Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

One year later, UN, GCC, EU & US writes the Yemeni people

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, USA, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:04 am on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yemen Post: We the Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU), wish to reiterate to the people of Yemen our full commitment to the political transition process taking place on the basis of the November 2011 GCC Agreement and in the framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2014 (2011). The 21 February Interim Presidential Elections are an important step. We call upon all the political parties, military authorities, tribal and regional leaders, youth and non-governmental civil society actors to work together to ensure that the elections are as inclusive as possible and take place without violence and in a constructive spirit of cooperation.

We look to all parties to work for improved security conditions throughout the country, the protection of civilians and the national infrastructure such as pipelines and electricity supplies, respect for human rights, the release of all political detainees, justice for all those affected by the crisis of the last year, national reconciliation and a unified effort to address the growing humanitarian crisis.

We share the aspiration of Yemeni citizens who seek a more stable and prosperous Yemen and a government that provides all the services citizens can rightly expect. The next two years of continuing transition will be vital to achieve this. We stand ready to support in every way possible this process.

a) Kindly publish the GCC Agreement in full as signed in Arabic and English, no one has seen the full text of the controlling document.

b) The lack of security, stability or services may have instigated the rev and the solution according to Yemenis is democracy. self-determination and an entire regime change. No one is seeking a better dictatorship except the UN.

c) Reiterate is the wrong word as it implies there was any attempt to communicate directly with the Yemeni people previously, and there was not.

d) Lovely the way they lump civilians in with pipelines and infrastructure in the same sentence as items to be protected.

e) Seeking justice for those harmed over the last year will not bring stability, Saleh’s victims prior to 2011 are substantially aggrieved. What kind of justice can the victims in 2011 expect and why are the thousands of prior victims excluded from this justice?

f) What kind of transition is it if Saleh is coming back to vote, many in the GPC retain power and Ahmed is expected to run in two years? The unity government not only freezes out the protesters, Houthis and Southerners but also the GPC officials who had the decency to resign after the March massacre. We are left the same exact players who were in a political deadlock from 2006-2011, with the exception of a few sincere individuals trying to hold back the GPC counter-revolution.

Although the Yemeni Constitution requires two candidates, the UN dictated single candidate election is a foregone conclusion, and I don’t think anybody should waste their time and energy boycotting (although many groups are). The National Reconciliation Conference however is an opportunity for the excluded elements of the Yemeni public to bring forth their demands while the international community is paying attention. It may be a rare chance to force some changes. Most groups and individuals in Yemen already agree on 1) a proportional electoral system that will eventually undermine the larger parties and allow a more representative political process and 2) transparent budget and fair allocation of resources.

It may be wise for all groups to agree to start with these two (or any other) consensual demands and see if the process is actually going to work. The opening goals should be ones that benefit every Yemeni regardless of identity. But what I think is gong to happen is that they are all going to come to the table with a full list of divergent demands and conditions. For example, many southerners remain fully committed to an independent state (as an opening statement), despite the argument for unwinding things slowly or joining the unity government to ensure a fair allocation of aid and resources for now.

Like I said before, if the presidential “election” had a meaningful referendum attached to it, like lets say on the proportional system of elections, more people might vote because their votes would have meaning and give them a voice and a decision. The outcome of this single candidate “election” was determined by the UN last year. Its an absurd proposition that that the UN is seeking the legitimacy of the popular will on an decidedly undemocratic, unconstitutional and unpopular process. Yemenis are not cattle or children, and a strongly worded statement won’t make them behave in a manner convenient to the UN. The letter doesn’t even have a nice or respectful tone. But at the end of the day, the final end to the nightmare of Saleh’s reign will be a positive event, as long as its actually the end and not more propaganda.

Also maybe somebody should explain to the southerners that participation in the elections doesn’t mean acceptance of the unified state or negate their rights and claims but maybe its a step to present those claims and affirm those rights in the coming national reconciliation conference. There are plans for protests against the elections in the near future in certain locations.

New York protesters throw shoe at Yemeni war criminal Ali Abdullah Saleh

Filed under: Post Saleh, Transition, USA — by Jane Novak at 6:02 pm on Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Yemeni Americans are protesting the fact that Saleh is in the New York Ritz Carlton Hotel enjoying an immunity deal that grants a pardon for 33 years of crimes and that “his” funds have not been frozen, or any punitive actions taken at all. He is supposedly here for urgent medical treatment only available in the US but he looks fine to me.

Washington Post: NYC protest against Yemeni president gets heated when he appears as shoe is thrown

NEW YORK — A protest of the embattled president of Yemen outside the New York hotel where he’s staying got heated when demonstrators saw him leave the building.

The dozen protesters had been kept across the street from the Ritz-Carlton hotel Sunday afternoon. They had been waving flags and yelling in opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He is visiting the United States for medical treatment.

Saleh exited the hotel and waved and smiled sardonically toward the protesters. One of them attempted to charge across the street, but was restrained by authorities. Someone also threw a shoe in Saleh’s direction.

Saleh got into his car. His motorcade then left.

New US backed Yemen Unity government hopes to negotiate with AQAP

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:01 pm on Sunday, February 5, 2012

Update: Just to be clear, Saleh et al overtly and covertly negotiated with al Qaeda for years. Officials often defended the policy as rehabilitation and CT policy. Following the 2006 escape of 23 AQ operatives, Saleh said he was in touch with them all by phone, including presumably Wahishi, current AQAP leader. After releasing Jamal al Badawi in 2007, Saleh said he was going to use him as an informant. The earlier negotiation between Saleh and Abu al Fida on behalf of the jihaddis who were supposedly under security supervision resulted in looser requirements and an AQ promise to not attack within Yemen which held for about two years until the attack on the US embassy. And then there was that meeting in 09 between Saleh and the southern contingent of jihaddists that included a transfer of cash, we see where that got us.

Original: Spectacular. I was concerned that negotiations with the Taliban would be followed by negotiations with AQAP but it seemed too extreme to be possible, even for Obama. First the GCC deal freezes out (in bulk) all the philosophical forces opposed to the narrow, violent, supremacist al Qaeda worldview (including the protesters, women, southerners, Houthis, civil government advocates and everyone who defected from the GPC on principle) and then the (US endorsed) GCC deal re-empowers the calcified and dysfunctional ruling structure, paving the way for al Qaeda to impose its rigid political agenda on the rest of the nation through legitimate political avenues. While it is possible for hardened jihaddists to mature, the group has to change before they can come engage in the political process including renouncing violence and taqfirism, and endorsing equal rights and protections for all denominations and all Yemeni citizens. They are not there yet.

