddis, anwar — by Jane Novak at 3:31 pm on Thursday, May 6, 2010

Update: The WSJ clarifies:

U.S. officials said that Mr. Shahzad didn’t appear to have communicated with Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical U.S.-born cleric who exchanged dozens of emails with suspected Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan in the run-up to the November assault that left 13 soldiers dead.

But the officials said Mr. Shahzad told his interrogators that he read Mr. Awlaki’s English-language writings calling for holy war against Western targets and was moved to action, at least in part, by the cleric’s exhortations.

(Read on …)

“Saleh shows more resolve than ever before,” US State Dept

Filed under: Counter-terror, Presidency, US jihaddis, USA   — by Jane Novak at 8:42 am on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Suckers. The US State Dept AGAIN congratulates Yemen on air strikes that killed civilians not terrorists. Its not even in dispute that 43 civilians were killed in Abyan. The US needs to come up with a more nuanced phrase because the current one appears very callous. Also Mueller was in Yemen praising the regime’s counter-terror efforts according to government press releases. Other reports indicate that he discussed the Gitmo detainees, which is out of their scope, and/or extraditing Jaber Elbanah and Anwar Awlaki, both US citizens. I guess they gave up on al Quso and al Badawi. And of course the normal regime line will be that its against the constitution, but Yemen signed an extradition treaty with Spain and extradited Nankli, who was in jail forever, a few years ago. Granted Nankli was Spanish-Syrian but when does Saleh follow the constitution anyway?

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula had already shown itself to be a formidable threat to Yemen’s internal security, with attacks on the Yemeni security forces, as well as a threat to Saudi Arabia, with an August 2009 attempted assassination against the head of counterterrorism in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Nayif. The administration recognized the threat in Yemen as from day one, and has been focused on Yemen since then.

The U.S. strategy in Yemen recognizes that Yemen has not always had the political will or focused attention to address its problems. We are encouraged that President Saleh and his government have shown more resolve than ever before to confront AQAP and to engage with the international community on domestic non-security issues. The United States commends Yemen on its December counterterrorism operations and we are committed to continuing support for security initiatives and economic-development initiatives.

AQIY’s webmaster? Update: Arrested in UAE

Filed under: US jihaddis — by Jane Novak at 11:35 pm on Friday, April 30, 2010

I certainly hope so. Their magazine is so lame anyway. All the other internet is censored, why not al Qaeda? Updates below.

Newsweek: Brooklyn ‘Computer Wiz’ Accused of Conspiring With Al Qaeda Affiliate in Yemen, Mark Hosenball

A New York-born man described by a law-enforcement official as a computer expert is at the center of the latest investigation into Americans who have tried and, in some but not all cases, succeeded in hooking up with Al Qaeda elements based overseas. Wesam el-Hanafi, a 34-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native, is one of two men indicted by Federal authorities in Manhattan on Friday on charges of conspiring to provide material support, including computer expertise, to Al Qaeda—more specifically to Yemen-based elements of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a spinoff of the now Pakistan-based terror network founded by Osama bin Laden. (Read on …)

Two New Yorkers Charged with Aid to al Qaeda after Yemen Trip

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, US jihaddis, arrests — by Jane Novak at 1:04 pm on Friday, April 30, 2010

The material support was computer systems modernization and technical advice. The indictment is here. The time frame is November 2007 through March 2010. Hasanoff received $50K in Nov. 2007. Hanafy traveled to Yemen in Feb of 2008. In March 2008 through May 2008, Hanafy ran a software program that enabled secure internet communication with al Qaeda.

CBS Two United States citizens residing in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been charged with trying to aid Al Qaeda terrorists. According to the indictment obtained by CBS News, the men, Wesam El-Hanafi, 33, and Sabirhan Hasanoff, 34, are charged with one count of “conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.”

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Also according to the indictment, “the defendants would and did agree to provide al Qaeda with, among other things, computer advice and assistance, services, and currency, knowing that al Qaeda had engaged and was engaging in terrorist activity[.]”
(Read on …)

New US Ambassador to Yemen Soon

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:51 am on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Luck! Mr. Feierstein, a specialist in Near East and South Asian Affairs, entered the Foreign Service in June 1975 and has served overseas in seven postings: Islamabad (1976-78), Tunis (1983-85), Riyadh (1985-87), Peshawar (1989-92), Muscat (1995-98), Jerusalem (1998-2001), and Beirut (2003-04).

In Washington, he has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Directorate of Programs in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, desk officer for Nepal, Pakistan, and Egypt; Deputy Director in the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, as Director of the Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh affairs, and as Director of the Office of Regional Affairs in the Near East Bureau. Mr. Feierstein holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Point Park College and an M.A. in International Relations from Duquesne University.

AQIY Taught Abdulmatallab to Shoot a Gun with His Toes

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, US jihaddis, airliner, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 9:38 am on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a pathetic bunch of losers if there ever was one…

ABC: New videos produced by al Qaeda in Yemen show the accused underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and others in his training class firing weapons at a desert camp whose targets included the Jewish star, the British Union Jack and the letters “UN.” (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki’s brother threatens researcher after interveiw

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, US jihaddis, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:47 am on Saturday, April 17, 2010

Anwar Awlaki’s brother Omar (Ammar?) verbally attacked and threatened a Salafi researcher on al Qaeda as he was leaving a mosque in Sana’a yesterday. Saeed Obaid Jamahi said in an interview with al Tagheer (The Change), an independent news site, that Omar Awlaki confronted him and threatened to kill him in front of dozens of worshipers. Jamahi told al Tagheer the attack surprised him because he sympathizes with Awlaki’s cause and believes Awlaki should not be hunted or killed without clear evidence of wrong doing. Jamahi urged the Ministry of the Interior and Attorney General to do their duty and take the threats seriously.

Update from a witness: Saeed Ubeid was interviewed at his home by a western TV channel which was conducting a series of interviews for a program on Anwar al Awlaqi. As Anwar’s home was in the same neighborhood, the channel called Nassir al Alwalqi (Anwar’s father and a leading member of the ruling party) for an interview for the same program. But he instead refused to do, and asked the channel to stop “campaigning against his son” and insulted the channel aggressively. Afterward, Mr. Ubeid left his home for prayer in the neighborhood mosque, where he met with Anwar’s brother who insulted him, tried to physically attack him and threatened him with death. Update 2: Gulf News

Yemen Buys DC Lobbiest for $5K/mo

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:24 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A former f-16 pilot is going to engage US and military officials and defense contractors on behalf of Yemen, hire a public relations firm, make introductions, get financing, etc etc… But does Yemen need to buy more weapons? I hope he understands who he is dealing with; who would want to be the rep for a mass murderer?

The Hill: A former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot is in talks with the government of Yemen to become its lobbyist in an effort to boost the country’s defense forces. (Read on …)

PSO CIA double game

Filed under: Security Forces, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 8:44 pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I thought I had posted this already, but I can’t find it. Its not only the PSO that is infested with jihaddis but also the military, security and National Security which is headed by President Saleh’s office manager since 1988, Ali al Ansi.

CIA and Yemen playing a doubles game
If Yemen seems like a terrorist playground today, the answer might be that its top intelligence service is run by jihadis.

According to a report in the reliable Paris-based Intelligence Online newsletter, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, “who has traveled twice to Yemen in the last six months, has been told by his advisers that Yemen’s Political Security Organization has been infiltrated at the highest levels by jihadists active in the country.”

A Brennan spokesman declined to comment on the report, which most likely originated in the region. But it came as no surprise to a top former CIA counterterrorism official, who said with a chuckle: “that report is stating the obvious.” (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki on the US hit list

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, US jihaddis, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:03 pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Anwar as the number one terrorist threatening the US and the driver behind AQIY’s apparent shift to targeting the US homeland, questionable. Related: Awlaki issues audio calling for attacks on US.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has authorized operations to capture or kill a U.S.-born Muslim cleric based in Yemen, who is described by a key lawmaker as Americas’s top terrorist threat, officials said on Tuesday. (Read on …)

Al Libi Trashes Saleh But Urges Focus to Remain on US

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, US jihaddis, USA, aq statements, personalities — by Jane Novak at 5:43 pm on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A good pdf round-up from ICT’s Internet Monitoring Group notes the recent issue of Sada al Malehem contains an article by Qasim Al-Rimi, “who was declared killed in the attacks by the Yemen Army, has published an article in the twelfth issue of the organization’s magazine,“Sada Al-Malahim”, where he threatens to attack the US, as it attacked the homes of the Yemeni people.34 It should be noted, that previous threats made by AQAP, were directed in a more general manner against US targets abroad and this could be the first direct publicly made threat against the US mainland.”

Also al Libbi authorizes the jihaddis to murder Yemeni soldiers but urges them to remain focused on bringing the battle to US soil. (Read on …)

Awlaki Audio Calls for Jihad on US

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, anwar, aq statements, personalities, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 5:16 pm on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

- Urges American Muslims to commit jihad against the US
- Says the US is withholding the Nidal Hassan emails because the US is trying to convince the American public that it was an individual act
- US officials confirm Mobley left to US to seek out Awlaki and found him

London, England (CNN) — American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is calling for jihad against America, claiming “America is evil” in a new audio message obtained exclusively by CNN.

“With the American invasion of Iraq and continued U.S. aggression against Muslims, I could not reconcile between living in the U.S and being a Muslim, and I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim,” he says in the recording that runs more than 12 minutes.

Al-Awlaki is believed to be hiding out in hills of southern Yemen with the protection of his very powerful family tribe.

CNN could not authenticate the recording as being by al-Awlaki, but sources have told CNN that they believe the voice on the recording is him and that the recording is genuine. (Read on …)

Yemeni Immigrant Wins New York Lottery, USD 3 Million

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 12:07 am on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We’re all overdue for a feel-good story from Yemen and this might do it:

Flatbush retailer sees customers having fun, winning; buys himself a $3,000,000 Money winner
Yemen-born Abdo Ashariki has owned the Cortelyou Deli & Grocery on Cortelyou Rd. in Brooklyn for three years. The father of 10 children who range in age from 4 to 39 said he liked to watch his customers scratch and win prizes on the New York Lottery tickets he sold to them. “But why,” he asked, “should they have all the fun?” That’s why Ashariki said he usually bought one or two tickets for himself each day, a habit that paid off handsomely on February 20, 2010 when Ashariki purchased a $10 Money ticket that turned out to be a $3,000,000 winner. (Read on …)

US report on human rights in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:32 am on Friday, March 12, 2010

The US State Department report on Human Rights Practices in Yemen 2009 is accurate and thorough. I thought they might dumb it down a bit considering the increased level of US support, but they didn’t. Click here for the report.

Mobley a Nuclear Worker in New Jersey, Update: Dammaj student

Filed under: Dammaj, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:01 pm on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Other reports have Mobley as a low level, if that, terrorist wanna-be who never actually hooked up with AQAP. This is an interesting angle though considering the Nasir al Wahishi, Emir of AQAP, spoke about a nuclear attack on the US in a January 2009 interview. Update: AOL News: He also said Mobley studied at Dar al-Hadith Dammaj institute in Saada, a well-known Salafist school in Yemen’s northern province, which was decried as a “known terrorist training center” during tribunals for Guantanamo Bay detainees. Reports say that between 3,000 and 5,000 foreign students live and study there,” said Abdul-Salam al-Korary, a local journalist who has covered Yemen for several decades. “It is a very radical school.”

AJC: From 2002 to 2008, Mobley worked for several contractors at three nuclear power plants in New Jersey, PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar said. Mobley carried supplies and did maintenance work at the plants on Artificial Island in Lower Alloways Creek, and worked at other plants in the region as well.

He satisfied federal background checks as recently as 2008, Delmar said, adding that the plant is cooperating with authorities. Mobley moved to Yemen about two years ago, supposedly to learn Arabic and study Islam, a former neighbor said.

American al Qaeda Terrorist in Yemen has shootout and kills guard

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, TI: External, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:00 pm on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It just never ends. A nice boy from New Jersey is an Qaeda suspect in custody in Yemen who was a) planning an attack b) wounded somehow and hospitalized last week and c) tried to bust out of the hospital Sunday in Yemen and killed a guard. His friends are shocked. I’m shocked too, I thought the shooter was supposed to be a German citizen of Somali origin. Fox also reports he is a a dual citizen, Yemeni-American.

NBC: Federal sources have confirmed that a man from Buena is in custody in the Middle East, and they say he’s believed to be an Al-Qaeda militant who’s accused of going on a deadly rampage.

“We don’t know nothing, we’re trying to hear something,” said Charles Mobley. Those were the only words he would share on camera about his son, 26 year-old Sharif Mobley. Federal sources have confirmed the 2002 Buena Regional High School graduate is currently in custody in the Middle East, suspected of being an Al-Qaeda militant. (Read on …)

US Invests in Saleh, Sa’ada Refugees Starving

Filed under: Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:39 am on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of 250,000 Sa’ada War refugees only 30,000 are in the UN camps. Its too early to send them home, many have no homes to return to as cold weather and malnutrition threatens children. UN appeal is still unfunded, may cut programs for want of $16 million. A good report on
US funding notes that it overwhelmingly targets security not the population:

Congress has enacted roughly $218 million in US assistance for FY2010, of which $170 million or 78 percent has been in the security domain [Train and Equip (Section 1206), Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR), and International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE)]. This dwarfs the development and diplomatic sums provided to Yemen and transparently communicates the American investment in President Saleh.

More on the Abyan Airstrike: killed “al Qaeda” chewed qat with officials and were on state payroll

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islah, Parliament, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:17 pm on Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Islah MP gave an interview to al Sahwa following the delay in the parliamentary session meant to discuss the airstrike in Abyan that killed dozens of civilians. Abdul Karim Shiban said that the “al Qaeda” killed in the strike were released from a PSO prison two years earlier. Since then, they moved back and forth from Shabwa to Abyan openly and freely. It was known by the security forces who would have been able to capture them easily. In fact, the men used to chew khat with security officials and received an allowance from the state.

al Sahwa Those targeted in the strike were closely linked to power (Read on …)

Yemeni Intel Subverted by al Qaeda: WaPo

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:42 am on Friday, February 12, 2010

Yay, its not just me anymore. Now that the WaPo has another excellent article on the infiltration of al Qaeda to the Yemeni security and intelligence forces, I’m feeling a tad less lonely. Of course, some um, passport offices, financial exchange offices and other sensitive positions are currently held by “recently reformed” convicted al Qaeda operatives, not to mention the older bin Laden loyalists serving as governors and ambassadors, rewarded after the 1994 civil war. Jihaddis in ties, as I say.

