Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Possible Al Nashiri facilitator mediates compensation for civilian drone victims in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, USS Cole, al nashiri, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 1:13 pm on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Title 2: Why I can’t blog too much anymore

Al Masdar reports Yemen’s former Interior Minister, Hussain Arab, is one of the dignitaries who negotiated on behalf of the Yemeni government with civilian victims and their families following US drone strikes over the week-end. The agreement reached is for 30 Kalashnikovs and 12M Yemeni riyals, about USD 55K, which was paid on Monday 4/21. The strikes targeted one vehicle containing known al Qaeda, killing ten, as well as a workmen’s car that unexpectedly appeared.

“Regrettably, three civilians were also killed during the attack and five were injured when their pickup truck unexpectedly appeared[18][19] next to the targeted vehicle,” the (Yemeni government) statement said. Quote via Just Security.

At least the Yemeni government didn’t try to smear the victims as al Qaeda, like they did in Hadramout,. Quickly taking responsibility, expressing regret and paying compensation is a step in the right direction.

At the time of the USS Cole bombing, Hussain Arab was Yemen’s Interior Minister. He resigned in April 2001. Defense evidence introduced in Yemeni court in the 2004 Cole trial included “ a letter to al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri instructing Yemeni authorities to give safe passage to al-Nashiri and three bodyguards without being searched or intercepted. The letter states that, ‘All security forces are instructed to cooperate with him and facilitate his mission.’ ” His mission was a terror attack on a US warship.

Mr. Arab has held other official positions since his resignation including recently on the consensus committee of the National Dialog Committee.

The trial of Al Nashiri aka Billal, al Harazi etc., is proceeding in court in Guantanamo Bay today where lawyers are arguing whether two witnesses can be interviewed by the defense in France without submitting the questions first to the prosecution.

The original Arabic article from al Masdar is below the fold.

Related: Sami Dayan (Dhayan) was convicted of the murder of the effective General Qatan in Abyan. General Qatan had recently given interviews noting a state faction’s complicity in arming and facilitating al Qaeda. Sami is the reason I had to make up a category called State Jihaddists in 2009. He was overtly working for Ali Mohsen in Jaar at that time. I think Abdulkarim al Nabi gave in interview that discussed Sami Dayan as well as his own situation. Both could be termed local jihaddists and occasional mercenaries, but they are not the al Qaeda of Wahishi and certainly not AQAP leaders. Dayan was sentenced to 15 years, and will probably be released in two, if he doesn’t escape first.

(Read on …)

The Link: Will Abu Hamza’s trial implicate Ali Mohsen and al Zindani in terrorist acts?

Filed under: 9 hostages, Abyan, Military, USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 5:24 pm on Friday, October 19, 2012

The kidnappers called General Ali Mohsen as verified by one of the hostages and Mohsen who said they called to negotiate. The following article (manually translated) says that both Mohsen and al Zindani are worried about what information may be exposed during the trial of Abu Hamza al Masiri.

The 2006 book Imperial Grunts by Robert Kaplan talks about the CIA paying “bad guy” General Ali Mohsen earlier in the decade as the cost of doing business in Yemen. Mohsen officially handled “the jihaddist file” for former president Saleh until his defection to the revolution in March 2011. From 2006-2010, Ali Mohsen commanded military forces and jihaddists in Saada against the Houthis in a manner thought to comprise war crimes. State tactics, like the denial of food to the region and mass arrests, were also labeled collective punishment by international rights groups. The pipeline of Yemeni and foreign jihaddists and suicide bombers to Iraq 2004-2007 ran through Mohsen’s camps and safe houses, with Ali Saleh’s full knowledge and approval. Not to mention the USS Cole bombing.

The US is long overdue in recognizing that “some officers hands are stained with the blood of our soldiers”, instead of continually placating and bribing both Saleh and Mohsen, two of the biggest terrorist facilitators in the region. But its a long shot in the absence of a rational US policy on Yemen.

Article below notes Dajalul was appointed a government position in Amran after his release in 2004.

The Link: Trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri, in America, is it going to finish with the request of trial ” Ali Mohsen” and ” al-Zindani ” ?
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Recently Britain handed Abu Hamza al-Masri to America for trial in America on terrorism-related offenses, and actually Abu Hamza’s trial began in America .trial will address issues related with Abu Hamza al-Masri , especially those relating to the kidnapping of 16 British and an Australian hostages. it took place in Abyan carried out in 98 and the ( Aden-Abyan ) Army in the province of Abyan , Which claimed the lives of a number of kidnapped when freed. The issue then was about a close relationship with Abu Hamza, according to the confessions of the accused during their trial in Yemen. So Yemeni authorities call on Britain to hand over Abu Hamza for trial, and accused him of officially being behind terrorist operations, and terrorist groups in Yemen.

On the other hand Ali Mohsen was a close relationship with the Army of Aden, and behind the same process , according to the results of trial Abulhassan Almihdhar,the main culprit of the process., Who sentenced to death and executed, he said,” we had informed the commander Ali Mohsen of the process but it is he who instructed us to do to put pressure on the authority to release our detainees” .He added” after kidnapping told him we have got sixteen cartons”, means kidnappers. And he was in contact with us and follow the process , and then reported information said that Abu Hamza al-Masri was on full coordination with the kidnappers side with Ali Mohsen in his activities and relationships in Yemen on the other, in real Ali Mohsen was direct contact with Abu Hamza al-Masri, in Britain, in particular coordination on some financial matters.