CNN via Yemen Online: 5/2/2012, Yemen’s highest military authority Sunday announced its willingness to open channels of dialogue with al Qaeda in hopes of reaching a long-term cease-fire agreement.

The military committee was formed as part of the power transfer deal in November. Spokesman Ali Saeed Obaid told CNN that the new Yemeni military leadership is opening its hands and will seek new solutions with al Qaeda fighters.

Al Qaeda currently controls large areas in the southern Abyan and Shabwa provinces of Yemen.

“We are offering al Qaeda a chance to be involved in the political decisions in the country through politics, rather than forcing their views with the use of arms,” Obaid said.

Vice President Abdurabu Hadi is chairman of the committee, which is responsible for rebuilding the Yemeni military.

“The committee is hoping that al Qaeda lays down its arms and participates in seeking change democratically, like the millions in Yemen,” Obaid said, adding that al Qaeda would in return handover all territories under its control to the military and evacuate government posts.

Al Qaeda has not yet responded to the offer, the committee said.

Yemen’s government is in the midst of a transfer of power in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a longtime United States ally in the war on terrorism, has agreed to step down after more than 33 years of rule.

Islamist militants seized control of Abyan last May after government positions were suddenly emptied. The province was announced an Islamic emirate a week later, resulting in hundreds of fighters joining their lines.

Hundreds of troops and fighters have been killed daily as part of their efforts to rid the province of the fighters.

More than 100,000 residents of Abyan evacuated the province when clashes intensified last July. They are currently living in shelters in the neighboring provinces of Aden and Lahj.

Last month, a committee formed by Hadi persuaded al Qaeda fighters in Radda, in the nearby province of al-Baitha, to evacuate the area two weeks after they took it over.

Suspected al Qaeda fighters left the town after five days of tense negotiations in exchange for the release of three prisoners, Hadi’s office said at the time. CNN

Related, a Lebanese paper questions whether Tariq al Dhahab is an operative of AQAP or the National Security (but these are not mutually exclusive) and if the take over of Radda was another false flag maneuver. The Abbad report below has al Wahishi physically in Raada with al Dhahab, but Wahishi and the National Security have had easy, if not good, relations for a long time

Before leaving Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh had opened the game of al-Qaeda again. This time occurred from Radda Area where al-Qaeda does not exist. Despite the fact that there is convention that led fundamentalist group to leave the town after occupying it for 4 weeks and the authority undertook to implement some of the armed group’s demands, subsequent developments say that this scenario will be repeated in other parts of Yemen.

It seems that Ali Abdullah Saleh even two weeks before heading for U. S. for treatment had not got bored from using al-Qaeda card, however, he signed (GCC) Imitative which turned him an honorary president with no power. He is still insisting on lifting up the slogan of “Me or al-Qaeda”. He did it in Abyan Province, south Yemen, at the middle of May when he directed security troops to leave the gates of the town opened and showed no resistance in front of attack of hundreds of armed men. Later, the regime said they belong to al-Qaeda.

Now, he is implementing it again but in a way improperly directed. Tribal Sheik from Radda Town called Tariq al-Dhahab, has tribal broad influence and belongs to famous tribe distinguished by its strength and the wide-spread of weapon among its elements in al-Baidha Province south Yemen along with hundreds of armed men, entered the area and faced no resistance from Central Security or Republican Guards present in the area. Nothing stopped Dhahab and his men, they entered the town as if they were going on a picnic or fishing trip not to occupy an entire town, and later declared an Islamic emirate.

After entering, they headed for the main Ameriya Mosque in the town where they prayed Maghreb (Sunset Prayers) and Isha (Evening Paryers). Between the two prayers, Tariq al-Dhahab delivered preach in which he pledged of allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda in Arab Peninsula Nasr al-Waheshi and to the leader of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan Ayman al-Zawahiri. He announced a set of procedures in the town including forcing owners of petrol station to sell fuel with former price before the outbreak of the Youth Revolution in Yemen.

It is a step through which he aimed at gaining people’s sympathy. After that, they headed for ancient Ameriya Castle overlooking the town. They did not stop but they kept on dominating the rest of the town within the next two days. They, moreover, went to the Central Prison and released all inmates. Deputy Minister of Information Ministry Abdu Janadi commented on this conduct and said they did so in order to increase their number and arm those who want to join them. This was denied by Tariq al-Dhahab as saying he only had released two inmates of his followers. Dhahab later announced through recorded video saying, “Islamic caliphate is coming even if we sacrifice our souls and skulls for that,” He, moreover, threatened to free the Arabian Peninsula after applying Islamic law in Yemen, meeting the need of people.

Simultaneously, the Military Committee, formed in order to demilitarize Yemeni cities in accordance with (GCC) plan, continued holding meetings in the capital Sana’a to search the last results of the removal of barricades and military vehicles from the streets of the cities of Sana’a and Taiz. It issued a statement in which it praised these operations without forgetting to say that it would form investigation committee regarding what happened in Radda Town. It appeared that the Committee was in a side and Radda sheiks of tribes in the other. The sheiks were trying to rectify the deteriorating situation under an overt absence of security showing no resistance towards Dhahab’s elements occupying the town.

Consequently, tribe sheiks announced to hold meeting to discuss the serious situation especially as people there resorted to use their guns and to stand in front of their shops and houses to protect them. More serious than that, the large number of those released prisoners who were detained against a backdrop of revenge issues and crimes such as rape, stealing and murder including approximately 165 prisoners had sentenced to death.

How did the large number of fighters enter the town and how did they pass through all military checkpoints located along the main highways connecting the governorates of Yemen. Local source, who preferred to be in the state of anonymity, said they did not enter the town as rumored but they were gathered from inside the town. He explained to “al-Akhbar” that a number of sheiks repeatedly appealed to the authority the growing presence of strange militants from the town, but their calls faced no response. The sheiks, furthermore, appealed to militants to leave the town, otherwise they would use force to take militants out of the town and they offered them 3 days before Tariq al-Dhahab demanded to extend the deadline in order to discuss with senior sheiks of the tribe to reach to a solution that satisfies everybody without resorting to the strength of weapon. At the end, this resulted to make militants leave the town after the authority accepted some demands of Dhahab to release his younger brother from Political Security’s prison in Sana’a.

Khalid al-Dhahab shocked everybody when he said in statement to the press that his brother Tariq fully coordinated with National Security and with the former Interior Minister, the matter which puts questions regarding the reality of Tariq al-Dhahab link to Qaeda or is he a part of a security apparatus implementing specific task?