The full WaPo is below. There is one section of the Washington Post article seems to be getting a lot of play in Yemen so, just to be nice, I am posting the original entry from History Commons: first theres’s 1990- 1998, Zawaheri frequently visits Yemen (Hello?) then as follows (PSO shelters Zawaheri) Spring-Summer 1998: Yemeni Officials Help Al-Qaeda with Knowledgeable Defector

Ahmed Nasrallah, a veteran al-Qaeda operative who has been in Yemen for several years, decides to defect and turn himself in to the Yemeni government. He discloses the location of al-Qaeda strongholds in Yemen and even gives away the location of al-Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a southern Yemeni town. He describes al-Qaeda’s weaponry, security, and violent plans for the future. He offers to spy on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or on a militant Yemeni group led by Zein al-Abidine Almihdhar, a relative of hijacker Khalid Almihdhar. (In 1999 Zein will be caught and executed in Yemen for kidnappings and killings.) However, two officials in the Political Security Organization (Yemen’s equivalent of the FBI) have radical militant ties and hand over Nasrallah to al-Qaeda operatives. These operatives plan to kill him for betraying their group, but he escapes to Egypt before they can do so. The Egyptian government then interrogates him for more than a year. However, it is not known what he told them before 9/11, or what they might have passed to the US. One of the two Yemeni officers helping al-Qaeda on this matter, Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman al-Hilah, will be recorded by Italian intelligence in 2000 apparently mentioning the upcoming 9/11 attacks (see August 12, 2000). [Wall Street Journal, 12/20/2002]

Somewhere down the History Commons page is likely 1999: Yemen releases Khalid bin Attash after deal with bin Laden, but that’s also in the 9/11 Commission Report. Attash of course went on to have an instrumental role in the bombing of the USS Cole. Yemen as a stagnant political system has many, most of the same players playing now as in the 1980’s and ’90’s. For example, Ali Al Ansi, head of the National Security, has been Saleh’s office manager since 1982. Al Qamish also has been around forever. So the argument that these close ties to bin Laden were a decade ago doesn’t reassure me much. The article I wrote early in Feb. 2009 referencing a deal between Zawaheri and Saleh was based on current reporting but fits quite nicely into the overall pattern. The second terror attack on the South Korean’s in March 2009 wasn’t a result of a small leak, one subverted guy passing information, which is why even the Parliament started complaining openly. OK here’s the excellent WaPo:

Yemen security agency prone to inside threats, officials say
By Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post Foreign Service

SANA’A, YEMEN — As deputy director of Yemen’s feared internal security agency a few years ago, Mohammed al-Surmi was in charge of monitoring al-Qaeda extremists. But he also allegedly lived a double life, feeding the terrorist network information to uncover informants within its ranks.

Surmi was removed from his job, but still wields influence: He is now deputy mayor of the capital, Sana’a, where some residents call him “His Excellency.” (Read on …)

Updated: Thomas Freidman Misses the Mark on Yemen

Filed under: Civil Society, Media, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:04 am on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One of the funnier or perhaps pathetic things about Freidman’s article was his praise of the vibrant Yemen Observer newsroom, when it is the primary English language propaganda machine of the Yemeni government. One of the most despicable was his omission of any mention of the kidnapping and torture of editor Mohammed al Maqaleh and the fact that the Bahsraheels and hundreds of others are likely undergoing the same depraved treatment. Considering Freidman who didn’t meet with, perhaps he’s just an ignoramus. But the information is easily available on open source including the fact that Yemeni civil society is regularly cloned, bribed, threatened and assaulted, somewhat tempering their message and work product. Maybe Freidman thinks he can accomplish more by self-censoring and sucking up to the Yemeni government, but its been unsucessfully tried before by some rather impressive people. The US alliance with Saleh is akin to the US alliance with Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds.

Letters to the International Herald Tribune
Yemen’s Human Rights Record

Thomas Friedman rightly praises the emergence of strong civil society organizations in Yemen, (“Postcard from Yemen,” Views, Feb. 8), but he ignores the repression they suffer under the Saleh administration.

If Muhammad al-Maqalih, the online editor of an opposition publication, had tried last autumn to send a postcard, for example, it would have been postmarked from an unknown prison. Government agents, not Al Qaeda, snatched him on Sept. 17, 2009, after he accused Yemen’s military of war crimes against Houthi rebels. After denying to Human Rights Watch in December that it held him, the government is now prosecuting al-Maqalih before the state security court.

The Yemeni government has brazenly “disappeared” and unfairly prosecuted critical journalists and academics and quashed civil society efforts to promote the rule of law.

The United States praises Yemen for its counter-terrorism efforts, but glosses over its human rights abuses, which generate local support for Al Qaeda.

Christoph Wilcke, Munich

Senior Middle East researcher, Human Rights Watch

Update: OK Friedman gets one right when he notes the Yemeni public schools including grammar schools are biased toward the Wahabbi philosophy. As I noted in 2005, in the diverse religious environment of Yemen, the state’s support of Salafism in schools creates friction and is one of the main reasons the Houthi rebels have always demanded the right to run their own schools.

Tariq al Fadhli Raises the US Flag

Filed under: South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:53 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Not something you see everyday, southern Yemeni oppositionist Tarik al Fadhli raises the US flag (with anthem) over his compound in Abyan:

As I mentioned in my article, US flags are popping up at southern demonstrations “like a distress signal for rescue from tyranny.”

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 …)

US Intell, Planning and Weapons Boost Yemen’s Counter-Terror Efforts

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Friday, January 29, 2010

There’s a new ops center and intermediaries to funnel and pass US intel to the Yemenis. Good luck with that, all their sources are going to start having car accidents. Yemeni-American Anwar Awlaki is on a pre-approved hit list. Other reports say theres about 200 Special Ops in Yemen and plans for more but no troops.

WaPo: The operations, approved by President Obama and begun six weeks ago, involve several dozen troops from the U.S. military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), whose main mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. The American advisers do not take part in raids in Yemen, but help plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons and munitions. Highly sensitive intelligence is being shared with the Yemeni forces, including electronic and video surveillance, as well as three-dimensional terrain maps and detailed analysis of the al-Qaeda network. (Read on …)

General David Petraeus: interview with The Times Online UK

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Security Forces, TI: External, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:06 am on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How worried are you that it could become the next Afghanistan in terms of providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda to launch global attacks.

A number of us have been focused on Yemen for well over two years.
From the time when we were examining how foreign fighters were being trained and then how foreign fighter facilitators were operating who enabled foreign fighters to come into Iraq through Syria and many different roads lead to what was then termed al-Qaeda in Yemen and this past year was franchised by the al-Qaeda senior leadership as al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsular. (Read on …)

Updated: Final Statement, Draft Statement of the London Conference

Filed under: Donors, UN, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reuters: Following is the final statement from the talks, as released by the British foreign ministry.

Yemen, its friends and partners have today met in London to discuss the many urgent problems which the people of Yemen face.

The meeting reiterated support for a unified Yemen, respect for its sovereignty and independence, and commitment to non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs. It was clear that economic and social reform by the government of Yemen was key to long term stability and prosperity. It was agreed that a comprehensive approach was needed, with strong support from the international community. (Read on …)

Huge Protest in Dhalie Today

Filed under: Donors, UN, South Yemen, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:47 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slideshow, click here.

al Kirby: Just Give Us the Money

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 7:52 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I’ve been shocked by the US willingness to work with such a lying, stealing, cheating, two-timing, double dealing crook like Saleh, after he already screwed the US during the USS Cole investigation. And then it hit me. Old habits die hard.

At the link is a video from BBC of Dr. al Qirby proclaiming Yemen will accept any and all conditions on donor aid.

The Yemeni Foreign minister, Dr Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, denies that Yemen has been failing to tackle al-Qaeda but he says the international community needs to provide more aid to the country to help them defeat terrorism.

Yemen is asking for aid to also reduce poverty in a country that is one of the poorest in the Middle East.

Denying the money would disappear into corrupt hands, he said the government will accept conditions on how and where the aid is spent.

A good overview of the complexities in a write up at Chatham House.

US State Department Statement on Yemen

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 1:05 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jeffrey D. Feltman
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Washington, DC

January 20, 2010

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Lugar, and Distinguished Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this Committee today to discuss this important subject.

The unsuccessful attack on a U.S.-bound aircraft on December 25, 2009 serves as a further reminder of the threats that can emerge when ungoverned and poorly governed places around the world are exploited by terrorists. The United States and the international community have been engaged in supporting good governance, sustainable development, and improved security in Yemen for years. Recognizing the growing threat emanating from Yemen, the United States has been significantly ramping up levels of both security and development assistance since FY 2008. In addition, this administration has developed a new, more holistic Yemen policy that not only seeks to address security and counter terrorism concerns, but also the profound political, economic, and social challenges that help Al-Qaeda and related affiliates to operate and flourish. (Read on …)

US Ex-Cons and Converts Terror Training in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The full report from the Senate Foreign Relations committee is here, pdf. From the Gulf Times: Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed al-Sabah noted “members of Al Qaeda (in Yemen) already hail from 36 nationalities.” And Fox News reports there are 55,000 Americans in Yemen. The following news story from ABC:

As many as three dozen criminals who converted to Islam in American prisons have moved to Yemen where they could pose a “significant threat” to attack the U.S., according to a report on al Qaeda from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be released Wednesday. (Read on …)

State Dept Designates AQAP as Terror Organization

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, TI: Internal, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:09 pm on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

People providing arms, money or material support to AQAP are guilty of supporting a terror group under US law. That’s a broad category of persons that includes some members of the PSO. The US is asking for the UN’s 1267 committee to include AQAP. IN 2004, the UN gave Yemen a list of 400 AQ and Talaban associated personal and business bank accounts in Yemen, Yemen froze one account and never circulated the list the next years. Update: AQAP, Whahishi and al Reimi added to 1267 list.

Press Release: The Secretary of State has designated al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (INA). The Secretary also designated AQAP and its two top leaders Nasir al-Wahishi and Said al-Shihri under E.O. 13224. Secretary Clinton took these actions in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury. These actions prohibit provision of material support and arms to AQAP and also include immigration related restrictions that will help stem the flow of finances to AQAP and give the Department of Justice the tools it needs to prosecute AQAP members. (Read on …)

Al Shabab to Support AQAP Operations

Filed under: Somalia, TI: External, USA, other jihaddists, pirates — by Jane Novak at 8:40 am on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In an interview al Shabab spokesman Ali Rage said the Somali terror group intended to provide manpower to Yemen’s al Qaeda group, and that Yemen’s al Qaeda had provided generous support to al Shabab in the past.

Closer coordination between Somalia’s al Shabab and Yemen’s AQAP heightens risk of a coordinated attack on the NATO anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden. Currently AQAP is asking for any information on the US vessels in the Gulf including the names and home states of individual American sailors, blueprints, suppliers and operating procedures.

In a missive released yesterday, AQAP said, “Today, the duty of our Muslim nation is to declare Jihad against the infidels and their apostate cooperatives; not only on land but on sea and in the air too. The Crusader warships are present in the Gulf of Aden, in the Arabian Sea and in the Red Sea, and the American surveillance jets occupy the sphere over the Arabian Peninsula..” This echoes an earlier statement from AQ Central calling for naval jihad.

Droves of Yemeni jihaddists and Somalis in Yemen traveled to Somalia when the TFG was battling the ICU. Afterward, the US noted an exodus to back to Yemen. The intersection of piracy, arms smuggling, human smuggling and terrorists has been noted by the UN.

Update: Reuters: AQAP military commander Qasim al-Raymi has fought in Somalia and has written on the need to back Somalia’s revolt… Some others in that founding group had also fought in Somalia. Security experts say Yemenis make up a sizeable part of a foreign contingent that fights with al Shabaab’s Somali rank and file and supplies bomb-making and communications expertise. By one estimate there are about 500 or more foreigners in Shabaab’s ranks, which experts say may number 5,000 or more.

(Read on …)

Ali Mohsen’s Training Camp Attached to al Iman University

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:25 pm on Monday, January 18, 2010

There we go. I think I wrote something very similar in 2005 after my head stopped exploding, but its good to see it in the New York Times. (See my Feb. 2006 article, Al Qaeda Escape in Yemen, Facts, Theories and Rumors for a comprehensive round-up of the situation then that brought us here now.)

Ali Mohsen, bin Laden recruiter, using Afgan Arabs in the Sa’ada War, and possibly training al Iman students at his military camp next door. The US funnels money pretty directly to Ali Mohsen, according to Robert Kaplan in Imperial Grunts. The US is funding a jihaddi that targets Zaidi civilians with indiscriminate bombing and deliberate starvation? The Houthis have always claimed the Sa’ada war was intent on the irradication of Zaidism itself. The strategic location of Sa’ada for al Qaeda can’t be underestimated.

NY Times: Mr. Mohsen, a general who is currently prosecuting the war against a Houthi rebellion in the north, also recruited thousands of Yemenis to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. His brigades returned victorious, and Mr. Saleh has used them since to help defeat the south in the 1994 civil war and against the Houthis. Some fighters, of course, have migrated to Al Qaeda, and there are imams here more radical than Mr. Zindani.

When north and south Yemen were united in 1990, Sheik Zindani accepted Mr. Saleh’s rule and was granted this huge area of government land on the western edge of Sana for the university — adjoining a large military base, which is Mr. Mohsen’s headquarters. There are rumors that students sometimes get military training there, which Mr. Abu Ras also denies.

Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager in Sa’ada indoctrinates the military in Friday sermons and they hand out religious tracts to soldiers that say Houthi blood is free. This is the guy who was instigating against foreign medical workers prior to the kidnapping of the Germans.

Airline Plot Intell Review

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, airliner, anwar — by Jane Novak at 9:56 pm on Sunday, January 17, 2010

frick NY Times: WASHINGTON — Worried about possible terrorist attacks over the Christmas holiday, President Obama met on Dec. 22 with top officials of the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security, who ticked off a list of possible plots against the United States and how their agencies were working to disrupt them. (Read on …)

Anwar Bio

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, Yemen, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:50 pm on Saturday, January 16, 2010


Memri London Daily ‘Al-Sharq Al-Awsat’ on Anwar Al-Awlaki: ‘Al-Qaeda’s New Pied Piper’

American-born cleric Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, presumed to be in Yemen, has emerged as an influential figure in Al-Qaed, with many calling him a prospective replacement for Osama bin Laden. However, a more likely scenario would be for him to become leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A May 10, 2011 article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai stated, “There are talks among the organization’s [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] members to appoint Anwar Al-Awlaki as the group’s leader.”
(Read on …)

Adios al Reimi? Air strike in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Security Forces, USA, al Jawf, personalities — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Friday, January 15, 2010

That’s some good targeting right there, if it turns out to be true. Two cars, no civilians, direct hit. Ammar Al Waeli? Fascinating. Update: They are “almost certain” al Reimi was killed. Also: Mr. Ayman was an Egyptian jihadist who had arranged many suicide bombings in Afghanistan, the official said. He had moved in and out of Yemen recently, and has been on Yemen’s most-wanted list for years… Another man targeted in the raid was known to have escaped, the official said: Ammar al-Waeli, an important arms dealer for Al Qaeda.