Things do not stop at this point, but extends to the bombing, which spilled over to the British Embassy, which was carried out by the time Abu Bakr close Djajul of Mohsen , who appointed him as an officer, and was appointed director of one of the districts of Amran governorate released after the end of 2004.
And who has appointed .

And timely trial revealed elements of the Army (Aden / Abyan) that the army was formed in the (Al-eyman University ) by confessions Abu Huraira Altunisi , also Abu Hassan Mehdar revealed that he was one of the guards ” Sheikh Zindani”, who in turn had a relationship with Abu Hamza, who was sending him students Muslims of Britain and Europe to study at (Al-Eyman University ) Which founded by Zindani and includes a large group of students from different nationalities.

Informed sources said that Mohsen follow Abu Hamza trial with deep concern , and his worried increased after last meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Guard commander, and reportedly that ” U.S. National Security Advisor” said to President Hadi, ” some of your officers their hands stained with the blood of our soldiers “, and benefit information that Mohsen and Zindani formed a team of lawyers those close to them to study and monitor the trial of, in America step by steps, fearing of surprises not agreed with him. and they had told him some specific messages before being handed over to America during his trial in Britain.

due to the relationship between “Ali Mohsen” and ” al-Zindani” with Abu Hamza al-Masri, there is likely to be tried both of them , in the case they discovery that there is a link between ” ali mohsen ” and ” the bombing of the USS Cole ” and other issues related which Abu Hamza al-Masri trial about it currently in America

Original Arabic below: (Read on …)

Saleh’s office says no US visa in order to continue USS Cole cover-up

Filed under: USS Cole, deposed pres — by Jane Novak at 7:53 am on Monday, September 24, 2012

Its not wise to believe whats in any of the Yemeni partisan papers without a strong dose of skepticism, but the articles are usually half true if not more, and always well spun. The challenge is figuring out which half is fact and which half is fiction and spin.

The following article in the Yemen Observer is quoting an article in the pro-Saleh Yemen Today reporting that Saleh’s office said the US denied him a visa to protect him from questioning related to the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole which the US would find embarrassing. Saleh’s office also says President Hadi was concerned for his health and asked Saleh to go to the US for treatment.

So either: 1) the US denied the visa for other reasons and Saleh is lying and trying to appear under the protection of the US, or 2) the embassy denied the visa for their own reasons and told Saleh they were protecting themselves or 3) the embassy denied the visa to save the US from embarrassment as he said. And what a disaster the timeline of the Cole attack is, from well before the attack up to 9/11, from President Clinton through the two Bush terms to the current Obama/Clinton stewardship.

If Saleh is being protected by the US in order to keep his mouth shut, as repugnant as that would be, it would explain the entire US Yemen policy from the beginning of the 2011 revolution until today which otherwise makes little sense. The immunity clause for Saleh and his government is unheard of in international law, yet the US strong armed all the parties into accepting it and Saleh’s continued presence in Yemen. No one in their right mind would ever expect Saleh to give up power quietly and fade away. His disrupting the transition was the sure bet.

There’s more secrets beyond the Cole like the disappearing CT funds, weapons and equipment, and the diversion of US trained CT units to Saada and against unarmed protesters. There’s also the head of the CT unit’s multi-million dollar condos in DC, referring of course to Ahmed Saleh, deposed president Ali Saleh’s son. So even freezing Saleh’s assets might be embarrassing. Returning Saleh’s funds to the Yemeni treasury remains a top demand of the protesters and it would have been the logic first step in dis-empowering him.

Saleh would not leave Yemen for any reason Yemen Observer, Written By: Nasser Arrabyee, Article Date: Sep 23, 2012

The Yemeni former President Ali Abdullah Saleh would not leave Yemen now, nor in the future, said sources in his office on Friday.

“The former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has not any desire to leave his homeland for any reason whatsoever,” said Yemen Today daily, quoted the sources as saying. Yemen Today is one of Saleh’s party newspapers.

“Yemen needs Saleh in such circumstances, so he should not leave now nor in the future,” the paper said.

Earlier in the week,the US ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstien said that the American embassy delayed a visa request for Saleh and a number of his companions. Mr Feierstein said in a press conference earlier this week in Sanaa, that the time was not appropriate for Saleh to visit US for further treatments.

The Saleh ’s office told the paper,however, that Feierstein justified the delay of Saleh’s visa by saying the time of the visit would coincide with the trial of the Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahim Al Nashiri who is accused of bombing the USS Cole in Aden Harbor in 2000 in which 19 American sailors were killed. The American court may recall Saleh for testimony over the Cole issue, Feierstein justified according to the paper.

Saleh’s testimony would cause embarrassment to the US Administration, the paper said.

Earlier this year, the American court asked Saleh, when he was in a treatment trip in US, and wax still in power, to attend for testimony over the Cole issue, but he refused.

Saleh’s office also said that Saleh had never asked for the visa, but Mr Feierstein and President Hadi insisted on him to go to United States for further treatments. Respecting that insistence for his health, Saleh handed his passport and passports of his companions for visa process.