“The town of Radda was far from any mentioning of the presence of al-Qaeda inside and it did not happen that its name was linked to al-Qaeda,” said Managing Editor of “Masdar” independent newspaper, Abdul-Hakeem Helal, pointing out that we could never ignore the real presence of al-Qaeda in Yemen unlike what the opposition says through repeatable deny and that al-Qaeda is only a card played by Saleh.

For his part, media source in General People’s Congress (GPC), who did not want to mention his name, said to “al-Akhbar” that these acts done by Ali Abdullah Saleh before leaving Yemen were in the context of his attempts to bring chaos in spite of adopting immunity law which granted Saleh immunity from prosecution for his 33 year reign.

Simultaneously, elements belong to (GPC), headed by Saleh, notably were armed especially in Taiz and Dhale’ south Yemen. Informed sources said that their main goal in the next phase is to hinder early presidential election scheduled on February 21st, so Yemen would return to square number one.

Source: Lebanese al-Akhbar Newspaper

US cannot increase drone use in Yemen without providing shelter for civilians

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, GCC, South Yemen, USA, Yemen, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 6:43 pm on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yemenis are fleeing (not joining) al Qaeda where ever they appear. However the vast majority of civilians lack the funds to rent an apartment or to buy food once they leave their farms and possessions behind to be looted by AQAP. But if they stay, they are subject to both al Qaeda dictatorship and US drones. The US may label those who don’t flee as collateral damage or as providing material support (as the Bedouins were in the Dec 2009 US strike in Abyan that killed 43 women and children when General Patraeus implied they were acceptable deaths because they selling vegetable to AQAP, despite the fact the villagers had appealed twice to local authorities to expel the group.)

Certainly AQAP bears the responsibility for sheltering in populated areas in the first place but people in the al Qaeda occupied territories of Yemen want to know where the refugee camps are. Seriously, where are they supposed to go? And it is a US problem when an al Qaeda presence means the potential of US drone strikes. The 120,000 who fled Zinjibar last May are still in the schools of Aden. I know Yemenis’ rights are very low on Obama’s priority list, but there must be a part of the plan to increase US drone use that will deal with the public panic and mass displacement that will occur as US drones follow AQ from province to province threatening people’s lives and homes. Over 15,000 fled Raada within days of Tariq al Dhahab’s (and al Wahishi’s) appearance. They were escaping both the al Qaeda fanaticism and the threat of US drones.

While the Obama administration may try to maintain the myth in the US that they know exactly who they are hitting, and its always a precise targeting, the non-lethal impact on civilians must be considered as well. The US is playing right into al Qaedas hands with nearly every policy from the re-imposition of a dictatorship through the GCC deal to Saleh’s visit to increased drones. The US is focused on vulnerable land when it should be focused on vulnerable people.

Basically, the US is going to bomb Yemen in order to pull off an uncontested election that nobody wants (except the US, the GPC and Islah elites) in the interest of “stability.” If the expired parliament gave Saleh immunity, it can appoint Hadi. The bogus show election isn’t worth more Yemeni lives or the displacement of tens of thousands, and it certainly wont confer legitimacy when there’s only one candidate that was selected by the US. The most politically disenfranchised are going to boycott anyway: civil minded protesters, southerners and Houthis.

The National: Yemen will increasingly rely on US drone strikes to target Islamist militants threatening to disrupt a transfer of power this month, Yemeni government officials said.

The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is meant to hand over power to his vice president, Abdurabu Mansur Hadi, on February 22.

The run up to the transfer is being overshadowed by growing protests, including within the military, which have grounded Yemen’s air force across much of the country.

Two aides in Mr Hadi’s office said they expected a rise in drone attacks against Al Qaeda militants.

The strikes will be intensified only if necessary, to ensure that militant groups do not expand in vulnerable areas, said one of the aides. Both asked to remain anonymous. (Read on …)

Yemen strike and Obama on drones

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 7:43 am on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is Abdul Munim al Fathani, a relative of Saad al Fathani, killed in a Christmas eve drone strike in 2009?

Its absurd that US officials are using al Fathani’s connection to the USS Cole bombing as justification for the drone attack when Fahd al Quso and Jamal al Badawi walked out of Yemeni prison in 2007, pardoned by Saleh after less than three years in jail, and the US knew where they were- at home. In 2009, Al Quso was put on the Most Wanted Terrorist list.

BBC: However, tribal leaders told the AFP news agency that a control post and a school hosting a midnight meeting of local al-Qaeda chiefs and fighters were targeted in four overnight raids.

Abdul Munim al-Fathani, who was reportedly wanted by the US for alleged links to the attacks on the USS Cole in 2000 and a French oil tanker in 2002, was among the dead, they said.

“We think they were carried out by American planes,” one tribal source told AFP, on condition of anonymity and without elaborating.

al Shawa: Alsahwah.net- US drones killed on Monday night nine Al-Qaeda suspects in the southern city of Abyan.

The sources said that two drones shelled several positions in Loder and Al-Wodaia districts of Abyan.

Three of the raids targeted a school in which Al Qaeda fighters and chiefs of a local militant network were meeting around midnight.

Among the people killed was regional Al Qaeda leader Abdul Monem al Fahtani, who has long been sought by the Yemeni authorities, and other local chiefs.

Obama tries to pretend they know who they are targeting. How careful can you be when you rely on the thoroughly compromised Yemeni CT intel? Have the strikes really killed more terrorists than civilians in Yemen? We’d have to start with the 43 civilians killed in Abyan 2009 and count from there, but the US doesn’t know exactly who they are targeting and killing, for example Sheikh Shabwani in May.

USA Today: President Obama is defending his use of unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere, saying they have been used to kill more terrorists than civilians.

“I want to make sure that people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties,” Obama said during a forum with YouTube and Google-plus. “For the most part, they have been very precise, precision strikes against al- Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied.” (Read on …)

Yemen’s parliament’s term expired in 2011, so how did they grant Saleh immunity in 2012?

Filed under: GCC, Parliament, Post Saleh, Protest Fatalities, Trials, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There are many moves afoot within Yemen and internationally that dispute the unprecedented immunity deal for 33 years of Saleh’s crimes as well as that of his cohorts. However, the Yemeni parliament, that has been sitting since 2003, when it was elected to a four year term, was scheduled for elections in 2009 and voted itself a two year extension into 2011. I am checking but I can’t find anyone who recalls a new law being issued where they voted themselves another term extension.

(Update: the 2009 law grants a two year extension until they elect a new parliament in 2011, ambiguous language at best.

Update 2: a handy link from Yemen Parliament Watch that indicates parliament is operating outside the scope of the law: “The report indicated that the constitutional period of the parliament ended in February 2011 where the parliament had finished its six years stipulated constitution as well as the additional two years.”