Update 2: The ministry said the killed terrorists are Qassim al-Raimy, Ammar Abadah al-Waili, Saleh al-Tais, Ayedh Jaber al-Shabwani and Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh al-Banaa.
(Read on …)

Saleh Threatens to Declare Jihad on US

Filed under: Presidency, Religious, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:15 am on Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yemeni President Saleh is quite adroit at playing the terror card. Today he warns the US that he will declare jihad if the US attempts any military action against al Qaeda in Yemen, in a statement from Yemen’s Council of Clerics. Its Saleh talking. There’s no way they would issue that without Presidental approval.

The message is simple: Just. Give. Me. The. Money.

Saleh has various mouthpieces: the government media, officials, GONGOs (governmental non-govermental organizations) some “experts” and Sheik Abdulmagid al Zindani (oh! scary!), who is classified by the UN’s 1267 committee as a terrorist financier. Al Zindani endorsed President Saleh’s 2006 “re-election” bid, and Saleh made his first speech of the electoral season from al Zindani’s al Iman University. The Minister of Endowments is Judge Hamoud al Hittar, who ran the now defunct dialog program that released hundreds of al Qaeda. (He never dialoged with the Houthi rebels though.)

Al Hittar is often an intermediary between the regime and al Qaeda. For example in 2003 al Qaeda offered Yemen a truce, and al Hittar was in charge of negotiations. At the time he said some demands were non-starters, meaning perhaps others were workable. That marked the beginning of what al Qaeda calls the (quite productive) “quietness period” from 2003-2006 when the group provided logistical support and thousands of jihaddists to various hotspots around the world, especially Iraq.

To follow is the clerics’ statement. Also below the fold is Foreign Minister al Qirby’s nearly identical statement that US counter-terror aid must be unconditional. The upcoming London Conference on Yemen should not attempt to deal with internal affairs like civil rights, political reforms, press freedom, corruption or economic transparency, he said, repeatedly.

Update: Alert Net: Yemen, facing a daunting array of security and economic problems, needs about $2 billion a year in aid to stay afloat and double that to turn its economy around, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said on Thursday…”I am not an economist, but I think one is talking about probably $4 billion a year,” Qirbi told Reuters when asked how much aid was required to rescue an economy struggling with a sharply rising population and falling oil revenues. (Read on …)

20 More Bombers Trained in Yemen?

Filed under: Dammaj, TI: External, UK, USA, airliner, anwar — by Jane Novak at 4:03 pm on Saturday, January 9, 2010

WASHINGTON: Twenty other young Muslim radicals have been trained to blow up planes by al-Qaida in Yemen, a young Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a US airliner has told FBI.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, has told FBI that close to 20 other young Muslim men were being prepared in Yemen to use the same technique to blow up airliners, CBS said in an exclusive investigative report.

US surprised by AQAP’s links to Pakistan? Say it aint so…

Newsweek: U.S. officials have been surprised by what they’ve discovered about the resurgence of Al Qaeda in Yemen in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing attempt by a Nigerian student who says he was trained and equipped there. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as this offshoot is called, is linked directly to the “core” group in Pakistan and it is now “one of the most lethal” affiliates, White House counterterrorism coordinator John Brennan said at a news conference.

Times Online:

Yemeni security sources believe that of the 15-20 Britons recently recruited by Al-Qaeda, most have undergone training in camps in Rafad, a mountainous region in the southeast. It lies in the province where Abdulmutallab is thought to have met Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric who is viewed as a big influence in luring foreign recruits to Al-Qaeda.

One institution popular with British Muslims is Dar alHadith in Dammaj, northern Yemen. US defence officials have described the institute as a “known terrorist training centre”. This has always been denied by the institute.

Students can access weapons there, and teachings have traditionally been anti-western. Students are told that democracy is an enemy of Islam and locals are reported to refer to America as “the great Satan”.

Abu Muaz, head of the Salafi Youth Movement in the UK, said about 50 Britons had gone to study at Dar al-Hadith. “Most want to learn about Islam, but there are some jihadi supporters who decide to take up arms,” he said.

Yemen Releases Six Repatriated Gitmo Detainees

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 12:05 pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Its not a surprise the six detainees transferred from Gitmo to Yemen were released within a week of their return to Yemen, and its no surprise that the Saleh government in Yemen lied to the US with a promise of indefinite detention. What’s shocking is that anyone on the US side actually believed them to start with. (Read on …)

Al Shabab to Set Sail for Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Somalia, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:25 pm on Friday, January 1, 2010

Al Shabab’s announcement yesterday that it is coming to the defense of its Yemeni counterparts overshadows the fact that the intial airstrikes in Yemen on al Qaeda did very little actual damage to the organization. All the targeted leaders survived. The sucess of the strikes were repeatedly over-stated by the Saleh regime in its typical pattern of blatant propaganda for the western audience. Yemen’s subsequent “storming” and “hunting” operations are more of the same. The AFP article notes the Yemeni government claims that 60 Islamist militants were killed. Its not true. Its not even close to being true.

AFP however does note the widely overlooked November arrest and later release of an individual at a Mogadishu airport with chemicals and a syringe.

Jihaddists have been going back and forth between Yemen and Somalia for some time. When the TFG was battling the Islamic Courts Union, there was a marked increase in terrorist traffic from Yemen to Somalia. Subsequently, the US noted somewhat of an exodus of Islamist fighters from Somalia to Yemen. Substantial amounts of weapons move from Yemen to Somalia, as the UN’s monitoring committee found, and is perhaps the most destabilizing factor in Somalia’s continuing chaos. Tens of thousands of Somali refugees cross the Bab al Mendab annually into Yemen. Somali pirates obtain logistical and intelligence support from sources in Yemen.

The overlapping infrastructure of refugee smugglers, arms smuggling and piracy was also noted by the UN, and of course, overlaps with al Qaeda’s footprint as well. To the extent that Somali terror recruits are joining Yemeni terrorists, its the Americans among them who pose an enhanced risk to the US homeland. The Yemeni jidaddist fanatics have historical relationships with Al Qaeda Central, which remains intent on a catastrophic attack on the United States. AFP article below the fold.

(Read on …)

US Convinced of President Saleh’s New Found Sincerity

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do we really have to do this over and over and over again? It has been going on since 2000 and President Saleh has never been sincere, he just comes up with better BS. To go forward on the premise that Saleh achieved any level of rehabilitation after a good talking to is ludicrous.

The US believes Saleh rehabilitated in July when presented with evidence the Al Qaeda fanatics were planning assassinations against top officials. Al Alimi, perhaps? Its a huge mistake to trust Saleh on any level at any time. It is a threat to US security to under-estimate the level of enmeshment between the Yemeni state and al Qaeda, from al Qaeda local to al Qaeda central, from mid level security officials up to the President of Yemen.

Washington (CNN) — “Solid intelligence” from U.S. and Yemen services finally persuaded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last summer to accept increased help in fighting al Qaeda in his country, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

After years of pressure from the United States to crack down on al Qaeda in Yemen, Saleh was persuaded to accept help after he was presented with intelligence that al Qaeda “was targeting inner-circle Yemeni leaders,” and that there was a growing number of terrorist training camps in Yemen, the official said… (Read on …)

Awlaki Met with Nigerian Airline Bomber

Filed under: USA, airliner, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Anwar’s been a busy bee, issuing fatwas, negotiating tribal alliances, and meeting with would be suicide bombers. In his recent public statements and interviews, Awlaki justified attacks on US military personnel as legitimate jihad. Apparently he also promoted attacks on civilians as acceptable (if not required) by Islamic law. LAT:

Under questioning by the FBI, Abdulmutallab has said that he met with Awlaki and senior Al Qaeda members during an extended trip to Yemen this year, and that the cleric was involved in some elements of planning or preparing the attack and in providing religious justification for it, officials said. (Read on …)

President Saleh Irrational, Will Use Military Aid to Murder More Civilians

Filed under: Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:16 pm on Wednesday, December 30, 2009

President Saleh is an extremely irrational player, and has never learned from his mistakes. Maybe thirty years in power makes you go nuts. Look at Khadaffi… Saleh makes the same plays over and over, with the same results. In addition, the fractured nature of the regime means the government is often at odds with itself. Its important to keep in mind the Yemeni government tactics in dealing with internal civil unrest. In the south, as HRW recently found, the Yemeni government is shooting peaceful protesters in the head and engaging in mass arrests, and has been for well over a year. Dozens have been killed. In the north, the Yemeni military is bombing civilian areas on a regular basis and blocking the delivery of international aid, creating a humanitarian crisis in Sa’ada, long called “Yemen’s Darfur.” Do we want to equpt this slaughter? Any arms or equipment to Saleh will go straight to Sa’ada or Aden, with some show raids on al Qaeda, big announcements and underlings rounded up as the main facilitators and figure heads escape unmolested as they have done for years.

WSJ: But Mr. Saleh is struggling with two rebellious provinces, dwindling financial resources and a significant weakening of his once-strong influence over Islamists in his country. His courting has been a source of debate within the administration: Some officials are concerned he is more interested in seeking American aid to crush local insurgencies than target Islamist militants.

“President Saleh is not a consistent and rational player,” said another senior military official. “That’s the other major worry we have there: What will he do for himself versus what he’s doing against al Qaeda.”

Yemen’s government on Tuesday reiterated its desire for more foreign military aid, with foreign minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi telling the British Broadcasting Corp. that Yemen’s battle is being undermined by a lack of financial and military support.

The Obama administration has praised Mr. Saleh’s government in recent weeks for intensifying its campaign against al Qaeda, which includes two major offenses against suspected terrorist camps earlier this month.

Mr. Saleh, 63 years old, reiterated his support in combating terror in a telephone call to President Barack Obama two weeks ago, according to the state-run Yemeni press agency. But the U.S. has been frustrated by his unwillingness to open a serious dialogue with the Houthi rebels in the north, a move officials believe would allow Mr. Saleh to focus his attention on al Qaeda.

According to the former military official, Mr. Saleh has asked for weapons that he could use against indigenous rebels, including hundreds of tanks and Humvees. Sana’a has claimed the Houthi forces are receiving arms and funding from Shiite Iran. The Obama administration says it has found no such evidence.

“Misguided US Policy in Yemen”

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 5:53 pm on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An excellent editorial from The Daily Star:

The strife and warfare that has shaken Yemen in the last few months raises disturbing parallels with another Arab country, one that has experienced years of misery and woe. There might not be an exact fit between the regimes of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the regime of the late Saddam Hussein, but the broad outlines are there, and don’t bode well.

Like Saddam Hussein, Ali Abdullah Saleh is an autocrat with a fair amount of blood on his hands, perched atop a decades-old security-oriented regime.

This regime does some things well, such as managing a personality cult, but it’s much less proficient at other tasks, such as running the country’s tribal and regional politics and generating stability.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have stood with Saleh and the US is now getting heavily involved, providing the regime with missiles, sending unmanned drones to bomb areas affected by the Houthi rebellion, and dispatching covert military teams to join Yemen’s Army in pursuing threats to stability, under the rubric of the “war on terror” policy.

And like Saddam, Saleh deals with a large part of his country as if it’s the enemy. Iraq’s Kurds suffered atrocities in the weapons during the Saddam era, while the southerners of Yemen have also been treated horribly by the Saleh regime, and we’ve heard calls for secession from the central government in both countries.
(Read on …)

US Intel on Location of al Qaeda

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:28 pm on Monday, December 28, 2009

The Yemeni government knows EXACTLY where they are.

Washington (CNN) — U.S. officials are privately acknowledging they have provided secret intelligence on several al Qaeda targets to Yemen’s government, but they won’t say if U.S. fighter jets or armed drones are involved.
(Read on …)

Yemen al Qaeda Threatens International Fleet

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, TI: External, USA, USS Cole, pirates — by Jane Novak at 9:49 am on Monday, December 28, 2009

I’ve always been concerned about that, “naval jihad” against the assorted western navies on anti-piracy ops in the Bab al Mendab. To the extent that Somali and Yemeni al Qaeda are in contact, and the pirates are already paying for intel on where the ships are, the sea is a potential theater of operations as it was in both the USS Cole and Limburg attacks. There was a statement from al Qaeda Central calling for naval jihad in Spring 2008, I think it was. To follow, the latest ramblings from the Yemeni fanatics in response to the first air strike, here at NEFA:

“And lastly, we call upon the proud tribes of Yemen—people of support and victory—and the people of the Arabian Peninsula, to face the crusader campaign and their cooperatives on the peninsula of Muhammad, prayer and peace upon him, and that’s through attacking their military bases, intelligence embassies, and their fleets that exist on the water and land of the Arabian Peninsula; until we stop the continuous massacres on the Muslim countries.”

Awlaki has a group in Shabwa, Al Quso attracting followers

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reports are that 350 al Qaeda are in an inaccessible area of Shabwa, Yemen.

A reliable source, al Tagheer: According to the sources, Aulaqi returned to the area and began practicing refusal to live a normal life with his family which is still up to this moment with him and then started preaching to people in the mosque every Friday and began to recognize a group of young people and meet them.

Also in the area, convicted USS Cole bomber Fahd al Quso. That’s really the news here. The guy already blew up a warship, what’s his follow up going to be? This is the last man standing from the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the USS Cole bombing and 9/11 were planned. Al Quso is on bin Laden’s short list of trusted lieutenants. Al Quso was convicted and sentenced to ten years in jail, escaped, returned and then was granted an early release in 2007 by our ally, the war criminal President Ali Abduallah Saleh. Al Quso was listed as one of the FBI’s most wanted last month.

Just out of pure curiousity, where’s al Badawi and Elbaneh these days? And when oh when will the MSM realize the Yemeni dictatorship is not a reliable source. Its a lying al-Qaeda infiltrated, mafia government that spins the western media time after time with out and out BS.

al Tagheer:

Mohammad Amir change – special – forbid evangelized: denied private sources for “change” is Mohammed Amir Ahmed Saleh, who recently appeared on Al Jazeera Festival in South Yemen as one of the public elements of the al-Qaeda cadres and handled news of his death in a raid yesterday (Thursday) it belonged to al-Qaeda, noting that, only, one of the Wajahat region that has appeared. (Read on …)

Airline Plot Links to Yemen?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, USA, Yemen, attacks, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:33 am on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nigerian student studying in the UK flying from the Netherlands to Detroit tries to detonate explosive device he says he obtained from Yemen. BBC:

A Nigerian reported to have links to al-Qaeda is being questioned after an attempted act of terrorism on a plane arriving in the US, officials say.

They say the 23-year-old man was trying to ignite an explosive device as the jet approached Detroit from Amsterdam. (Read on …)

Fahd al Quso Interview at al Jazeera, Update: Newly Listed Most Wanted Terrorist

Filed under: USS Cole, anwar — by Jane Novak at 1:28 pm on Thursday, December 24, 2009

Update: According to Yemenat, the Supreme Security Committee said one air strike today was on al Quso’s farm. Al Quso is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. Is that new? They were both indicted after the 2003 escape, but I thought only al Badawi made it to the most wanted list. Wow, yes it is new, last month (??!!) according to the interview.