Polish intel warning to CIA on USS Cole attack was ignored: top Polish spy

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:48 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

More weird stuff to go with all the other weird stuff regarding US govt actions and policy prior to and after the USS Cole bombing. The story here is that starting in 1999 Polish intel gave the CIA information for nearly a year on an impending al Qaeda attack on a US warship. The CIA investigated and didn’t find any corroborating evidence, and downplayed the likelihood of an attack to the Poles. Then al Qaeda blew up the USS Cole in the port of Aden. So what happened, the CIA missed it, despite the Polish intel and NSA’s constant surveillance of the Yemen hub? And then in the aftermath, the CIA withheld info on the suspects including two in the US who turned out to be 9/11 highjackers. The more you look at the Cole, the less it makes sense.

Makowski—who spent 20 years in the Polish espionage service and rose to the rank of colonel—also blames the CIA for the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, which claimed the lives of 17 American sailors.

“Beginning in 1999, for almost a year, we started giving information that bin Laden had made a decision to prepare an operation to attack U.S. warships in the Gulf,” Makowski told McClatchy. “There was a 27-person team… We told them who its leader was, his passport number [and] his Dubai identity card.”

About three months before the attack, according to Makowski, the CIA said they thought “such an attack is impossible.”

Gutman notes that Makowski’s former colleague Gromoslaw Czempinski—a legend at the CIA for leading the rescue of six U.S. intelligence officers from Iraq in 1990—vouched for his story.

Read more: Business Insider

(Read on …)

CIA bungled Yemen 2000/2001, leading up to 9/11: Soufan

Filed under: USS Cole, al nashiri, fahd — by Jane Novak at 11:52 am on Friday, August 24, 2012

Duh! Bungled is the charitable explanation.

Its a fact that the CIA knew that two individuals that Soufan was seeking (in connection with the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole) were in the US, and its a fact that the CIA withheld the info from Soufan and the FBI until 9/12 when the pair were identified as two of the 19 highjackers.

But what about the CIA and NSA failing to act or share information before the USS Cole attack, considering the Yemen hub was wired since 1998? There was a satellite trained on the front door 24/7. It strains credulity that neither agency had any inkling of the plot, considering they were recording every phone call and the Cole bombing was coordinated in and via that house and that phone. The best explanation is what, incompetence? They didn’t want to blow their surveillance?

And what about the CIA withholding information (including photos of Fahd al Quso and Walid bin Attash) about the al Qaeda summit in Malaysia in January 2000 where both the Cole and 9/11 were planned?

The facts Soufan reported in his excellent and heavily redacted book (which apparently just went on sale in the UK) are entirely separate from the egregious chain of events detailed by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaeffer, ie- that Able Danger’s urgent warnings of an impending terror attack in Port Aden were shut down and never forwarded to the Cole. Not to mention Kie Fallis, the DIA analyst who independently and strenuously tried to raise a red flag with an official warning. But Commander Lippold never got that message either.

Despite NSA’s constant electronic and satellite surveillance, CIA’s physical surveillance and other intel, Able Danger’s data mining and the DIA analyst who also picked it up, al Qaeda blew up a US warship in Port Aden, Ocotober 2000, killing 17 US service members. Many of the same core group of terrorists and their associates were later involved in 9/11.

While Soufan gives a fascinating and detailed first hand account of his investigation, the CIA’s “huge mistakes with devastating consequences” were already well documented open source. For the most coherent treatment, see the 9/11 Timeline at History Commons.

The CIA withholding info about the Cole attack and associated terrorists (before and after the bombing) was obviously a contributing factor in the US being caught flat footed as planes started crashing into buildings. They should issue a mea culpa and stop hassling Soufan. It would be refreshing.

Former FBI Agent Says The CIA Failed To Act Before 9/11 Terrorist Attack

Former FBI agent Ali Soufan sat down with the BBC last year to talk about his belief the CIA failed to pass along critical information about two of the 9/11 hijackers before the attacks.

Soufan was working for the FBI in Yemen at the time of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He was looking for two of the hijackers in the Middle East but they were already in America, something Soufan claims the CIA knew and failed to report.

And now, Soufan says the government is trying to keep him quiet.

“They are trying to stop me and others from telling the world what really happened over there,” he told the BBC.

But the CIA is calling his allegations “baseless,” adding that Soufan’s suggestions the agency is censoring him is “ridiculous.”

Watch Soufan’s full interview with the BBC:

Another interesting facet of the USS Cole story is that top officials in the Saleh regime and family knew of, directed and otherwise abetted the terrorist plot. Nashiri’s defense team made the point that most of the good information the US got immediately following the bombing came from Saleh personally. A few years later, Saleh released all the convicted Cole bombers from jail early and gave them money.

For example, Fahd al Quso was released from jail in May 2007 and killed by a drone in 2012. In the intervening years, he was instrumental in preparing new plots to mass murder Americans including the Nigerian’s underwear bomb and the toner cartridge bomb among others.

That the US was tied at the hip to an al Qaeda appeasing war criminal is most often explained away by hard minded people as the easiest and most effective policy for the US, and one that arises from a lack of alternatives. Others find US policy in Yemen (currently and over the last decade) illogical, dangerous and short sighted. Either way, the US’s long support of Saleh, kowtowing to him during the revolution and protecting him after, becomes more comprehensible in the light of the aforementioned relationships and events.

(Read on …)

Anthony Shaffer: Awlaki a US double agent before 9/11

Filed under: US jihaddis, USS Cole, anwar, fahd — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, former DIA analyst in the Able Danger data mining operation, says in a current interview that Anwar Al Awlaki was a US double or triple agent before 9/11.