Update 3: there is also a stipulation in the constitution that parliament can be extended when facing war, natural disaster or unrest, but I’m assuming that had to have been done formally, and within the scope of the term, not by some GPC mind meld.

Update 4: the amnesty was issued while Parliament was legally on vacation or in recess.)

Original post continues: A political deadlock ensued following the 2006 presidential election wherein the GPC thwarted the implementation of a proportional representation system (as opposed to a “winner takes all” single district method) and other electoral reforms, prompting the opposition JMP to boycott parliament altogether. Without the implementation of the previously agreed upon reforms, the parliament voted itself a two year extension and rescheduled elections for 2011. (In order to thwart elections in 2011, the SCER also disqualified the voter rolls en mass.) There was no new parliamentary election in 2011 and no official law passed rescheduling the election and extending their terms as far as I know. Therefore there is no legitimate Yemeni parliament, just a bunch of old men stuck to their chairs for a decade.

So where is the legal foundation of this expired parliament’s vote to give the Sanaa regime immunity? More fundamentally, the people withdrew legitimacy from the Parliament, the Sanaa regime and dysfunctional political party system through a year of mass nationwide protests.

However, while many are working on the issue of Saleh’s immunity, I am much more concerned with the implementation of the proportional representative system in order to undermine the hegemony of both the GPC and Islah who were both artificially empowered by the GCC plan. Proportional representation will allow for the growth of new parties, minority representation and probably more women in political office. It appears that the only way to get the task done is through a public referendum, as the same illegitimate GPC dominated parliament that stalled on the issue for five years will likely continue to block it.

The proportional system has a national consensus, and it has been repeatedly been endorsed by a variety of Yemeni groups from the JMP in 2005 to the tribally based National Dialog Committee in 2009 to the Yemeni Youth Revolution that took to the streets in 2011.

Had the PR system been enacted as agreed upon in 2006, allowing for authentic political growth and representative parties to compete in 2009, the revolution might not have been necessary. So its important not to allow history to repeat itself, especially with this crucial and long overdue element of the overall package of electoral reform.

There is more on the other illegalities of the unprecedented and illegal amnesty plan below from Human Rights Watch and the YCTJ:

Press Release
By The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice Concerning the Approval of the House of Representatives of the Immunity Law

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice reviewed the law approved by the House of Representatives (Parliament) of the Republic of Yemen concerning the award of immunity to the President of the Regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters. As YCTJ confirms its previous position with respect to this law, that the law lacks the minimum principles of human justice, and is openly in violation of honorable Islamic Jurisprudence, international laws, and is in breach of the international human rights conventions/agreements to which Yemen is signatory, YCTJ now also calls for the application of real true transitional justice without any selectivity, forgery or deliquescent.
(Read on …)

Yemen’s Saleh leaves for Oman, en route to US

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:23 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

What an abhorrent and indefensible US policy, counter-productive as well as contrary to international law. Saleh must be blackmailing the US, there’s no other reasonable explanation. Beyond giving him total immunity while not barring him from future political participation, the US is not confiscating all the money Saleh and his family stole to return to the Yemeni treasury, and the whole GCC transition plan re-empowers the Saleh’s ruling GPC party and elevates Islah, which by itself is causing a lot of consternation in Yemen. Its really a shame.

Beeb: Yemen’s veteran President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has left the country to travel to the US for medical treatment, Yemeni officials say. (Read on …)

US State Department pushes for immunity for Saleh and thus al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:47 pm on Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama’s strategic blunder in Yemen may shield Al Qaeda from prosecution

A law passed by Yemen’s cabinet on Sunday provides blanket immunity to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and all those who served in his governments over the last 33 years. One unintended consequence may be to also immunize those al Qaeda operatives on the payroll of the Yemeni military and security services.

The law grants immunity to Saleh “and whoever worked with him in all the state’s civil, military and security apparatus and organizations during the period of his rule.” The US has pushed for the transition plan since May despite broad public rejection of the immunity clause.

Yemeni military commanders including those now in the opposition are thought be complicit in a range of terror attacks, in addition to a long standing pattern of facilitation of al Qaeda. Many al Qaeda operatives who draw a state salary would then be covered under the immunity deal.

As one example, former Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued an official travel permit to Abdel Rahman al Nashiri in 2000, covering the period of the USS Cole attack that killed 17 US service members. Not only would the law absolve Mr. Arab of any complicity in the al Qaeda attack, it may also absolve Mr. al Nashiri.

If Al Nashiri, who is currently scheduled for trial at Guantanamo Bay, can produce witnesses to the involvement of Yemeni government officials in the attack, the Obama administration will be placed in the uncomfortable position of having lobbied for immunity for the al Qaeda operatives who attacked a US war ship.

Similarly another Yemeni detainee with demonstrated foreknowledge of the 9/11 attack in New York had been employed by the Yemeni Political Security Organization prior to his capture in Egypt.

Yemeni officials have openly admitted to paying al Qaeda operatives’ salaries, purportedly as informants or to keep them out of trouble. Some of those currently partaking in the al Qaeda occupation of Abyan have been found with identity cards from the National Security.

Yemeni activists have long asserted that the state uses al Qaeda to attack its enemies and threaten the international community.

Al Qaeda targeted and killed several foreign nationals in Yemen since 2007 including aid workers from Germany, Britain and South Korea as well as tourists from Spain, South Korea and Belgium. Yemeni officials have stated that al Qaeda is able to obtain intelligence from the security services as a matter of corruption rather than ideology.

The law, which will be presented for parliament’s approval within coming days, also covers those government officials guilty of massive corruption and embezzlement, the primary cause of Yemen’s staggering illiteracy and malnutrition rates. Members of the presidential family are thought to have deposited millions abroad.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland termed the immunity clause useful if it encourages “the strongman to leave the stage.”

Hundreds of protesters have been killed by security forces, many by sniper shots to the head, since protests began in February 2011 demanding regime change. The killings continued unabated even after Saleh signed the power transfer deal in November.

Saleh supporters and security forces have attacked numerous journalists RSF reported since the departure plan was signed. Calling December 2011 “a particularly black month,” Reporters Without Borders firmly condemned the continuing violations and urged the international community to intercede.

Yemeni protesters largely reject the US backed transition plan because of the immunity clause. Protests calling for Saleh’s trial continue in nearly every governorate.

The UN Security Council endorsed the agreement, which was ironed out by UN envoy, Jamal Benomar. However, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, issued a statement last week asserting that the plan is illegal under international law,

“I have been closely following the events in Yemen, particularly the very contentious debate about an amnesty law to be presented to Parliament shortly,” the High Commissioner said.