In addition to the interview published today with Anwar Awlaki, Fahd al Quso gave an interview a few days ago that was published today at al Jazeera. ( This is the interview link here.) He said (roughly translated) the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which interrogated him after the attack on the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole, believed there is a link between the attack and important Yemeni official figures including Brigadier General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, half-brother of the President, the Yemeni Islamic Reform Party’s leader, Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zindani, and the son of the president, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh. According to his knowledge, he says they were not…

Al Quso said he was released by judicial decision in 2007, and that Washington objected to his release from prison. Al Quso also said U.S. investigators interrogated him directly after his arrest in Yemen. They told him that foreknowledge of the bombing of the Cole means “to participate and punishable by death,” pointing out that Yemen’s judiciary sentenced on such participation.

أجرى الحوار: عبد الإله حيدر شائع Interview conducted by: Abdul Elah Haidar,

كيف تلقيت نبأ إدراجك ضمن قائمة المطلوبين العالمية التي أصدرها مكتب التحقيقات الفدرالي (إف بي آي) منتصف الشهر الماضي؟ How I learned enrollment on the wanted list issued by the World Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) mid-last month?

تفاجأت لأن القضية انتهت قانونيا باعتقالي ومحاكمتي، وقضيت محكوميتي في السجن وفق المدة القانونية وخرجت بقرار قضائي في العام 2007. Surprised because the case ended legally arrested me, try me, and I spent Movernmiti in prison, according to the legal limit and went out by a judicial decision in 2007. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki New Interview in Al Jazeera

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, Yemen, anwar, photos, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 5:27 am on Thursday, December 24, 2009

In a new piece at al Jazeera (Arabic), Yemeni expert on Islamic groups Abdul Elah Shayer interviews Anwar Awlaki, Yemeni-American al Qaeda propagandist.


In the interview Awlaki says Nidal Hassan inquired by email specifically about the Islamic legitimacy of killing US soldiers. Awlaki also seems to be trying to distance himself from a charge of material support. Excerpts from the interview with Awlaqi below the fold. (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 …)

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 …)

Six Yemeni Gitmo Detainees Repatriated

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 8:47 am on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

DOJ: Six Yemeni detainees, Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mari, Farouq Ali Ahmed, Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi, Muhammaed Yasir Ahmed Taher, Fayad Yahya Ahmed al Rami and Riyad Atiq Ali Abdu al Haf, were transferred to the Government of Yemen.

Al Qaeda’s Goal in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:06 pm on Monday, December 21, 2009

Solid analysis from Ali Saif Hassan of the YPDF at Time:

“If the government wants to fight [al-Qaeda] seriously, they can do it,” says Ali Saif Hassan, the director of Yemen’s Political Development Forum. But, he adds: “It’s a matter of political decision — how much they will win, and how much they will lose.” Sana’a has recently focused more of its attention on the rebel separatist movement in the south and on the recent Houthi uprising in the north than it has on al-Qaeda.

While some western analysts say that al-Qaeda seeks to overthrow Yemen’s government, Hassan disagrees, saying that al-Qaeda only seeks to establish a base there — a link between the Horn of Africa and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula — and that so long as Saleh leaves al-Qaeda alone, they’ll do the same for him. “The government still sometimes thinks it is too costly for it to fight al-Qaeda. If you ask them to go and fight al-Qaeda, they say ‘Why? And what do I get back?’” says Hassan. Fighting al-Qaeda would mean losing key fundamentalist support in the country, support that is already falling away. What would compel Saleh to turn it around? “It is business,” says Hassan. “If the government gets more support from the Americans, they will change.” The Obama administration has requested $65 million to help Yemen battle its resurgent terrorist threat.

Six Yemenis from Gitmo

Filed under: Air strike, Presidency, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:42 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

SABA WASHINGTON, Dec.20 (Saba) – The U.S. authorities has sent six Yemeni detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay to Yemen.
(Read on …)

US Continues Failed Policy in Yemen with Airstrikes

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:41 am on Sunday, December 20, 2009

When a counter-terror air strike kills more civilians than an average suicide bombing, can it be called a success? Discounting the dead kids for just a minute and using even the coldest pragmatic standards, the US air strikes in Yemen did much more harm than good to the US on multiple levels and will negatively impact security for a decade. Despite the broad pro-democracy sentiment in Yemen, and increasingly vocal popular frustration with Yemen’s brutal and incompetent dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the only allies the US has in Yemen now are the genocidal Saleh and his corrupt cronies. (Read on …)

Yemeni Opposition Parties Denounce “Massacre” and False Hunt for al Qaeda

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 4:09 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sahwa Net – Main Yemeni opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties, in Abyan governorate has denounced assaults launched by Yemeni forces on alleged al-Qaeda sites on Thursday in Abyan, describing the strikes as a “brutal massacre”. (Read on …)

“They targeted shepards not al Qaeda”

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:58 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Spin from the Yemeni Govt: The dead supported al Qaeda with financing and shelter

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Five unidentified foreign “al Qaeda” killed in the preemptive airstrikes were buried already. I guess we’ll just have to take Saleh’s word on the fact that they were indeed terrorists. Did they take DNA? The official story now is these persons provided logistical support to al Qaeda. Shared the cloth houses I guess. And thats bad if its true, dont get me wrong, but it begs the question of why the US air raid and not just go arrest them? Because al Reimi was supposed to be in Arhab? Too bad, yet entirely predictable, that al Reimi slipped away at the last moment. (Read on …)

“The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support”

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, USA, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Al Qaeda in Yemen has a recruiting tool for a decade now, locally and internationally.

Gulf News: The leader of Al Qaida in Abyan, Mohammad Saleh Al Kazimi, was confirmed to be among those killed. The second man in Al Qaida in Yemen, Qasim Al Raimi, reportedly survived the attack. Ten of the Al Qaida members killed in Thursday’s attacks were not Yemenis, according to the report. Between 24-34 Al Qaida members were reportedly killed in the attack, but independent sources and eyewitnesses say that nearly 50 were killed and 60 injured including women and children.

So 25 innocent people were killed and 60 wounded preventing a possible terror attack in Yemen. What is the calculus? The value of 25 unidentified dead possible al Qaeda outweighs the loss the 14 dead dirt poor Bedouin kids? That seems a bit racist. Would the equation be acceptable if they were European kids? What is the ratio of the death value of Yemeni kids to foreign tourists? The celebratory call that followed the air strikes was premature.

WaPo: The United States provided intelligence and other assistance to Yemeni forces in attacks Thursday against suspected al-Qaeda targets, according to officials from both countries…U.S. officials refused to comment Friday on a report by ABC News that U.S. air-launched cruise missiles had been used in two of the attacks. The network said that the launches had been approved by the White House and that President Obama had called President Ali Abdullah Saleh to congratulate him on Yemen’s efforts against al-Qaeda.

Maybe its hard to get good intell from under the bus…

NYTimes: U.S. Aids Yemeni Raids on Al Qaeda, Officials Say

WASHINGTON — The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support to the government of Yemen as it carried out raids this week to strike at suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda within its borders, according to officials familiar with the operations. The officials said that the American support was approved by President Obama and came at the request of the Yemeni government.

The American contributions were intended to help Yemen to prevent Al Qaeda from mounting attacks against American and other foreign targets inside its borders. Officials declined to say whether those targets were embassies, businesses, schools or other sites. (Read on …)

Saleh Pwns Obama

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:49 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

The choice for the US was a) bring Saleh to the ICC on “crimes against humanity” charges or b) join the air war that already constitutes substantial war crimes. Hmmm…

And in order to select option B, you have to believe that President Ali Abdullah Saleh has one sincere bone in his body despite the magnitude of his lies.

I’m surprised Secretary of State Clinton didn’t smell a rat. She was through this before when Yemen obstructed US investigations after the USS Cole bombing. The State Dept. earlier this year advanced the idea of a major crimes tribunal in Afghanistan. It would have been better suited in Yemen. Now Clinton and Obama are tied to Saleh, against the Yemeni people who are rightfully very cranky after all these decades of incompetent dictatorship. 1431 is going to be rough.

US Launched the Missiles in Abyan?

Filed under: Air strike, USA, War Crimes, statements — by Jane Novak at 9:02 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

What a disaster!!! What a stupid and reckless move in such a volatile place. Did they rely on Yemeni intel sources? Could they be that stupid? Well you got duped President Obama, 14 kids are dead and Qasim al Reimi “escaped,” which in itself was entirely predictable. Saleh is brilliant tactician. He is wedded to the US now, despite the fact that he is a war criminal. (Read on …)

Yemeni MP Calls for Investigation of Civilian Slaughter Under Guise of Counter-Terror

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, South Yemen, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 1:24 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

After all this time and all the lies and all the elaborate hoaxes on the al Qaeda issue, who in the world takes Ali Abdullah Saleh at his word? Who, really?

The tens of millions offered by the Millennium Challenge Account didn’t spur any real reform, and apparently the winning smile just doesn’t cut it in Yemen either.

There’s been enough civilian slaughter in Sa’ada under the guise of counter-insurgency to warrent a war crimes tribunal. And there’s been enough in the South. A bogus counter-terror operation (or a sincere one, but we’ll never see that) doesn’t legitimize US support of a mass murderer.

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s opposition accused the government on Friday of killing dozens of civilians, including whole families, in raids a day earlier which the authorities said had killed about 30 al Qaeda militants. (Read on …)

Obama to Saleh: Go Ahead and Murder Your Citizens, We Don’t Care

Filed under: Abyan, Presidency, Saada War, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

The wholesale slaughter of Yemenis by their government is well documented. Tactics include bombing, shooting in the head, and intentional starvation. The recent HRW report on the deliberate killing of protesters in Southern Yemen is augmented by their earlier reports on the withholding of aid to Sa’ada civilians, indesriminate bombing and mass arbitrary arrests. Yemeni prisons are filled with innocent people. The US can really no longer say that “Sa’ada is a mystery” or the situation in the south is confusing. Apparently the Obama adminstration is willing to trade off 22 million people for an occasional al Qaeda raid here and there. More frustrating is that Yemen’s counter-terror efforts, when they infrequently occur, are more smoke and mirrors. The bombed children and starving families and activists in jail have been sacrificed for nothing.

Saleh gets telephone call from U.S. President Barack Obama
Thursday, 17-December-2009, Saba – President Ali Abdullah Saleh received on Thursday a telephone call from U.S. President Barrack Obama. (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 …)

US Categorically Denies Bombing Yemen or Any Direct Military Involvement

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:30 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The last time the Houthi rebels made allegations of direct US bombing was in 2005. The current charges of US bombing are the first in this outbreak of the war and came immediately after General Patraeus said in an interview, “”We offer variety of security assistances to Yemenis as we do almost with many countries in the region, in addition to training and education programs we provide to the Yemeni military.” But thats the normal policy for years already. The US also announced the US special forces were training Yemen’s military. Maybe the rebels thought that was a new policy but its not. In November, six Yemeni military officials trained with the Marines in NC. And whenever the bombs get bigger or more precise in Sa’ada, rumors fly of US involvement. (Read on …)

US: No Proof of Iranian Backing in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:27 am on Saturday, December 12, 2009

MANAMA (Reuters) - A U.S. official said on Friday he had no proof that Iran is supporting Shi’ite rebels who have seized some Saudi territory, a position at odds with a Yemeni claim that the rebellion has Iranian backing. (Read on …)

The Original Text of the US Senate Resolution

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:36 am on Thursday, December 10, 2009

The original version of the SENATE RESOLUTION ON YEMEN follows, and the language is very specific in supporting innocent Yemeni civilians.

Senate Floor Statement of Senator Cardin
Friday, November 6, 2009

MR. CARDIN. Mr. President, today I would like to draw attention to a dangerous situation that has implications for the national security of the United States and our allies, a situation involving dire humanitarian circumstances, with over 150,000 displaced persons since 2004. I’m speaking about the situation in Yemen. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Kills Another Counter-Narcotics Agent

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen, attacks, drugs — by Jane Novak at 12:17 pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We covered this story before but we’re doing it again as it includes the reports of the drones over Marib. Yemen Observer, English language government paper…

YEMEN – Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists were behind the assassination of Colonel Tarboush, the head of the investigative office in Marib, according to a Ministry of Interior security authority. (Read on …)

US Senate Calls for Ceasefire and Aid to Displaced Yemenis

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:56 am on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So glad they are paying attention and that the whole statement wasn’t about al Qaeda. They actually mentioned the refugees, food and medicine!

Matoob Business WASHINGTON – The United States and its international partners must “use all appropriate measures” to keep Yemen from becoming a “failed state,” the US Senate said in a recently approved resolution. (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


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.

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.

American Hostage in Iran Marks 1000 Days in Prison

Filed under: Iran, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:30 am on Thursday, December 3, 2009

It is good news that five British sailors who strayed into Iranian waters were freed by Iran a week after their arrest. Four Americans detained in Iran are not so fortunate.

Three American hikers who inadvertently crossed the border during a hike in Kurdistan have been held in the infamous Evin Prison for 124 days. The hikers’ families’ website is here:

Iran has said they are suspected of illegal entry. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said over two months ago that he would ask the Iranian judiciary to expedite the case and show maximum leniency to the three Americans, all graduates of the University of California, Berkeley. Despite this encouraging signal, the three friends remain held without charge.

As egregious as the hikers case is, even more outrageous is the case of Bob Levinson. Today marks the 1000th day that this American citizen has been imprisoned incommunicado in Iran. Levinson went “missing” on the Iranian island of Kish on March 9th, 2007 while on a day trip. The Levinson family’s website makes the point that “Kish Island is not even part of the Iranian mainland – it is a free trade zone that does not require a visa for entry.” (Read on …)

The Guantanamo Dilema

Filed under: Diplomacy, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:43 am on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Judge al Hittar’s rehab program never disputed the Takfirist, Jihad ideology, only that Saleh’s government was a legitimate target of it.

Demonstratons in Michigen Call for International Criminal Tribunal Convene Against Sana’a Regime

Filed under: Presidency, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:50 pm on Saturday, November 21, 2009


Demonstration will be held at City Hall in Dearborn, MI 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm every Sunday. Click the link for more photos.