That may account for the US closing its investigation of Anwar’s connections to the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman in 1999. Once Awlaki’s many ties to the 9/11 highjackers became clear, a JTTF San Diego investigation was reopened. But in 2002, US Attorney Gaouette rescinded an arrest warrant against Anwar for passport fraud, a day before he re-entered the US.

Anwar as a double agent for and a triple agent against the US might explain the utter communication breakdown between JTTF’s DC and San Diego offices on Awlaki’s email correspondence with the soon to be jihaddist murderer Nidal Hassan.

It might also explain why Awlaki was never charged with anything–not incitement, not conspiracy to murder, even after the Nigerian Abdumutallab said he met with Awlaki regarding the Dec 2009 airplane bombing plot hatched in Yemen. On the other hand, it could all be a string of incompetence and bad luck. I don’t know which would be worse.

News Rescue “In video, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer describes how Anwar al-Awlaki Was a triple agent, and an FBI Asset Before 9/11 on infowars. Anthony Shaffer is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who gained fame for his claims about mishandled intelligence before the September 11 attacks and for the censoring of his book, Operation Dark Heart.

Shaffer and the Able Danger team also uncovered intelligence of an impending al Qaeda terror plot in the Gulf of Aden in the weeks immediately prior to the bombing of the USS Cole on Oct 12, 2000 in Yemen. Able Danger tried strenuously to issue a warning that, like DIA analyst Kye Fallis’ was thwarted.

Despite the NSA’s constant and years long monitoring of the Yemen hub and the CIA’s surveillance of the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the Cole attack and 9/11 were planned, no intelligence warning on the Cole bombing was generated or forwarded from those agencies either. (The CIA later withheld info on the Malaysia meeting from the FBI as it was investigating the Cole, leaving connections to the impending 9/11 attack unexplored.)

Lt. Shaffer was black balled by DIA after he went public with the 9/11 Commission’s failure to include his testimony regarding the presence of Atta in the US. Commander Lippold was essentially forced to retire by DOD. Fallis quit DIA on the day of the Cole bombing.

The Malaysia meeting was attended by current AQAP leader Fahd al Quso and top AQ operatives from several nations. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, al Quso’s unique threat level comes from his operational experience (blowing up a warship) coupled with his international connections and credibility.

Al Quso was indicted on over 50 counts of terrorism in NY’s Southern District in 2003 following his 2002 escape from Aden jail. The Sanaa regime secretly released al Quso in May 2007 despite a ten year sentence handed down after his 2004 “recapture,” the Washington Post reported. Al Quso finally made it to the MWT list in Nov 2009 and was designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department in Dec 2010.

The US began its drone campaign in Yemen with strikes in Dec 2009, where Awlaki and other AQAP leaders were supposedly meeting at Fahd al Quso’s farm. Al Quso gave several media interviews recently, noting how lovely things are in the AQ occupied towns in Yemen, when they are not crucifying spies, beheading soldiers, looting banks and dehanding teen-agers. Yesterday, AG Holder, the bastion of flex-fit jurisprudence, gave the Obama administration’s rationale for targeting US citizens with drones.

Update: Gah! Must be something in the air. Fox: Mueller grilled on FBI’s release of al-Awlaki in 2002 (3/7/12)

The warrant was pulled by a judge in Colorado, after the cleric entered the U.S. A U.S. attorney in Colorado who oversaw the warrant and the Justice Department claimed the cleric’s earlier lies to the Social Security Administration, the basis of the charge, had been corrected. But new documents obtained by Fox News through the Freedom of Information Act show otherwise.

After al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in the fall of 2002 with the FBI’s help, the cleric then appeared in a high-profile investigation, in which Agent Ammerman was a lead investigator. The FBI has not made the agent available to Fox News to interview, nor has the Department of Justice made the U.S. attorney on the case available. Former FBI agents say Ammerman would have needed permission from higher up in the bureau to let al-Awlaki go.

The House Homeland Security Committee launched an official investigation into the cleric and his 9/11 connections last year, but sources tell Fox News that committee staffers have been frustrated by the FBI’s resistance to providing documents and witnesses, citing “ongoing investigations.”

Wolf urged the FBI director to brief other lawmakers, including the head of the house intelligence committee, so that a similar scenario “never happens again.”

Fox News confirmed that the October 2002 incident and the arrest warrant for al-Awlaki was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or to Congress.

Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”

State dept runs interference for Saleh in USS Cole case

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 4:35 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

The military tribunal at Gitmo ruled today that Saleh cannot be compelled to testify as a witness in the al Nashiri case. I am shocked that Obama’s friend and vital US partner in the WOT wouldn’t voluntarily want to aid the US judicial system. Apparently Saleh was the one who supplied much of the information directly to the US about al Nashiri, as well as giving him sanctuary after the attack. But it begs the question: when did Saleh learn of the plot. It must have been “after” because the US wouldn’t have spent the last decade supporting a dictator while knowing he was complicit in a terror attack against the US military.

Boston Herald: MIAMI — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in the United States with full diplomatic immunity, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s legal adviser has written the Pentagon, and should not be compelled to provide sworn testimony for the Guantanamo war court. (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

2014 update: this is the correct link for the 2011 CRS report http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/159782.pdf

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.

Terrorist mercenary Fahd al Quso strongly denies relationship with Saleh regime

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Presidency, USS Cole, fahd — by Jane Novak at 4:02 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There was a deal from the time of the Cole bombing that is relatively unbroken until today. Fahd had to deny that he is Saleh’s stooge because the public perception is that they are nothing but guns for hire.