“International law and the UN policy are clear on the matter: amnesties are not permissible if they prevent the prosecution of individuals who may be criminally responsible for international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and gross violations of human rights.”

Probable war crimes committed during the Saada war (2005-2010) include the “Scorched Earth” campaign during the sixth round of war, 2009-201o, when the Yemeni air force repeatedly bombed civilian villages, refugee camps, and infrastructure. Saudi air support was responsible for bombing a Yemeni hospital, which Saudi authorities called “a mistake” in conversations to US officials, according to a Wikileaks document. The deliberate denial of humanitarian aid and a pattern of mass nationwide arrests are also thought to have contravened international law.

Another pattern of systematic abuse with regard to southern protesters since 2007 is well documented.

The transition plan although forwarded by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the brain child of President Obama’s counter-terror adviser, John Brennan and US ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein.

The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that Mr. Brennan was “pissed” when it became apparent that President Saleh had orchestrated a hit on a political rival via US drone by feeding the US false intelligence.

The US drone strike in May 2010 killed the deputy governor of Marib , Jabir Shabwani. Observers questioned Mr. Brennan’s gullibility considering Saleh’s long and extensive history of duping the US on counter-terror issues.

Yemenis have held several protests calling for the expulsion of US Ambassador Feierstein after he disparaged a peaceful 170 mile march from Taiz to Sana’a, held to underscore public rejection of the amnesty deal.

Ambassador Feierstein said the marchers were trying to provoke chaos and thus not inherently peaceful. When state forces killed 11 marchers later in the day, Yemenis charged that the US had given the Saleh regime the green light to murder as well as provided the amnesty afterward.

Over several months, US diplomats have pushed hard for the immunity deal as a way to ease Saleh out of office; however Saleh has outplayed the US at every turn during the 11 month popular uprising. He shows no real intention of giving up power and continues to operate on the political scene through proxies within the unity government.

- Jane

Not to mention that they really have to give immunity to the corrupt opposition now as well or the immunized criminals will have an advantage.

Yemen Observer: The Yemeni cabinet has approved a draft law of amnesty that will give President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution. (Read on …)

Yemenis protest US ambassador, demand explusion

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:08 pm on Friday, December 30, 2011

Today, #Yemeni protesters held banners calling for US ambassa... on Twitpic

Today, Yemeni protesters held banners calling for US ambassador to be expelled. Even an apology is no longer enough.

http://youtu.be/2u6W-Tov7OQ

Yemeni protesters calls for US Ambassador’s dismissal

Filed under: Diplomacy, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The CCYRC issued a letter reminding the US President that the Yemeni protesters oppose and are not a signatory to the GCC deal. the group calls for an official apology from the US as they say Ambassador Feierstein uniformly rude, disrespectful and insulting to the Yemeni people and has acted as the Saleh regime’s advocate and protector and with flagerant disregard for democratic principles. In particular the CCYRC condemn Feierstein’s most recent inflammatory statement wherein the Ambassador said the Life March was not a inherently peaceful as it was designed to provoke violence. Within hours, state forces killed 12 marchers.

The ambassador’s statement is below and I was waiting for an English transcript issued by the embassy but there doesn’t appear to be one coming. I find it unbelievable that the US Ambassador would demand political passivity from the Yemeni public. He blamed the peaceful marchers for any violence and chaos that the march triggers, which is akin to calling Dr. Martin Luther King an instigator of chaos and implying that the US civil rights marchers should have stayed home or that Medger Evans was responsible for his own murder because of his activism.

Al-Ariky Al-Mohammed By: توكل كرمان Tawakkol Karman
// translated from Arabic

The U.S. Ambassador in Sana’a is a devil’s advocate and friend of the criminal thugs!!
—–
Online social and news networks lately have been talking about the comments made by the U.S ambassador in Yemen on the violence that accompanied the march of life that came from the city of Taiz on foot which led to the killing of more than thirteen and injuring hundreds. The U.S ambassador said that the march of life « was not peaceful »; He added “the protester had no intention of a peaceful march and they intended to reach Sana’a and cause trouble which would provoke and lead the security forces to respond with violence”. (Read on …)

Saleh to US

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Path Is Cleared for Yemeni Leader to Get Care in U.S.
By MARK LANDLER and ERIC SCHMITT

HONOLULU — The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment, subject to certain assurances, two administration officials said Monday.

But those conditions — including a proposed itinerary — have not yet been submitted to the American Embassy in Yemen, these officials said, and no visa has yet been issued to Mr. Saleh.

The decision of whether to admit Yemen’s longtime leader has stirred a vigorous debate within the administration, with some officials fearing sharp criticism for appearing to provide a safe haven for a reviled Arab figure accused of responsibility for the death of hundreds of antigovernment protesters.

The complex negotiations over Mr. Saleh’s visa request attest to the high stakes for the administration, which urgently wants to secure room for political progress in Yemen but does not want to allow Mr. Saleh to use a medical visit as a way to shore up his political position. Nor do they want to play into Mr. Saleh’s penchant for keeping people off kilter.

If allowed to enter, Mr. Saleh would be the first Arab leader to request, and to be granted, an extended stay in the United States since political unrest began convulsing the region a year ago.

One administration official said that there was no further “impediment” to issuing Mr. Saleh a visa, and that he could arrive at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as soon as the end of this week for additional treatment of medical problems stemming from a near-fatal bomb blast in June at the mosque in his presidential complex.

Though the administration had been concerned that approval would anger the many Yemenis eager to see Mr. Saleh prosecuted for the killing of protesters by his security forces, some believe that giving him a way out of Yemen, even temporarily, could help smooth the way to elections next year and perhaps end a political crisis that has brought the government of the impoverished nation to the brink of collapse.

US ambassador to Yemen justified violence against Life March

Filed under: Taiz, USA, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wow he’s lost control of his faculties apparently. This makes no sense.

: With the imminent arrival of the life march to its goal of Sanaa, moments before their exposure to lead and tear gas, the U.S. Ambassador Gerald Firestein expresses an explicit position opposed to the march, noting that the international community is waiting for the issuance and activation of the law of immunity under the initiative Gulf.

The American ambassador at a press conference mini-attended three media including “source online” (al masdar) at the US embassy in Sanaa on Saturday that the march of life «is not peaceful,» and added «seem to have the intention not to carry out a peaceful march, but access to Sana’a in order to generate chaos and provoke a violent response by the security ».