YAATC: Yemenis, Iraqis and Lebanese يتظاهرون امام مبنى بلدية ديربون الامريكية للمطالبة بوقف الحرب والتدخل السعودي في اليمن Demonstrating outside the Dearborn City Hall to demand the U.S. stop the war and intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia

تظاهره اليوم الاحد 15 من نوفمبر2009 امام مبنى بلدية ديربون في ولاية مشيغان الامريكية العشرات من ابناء الجالية اليمنية والعراقية واللبنانية والامريكين من اصول يمنية وعربية للمطالبة بوقف الحرب في اليمن فورا واطلاق سراح كافة المعتقلين والسياسين والكتاب والصحفيين المخطوفين الى سجون الامن السياسي والقومي وعلى راسهم صلاح السقلدي ومحمد المقالح وعسكر جبران وفؤاد راشد والدكتور حسين العاقل وغيرهم كما طالبوا بجلب مجرمي الحرب في اليمن الى العداله ومساعدة النازحين جراء الحرب .وادان المتظاهرون التدخل السعودي في الحرب على اليمن وحذروها من عواقب Sunday’s protest 15 November 2009 in front of City Hall Dearborn, Michigan U.S. dozens of people from the Yemeni community and Iraqi, Lebanese and Americans of Yemeni descent and Arab demand an end to the war in Yemen and immediately release all detainees and politicians, writers and journalists kidnapped to jails political and national security, led by Mohamed Salah Alsaglde Maqaleh and Askar Gibran and Fouad Rashid, Dr. Hussein rational and others as demanded by bringing war criminals to justice in Yemen and assistance to persons displaced by the war. (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 …)

Nidal Hassan to Anwar Awlaki: See You in Paradise

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 9:40 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ah, in typical American fashion, the contents of murderer Major Nidal Hasan’s emails to Anwar Awlaki (Yemeni-American pro-sectarian-violence blogger) are starting to trickle out.

the Blotter: United States Army Major Nidal Hasan told a radical cleric considered by authorities to be an al-Qaeda recruiter, “I can’t wait to join you” in the afterlife, according to an American official with top secret access to 18 e-mails exchanged between Hasan and the cleric, Anwar al Awlaki, over a six month period between Dec. 2008 and June 2009. (Read on …)

Anwar Awlaki: Mass Murder at Fort Hood Permissible Jihad

Filed under: TI: External, USA, anwar, aq statements, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:07 am on Monday, November 16, 2009

Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Shaea interviewed proponent of violent jihad and blogger, Yemeni-American Anwar Awlaki about his relationship with Nidal Hasan who carried out the random murder spree at Fort Hood in Texas. On behalf of the Washington Post, Shaea traveled to Anwar’s home in Shabwa governorate. (The Yemeni government claimed they couldn’t find Awlaki…) Awlaki maintains that he did not instigate Hasan to engage in any specific acts of violence, although he approves.

Aulaqi said Hasan viewed him as a confidant. “It was clear from his e-mails that Nidal trusted me. Nidal told me: ‘I speak with you about issues that I never speak with anyone else,’ ” he told Shaea…

Of the dozen or so e-mails, said Shaea, Aulaqi replied to Hasan two or three times. Aulaqi declined to comment on what he told Hasan. Asked whether Hasan mentioned Fort Hood as a target in his e-mails, Shaea declined to comment.
Aulaqi said Hasan’s alleged shooting spree was allowed under Islam because it was a form of jihad. “There are some people in the United States who said this shooting has nothing to do with Islam, that it was not permissible under Islam,” he said, according to Shaea. “But I would say it is permissible. . . . America was the one who first brought the battle to Muslim countries.”

The cleric also denounced what he described as contradictory behavior by Muslims who condemned Hasan’s actions and “let him down.” According to Shaea, he said: “They say American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan should be killed, so how can they say the American soldier should not be killed at the moment they are going to Iraq and Afghanistan?”

Oh, Yemen and the US Did Not Sign a New Miltary Agreement?

Filed under: Military, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009

I see. Yemeni Chief of Staff Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal in a statement to SABA news agency said the US and Yemen concluded an agreement on enhanced intel sharing, military training and new equipment. And the news went all around the world. But it was a lie.

Deal or no deal? No deal, Howie. The US clarified what actually happened. Both the Embassy and the Pentagon issued a statement. (The two sides signed the minutes of the meeting, not a new military agreement.)

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Pentagon said on Friday the United States had not signed a military cooperation deal with Yemen, refuting a report from Sanaa’s official news agency

“There were no agreements signed,” spokesman Bryan Whitman told AFP…Yemen’s official Saba news agency said on Wednesday that the two countries had signed a military cooperation agreement during talks in the capital Sanaa.

Its very difficult to believe anything coming out of the Sana’a regime on any topic.

Guantanamo: 26 Yemenis to Yemen, Nashiri to Military Trial for Cole bombing, Binalshibh to NY Federal Court

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 8:38 am on Friday, November 13, 2009

The Hill reports that 26 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo will return to Yemen. Meanwhile other detainees will come to New York for trial in a federal court but USS Cole bomber Nashiri will have a military trial. Others deemed too dangerous to release will remain at Guantamo. Ramzi Binalshibh as a high value detainees in the 9/11 attacks will face trial in New York federal court as will Walid Bin Attash, USS Cole plotter.

WaPo Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and four co-defendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said early Friday.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions have not yet been formally announced by the Department of Justice…

Administration officials say they expect that up to 40 of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay will ultimately be tried in either federal court or military commissions — possibly including federal courts in the District or Alexandria. Approximately 90 others have been cleared for repatriation or resettlement in a third country, according to an administration official…

That leaves up to 75 individuals remaining at Guantanamo who could continue to be held under the laws of war because they are deemed too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted because of evidentiary issues and limits on the use of classified material.

Out of about 100 Yemeni detainees, if 26 return and a few go to federal court, they’ll still be a number held at Gitmo after this latest round of shuffling.

The US Fails to Confirm Military Agreement with Yemen after al Qaeda calls for Govt Recruits

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: both Pentagon and US Embassy deny deal inked; what they signed was the minutes of the meeting.

Original Post: A few days ago a leading Saudi member of Yemen’s Al Qaeda called for men to join with President Saleh’s forces in battling the Houthi rebels. It really would be a bit sticky now (or is it just me) if the US was to arm and train them.

AFP Yemen said on Wednesday that it had signed a military cooperation deal with the United States although the US embassy would confirm only that talks had been held on joint counterterrorism efforts. (Read on …)

Yemen Decides to Search for Anwar Al Awlaki

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, TI: External, USA, anwar, personalities, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 11:33 pm on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yemeni-American terror advocate and penpal to murderer Nidal Hasan, Anwar Awlaki was never charged with a crime in Yemen or the US. He had one of those “Saleh” deals – he promised to refrain from all violent activity within Yemen and they let him released him from jail. Its quite a common arrangement. But he stopped checking in nine months ago. His former cell mate as noted in the article later had a role in a terror bombing in Syria.

AP — A radical American imam who communicated with the Fort Hood shooting suspect and called him a hero was once arrested in Yemen on suspicion of giving religious approval to militants to conduct kidnappings. Yemeni authorities are now hunting for Anwar al-Awlaki to determine whether he has al-Qaida ties.

Al-Awlaki, who has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims around the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, disappeared in Yemen eight months ago, according to his father (former Minister of Agriculture and previous head of Sana’a University). Yemeni security officials say they believe he is hiding in a region of the mountainous nation that has become a refuge for Islamic militants. In August Anwar excitedly blogged about a battle in Marib between Yemeni forces and al Qaeda.)
(Read on …)

Seche Visits Jubran

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Trials, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Tuesday, November 10, 2009


News Yemen The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a has reaffirmed its support for freedom of press in Yemen.

On November 3, the U.S. Ambassador Stephen Seche met with al-Masdar Chief Editor Samir Jubran at the Embassy and discussed with him the recent ruling by the Special Court for Press and Publications against Jubran and the Yemeni-American journalist Munir al-Mawiri, a press release by the U.S. Embassy saidm on Monday. (Read on …)

Updated: US Murderer Attended Anwar Awlaki’s Mosque in VA, Communicated Later

Filed under: USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 10:11 am on Monday, November 9, 2009

Update 6: FBI: “The investigation to date has not identified a motive…”

Update 5: Anwar’s blog down. It was hosted in the US.

Update 4: Hassan communicated with Awlaki, and others, according to US CT officials, but the messages didn’t constitute a threat and were consistent with research.

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — U.S. counterterrorism officials detected communications between a radical Muslim religious leader and Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in the Nov. 5 shootings at a Texas Army base that left 13 dead, a U.S. official said.

The official said Hasan’s communications were with Anwar al Awlaki, who news reports said was the imam at a Falls Church, Virginia, mosque when Hasan and his relatives worshipped there. U.S. authorities, who intercepted the communications before the attack at Fort Hood, determined the messages didn’t pose a threat, said the official, who requested anonymity.

Update 3: FYI, Awlaki was arrested in 2006 in Yemen, leading to the arrests of eight westerners on charges of smuggling arms to Somalia. All were later released although the Yemeni government had earlier reported that they confessed.

Update 2: In October, al Qaeda in Yemen issued an odd statement referencing Texas: “Many university teachers in western countries started contacting us and providing us with important information,” said the unidentified militant, adding “the families of killed American nationals also began contacting us,” and “if the entire population of Texas were to perish, we would not have done our duty to the Muslims. We will continue to fight the Americans and will never let them go,”

Update: Anwar is pleased with Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood and calls him a hero. Full statement is here at NEFA.

Original post: This story refers to the doctor who opened fire at a military base in the US last week. With so many websites blocked in Yemen, Anwar’s isn’t. He’s currently “not available” to post or contact his admin. One interesting factoid about Anwar is there is no record of him leaving the US in 2002. He probably obstained a false passport from someone..

Telegraph: Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother’s funeral was held there in May that year.

The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations. (Read on …)

al Hilal

Filed under: TI: External, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:47 am on Saturday, October 24, 2009

Al Hilah was a high ranking PSO official working directly for President Saleh, tasked with implanting Afghan Arabs and other al Qaeda around the world with false passports, making his recent statement from Gitmo is very interesting.

The Star: The Pentagon claims the former politician and businessman was a key facilitator in Yemen for shuttling Al Qaeda fighters to Afghanistan. (Read on …)

If these Yemenis needed asylum, why are they back in Yemen hosted by the government?

Filed under: GPC, Other Countries, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:58 am on Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lutfi Shatara comments on the Expatriates Conference which I think would be would be better termed, an agents and informants get together. He makes the point that many of these received asylum under claims of persecution in Yemen, and yet are back there today hosted by the government they claim to fear so much. The normal set up is these Yemeni government operatives spy on and intimidate the expatriate communities overseas as well as expedite requests from influential people back in Sana’a. Whats going on is a GPC strategy session not a development conference. The regime has been talking about a census of expatriates for a time. Of course, acting as an undisclosed agent of a foreign country is illegal in the US and probably everywhere else. Anyone collecting data in their host country at the behest of the Yemeni government is required to identify themselves as an agent of the regime.

Update: It gets better, banks, passports and other amenities:

During the meeting, president Saleh delivered a speech in which he welcomed the participants, affirming concern of the government with Yemeni expatriates, highlighting good reputation of Yemeni expatriates.

He urged the embassies to deal with issues of the expatriates and contact with the ministry of expatriates’ affairs to discuss those issues.

He also pointed out to importance of setting up a bank for expatriates, saying that the bank would receive care of the government.

President Saleh gave orders to interior ministry, authorities of passport and taxes to offer all required facilities to expatriates.

Yemen instituted bio-metric passports but there’s still some holes in the system at the very top.

Hillary Appeases a Genocidal Saleh

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yemeni President Saleh has never actually engaged in authentic power sharing, reform or corruption control (but he discussed it a lot). Yemen never enacted stringent measures against al Qaeda, and its counter-terror program is a grudging, reactionary response to US pressure, often carried out by officials with ties and loyalty to Usama bin Laden. Currently the Yemeni government is overtly bombing and starving its own people in Sa’ada. These genocidal policies began five years ago. Saleh’s government also has the demonstrated propensity to shoot southern protesters on the street and engage in mass arbitrary arrests. The abduction of editor Mohammed al Maqaleh is one of a thousand actions that belie Saleh’s stated commitment to democracy. Yemen may have become an intractable problem, and there is no a good alternative to Saleh waiting in the wings, but pretending the current Yemeni regime has the will or ability to reform but is just too busy at the moment is a lunatic’s bet that flies in the face of history. If “the response of the government of Yemen to the terrorist threat was intermittent due to its focus on internal security concerns”, then what was its excuse before the current unrest? Ah, I remember-lack of capacity! Sometimes- domestic sentiment prohibits strong actions. There’s been a long string of varied explanations and excuses for Saleh’s counter-terror failures, but the most obvious one is the most likely.

The Ministers further noted their concern for the situation in Yemen. The Ministers expressed full support for the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh; for the unity, security, and stability of Yemen; and for efforts for a peaceful dialogue. The Ministers underscored the importance of ensuring the security of civilians and relief workers, and the provision for the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to civilians affected by the conflict. The Ministers reiterated their support for the Yemeni government’s economic and governance reform initiatives, and their willingness to continue to assist Yemen in improving the lives of its people.


Bloomberg: Obama promised earlier this month to provide U.S. support to Yemen’s government to bolster security. In a letter to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Obama said the U.S. will soon present an initiative to provide more aid for Yemen through the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Gulf countries, Yemeni officials said.

Canadians Traveling to Yemen Raise Concerns

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Other Countries, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As it should… National Post

Three years after police disrupted an al-Qaeda-inspired bomb plot in Toronto, Canadian extremists are continuing to seek terrorist training, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said Friday.

Mr. Van Loan said in an interview that Canadian security officials were still observing a “flow” to terrorist hot spots but that Yemen was replacing Afghanistan and Pakistan as the preferred destination. (Read on …)

US Returns Gitmo Detainee to Yemen per Federal Court Ruling

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 7:52 am on Sunday, September 27, 2009

Miami Herald

Even as the White House left doubt on whether it would meet its own prison camps closure deadline, the Obama administration said Saturday it had freed three detainees from Guantánamo — one by order of a federal judge to Yemen, two others for new lives in Ireland.

A Justice Department statement said Yemeni Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, 26, was sent to his homeland in compliance with a May 4 federal court order.

In Ahmed’s case, U.S. Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in May that the government’s mosaic of evidence was insufficient to defend its indefinite detention of the long-held captive — either on grounds he fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan or was in league with al Qaeda in Pakistan.

The young Yemeni was captured in a large-scale March 2002 Pakistani raid on an alleged al Qaeda guest house in that netted the CIA alleged arch-terrorist Abu Zubaydah and other alleged war criminals now held at the prison camps in southeast Cuba.

US Calls for Ceasefire in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 6:56 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Washington – The United States called on the Yemeni military and rebels in the northern part of the country to immediately end hostilities and allow the free flow of aid into the region. “We call on both parties to declare an immediate ceasefire, to ensure the security and access of humanitarian aid workers in the region,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. “And we call on all states in the region to facilitate the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to those in need.”

A second ceasefire in the northern Saada province collapsed over the weekend, and fighting on Tuesday left more than 70 rebels dead. Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people have been forced to flee the fighting.