Memri: Indicted USS Cole Bomber Fahd Al-Quso Strongly Denies Association with Yemeni Regime

The September 19, 2011 issue of the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi featured an interview with Fahed Al-Quso, a senior operative of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), wanted by the US for involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole. Al-Quso discusses the situation in Yemen, as well as the ongoing clashes in the south of the country between government forces and a previously unknown jihad group called “Ansar Al-Shari’a,” supposedly linked to Al-Qaeda.

“C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strikes”

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, US jihaddis, USA, USS Cole, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:48 am on Friday, August 12, 2011

God help us, Obama taught them all to lie. At best, he condones and encourages it. Apparently US foreign policy is determined only through the prism of Al Qaeda, CT ops and drones. The entire mid-term “war of ideas” kind of strategy to protect US interests is not present anywhere. And moral considerations are tertiary. Its no wonder Obama has not spoken the word “Yemen” since he called Saleh “a friend” and never once addressed the millions of Yemeni protesters; thirty murderous religious fanatics outweigh all other US concerns. The GCC plan and the earlier US re-branding of Saleh as a good partner in the WOT are efforts to retain as much of the existing US created CT structure as possible. Its a policy doomed to fail and fail big in both countries. Here’s a good article about the Yemeni Air Force bombing the tribes fighting al Qaeda and other developments in Abyan.

Here Brennan lies about civilian casualties in Pakistan but also in Yemen: TN: C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strikes, “Fortunately, for more than a year, due to our discretion and precision, the U.S. government has not found credible evidence of collateral deaths resulting from U.S. counterterrorism operations outside of Afghanistan or Iraq, and we will continue to do our best to keep it that way,” Mr. Brennan said.

Its the same type of bold mis-characterization as when General Patraeus, now the head of the CIA, said with a straight face there were no civilians casualties in the ‘09 airstrike in Abyan, because the women and children were related to the terrorists or had sold them vegetables, making them guilty of providing material support. The fact that the poor dead villagers had appealed to local authorities for help in expelling al Qaeda weeks before has no impact on their “lawful enemy” status.

Now certainly these fanatics should be thoroughly condemned for bringing their children to training camps and sheltering among civilians. But no six year old is a terrorist.

And this repugnant spin is similar to US Department of Defense statements that the US found no irrefutable evidence that the US trained counter-terror forces have committed any atrocities in Yemen. Its the other members of the Republican Guard and other divisions that receive US funds I guess who shot all the protesters.

Ammar Saleh, head of the National Security, just bought a three million dollar palace in Sanaa–with cash. I guess he found the money on the street or in a taxi. Your tax dollars at work, worse yet, beyond the scope of congressional oversight.

As an aside and to save the link, some lefty site is carrying Richard Clark’s uncorroborated accusation that the top level of the CIA withheld info on al Midhar and al Hamzi’s presence in the US from the rest of the gov’t. The CIA insists it was only a few low level analysts who knew they were here. The article fails to address the issue of the Yemen Hub, a phone line monitored by the NSA for the CIA since 1996, ie-prior to and after both the 1998 embassy attacks and the USS Cole bombing. The USS Cole bombers called the hub several times in planning the attack; Midhar and Hamzi called the monitored number several times from the US as well. The number was under such heavy surveillance that there was a satellite dedicated to recording visitors to the house.

HCG: As outlined in the Yemen Hub category, the number was under heavy surveillance by the US. It was al-Qaeda’s operations centre and had been integral in the embassy bombings, when it received calls from both the bombers in Africa and bin Laden in Afghanistan. Intercepts of the calls enabled the FBI to map al-Qaeda’s global network (except the 9/11 hijackers in the US, whose location the NSA failed to communicate). According to a US investigator, the hub number was used by the bombers to “put everything together” before the Cole bombing.

There are two simple questions: If the NSA was listening in on the bombers putting everything together before the Cole attack, why was it not prevented? Second, why was the hub not shut down after the Cole attack? The policy of allowing the hub to operate to map al-Qaeda was proved to be a failure by the Cole bombing, as no amount of intelligence was worth the lives of the dead sailors, so the people who ran the hub should have been arrested, as were some of the other Cole bombers in Yemen, like Fahad al-Quso.

Fahd al Quso, who was ultimately given a ten year sentence, was released by Saleh’s govt in May 2007, after three years. The release was met by weak protestations from the USG and outrage by the sailors’ families. By 2010 al Quso, had released an AQAP vid threatening the US, and was placed on the Freds MWT list. Several drone strikes have targeted al Quso since 2009.

Meanwhile the US holds Yemen’s democratic process hostage by insisting on the GCC plan, rejected by Salah, the GPC, the JMP and the demonstrators, in order to implement cosmetic changes to a deeply dysfunctional system:

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said democratic processes in Yemen shouldn’t be “held hostage” while the president weighs his options.

“Our view is that Yemen needs to move in a democratic direction along the lines of the GCC report,” she said. “How that happens is up to the Yemeni people but it’s got to happen.” Officials in Saleh’s ruling General People’s Congress maintain he is the legitimate leader until the country has presidential elections. ( UPI)

Massive protests on the streets today. Check News of the Yemen Revolution to get the Youtube URLs: https://www.facebook.com/EngYemenNews and Yemen Rights Monitor for all the recent updates, military conflicts and political statements: http://yemenrightsmonitor.blogspot.com/. The day is themed, “Victorious God Willing” Friday and nation-wide protests reject Saleh and GCC plan, and call for the quick announcement of a national council. The protests condemn crimes in Taiz, Arhab, and Abyan.