He Gerald Firestein this «is not legal .. Thus, the government has the right to maintain law ». And «If people said they want to reach the presidential palace and parliament to Mhasrthma, this is not a legitimate»

The march of life that started from Taiz last Tuesday (Dec. 20) and reached the outskirts of Sana’a this day, has been exposed to the central security forces which launched by the bullets and tear gas, and caused the killing of at least seven people and wounded dozen, as stated by Online source earlier.

The capital, Sana’a during the last few hours is the busiest in the great altar of St. sixty and awaiting the arrival of the march of life, which has received wide coverage by the various means of local and international media.

The ambassador said in response to a question by the source of online in this regard «the peace is not only to not take up arms. if 2000 people decided, for example, to demonstration at the White House, we do not consider it a peaceful and will not allow it». (ed-Liar.! Tens of thousands surrounded White House 11/7/11, the first of thousands of results for large protest at White House.)

The US ambassador said the provocations could lead to further reaction and violence, this does not benefit the country and the new government initiative and the implementation of the Gulf and operational mechanism.

Lacking intel, US drones unidentitified groups of suspected terrorists

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This article from the Air Force Times deals with the Horn of Africa and uses examples from 2004 but applies to present day Yemen as well.

AFT

Despite leading a six-person human intelligence team with responsibility for the Horn of Africa — and with Ethiopia a priority — (Marine Capt. Rye Barcott) Barcott had no idea what the man was talking about…
The conversation ended quickly, but Barcott’s interpreter wasn’t ready to let the matter lie. “Afterwards he’s like, ‘Listen, the Dergue was the communist regime that ran this place. … Everybody knows the Dergue. Come on, these are very basic things.’ ”

The exchange in Gode happened in 2004. The chastened Barcott had run head first into one of the major problems that plagued U.S. operations in the Horn of Africa in the years after 9/11: the lack of a basic understanding of the region among the personnel charged with operating there.

“At that time, DoD had f—- all in terms of HUMINT in the Horn,” said an intelligence source with long experience in the region.

“At a very fundamental level, we simply lacked that baseline that we needed,” said a military targeting official. “We didn’t understand the culture, we didn’t understand the people … in a real sense we didn’t understand the players and how they related in the various organizations inside the various cities in the Horn.” — (Read on …)

Yemen gov’t aided Gimto detainee al Nashiri before the USS Cole attack, sheltered him after

Filed under: Aden, USA, USS Cole, Yemen, al nashiri, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 9:16 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011

And other oddities:

The latest news on Gitmo detainee Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, in US custody since 2002, is that the Military Commission can not confirmthat he will be released if found not guilty. Its not in the Military Commission’s jurisdiction to make those kind of pledges. Considering Nashiri was water boarded, its questionable if any of his statements will be allowed at trial, but prosecutors are confident that there is enough other evidence for a conviction.

Al Nashiri is charged with aiding the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in Aden port in 2000. The bombing killed 17 US service members and severely wounded dozens more. Al Nashiri selected the targets, the timing and coordinated the operatives. However, unexplored for a decade is the level of complicity by top Yemeni government officials and the failure of US intelligence to get a warning to the ship.

Prior to the attack on the USS Cole, Yemen’s then Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued al Nashiri a travel pass that enabled him to pass Yemen’s many internal checkpoints without search or question in the months preceding the terror attack. Al Nashiri also had a weapons permit issued by the Interior Ministry. These official documents were presented in Yemeni court during the 2005 trials of other conspirators.

In an interesting coincidence, Yemeni President Saleh ordered several top officials, including Interior Minister Arab, to travel from the capital Sana’a to Aden the night before the USS Cole was bombed there.

Saleh denied that Yemen was notified of the impending arrival of the warship. According to Centcom commander, General Zinni, in Congressional testimony, US naval officials followed the standard procedures for refueling including a two week advance notification to the host port.

It was also around two weeks prior to the attack that the military data mining group Able Danger and separately DOD analyst Kie Fallis picked up intel streams about an impending attack. Both made several attempts to obtain authorization to issue official warnings to no avail.

Kie Fallis quit the day of the Cole bombing. Able Danger’s Anthony Shaffer’s information never made it into the 9/11 report, although he tried. DOD later revoked Shaffer’s health insurance and forced him out over a “stolen” pen that he reported taking as a souvenir as a teen.

The NSA had the “Yemen hub” (a phone line in Yemen used by al Qaeda operatives for calls to and from bin Laden and others) under heavy surveillance for over a year prior to the Cole bombing, and for about a year after. There was a satellite trained on the house in Sanaa 24/7. Oddly, the NSA never learned of or reported on the USS Cole plot.

The CIA withheld information from the FBI about an al Qaeda summit, a high level meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, at which both the Cole and 9/11 were discussed. (See former federal investigator Ali Soufan’s excellent book, The Black Banners for more.)

Yemeni officials failed to cooperate with Soufan and other FBI agents in Yemen investigating the bombing. Some like the head of Yemen’s Political Security Organization in Aden, Hussain al Ansi, engaged in active misdirection and stonewalling.

Ten terrorists awaiting trial for the Cole attack escaped Yemeni prison in 2002 and after surrendering, their trials resulted in sentences of five to ten years. Most of escaped prison again in 2006. By 2008, all those convicted in the attack had their sentences commuted and were free. Al Nashiri, in US custody, was sentenced to death in Yemen in absencia in 2005.

The Jurist reports the Yemeni government sheltered (and lied for) al Nashiri after the bombing. The Congressional Research Service details the Cole bombers’ releases and notes that, according to the Washington Post, Al Nashiri had spent several months before his capture under “high-level protection” by the Yemeni government.

After the USS Cole attack, Interior Minister Arab was transferred, appointed by Yemeni President Saleh to the Shura Council. Arab resigned and joined the Pro-Revolutionary Military Council in March 2011.

Previous: (2007) The USS Cole Bombing in Yemen: What We Know Today

Related: Defense argues US was not at war in 2000, thus the Military Commission does not have jurisdiction.

Fox News only reports al Qaeda activity in Yemen while millions march in child’s funeral

Filed under: 3 security, Media, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, USA, Yemen, attacks, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:52 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The western media black-out continues:

Clearly for FOX News, news worthiness depends on who is doing the killing; one person killed by al Qaeda vastly outweighs the hundred killed by the Yemeni government in the last week. For a day, CNN ran the headline: Yemeni women burn veils, wow, interesting, at least they mentioned “Yemen,” as the state was simultaneously pounding residences in Taiz with artillery and shelling villages in Arhab with missiles.

And neither one can find for five seconds for this from today, (if its not working try this direct link.)

Fox News: Car Bomb Kills Anti-Terror Chief in South Yemen.

VS.