US to Allocate $30 mil/year in Development Funds

Filed under: Reform, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Thursday, September 17, 2009

I wonder if the US actually expects Saleh to reform. Maybe he promised that he really, really will this time… Expect a round of government announcements of new reforms, maybe new anti-corruption billboards, and a few repeatedly publicized al Qaeda arrests, all being more smoke than substance. One thing that has to be done, now, is the electoral reforms. The timing of the announcement stinks, following days after the Yemeni government’s massacre of women and children by airstrikes in Sa’ada and Amran. The military is bombing cities and villages with impunity. But I guess waiting for the Yemeni government to stop committing atrocities is not realistic…

The Embassy is pleased to announce the signing of a bilateral assistance agreement between the United States and Yemen to fund essential development projects in the fields of health, education, democracy and governance, agriculture and economic development. The agreement, which provides over $30 million this year and an anticipated total of $121 million over its three-year program, is a reaffirmation of the friendship between the people of the United States and Yemen, and of the United States’ commitment to helping Yemen overcome its development challenges.

In conjunction with the reform efforts to which the Government of Yemen has committed, this development assistance will help to improve the lives of thousands of Yemeni citizens.

Obama’s Remarks on 9/11

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 11:04 am on Friday, September 11, 2009

THE PRESIDENT: Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and members of the Armed Forces, fellow Americans, family and friends of those that we lost this day — Michelle and I are deeply humbled to be with you.

Eight Septembers have come and gone. Nearly 3,000 days have passed — almost one for each of those taken from us. But no turning of the seasons can diminish the pain and the loss of that day. No passage of time and no dark skies can ever dull the meaning of this moment.

So on this solemn day, at this sacred hour, once more we pause. Once more we pray — as a nation and as a people; in city streets where our two towers were turned to ashes and dust; in a quiet field where a plane fell from the sky; and here, where a single stone of this building is still blackened by the fires. (Read on …)

Gunmen from Dammaj Arrested near Embassy

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

They came from Sa’ada? They were just randomly stopped and searched and found with the weapons and military equipment. They weren’t planning an attack.

AFP SANAA — Four gunmen from north Yemen’s rebellious Saada region have been arrested near the US embassy in the capital Sanaa, authorities said, but quoted a security source as saying on Wednesday that the group had no intention of attacking the mission.

“The security services arrested four people, near the American embassy, who were in possession of a bag containing four grenades plus a separate fifth grenade and a Chinese-made assault rifle, 296 bullets and five detonators,” the interior ministry announced on its website.

The statement, made late on Tuesday, did not say when the men were arrested.

On Wednesday, the defence ministry website quoted a security source as ruling out a planned attack on the US embassy — a previous target in several earlier raids.

“The people arrested near the embassy… had no intention of attacking it. They were passing the mission by chance and were detained by a police patrol,” the source said, basing the remark on initial results of the inquiry.

According to the interior ministry, the gunmen, aged between 20 and 33, also had other military equipment in the minibus and taxi in which they were travelling. This included “a siren like those used for ambulances” and 20 cans of petrol.

All four originated from Damaj district in Saada province, where Yemeni forces are fighting Zaidi Shiite rebels.

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 …)

Brennan in Sana’a with Letter from Obama to Saleh

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 4:26 pm on Sunday, September 6, 2009

In the Arabic version of the Saba article there’s something about the letter containing 10 points.

SANA’A, Sep.06 (Saba)-US President Barack Obama has confirmed support of the United Stated for the unity and security of Yemen.

In his letter to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the US leader said that the security of Yemen is a vital topic related to the security of the United Stated of America and the region.

Obama said that the United States would present an initiative to support Yemen to face all its development obstacles and enhance efforts of reforms through International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and donors as well as states of the Gulf cooperation council.

The letter was handed over by the Assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan during his meeting with president Saleh.

The American leader highlighted current partnership between Yemen and United States in filed of combating terrorism, saying that al Qaeda network is a dangerous on all.

In the meeting, president Saleh reviewed with the US official aspects of the mutual cooperation between the two countries.

The US official valued efforts of Yemen in combating terrorism, affirming concern of America to boost its ties wit Yemen and support efforts of the development process in Yemen.

President Saleh asked the US official to convey his letter to president Obama concerning issues of common concern.

He wished president Obama a good health and further progress and prosperity for the American people.

Houthis Tell Captured Soldiers: The Real Enemy is the US and Western Troops

Filed under: Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

IN a video release, Houthi commanders are shown telling captured Yemeni soldiers that their real greivence is with the US and the western anti-piracy patrols. First, the torture of Houthi prisoners in Yemeni prisoners is notorious and brutal. If the rebels are treating their prisoners in a civilized manner, then this is another area where the rebels are more in compliance with international law than the Yemeni government. Second, this is the rebels’ line, that they are in opposition to Yemeni President Saleh’s alliance with the US and not to the Yemeni republican system itself. Third, they insist that the slogan “Death to America” is a rejection of US “global hegemony” and they are not advocating violence against US civilians.

To quote Yahya al Houthi, “We are not anti-American per se. Rest assured that we do not have any issues with the American people, but we disapprove of some of their government’s foreign policy in the Middle East. Like many people in the Middle East of all faiths, we were opposed to the US led invasion of Iraq and the subsequent killing of civilians.” Apparently now, its not the Iraq War anymore but the supposed 150,000 Western troops on the ocean in internatonal waters in the Gulf of Aden that they object to. (Read on …)

US Responds to UN Appeal with Food for 100,000 Saada Refugees

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 3:19 pm on Sunday, August 30, 2009

Its good (although costly) that they are actually shipping food, instead of just giving money. Also the statement asks the Yemeni government to minimize civilians casualties, but its hard to do when the Yemeni military is bombing cities. Also the US is asking for the safe corridor for humanitarian supplies. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, when estimates are 150,000 civilians are at extreme risk. The Yemeni government formed a committee to think about it. The following is from the Embassy website:

U.S. provides $2.5 million in food aid for displaced people in Sa’ada, August 30, 2009

In response to the urgent humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Sa’ada governorate as a result of the resumption of military conflict, the United States of America, through USAID and its Food for Peace program, is pleased to announce a contribution of over $2.5 million to the World Food Program.

This contribution includes 3,440 metric tons of wheat and 460 metric tons of beans – enough to feed 100,000 people for two and one-half months. The first shipment of wheat is expected to arrive in the near future.

While the United States recognizes the responsibility of the Government of Yemen to defend its national territory against armed rebellion, this responsibility must be exercised in a manner that minimizes risk to the non-combatant civilian population.

The United States calls on both parties to the conflict to ensure the security of international relief workers in the region, and the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to camps housing internally displaced persons.

الولايات المتحدة تقدم مساعدات غذائية بقيمة 2.5 مليون للنازحين في صعدة
(Read on …)

It all goes back to the Malaysia meeting

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 2:38 pm on Sunday, August 30, 2009

Really it does. For more (or perhaps all known open source- its really that good), see the History Commons Entity, USS Cole

Somewhat related and because I dont know where else to throw it:

From the trial findings of the Cole families vs. the Sudan

the Court FINDS as a fact, that the explosives used in the Cole attack were sent by Al Qaeda operatives in Sudan. This finding is corroborated by the testimony of one of Bin Laden’s lieutenants in Sudan, Jamal Al-Fadl, who testified in criminal proceedings against Bin Laden arising out of the 1998 embassy bombings. (Ex. 32, United States v. Bin Laden, Case No. 198CR1023, Trial Tr. Feb. 6, 2001). Mr. Al-Fadl stated in sworn testimony in a trial before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that he worked under Bin Laden in Sudan; that he stored four crates of weapons and explosives at a farm in Sudan owned by Bin Laden; and that he shipped the four crates in an Al Qaeda-owned boat from a facility owned by the Sudanese military in Port Sudan to Yemen, where they were to be used to “fight the Communists.”(Ex. 32 at 262, 336-40.)

Three Yemenis Plead Guilty in US to Money Laundering

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 11:27 am on Saturday, August 29, 2009

Western Union is the best way to send money from the US to Yemen, and there is no danger as long as the funds are from legitimate sources for legitimate uses, including helping out family at home in Yemen… The full story here involves some sting where they thought the money was for Hezbollah.

3 Yemeni men caught in sting plead guilty in US court to money laundering

Associated Press
08/28/09 6:15 PM EDT ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Three Yemeni businessmen in western New York have pleaded guilty to money laundering charges, ending their federal court trial.

The men were charged in March 2007 after authorities said they sent $200,000 overseas knowing it was illegally obtained and could benefit the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has fought Israel since the early 1980s and is considered by Israel and the United States to be a terrorist organization. The men weren’t charged with any terrorism-related crimes.

On trial were Yehia Ali Ahmed Alomari, Mohamed Al Huraibi and Saleh Mohamed Taher Saeed. They ran mini-marts and a restaurant in Rochester.

Under Friday’s plea agreements, the men face sentences ranging from 15 to 27 months. They remain free until they’re sentenced in December.

Defense lawyers say the men thought the money was simply to help fellow Yemenis.

Al Houthi Ideology Reformist or Revolutionary?

Filed under: Religious, Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:14 pm on Friday, August 28, 2009

This is an interesting article, Yemen’s last Zaiydi Iman, self billed as

Excerpted from the manuscript of a forthcoming book project, this article provides essential English-language source material on Husayn Badr al-Dīn al-huthī and an alternative framework to that of the mainstream media for exploring what are likely the genuine causes and nature of the wars against Sadah, Yemen, undertaken with backing and technical assistance from the United States, if not direct complicity in the name of then President George W. Bush’s administration’s ‘war on terror’.

The article is important because it adds something to the discussion (in English) that was not there before, which is a depth of knowlege of Zaidi and al Houthis doctrines. The historical documentation of the development of the Houthi ideology is quite detailed, although the final conclusions are debatable.

However, that being said, the section that postulates the US ordered the Sa’ada Wars is unsubstantiated. The author points to the US’s seeming lack of interest in the Sa’ada Wars, the Joint Coalition Task Force’s base in Dijabouti and Yemen’s rising balance of payments as proof of the invisable hand of the US , but other factors like the historical increase in oil prices during the period in question is not part of the calculus. (Read on …)

US Policy on Yemen

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:34 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009


WASHINGTON (AP) – American authorities are pressuring Yemen to counter a rising internal al-Qaida threat more aggressively and improve intelligence-sharing amid growing worries that the country could become the next significant terrorist staging ground. (Read on …)

Yemeni-Americans Call for War Crimes Tribunal

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 6:55 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yemeni-Americans call for the immediate end of the war, the release of political prisoners and the trial of those government officials responsible for crimes against civilians in Sa’ada to be brought before an International Tribunal:

خليج عدن تنشر صور مرعبة لمجزرة صنعاء ضد أطفال صعدة..
عدد من المهاجرين اليمنيين في أمريكا يحذرون رموز سلطة صنعاء الإرهابية من جلبهم للمحاكم الدولية بسبب جرائمها في صعدة والجنوب

خليج عدن – خاص –

وجه عدد من اليمنيين المهاجرين في أمريكا الشمالية رسالة تحذير لمن وصفوها سلطة صنعاء الدكتاتورية الإرهابية الفاسدة لوقف الحرب والمجازر التي تمارسها في صعدة والجنوب ، وحذروا سلطات صنعاء من أنهم سيعملون على إسقاط سلطة صنعاء الإرهابية وجلب رموزها إلى محاكم جرائم الحرب الدولية كمجرمي حرب.

تحذير إلى سلطة صنعاء الإرهابية

نحن الموقعين أدناه من أمريكا الشمالية نوجه هذا التحذير إلى سلطة صنعاء الدكتاتورية الأرهابية الفاسدة أن عليها التالي:-

1-وقف أعمال الحرب والنهب وأنتهاكات حقوق الأنسان فوراً في صعده والجنوب.

2- أطلاق كافة المعتقلين في سجون سلطة صنعاء الأرهابية على ذمة أعمال الحرب في صعده والجنوب أصحاب الحراك السلمي فوراً وأطلاق الصحف ووسائل الأعلام الموقوفة والغاء محاكم الصحافة .

3 –تسليم المسئولين عن كل تلك الجرائم لأنفسهم الى الأمم المتحدة ومحاكم العدل الدولية .

(Read on …)

South Yemen Forum Director, Raed Qasim Ismail, Threatened in the US

Filed under: Civil Rights, USA, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, political violence — by Jane Novak at 2:03 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2009


The Director of South Youth Forums recieved death threats here in the US.

Raed Qasim Ismail is a political activist and director of the forum and website of the South Youth of Aden, Shababshaib, editor of the Algnoub Alhur Magazine.

Mr. Ismail was threatened during telephone calls, emails and messages received from anonymous persons who ordered him to stop his journalistic activities and close down the South Youth website. The callers said “they” knew where he lived in the US, were monitoring his movements and his continued activity would result in harm to himself and his family both here and in Yemen.

Mr. Ismail said said he is accustomed to such threats, adding that there were attempts by unidentified bodies to hack the website several times.

Despite the death threats by email and telephone, Mr. Isamil confirmed that he will continue to exercise his right of free speech, adding that he is not afraid of such threats, and nor will he be deterred from continuing his career with his (Southern Yemeni) people until their independence.

Mr. Ismail is concerned by the threats that were received by his family in Yemen, noting that the Sana’a regime and his men bear the full responsibility for any harm to him or any one of his family members.

The existance of Yemeni intelligence operatives here in the US is well known, and numerous Yemeni-Americans in the US have been threatened by Yemeni operatives for engaging in their legally protected rights of assembly and speech in the US.

Acting as an undeclared agent of a foreign state is illegal.

US Deeply Concerned about Violence in Sa’ada

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:07 am on Saturday, August 22, 2009

from News Yemen:

The United States Embassy in Sana’a said it views with deep concern the continuation of armed conflict between the Government of Yemen and Houthi rebels in the Sa’ada governorate in northern Yemen.

“We call on both parties to return to the cease fire that was established last year,” said the Embassy in a statement on Saturday.

“In the meantime, both parties should avoid any action that would endanger the civilian population in the affected area,” it said.

The Embassy also called on both parties to ensure the security of local and international relief workers in the region, and the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to camps housing internally displaced persons.

What US Senator Levin Said About Yemen

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 12:08 pm on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From the Library of Congress. This is a public record, not a secret discussion, and it’s one Congressman expressing his view of the situation in Yemen to the rest of the Congress, and he doesn’t call for military intervention:

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I would like to take a few moments to bring to the attention of my colleagues the burgeoning threat of a potential safe haven for extremists in Yemen . As I am sure is true of many of my colleagues, I continue to monitor the press reports surrounding the future of the Yemeni detainees currently being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. However, what I believe too few people are following is the growing threat of Yemen becoming a failed state and potential safe haven for members of al-Qaida. (Read on …)

US Congressman Russ Feingold Mentions Yemen

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:03 pm on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dated 8/6/09, LOC

Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President…. At the same time, we must focus more attention beyond the safe havens and instability in South Asia, particularly on Yemen and Somalia. The threat from al-Qaida affiliates in those countries, as well as from al Shebaab, is increasing. Weak states, chronic instability, vast ungoverned areas, and unresolved local tensions have created almost ideal safe havens in which terrorists can recruit and operate. (Read on …)

Three Yemenis on Trial in US for Transfering 100K Abroad

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 3:27 pm on Monday, August 17, 2009


Three Yemeni men once accused of a willingness to support the terrorist-linked Hezbollah organization are now being tried in federal court in a case in which neither terrorism nor Hezbollah are likely to be mentioned.