These vids are from yesterday: (Read on …)

Nashiri’s defense motion opposing the death penalty should include Yemen’s govt’s culpability in the USS Cole attack

Filed under: Presidency, USS Cole, Yemen, al nashiri — by Jane Novak at 3:09 pm on Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Miami Herald reports on Nashiri’s legal teams’ motion to take the death penalty off the table. Beyond challenging the legality of the death penalty on the basis of torture, delay and jurisdiction, the lawyers should assert the Nuremberg defense: Nashiri was just following government orders.

The (pdf) motion makes the point that Nashiri’s lawyers are unable to travel to Yemen to investigate exculpatory evidence and mitigating circumstances.

There is a strong circumstantial case that the Saleh regime, or top elements of it, had foreknowledge of the attack and furthermore, facilitated the murder of 17 US service members.

Saleh’s Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued the travel documents that afforded Nashiri free passage prior to and after the attack, as well as weapons permits. (Arab was later appointed to the Shura Council and remained a Major General in the army until he resigned a few months ago.) Saleh sent several top Yemeni officials to Port Aden the evening prior to the terror attack. The Saleh regime obstructed the US investigation. Nashiri was sheltered in Yemen immediately after the bombing with the knowledge of government officials. All those tried and convicted in Yemen for the terror attack were released years early, including al Quso and al Badawi, per a deal with Saleh. There are also witnesses in Yemen who say Nashiri is “wearing a shirt to big,” and culprits (in the government) were never charged.

Its not news. Why Bush (and DOD) gave Saleh a pass on the USS Cole attack, and why Obama called him “a friend” a few months ago, is beyond me. Saleh is no friend to the US. For more on the miscarriage of justice, for the victims not their murderers, see my friend Gary Swenchonis Sr.

US’s new CT strategy

Filed under: Counter-terror, US jihaddis, USA, USS Cole, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 5:36 pm on Friday, July 1, 2011

WH

confronting both challenges, we will look chiefly to our partners in the region—Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and others—to take the lead, with U.S. support and assistance. Our CT efforts in the Arabian Peninsula are part of our overall strategy for the region that includes other objectives such as promoting responsive governance and respect for the rights of citizens, which will reduce al-Qa‘ida’s resonance and relevancy. (Read on …)

Hussain Arab, former Interior Minister who gave al Nashiri the travel pass for the bombing of the USS Cole, says Saleh supports Al Qaeda

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Sunday, May 29, 2011

Somebody find this guy, former Interior Minister Hussain Arab, and tell him I would like him to interview him to confirm that Saleh had foreknowledge of the USS Cole bombing. Saleh knew in advance and helped plan it. I, here on the US East Coast, know that Saleh knew. It is very likely the US Military (and intelligence) also knows Saleh helped al Qaeda killed those 17 sailors. Whether Sec Def Gates support of Saleh is related to protecting his budget or the last years’substantial investment in the CT forces, its a very sad day for the US when it comes to this.

Not to mention all our soldiers killed in Iraq as a result of the well managed pipeline that starts in Yemen. All the US whining about Syria rings hollow when there was little pressure on Saleh to close the spigot. The years of quietness in Yemen (2002-2007) was not a result of US CT successes, as some have postulated, but rather the result of an explicit agreement between al Qaeda and Saleh. Furthermore, Saleh continues to prove safe harbor. US policy in Yemen is overtly endangering US security and American (and Yemeni) lives.

In this interview, Arab says Saleh handed over Zanzibar to al Qaeda, sacrificing low level Yemeni troops to the theatrics on the international stage. The US is pretending to fall for the AQ threat that Saleh is producing because its convenient.

Al Masdar: For his part, accused the former Yemeni Interior Minister Hussein Mohammed Arab regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to “support Al-Qaeda” cross “handed over” a number of cities in Abyan, which led to the control of the organization in control in Zanzibar.

The Arabs said to Agence France Presse that Al-Qaeda “did not launch any attack on Zanzibar and all what happened was carried out by the process of handing over security leaders in Zanzibar to armed groups, leaving scores of poor soldiers to their fate.”

He added that “President Saleh’s regime wants to dump the southern provinces in the mess by allowing the armed groups that claim affiliation to al Qaeda,” and called the sons of the southern provinces to “confront the armed groups that claim to follow the rule is valid.

Also al Fahdli dishes on Saleh and Abyan via al Jazeera. A summary kindly provided by a viewer: (Read on …)

Obama gives Saleh green light to slaughter protesters

Filed under: Presidency, USA, USS Cole, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:54 am on Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama hearts Ali and threw the protesters under the bus, again.

There’s really not much else to say. Obama’s only reference to Yemen in the big speech was to call Saleh a friend and urge he carries out the transfer of power deal which Saleh rejected yesterday. One sentence on Yemen in a one hour speech, thats it.