- Airstrikes on Arhab leave 120 civilians killed, 340 wounded

- Nationwide slaughter since UN SC council resolution 2014

- One million demand regime change

- Yemen Post: Several Million of Yemeni gathered nationwide in the streets of Yemen yesterday, demanding the fall of the regime and Ali Abdullah Saleh’s trial as they say the president is continuing to murder his people.

Protesters had spell out “butcher” across their chest in red ink in denunciation of president Saleh’s many crimes. “He’s using snipers to gun down women and children, Sana’a and Taiz are under shelling attacks everyday…Saleh is killing Yemeni and the World stands silent…We will not,” said Mohamed Hassan Said a defected officer.

In Sana’a, the capital, a funeral march was organized to bury the bodies of the victims of the revolution amongst whom was 4 year-old little Waffa. While carrying the coffins the crowd was chorusing anti-regime slogan, asking the international community to bear witness of the crimes committed against peaceful Yemeni people. (Read on …)

US demands immediate transfer of power in Yemen

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:32 am on Saturday, October 22, 2011

Everyone seems to forget Saleh ignored two UN SC resolutions in 1994 (924 and 931) calling for an immediate ceasefire while he was shelling Aden, and he got away with it.

RFE: The United States has followed a UN condemnation of violence in Yemen with its own call for a transfer of power to begin “immediately” in the restive republic.

The UN Security Council on October 21 approved a resolution condemning the violence in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has resisted persistent protests and armed insurrection, and urged Saleh to step down without further delay. (Read on …)

Open season on Yemenis: UN backs GCC plan, doesnt call for Saleh to go, no sanctions

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:54 pm on Friday, October 21, 2011

The protesters want a transitional council leading to a parliamentary system. The UN is backing the GCC plan which contains an immunity clause for Saleh and his cronies and re-entrenches the regime in under three months. Its astounding. With the ambiguity of neither endorsing or explicitly rejecting the immunity clause, and neither backing Saleh or calling for his departure, its a meaningless, toothless statement. And not only did Saleh renege on the GCC deal four times already, he ignored two UN SC resolutions in 1994. Speaking of which, the southerners are going to be so utterly disappointed that they were entirely overlooked as well.

CBS: The resolution was the first adopted by the U.N.’s most powerful body since the Arab Spring uprising in Yemen began eight months ago. It was clearly aimed at stepping up international pressure on Saleh, who was president of North Yemen from 1978 until 1990 when he became the first president of a unified Yemen….Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director for Human Rights Watch, said the organization welcomed “the long overdue condemnation of Yemeni government abuses,” but believed the council should have distanced itself from the council’s impunity deal.

“By signaling that there would be no consequence for the killing of Yemenis, the immunity deal has contributed to prolonging the bloodshed,” he said.

The White House said in a statement that the deal sends “a united and unambiguous signal to President Saleh that he must respond to the aspirations of the Yemeni people by transferring power immediately.”

The resolution calls for Saleh, or those authorized to act on his behalf, to immediately sign the Gulf Cooperation Council deal “to achieve a peaceful political transition of power … without further delay.”

Although the deal would give Saleh immunity, the resolution also underlines the need for an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses “with a view to avoiding impunity.” — Unlike the resolution on Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China on Oct. 4, the Yemen resolution makes no mention of sanctions or any other measures.

With fighting intensifying, there are concerns that a civil war would significantly hurt efforts by the United States and Saudi Arabia to fight Yemen’s dangerous al Qaeda branch, and could turn the mountainous nation into a global haven for militants a short distance away from the vast oil fields of the Gulf and the key shipping lanes in the Arabian and Red seas.

Text below:

Security Council Condemns Human Rights Violations by Yemeni Authorities Abuses by ‘Other Actors’, after Months of Political Strife

Resolution 2014 (2011), Adopted Unanimously, Calls for End to Violence,

Acceptance of Gulf Cooperation Council Peace Plan, with Orderly Transfer of Power

Strongly condemning what it called human rights violations by authorities, and abuses by other actors, in Yemen following months of political strife, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that all sides immediately reject violence, and called on them to commit to a peaceful transition of power based on proposals by the major regional organization of the Arabian Gulf. (Read on …)

Yemeni CT chief Ahmed Saleh’s $5 million dollar condo in DC

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, USA, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:24 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Luxury Condo, For Saleh or Rent

WHY IS YEMEN’S PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY LOADED UP WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN
D.C. REAL ESTATE?

BY KEN SILVERSTEIN | OCTOBER 18, 2011

Shortly after being named one of the three winners of the Nobel Peace
Prize this month, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman said that if embattled
President Ali Abdullah Saleh is driven from power, investigators should
immediately begin searching for assets held abroad by members of his
government. The money “plundered” by the regime, she said, should be
“brought back to the Yemeni people,” according to an account on an
opposition website. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda terror group hiding in Yemen confirms death of Awlaki

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 9:51 am on Monday, October 10, 2011

AQAP issues message confirming death of Anwar al-Awlaki: Site Intel

Safe copy at Jihadology has link to original post: al-Malāḥim Media presents new statement from al-Qā’idah in the Arabian Peninsula: “Blood of the Martyr, Light and Fire: Statement on the Martyrdom of Shaykh Anwar al-’Awlaqī and his Colleagues”

No mention of al Assiri per @Inteltweet but Sami confirmed dead as well.

“The blood of the sheik (al-Awlaki) and his brothers will not go in vain; there are heroes behind him who do not sleep under oppression, and they will retaliate soon,” the group said. “We and the Americans are at war: we get them and they get us, and the end is for those who are patient – they are the ones who will be victorious.” FOX

The full statement at Flashpoint here has a little different translation; also includes AQAP’s trashing the Yemeni opposition parties.

Taiz doctor writes President Obama: its the Yemeni people verses a despot

Filed under: Taiz, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:15 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

To; Mr. Barak Obama,
The president of the U.S.A,
The White House, Washington D.C,
From: Dr. Abdulkader Alguneid, MD,
Taiz, Yemen.

Dear Mr. President,
You know that Saleh, has been president of The Yemen for 33yrs and I’m sure that you would agree that this is gross. You, Know that economy and standards of living are deteriorating, regularly and progressively. So, none can claim that Saleh, is, still, presiding, because of his competence. Saleh, has overstayed his welcome, for 33yrs, because of his monopoly on the military, security, Finance, Resources, Media, and Wisdom.