Instead, the trial, expected to last six weeks, is focused on whether the men illegally transferred money overseas.

On trial are Yehia Ali Ahmed Alomari, 28, Mohamed Al Huraibi, 52, and Saleh Mohamed Taher Saeed, 30.

Authorities allege that the three men, caught in a sting operation, agreed to illegally transport more than $100,000 to overseas accounts in the Middle East. Prosecutors have claimed that an undercover agent told the men that Hezbollah would control the money. (Read on …)

U.S. Embassy expresses concern over press freedom in Yemen

Filed under: Media, USA — by Jane Novak at 3:10 pm on Sunday, August 16, 2009

I’m still getting caught up…

U.S. Embassy expresses concern over press freedom in Yemen
August 08, 2009

On August 8, officials from the United States Embassy in Sana’a visited the staff of al-Ayyam and al-Tariiq newspapers in Aden. During the meetings, the American officials reiterated the support of the United States government for the role of independent and responsible media in Yemen. They also expressed concern regarding measures taken recently by the Government of the Republic of Yemen to impede the operations of several newspapers.
Responsible and independent media perform an essential function in a democratic society by providing timely information and analysis of events that affect the lives of its citizens. The obstruction of press freedom and imprisonment of journalists deprive people of this fundamental right and undermine a core principle of democracy.

السفارة الأمريكية تعبر عن قلقها حول حرية الصحافة في اليمن
قام مسئولون في سفارة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية يوم 8 أغسطس بزيارة للعاملين في صحيفتي الأيام والطريق بعدن. وفي اللقاءين, أكد المسئولون الأمريكيون دعم الحكومة الامريكية لدور وسائل الاعلام المستقلة والموثوقة في اليمن. كما عبروا عن قلقهم من الاجراءات التي اتخذتها الحكومة اليمنية مؤخراً والتي تعيق عمل العديد من الصحف.
إن وسائل الإعلام المستقلة والموثوقة تؤدي وضيفة حيوية في مجتمع ديمقراطي من خلال تقديم معلومات أنية وتحليلات للاحداث التي تؤثر على حياة المواطنين. لـذا فإن إعاقة حرية الصحافة واعتقال الصحفيين يحرم الناس من هذا الحق الأساسي ويضر بأهم مبدأ من مبادئ الديمقراطية.

Good! And they went to Aden, even better.

McCain in Yemen

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 3:01 pm on Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good luck, seriously. Lets get some strict enforcement measures set up on the End Use Monitoring Agreement on military aid.

US delegation headed by McCain arrives in Yemen
Sunday, 16-August-2009 – Delegation of the US Congress headed by Senator John McCain arrived in Sana’a Sunday on a two-day visit to Yemen.

It is scheduled that the American delegation would during its visit hold talks with a number of officials in the Yemeni government relating to enhancement of bilateral relations of the two friendly countries in various fields.

Update: Press report- “A delegation of U.S. senators led by John McCain is visiting a number of Middle East countries.” More: topics include Gitmo and counter-terrorism.

US to Release Yemeni Clerics Moyyad and Zaid on Time Served

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Friday, August 7, 2009

Update 2: In a plea deal, Moyyad pled guillty to sending money to Hamas in exchange for a sentence of time served and a ticket home: Targana

Sheik Mohammed Ali Hasan Al-Moayad and his assistant pleaded guilty to conspiring to support violence by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. In exchange, they were sentenced to time served — more than six years — and will be sent back to Yemen within a few days.

An appeals court had thrown out earlier convictions of al-Moayad and Mohammed Mohsen Zayed, who was serving a 45-year term. Prosecutors told the judge that they concluded another trial was unnecessary as long as the men finally admitted they were trying to raise money for terrorism.

Al-Moayad, 60, responded, “Yes,” when asked by the judge if he knew Hamas engaged in “politically motivated acts of violence targeting civilian populations,” and that he “associated and worked with Hamas leaders in Yemen and Hamas-related organizations to provide financial support to Hamas.”

Update 1: there’s a lot of people very happy with this decision.

Original post: Wow. Their first conviction was overturned, and apparently the US is not going to re-try them.

The move by the Obama administration to release the pair certainly will generate a lot of good will in Yemen, where people generally think of the charitable works Sheik Moyyad did, including setting up bakeries to feed the poor. Everyone has demonstrated to petition the US for their release including a tribal coalition.

Because Hamas has a lot of support in Yemen, somehow people think they were innocent because supporting Hamas should not be a crime. However, they were collecting money in the US for Hamas, when it is illegal to do so. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Hamas, or the fact that they were later elected, thats the law in the US. They were videotaped on Coney Island Ave or somewhere in Brooklyn taking an envelope of about $5000 in cash. The Germany part of the sting dealt more with statements of support for bin Laden and claims of previously transferring lots of money to al Qaeda. They were convicted of conspiring to support and actually supporting Hamas, and conspiring to support al Qaeda, but the prosecutor brought in a lot of emotional 9/11 testimony, which was the grounds for the sucessful appeal. The sentence of 75 years was one of the heaviest ever issued.

More from News Yemen

The U.S. authorities have decided to release Sheikh Mohammad Ali al-Moayad and his companion Mohammad Zayed being detained in the United States since more than six years, an official source reported Friday.

The official quoted a Yemeni official source at the Yemeni Embassy in Washington as saying the US authorities have considered the term they served in jail as a sufficient punishment. (Read on …)

Detainee al Hilah in Fear for His Life after Assassination Attempt at Guantanamo

Filed under: Security Forces, editing, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

Its a very odd story all in all.

الإثنين 03 أغسطس-آب 2009 / Radhia Khairan-Edit: Jane Novak
HOOD Online

In his second call home in a matter of months, Abdulsalam al Hilah, a Yemeni detainee incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, said he survived an assassination attempt three weeks ago.

During the call to his family in Yemen last month, Mr. al Hilah received the news of the death of his mother and two young sons. The boys were killed in April 2009 just two days after Mr. al Hilah’s last call home when a grenade accidentally exploded. (Read on …)

Anwar on Marib Or Where is Anwar Awlaki and Who is Writing His Blog?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 12:01 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

OK, I’m not one normally to delve into the self pitying machinations or wailing treatises of al Qaeda. However, I find it odd that for the first time, Yemeni-American Anwar Awlaki is writing an extremely detailed account of a battle in Marib on his (uncensored) blog.

Anwar is framing the clash as the first conflict between the Yemeni mujids and the army, and using uncharacteristically awful grammar, as opposed to those of us who consistently use awful grammar. Considering his dad was the head of Sana’a U, this is a bit disappointing.

Anwar’s prior posts are poetic, well punctuated and demonstrate his good vocabulary. Now we get this bluster: Casualties amongst the ranks of the mujahideen: None. None killed, none injured and no damage to their houses or property either. Its an odd tone for the site.

Anwar never focused on Yemeni issues before, but now is gloating about the government’s “humiliation” and lists in detail the captured weapons and soldiers. (The result of the battle was five destroyed tanks, two armored vehicles, at least 3 soldiers killed and five soldiers taken prisoners. The brothers also took over an entire truck load of weapons in addition to other pieces of equipment left behind by the fleeing soldiers.) Anwar is a theorist, not a tactician. The post ends with, “The army pulled out after asking for a truce from the mujahideen.”

Maybe Anwar is off somewhere like hmmmm South Africa and has a ghost writer that sounds both familiar and discordant. The fluent English and strident tone limit the pool of potential authors. Or perhaps Anwar was there at the battle and the adrenaline got to him.

Update: The excellent NEFA gives the full text here.

Al Hilal: Assassination Attempt in Gitmo

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:30 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009

This is such a bizarre story, now available in English. President Saleh’s personal intermediary to the Afghan Arabs and foreign resettlement coordinator, a top intelligence official in the PSO, al Hilal had foreknowledge of 9/11 and was recorded in Italy talking about the attack in New York before it happened.

After al Hillal called Yemen from Gitmo a few weeks ago, his two young sons were killed in a grenade accident. Now he says he was subject to an assassination attempt inside Gitmo. One would assume it was another of the prisoners who tried to kill him, if theres any validity to the claim; people tend to become mentally unstable after years of indefinite confinement.

Sahwa Net – A Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Abdul-Salam al-Hilah has said he survived an assassination attempt in his cell three weeks ago.

In a phone call with his family on Thursday, he affirmed that he was subjected to an assassination attempt after receiving the death news of his two sons, mother and brother.

The last suicide was by a Yemeni prisoner under a suicide watch according to MSNBC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Guantanamo detainee whose death has been blamed on suicide apparently died of asphyxiation, a Yemeni official said Saturday.

The preliminary conclusion, which suggests the prisoner strangled himself, offers the first details about the death of Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh Al Hanashi, who was found unresponsive inside a psychiatric ward.

The disclosure also raises questions about how a prisoner could have choked himself to death inside the closely watched ward.

He said the Americans had decided to return in coffins .. عبد السلام الحيلة في اتصال بأسرته: تعرضت لمحاولة اغتيال داخل سجن جوانتنامو Abdel-Salam trick in contact with his family: the assassination attempt in the Guantanamo Bay prison
31/07/2009 31/07/2009
موسى النمراني، نيوزيمن: Musa Alnmrani, NewsYemen:

في أول اتصال هاتفي له بعد علمه بمقتل نجليه ووفاة والدته قال المعتقل اليمني في جوانتنامو عبد السلام الحيلة، أنه تعرض لمحاولة اغتيال قبل ثلاثة أسابيع . In the first telephone call to him after learning the death of his sons and his mother’s death and said the Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Abdul Salam trick, that he was subjected to an assassination attempt three weeks ago. (Read on …)

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 …)

General Patraeus in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:14 am on Monday, July 27, 2009

The prospect of millions from the Millennium Challenge Account didn’t work to create reforms, the 4.6 billion in donor funds in 2006 didn’t work and increased military aid won’t work either. The profits of corruption are much too great and the system so entrenched that its nearly impossible at this point to undo. And with General Patraeus arriving days after the slaughter of the protesters, I would assume the conversation contained more than praise. The timing gives the impression that the US is giving Yemen a pass on all human rights issues, even outright murder by police, but what’s really happening is anyone’s guess. Yemen says every US official visits in order to deliver praise; in five years, the only one who contradicted the Yemeni statement after the meeting was Mueller. Nonetheless, US military aid (slated for trucks and boats) in 2010 is at the highest level in years. Yemen’s counter-terror policies are often smoke and mirrors with little substance.

Yemen, U.S. discuss military cooperation July 26 (Saba)- Minister of Defense Mohammed Nasir Ahmed along with Minister of Interior Mutahar Rashad al-Masri held a meeting on Sunday with the U.S. Commander of Central Military Command General David Petraeus who is currently visiting Yemen over means of enhancing bilateral relations between two armies of both countries and joint efforts of combating terror. (Read on …)

Yemen Algeria Terror Threat against US Embassies

Filed under: TI: External, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:13 am on Monday, July 27, 2009

CanadianPress: Security was upgraded in Yemen’s capital this week after intelligence reports warned of attacks planned against the U.S. Embassy, a senior security official said Tuesday.

The intelligence official said the unconfirmed reports indicated attacks were being planned against the U.S. embassies in Algeria and Yemen.
(Read on …)

Letter to Congress from American and Canadian Yemenis

Filed under: USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:59 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009

Americans and Canadians of Yemeni origin are sending a letter to the US Cogress and Canadian Parliament. The letter explains the realities and facts of the suffering of the Yemeni people in the hands of the regime in Sanna’a. The letter documents the crimes against humanity committed by the regime. They list their demands from their respective governments to put pressure on the government of Yemen to stop its human rights violations.
In addition, they have demanded that their governments should align their foreign policies by taking their demands into account. They argue that every one will benefit as a result of changing policies toward the regime in Sana’a: The Yemeni people will be relieved of dictatorship, corruption, and alliances with terrorist groups including AL-Qaeda, and the world will become safer after terrorists are denied a safe haven in Yemen

Date: July 7, 2009

To: Our honorable representatives in US congress
Our honorable representatives in Canadian Parliament

Subject: The regime in Sanaa Republic of Yemen celebrates the 7th of July every year by squandering the wealth of the Yemeni people.

The 7th of July is a day when the regime has committed a crime, a disaster, against the people of South Yemen , by pillaging it’s land and property, committing human rights abuses, and committing massacres.

The regime in Sanaa should be stopped and should be compelled to respect human rights and the dignity of the people of Yemen .

Dear our honorable representatives of the US congress and Canadian Parliament.


We are honored to submit this letter to you for your consideration, hoping that you may examine it carefully and with interest.

First and foremost, please accept our thanks and appreciation for your great efforts in the service of our two great nations ( USA and Canada ) and in the service of humanity at large by defending human rights and dignity, freedom of expression, freedom of press as well as working in relief efforts and helping those who suffer from natural disasters. We are proud of your efforts in the fight against terrorism worldwide, and against piracy, just as much as we are proud of your efforts to extend humanitarian help and assistance to the people who need it everywhere.

We would like to repeat our thanks for your efforts to stop wars around the world, and to support stability and security. Wars should be directed only against terrorists everywhere: individuals, groups, organizations, militias or countries.

We would like to thank our heroic soldiers, Americans and Canadians, and our allies. We thank our soldiers for their sacrifices and their brave service that help create a world free from extremists and terrorists so that the world becomes safe under the rule of law and order where people are equal in front of the law and enjoy equal citizenship which is what we pride ourselves of having. (Read on …)

International Condemnation of Jailing Yemeni Journalist Mansour

Filed under: Media, Trials, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:33 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009

Its the land grabbers, corrupt officials and commanders of the security forces who should be in jail.

In Yemen, journalist sentenced to 14 months in jail : New York, July 16, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Yemeni court of appeals to overturn a jail sentence it handed down on Wednesday against journalist Anis Mansour from the suspended independent daily Al-Ayyam.

A lower court in Al-Qabitta, Luhj province, found Mansour guilty of “harming national unity, provoking sedition and rebellion, and ‎inciting people in the streets” and “taking part in unauthorized protests and promoting ‎secessionist slogans.” He was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, according to local news reports.