What a slap in the face to the millions of Yemeni protesters. The speech was also badly structured in that it set up expectations. Obama started out praising the Tunisians lavishly, then the Egyptians, and then promised Tunisia and Egypt oodles of money, then the Palestinians got half of Israel. But when it was Yemen’s turn, Obama didn’t even acknowledge the Yemeni protesters at all, no moral support, not even the slightest nod. Maybe the brain surgeons at the State Department and military think they can demoralize the protest movement into giving up. Its not going to happen. (Read on …)

Al Nashiri to trial supposedly again maybe

Filed under: Counter-terror, USS Cole, Yemen, fahd — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Thursday, April 21, 2011

Its a circus. The DOJ is seeking the death penalty on someone they didn’t care enough to bring to trial for years, an individual complicit in the murder of 17 US service members. Al Nashiri has been in US custody since 2002. He says his confessions were gained by torture, and the US admits water boarding him along with a mock execution and brandishing a power drill. Nashiri was charged by the Military Commissions at Gitmo in Dec. 2008. Charges were dropped in Feb 2009 when charges against all detainees were dropped pending review. In August 2010 the Obama administration said there were no charges pending or contemplated against al Nashiri. Now, as the election season approaches, they want him dead; at the same time the status of Khalid Sheik Mohammed is back in limbo. While Gitmo and the MCs raise complicated issues, all the dithering, back sliding and stalling at the highest levels raises the question whether any of these decisions were based on the demand for justice for the dead sailors, or if is it all just political expediency and maneuvering.

WAPO: Capital charges brought against Guantanamo detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in USS Cole attack

U.S. military prosecutors on Wednesday charged one of the most prominent detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a death penalty case that could prove to be a major test of the nation’s revised system of military commissions. (Read on …)

Wikileaks reveals US military considers Yemeni intel (PSO) as al Qaeda supporter; Nashiri the early day

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen, al nashiri, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:02 pm on Friday, April 15, 2011

Yes Nashiri did first meet bin Laden in 1996.

Chicago Tribune: According to the allegations against Nashiri, he met Osama bin Laden in 1996 and joined Al Qaeda two years later. In the fall of 2000, he allegedly recruited others to pilot a small boat filled with bombs into the Cole, setting off an explosion in a Yemeni port, killing 17 U.S. sailors and leaving a 40-foot hole in the ship.

Nashiri, a Saudi, was captured more than a year later, and “admitted he assisted with the plot,” according to the government allegations. He was taken to Guantanamo Bay, one of 779 captives who have been detained there at one time or another. (Read on …)

Yemenis accuse US of collusion with Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, USA, USS Cole, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:17 pm on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The US has been working with Ali Abdullah Saleh, the war criminal, regional mafia kingpin and al Qaeda facilitator for decades as a matter of necessity, but now Saleh is on his way out. Sooner or later, he’s going. The US military leadership (Gates, Mullin) appears unwilling to contemplate the departure of Saleh and dragged him back from the brink of the abyss. Saleh was leaving Thursday until the US got involved in the negotiations. A Yemeni opposition MP, Mohammed Sabri, said: “The US defence minister’s exaggeration of Al-Qaeda has encouraged the regime.” On Sunday, Secretary Gates reiterated how good of a partner Saleh is in counter-terror, but its not true. If it was, we’d have Awlaki a long time ago and the Cole bombers wouldn’t have escaped twice and then been freed.

It can’t be that the US military bought the ‘09 reformation theory. Are they are afraid of chaos and/or Zindani? General Ali Mohsen is promising to resign and leave the country, taking care of one concern. The US investment in time and money on the CT units over the last year doesn’t have to go down the drain; someone besides Prince Ahmed and Duke Yahya can run them, so why the heavy lobbying efforts? Gates squaring off against the Yemeni people is not in the US national interest. The longer the transition takes, the higher the risk of political violence. “Al Qaeda” declared an Islamic Emirate in Ja’ar and is preventing women from the streets. Saleh’s plan is violence and chaos. The longer he sits in his chair, the more violence and chaos there will be.

Saleh is arming al Qaeda and releasing them from prison (approx 30 and approx March 8). At the same time, the Yemeni government arrested 87 and disappeared 25 citizens for protesting. There’s “no planning” for Saleh’s departure even though the Saleh regime is clearly unsustainable. Did the US embassy sit in on the negotiations for transition in Tunisia and Egypt? I can understand why some Yemenis are spinning wild theories (like the US is seeking a stronger al Qaeda in order to occupy Socotra, as an example) to explain the US position, because there’s no logical answer why the US would support the obviously guilty, dirtbag Saleh. Meanwhile the US spent $550 million in bombing Libya out of our commitment to humanitarian and democratic ideals…

Another theory, “The Yemeni opposition gave the US Embassy a full program for post-Saleh Yemen including the anti-terrorism plan. However, the US is still supporting Saleh. The matter has two possible reasons; whether Saleh gives the US many confidential privileges or Al-Qaeda is an American game and Saleh is just a player of the team.”

Another accusation: Official spokesman of the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, Mohammad al-Sabri said the U.S. Department of Defense has complicity of the benefit scheme to meet the people’s peaceful revolution. He considers Saleh’s spreading chaos and killings in Yemen including the death of 120 people after an explosion of a munitions factory to be the tip of the iceberg.

Another question: “The Revolutionary Youth Movement rejects any reconciliation with Saleh and calls on the international community to take a clear stance regarding his alliance with violent movements including al Qaeda.” Its a confusion that the US brought on itself by justifying support of Saleh in terms of al Qaeda. And an article News Yemen publishes a letter to Obama that brings up US corporations in Yemen (calling for a boycott) and the fact that there was no transitional plan in Egypt when the US began calling for Mubarek to go, and laments the contempt and hatred that the Obama administration is generating with its continued support of Saleh.