We, utterly, were disgusted with him and enduring his era is an evidence of Yemen people patience and stamina. Putting up with his failures, gaffes and farce acts was a source of great pain to us. (Read on …)

US only interested in al Qaeda seeking to attack US, not all Yemeni militants

Filed under: Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:00 am on Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good! Anybody with a beard is not a good criteria, and US refusal to accept Yemen’s claims that they need Saleh because the entire popular opposition in Yemen is AQAP or pre-AQAP is a smart move by the Obama administration. Apparently the US significantly cut military aid as attacks on protesters grew. The WaPo reports the US remains primarily focused on de-throning Saleh and effecting a political transition. And officials appear to be watching the US trained units closely, also good.

Shifting US policy, especially when there are so many vested interests, is like moving a mountain and sometimes takes as long. But if what I’m seeing is correct, then the US turned a corner in the debate and has a more realistic view of what can be accomplished and what should be accomplished, which will in the mid-term certainly enhance US national security. And Saleh’s departure will, in the longer term, undoubtedly improve the quality of life in Yemen.

Regarding the reports of the $35 million in military aid slated in the US annual budget, if they don’t pass it now, they can’t go back and request the funds once Saleh is gone. But they can withhold it once its approved. If one of the revolution’s goals is restructuring the military and security forces, then the US needs to have some cash on hand for that purpose.

I am actually pleased, shockingly enough. They just really need to keep a very, very good eye on Ammar, as the US will discover soon that he is as bad as the rest of them. Maybe they know it already and are just short on options.

WaPo: U.S. officials, in turn, express little interest in the insurgency in Yemen and say their counterterrorism efforts are limited to what they describe as a minority within al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate that is focused on U.S. attacks. The officials say they are determined to resist efforts by the government of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to enlist American forces and firepower in a domestic counterinsurgency and draw the United States into Yemen’s internal chaos. (Read on …)

Revolutionaries are children and thieves: Yahya Saleh

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Post Saleh, Security Forces, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yahya Saleh while saying an entirely different thing in Arabic tells Reuters the ruling family is entirely committed to peace: AlertNet:

* Says cash for training and equipment cut, intelligence aid same,

* Says civil war unlikely despite “revolution of children and thieves”

* Calls potential U.N. resolution on transfer plan foreign interference

By Erika Solomon

SANAA, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The United States and other Western donors have cut counter-terrorism aid to Yemen’s army during eight months of mass protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his nephew and leader of a key paramilitary unit said on Wednesday, in effect supporting anti-Saleh groups. (Read on …)

After Awlaki hit, US wants Saleh out and military to military operations

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:06 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mil to mil cooperation going forward is fine, necessary and productive as long as it does not include Saleh’s son Ahmed (Republican Guard) , or three nephews Yahya (Central Security), Tariq (Presidential Guards) and Ammar (National Security) or his half brother Mohammed Saleh Ammar (head of the Air Force). Everything after that is smooth sailing.

NYT

A senior American official made it clear on Saturday that Mr. Saleh’s immediate departure remained a goal of American policy, and that Yemen’s government was under no “significant illusion” that the United States had changed its position.

“Sustaining military to military cooperation is in our best interest,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t want to undermine that cooperation.”

A Yemeni government spokesman, however, said Mr. Saleh deserved credit for helping the Americans.

“After this big victory in catching Awlaki, the White House calls on the president to leave power immediately?” Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi said to Reuters. “The Americans don’t even respect those who cooperate with them.”

The spokesman for Yemen’s opposition coalition, Mohammed Qahtan, rejected the idea that Mr. Awlaki’s killing cast the government in a favorable light. Instead, it shows “the regime’s failure and weakness to perform its duty to arrest and try Awlaki in accordance with the Constitution,” Mr. Qahtan said. “And it’s that that forced America to go after him using their own means.”

Anwar al Awlaki killed in al Jawf?

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 6:22 am on Friday, September 30, 2011

This is an interesting article by Steve Emmerson at Investigative Project.

Original: White House and many US officials confirming. I wonder if Samir Khan was with him? If its true, can the US withdraw support for the Sanaa regime now? Who else do we need before we can go to a normal posture toward the country?

Marib Press says witnesses confirm. And “Tribal sources said told AFP that Awlaki was killed early Friday in an air strike on two cars in the province of Marib, east of the country, a stronghold of Al Qaeda in Yemen.” Also News Yemen has independent tribal sources on the scene saying Anwar escaped wounded in the first strike and hit again by a second, the third strike took out the second car and there was another American (Samir). The tribe in the area does not support al Qaeda, and buried the bodies. They found four rifles but are unsure of the number of fatlities. al Masdar A local witness confirms a car was hit and no reports at all of any random civilians, another good thing. But the bodies are so burnt etc that its impossible to identify the remains.

Local (AQ?) sources in Shabwa tell al Watan Awlaki is dead and was turned in by the defected pro-rev general Ali Mohsen al Ahmar who historically is close to al Qaeda to prove to the US that he is strong on CT: al Watan. Obama confirms he’s dead. Awlaki. was seen prior to his death with seven companions.

Update No. Just no.: SANAA, Sep. 30 (Xinhua) –The most-wanted U.S.-born Yemeni al- Qaida cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, is alive and was not in the targeted convoy hit by a unmanned U.S. drone Friday, one of his brothers told Xinhua by phone. Also Nass Mobile in Yemen just said that Awlaqi was injured but not killed.

Update 2: Report of a report by Yemeni defense ministry Samir Khan was also killed.

Update 3: US reports they were working on a poison gas attack, there were the earlier reports of the poison perfume plot on Saudis and the accumulation of castor beans.

the National: A tribal leader who requested anonymity gave an account of the strike based on information from Khamis Arfaaj, the owner of the house in which Al Awlaki was staying. Mr Khamis, who gave a higher death toll than official sources, said Al Awlaki and six others took their breakfast and moved about 600 metres away from the house. (Read on …)

Did US taxpayers buy Ammar Saleh of Yemen’s National Security a $3.4 million house?

Filed under: Security Forces, Tribes, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:15 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2011

So we all know that, in between slaughtering protesters, being chief of Yemen’s brutal National Security (this is the organization that perpetrated most attacks on journalists) and his counter-terror duties, Ammar Saleh recently bought a new palatial home in Sanaa and paid cash. As head of the National Security, he is also the recipient of 3.4 million dollars of tribal engagement funds. Did US tax payers buy the murderer a house? Its mind boggling. Since Knights and Sharp are already discussing the tribal engagement fund, I thought I’d throw that out there.

Footnote 12 of Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations prepared by the Congressional Research Service 6/8/11: According to one recent report, the NSB was established to “provide Western intelligence agencies with a more palatable local partner than the Political Security Organization (PSO). The NSB is now responsible for dispensing $3.4 million of U.S.-provided tribal engagement funds to support the campaign against AQAP. See, Michael Knights.

Related: A minor Saleh family tree from the Washington Institute

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