The case was initially filed in February by a government-affiliated group called the Society to Defend the Unity of Yemen on charges related to Mansour’s coverage of the ongoing unrest in the south of the country. Mansour said security agents he had criticized in his articles testified against him. He told CPJ that his lawyers will appeal the ruling. (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 …)

Yemenis in Prison in Iraqi and Bagram

Filed under: Iraq, Other Countries, gitmo, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:55 pm on Thursday, July 2, 2009

al Qirby- the failure to return the prisoners to Yemen is because Yemen’s refusal to agree to US conditions, Iraq is thinking and no answer from Pakistan. – Yemen’s foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has told the parliament on Wednesday that not moving 98 Yemeni detainees out of Guantanamo by the United States of America was attributed to Yemen’s refusal of the American conditions, which, if they were accepted, he said the government would have faced questioning by the MPs. (Read on …)

Trafficking in Persons 2009, Yemen

Filed under: Children, Judicial, Refugees, USA, Women's Issues, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 5:13 pm on Thursday, June 18, 2009

US State Department

YEMEN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Yemen is a country of origin and, to a much lesser extent, transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. (Read on …)

USS Cole CDR Lippold: Yemen- Unreliable and Untrustworthy

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USS Cole, arrests, attacks, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:15 pm on Friday, June 12, 2009

Truth to power:

Washington, DC – Kirk S. Lippold, Former USS Cole Commander and Senior Military Fellow at Military Families United, released the following statement concerning the recently reported news that the Obama Administration is nearing a deal to send a considerable portion of the estimated 100 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi “terrorist rehabilitation centers.”

“The impact of turning Yemeni detainees over to either Saudi Arabia or Yemen is an unacceptable compromise to our national security. Saudi Arabia has proven ineffective in rehabilitating terrorists and Yemen has consistently proven to be an untrustworthy and unreliable partner in the war on terror.

Transferring Yemeni detainees to Saudi Arabia will inevitably lead to more terrorists on the battlefield. It will endanger the lives of our military for a second time. Currently, one in seven former GITMO detainees has rejoined the fight. If President Obama transfers these detainees to Saudi Arabia or Yemen, he is putting the national security interests of the United States second to nations that still form the cradle of al Qaeda recruiting efforts and their campaign of terror. In addition, this transfer says to our troops and their families that the campaign promise to close GITMO is more important than their safety and their lives.

The lenient treatment of those who attacked USS Cole is the starkest evidence of the Yemeni government’s complicity in supporting those who carried out the attack. The lead co-conspirator, al Badawi, is currently held in minimal security, if in jail at all. The government’s joke of a trial, where he received the death penalty and then escaped twice before being recaptured, demonstrates their inability to even wage the most basic war tactics against al Qaeda. The USS Cole families and many of America’s military families have already paid too dear a price in the war on terror. With each detainee transfer, it becomes more and more evident that the President’s priorities do not lie with our men and women in uniform and those who bear the burden and the sacrifice of the War on Terror – the families.”

Yemen to Activate Expat Operatives for Propaganda

Filed under: Media, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:04 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is in addition to the considerable propaganda network set up already. Working as an undeclared agent for a foreign government is illegal in the US, just ask Amen Ahmed Ali.

Gov’t agrees on media plan draft for expatriates
[09 June 2009]
SANA’A, June 09 (Saba) – The cabinet agreed on Tuesday on the national plan draft of activating the media role for expatriates submitted by the Ministerial Committee headed by Minister of Expatriates Affairs.

During the cabinet’s weekly meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, it approved the establishment of a committee under the chairmanship of Expatriates Affairs Minister to implement the content and directions of the plan in coordination with the concerned authorities.

The plan aims to activate the media role targeting this social segment and ties it with its country as well as working to highlight the developmental role of expatriates and saving their cultural and regional identity.

The plan also targets to shed light on the expatriates’ intellectual creativity and raising awareness on their legal rights abroad.

Carlos the Traitor Treated Gently by Yemeni Officials

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 12:02 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

The POS clarifies some things:


In the interview, Muhammad also disputed his lawyer’s claim that he had been “radicalized” in a Yemeni prison and said fellow prisoners that some call terrorists were actually “very good Muslim brothers.”

Last week, Hensley said his client, born Carlos Bledsoe, had been tortured and “radicalized” in a Yemeni prison after entering the country to teach English. He was held there for immigration violations, and Yemeni officials have denied mistreatment.

“Those claims … are all lies,” Muhammad said Tuesday. “That never happened in Yemen. The officials dealt with me in a gentle way.”

English Teacher, Dammaj Student, American Jihaddist

Filed under: Education, USA, Yemen, other jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:03 pm on Sunday, June 7, 2009

The murderer was bullied by FBI while in Yemeni jail so he became a fanatic? Oh come on… The first story of being radicalized in Yemeni prison was more believable. ( Update at NPR, a little more realistic. )

Fox: “He said my concern was the FBI agent coming in over there (Yemen) and I thought would be there to help me,” Hensley says. “He was there to torment me a little bit more, to explain that I was in trouble, I was going to be looked after, that I was going to be watched over. And if I ever got out of here I’d have to be concerned with him. That’s what he said.”

That same Ohio mosque. There’s a good blog devoted to jihaddism in Ohio, I’ll try to find it again. ABC

Nuradin Abdi was convicted in 2007 of planning to blow up an Ohio shopping mall. Iyman Faris was convicted in 2003 of planning to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Christopher Paul was convicted in 2008 of conspiring to use explosives against targets in the U.S. and Europe.

The mosque, according to well informed sources, is a small house of worship that has regularly been frequented by foreigners with radical sympathies who, after their stops in Ohio, continued onward. The Imam of the mosque was not immediately available for comment. (Read on …)

American Jihaddi Radicalized in Yemeni Jail

Filed under: Religious, USA, prisons — by Jane Novak at 6:04 pm on Thursday, June 4, 2009

Googled other sites. BTW how was the FBI supposed to free him from a Yemeni jail?

CBS: The man accused of killing a soldier outside a recruiting center begged for FBI agents to free him from a Yemeni jail where he was “tortured” and “radicalized” by Islamic terrorists, his lawyer told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Lawyer Jim Hensley described Abdulhakim Muhammad as an impressionable youth driven to public service in an impoverished Middle Eastern country. But teachings by “hardened” terrorists in Yemen and experiences with Afghan child refugees missing limbs drove him to become someone his parents didn’t recognize, Hensley said.

“Here comes the FBI, who may be able to help this guy or save his life, and then they leave and then he’s got to go back in with these hardened terrorists. He’s got to survive, how do you live with that?” Hensley said. “He absolutely feels that the FBI and anyone else associated with the United States government left him to the wolves, that’s for certain.” (Read on …)

Yemeni Gitmo Detainee Commits Suicide

Filed under: gitmo — by Jane Novak at 8:26 pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

CNN: (CNN) — A Yemeni detainee at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay detention camp died late Monday of an apparent suicide, the U.S. military said. (Read on …)

Obama Buys Into the Bin Laden Narrative, Dumps Freedom Agenda: Taheri

Filed under: USA — by Jane Novak at 8:33 am on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I guess Obama doesn’t have the time or the nerve to pressure the dictators when he’s so busy solving global warming, socializing health care and running GM. Hope-n-Change™ apparently stops at the border. Unfortunately, its not an impermeable border. The pragmatic approach to the Middle East is, as Taheri says, based on the premise that Arabs are “not ready” for freedom. It is so racist. (A related school of thinking asserts that Islam is incompatable with popular empowerment and equal rights and therefore, containment is the best option.) Its a shame; they were all so happy when Obama was elected.

Times Online Amir Taheri:

Rich in symbolism, Obama’s “address to Islam” is also full of political implications. Obama is the first major Western leader, after Bonaparte, to address Islam as a single bloc, thus adopting the traditional Islamic narrative of dividing the world according to religious beliefs. This ignores the rich and conflict-ridden diversity of the 57 Muslim-majority nations and fosters the illusion, peddled by people such as Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that Islam is one and indivisible and should, one day, unite under a caliphate.

By adopting the key element of the Islamist narrative, that is to say the division of humanity into religious blocs, Mr Obama also intends to send a signal to the Middle East’s nascent democratic forces that Washington is abandoning with a vengeance George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda”. (Read on …)

American Islamic Convert Returned from Yemen Murders Soldier in AK

Filed under: Religious, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:09 am on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Update: He sought to go to Dammaj to study with Hajoree. (The six Americans arrested in 2008 were coming from Saada to Sanaa when they were arrested but were supposed to go to Maber). He was arrested in Yemen for using a Somali passport.

Its a good idea to keep an eye on anyone who changes their name from Carlos to Mujahid.
The article would be more accurate if it said, “The suspect is a subscriber to the radical jihaddist ideology which advocates the murder of non-believers, converts and those who transgress their interpretation of Shaira law.”

Little Rock, AR – A man opens fire on two soldiers at a military recruiting office in little rock this morning, killing one and injuring the other. It happened outside the army navy career center on Rodney Parham just after 10 o’clock Monday morning.
The suspect is 23-year old Abdul hakim Mujahid Muhammad and is behind bars at the Pulaski County Jail. Police say it appears he targeted military members because of his political and religious beliefs. Authorities have told ABC News, Muhammed had just returned from Yemen and was already the subject of an FBI investigation.

How sad and telling.

ABC According to sources, the suspect advised them that he was going to kill as many Army personnel as possible. At the time of the shooting, the subject had approximately 200 rounds of ammunition available, police said.

According to a police report, Muhammad told police he saw two uniformed U.S. soldiers in front of the recruiting office before he shot and killed Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, while they were taking a break outside the U.S. Army recruiting station where they both worked.

Thanks to all who sent this in.

Brother of Hamas Chief in Yemen Sentenced in US

Filed under: Palestinians, USA, Yemen, other jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Convicted in the US last November and sentenced this week:

A U.S. judge on Wednesday handed down 65-year prison sentences to two founders of a U.S. Islamic charity convicted of illegally supporting Palestinian group Hamas, in a major U.S.-based terrorism financing case…Abu Baker, whose brother Jamal Issa is the head of Hamas operations in Yemen, was Holy Land’s chief executive officer and the first to be sentenced

Gitmo, Al Hittar, Abu Jindal and Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:42 am on Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Newsweek article captures several truths. Its also very entertaining: Regarding the Gitmo returnees, “do whatever you want with them,” one Yemeni official told me. “Screw them, bomb them, send them to a country where they have capital punishment.”

The Reeducation of Abu Jandal
Can jihadists really be reformed? Closing Guantanamo may depend on it.

Kevin Peraino
From the magazine issue dated Jun 8, 2009
All teachers have their problem pupils. Hamoud al-Hitar’s was a young man who liked to call himself “Abu Jandal,” an Arabic nickname that means roughly “The Killer.” The moon-faced, slightly paunchy Yemeni, whose real name was Nasser al-Bahri, had fought in Bosnia, Somalia, Chechnya and Afghanistan—all before his 30th birthday. For six years he worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, who once personally dressed one of al-Bahri’s gunshot wounds near Kabul. In Afghanistan he got to know Mohamed Atta and several of the other 9/11 hijackers. When al-Bahri finally returned home to Yemen about a year before the attacks, “it was the first time in my life that I had a passport with my real name on it,” the former jihadist told me one morning this spring when we met in the lobby of a Sana hotel. (Read on …)

The CIA Supports Yemeni Unity

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:15 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Who was it who visited? Leon Panetta is the head of the CIA, oddly enough. Ah, its the Deputy Director. (Limited spook snark today, they have enough to deal with there under the bus.)

CIA official: The United States strongly supports unified Yemen, SANA’A, May 28 (Saba)- The United States strongly supports unified and stable Yemen, said Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Stephen Kappes.

In his meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday, Kappes highlighted Yemen’s efforts in fighting terrorism. He voiced his country’s keenness on enhancing relations with Yemen.

Kappes, who affirmed that Yemen’s stability serves the whole region’s stability, said the United States supports Yemen’s development and anti terror efforts.

For his part, President Saleh affirmed Yemen’s keenness on boosting cooperation relations and partnership with the United States of America on several levels to serve interests of the two countries.

Elbaneh in Yemen, Still Wanted in US

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:08 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2009

The danger of Jaber Elbaneh (Gaber al Banna) is that he was in prison and escaped in 2006 with the Cole Bombers and other trained, experienced terrorists with connections to AQ Central, and he’s an American. The FBI wants him for what happened up to 2003 (including training at al Farouq), but his associations in later years are also concerning. However, he made a deal with Ali Saleh, so everything should be just peachy.

This guy was tried in absentia after his surrender months earlier, and showed up for his appeal hearing saying he had resolved everything with Saleh already and then left again. Supposedly he is in some sort of custody now, but… Buffalo News

The FBI still places a high priority of bringing Jaber A. Elbaneh back to Buffalo to face trial in the Lackawanna Six case, the FBI’s national director said today during a Buffalo press conference.

“I can tell you that [Elbaneh] is on our minds, on our watch list and on our list of terrorists,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said. “We are working through the State Department and other mechanisms, and are hopeful he will be returned to face justice.” (Read on …)

High Level Yemeni al Qaeda Captured in Pakistan in February

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Other Countries, TI: External, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 5:26 pm on Saturday, May 23, 2009

a facilitator for communications and travel , one of the top 20 AQ, nabbed with US intel

Update; Long War Journal’s report disputes the “one of the top 20″ designation and has other details.

New York Times: Pakistan’s intelligence and security services captured a Saudi suspect and a Yemeni suspect this year with the help of American intelligence and logistical support, Pakistani officials said. The two are the highest-ranking Qaeda operatives captured since President Obama took office, but they are still being held by Pakistan, which has shared information from their interrogations with the United States, the official said….

A Pakistani official said the Yemeni suspect, Abu Sufyan al-Yemeni, was a Qaeda paramilitary commander who was on C.I.A. and Pakistani lists of the top 20 Qaeda operatives. He was believed to be a conduit for communications between Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and cells in East Africa, Iran, Yemen and elsewhere. American and Pakistani intelligence officials say they believe that Mr. Yemeni, who was arrested Feb. 24 by Pakistani authorities in Quetta, helped arrange travel and training for Qaeda operatives from various parts of the Muslim world to the Pakistani tribal areas.

He is now in the custody of Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, but his fate is unclear. The Pakistani official said that he would remain in Pakistani hands, but that it would be difficult to try him because the evidence against him came from informers.

American Suicide Bomber in Somalia was in Yemen?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Somalia, TI: External, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 11:16 am on Saturday, May 23, 2009

gee, I thought I had this set on private but since I hit the wrong button, I’ll leave it up. Just record keeping…

TD; His remains lie a few hundred yards from a bustling highway, in a section of the Burnsville cemetery reserved for Muslims called the Garden of Eden. Only dirt and small rocks cover the final resting place of Shirwa Ahmed. But the manner of the 26-year-old Minneapolis man’s death has put him at the center of one of the most far-reaching U.S. counterterrorism investigations since 9/11…. (Read on …)

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