Also, Marib Press: Citizens in Hadramout thwart state plan to target foreign workers with IED. (Read on …)

How can the US be so shortsighted in Yemen?

Filed under: US jihaddis, USA, USS Cole, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 5:38 am on Saturday, March 26, 2011

1- Is it the Booz Hamiltons of the world that are feeding the US wrong information because they are so heavily invested in the ruling structure?

2- Is the US afraid that when President Saleh comes to trial for war crimes in Saada that the extent of the US knowledge and support of the civilian slaughter will be clear?

3- Is the US afraid of what the accounting of the government budget will show?

4- Is there a fundamental racism that is impacting US policy?

5- Is it that the US was well aware of President Saleh’s false flag operations targeting foreign tourists and officials etc?

6- Is it that the US knew for years, for sure, that the Saleh regime was complicit in the USS Cole bombing and still continued to work with him?

7- Are they just so unimaginative that they can’t figure out what to do when Saleh and all his relatives leave?

8- Too busy with Libya? If AQAP is the leading threat to the US, how can there be no post-Saleh planning? Or was that just a deliberate slap in the face to the protesters?

9- I’m sure the securocrats are all cranky because their personal efforts over the last year, and the investment of time and money in the counter-terror units, will be wiped out. But the US’s absolute rejection of an authentic transition of power in Yemen can’t simply be bureaucratic inertia when the US got over it in Egypt. (But then again the military assumed power in Egypt, whereas in Yemen, the demand is for a civilian regime.) Over the last two months, the US belittled democratic efforts, overlooked civilian massacres and overtly supported Saleh at every opportunity and in every statement. Now the US is actively obstructing the people’s will by lobbying for retention of aspects of the ruling family (Yahya and Prince Ahmed).

To make a blunder this big for this long, there has to be something more to it than simply that the US experts are out of touch or misguided. It is crystal clear that the US policy and attitude will consolidate, entrench and empower al Qaeda in Yemen for years to come. The blowback is going to be a bitch for the US. I’m not even factoring in the impact of the US stance on the lives and future of 23 million Yemenis, that’s a whole other topic. At this point, the pooch is so screwed that its dead. The US is in the process of radicalizing the protest movement.

USS Cole bomber al Nashiri to be first of renewed trials at Gitmo

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, attacks, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:51 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

WASHINGTON — The first captive at the U.S. Naval Base on Guantanamo Bay to be charged in a military tribunal during the Obama presidency is expected to be one of the prison’s most notorious inmates — Abd al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing that killed 17 sailors. (Read on …)

Where’s Fahd al Quso?

Filed under: AfPak, Air strike, USA, USS Cole, aq statements, fahd, photos, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:40 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010

alquso2009.jpg

Maybe he’s in Aden at his mum’s house building a bomb in the kitchen, (just random speculation). Fahd was convicted in the USS Cole bombing and granted early release in 2007.

Yemen Observer: Al-Quso is believed to be hiding in the al-Said district of Shabwa, close to the Abyan province border according to Major Mansoor Hadi, security director of the Mayfa district of Shabwa. However, the major was unsure if this location was accurate.

Ahmed Salim abdul Salam, one of ‘Al al-Abdullah bin Dahah Sheikhs in Wadi Rafadh, al-Quso’s hometown, was unaware of his whereabouts.

“He’s not here. They released news about his death and we’re not sure whether he is alive or dead,” said the Sheikh. He also stated that al-Quso, along with Qasim al-Raymi, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, and Said al-Shihri lived in Wadi Rafadh for a period of time following al-Quso’s release in 2007.

“American drones flew over us yesterday and earlier today,” said the Sheikh when asked if he believed that US forces were actively engaged in searching for al-Quso.

Break my heart. He was supposed to be dead in Pakistan. What was that all about?

USS Cole bomber Fahd al Quso listed as Global Terrorist

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USS Cole, personalities — by Jane Novak at 4:48 pm on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apparently Fahd al Quso is not dead if the SD just listed him, and is likely still in Yemen, bummer. Fahd could be the most dangerous terrorist in Yemen and is among the most dangerous in the world.

State Dept: Today the Secretary of State announced the designation of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operative Fahd al-Quso as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. (Read on …)

Zawaheri in Yemen (1990’s) and Nuclear Terror

Filed under: Counter-terror, Religious, TI: External, USA, USS Cole, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:31 am on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zawaheri spent a lot of time in Yemen in the 1990’s, many of these relationships remain intact. Osama bin Laden was also a frequent visitor. One strong line of thinking in the ME puts bin Laden behind the murder of Azzam. Also we cannot assess AQAP as a new entity that sprung fully formed from the womb of the PSO prison in 2006, without taking into account the context of the prior three decades, and the global inter-relation among various jihaddis and groups, that would be stupid.

Al Qaeda’s Religious Justification of Nuclear Weapons NFB: “This vanguard constitutes the solid base [qaeda in Arabic] for the hoped-for society … We shall continue the jihad no matter how long the way, until the last breath and the last beat of the pulse–or until we see the Islamic state established.”[1] Abdullah Azzam

When legendary jihadist Abdullah Azzam was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in November 1989, suspects in his murder included Osama bin Laden and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. (Read on …)

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 YEMEN SIDE

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 …)

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 …)

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