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 ” ?
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

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: and Yemen Rights Monitor for all the recent updates, military conflicts and political statements: 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


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


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 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 …)

Obama Drops Charges Against USS Cole Bomber, Nashiri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen Captures Previously Surrendered al Qaeda Hizam Majali

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

Limburg defendant survives hellfire attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its certainly clear now.

Update: SABA the state propaganda agency:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Read on …)

al Kirby: Just Give Us the Money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen al Qaeda Threatens International Fleet

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

It all goes back to the Malaysia meeting

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

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

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

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

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

USS Cole CDR Lippold: Yemen- Unreliable and Untrustworthy

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USS Cole, arrests, attacks, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:15 pm on Friday, June 12, 2009

Truth to power:

Washington, DC – Kirk S. Lippold, Former USS Cole Commander and Senior Military Fellow at Military Families United, released the following statement concerning the recently reported news that the Obama Administration is nearing a deal to send a considerable portion of the estimated 100 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi “terrorist rehabilitation centers.”

“The impact of turning Yemeni detainees over to either Saudi Arabia or Yemen is an unacceptable compromise to our national security. Saudi Arabia has proven ineffective in rehabilitating terrorists and Yemen has consistently proven to be an untrustworthy and unreliable partner in the war on terror.

Transferring Yemeni detainees to Saudi Arabia will inevitably lead to more terrorists on the battlefield. It will endanger the lives of our military for a second time. Currently, one in seven former GITMO detainees has rejoined the fight. If President Obama transfers these detainees to Saudi Arabia or Yemen, he is putting the national security interests of the United States second to nations that still form the cradle of al Qaeda recruiting efforts and their campaign of terror. In addition, this transfer says to our troops and their families that the campaign promise to close GITMO is more important than their safety and their lives.

The lenient treatment of those who attacked USS Cole is the starkest evidence of the Yemeni government’s complicity in supporting those who carried out the attack. The lead co-conspirator, al Badawi, is currently held in minimal security, if in jail at all. The government’s joke of a trial, where he received the death penalty and then escaped twice before being recaptured, demonstrates their inability to even wage the most basic war tactics against al Qaeda. The USS Cole families and many of America’s military families have already paid too dear a price in the war on terror. With each detainee transfer, it becomes more and more evident that the President’s priorities do not lie with our men and women in uniform and those who bear the burden and the sacrifice of the War on Terror – the families.”

“Yemen’s Terror Problem”

Filed under: USA, USS Cole, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:33 am on Thursday, May 21, 2009

The WSJ finds the US under Bush and Obama oddly reluctant to push Saleh on the Cole bombers (lets not forget al Quso), preferring to indulge him instead, while Yemen descends into a failed terrorist state.

The root of the problem is the government’s tacit non-aggression pact with al Qaeda. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh tells American officials he can’t push too hard, and for too long the U.S. has indulged him. The Saudis used to play this same double game. Then al Qaeda attacks killed some 200 people and jolted them into a crackdown. The Kingdom has been free of terrorist violence for the past three years.

But the threat is now regathering in Yemen. In 2002, a CIA Hellfire missile took out Abu Ali al-Harithi, the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen. His replacement was also captured, but then the government backed off. A new generation of leaders emerged after 23 Yemenis, including at least a dozen al Qaeda members, dug a tunnel out of a Yemen jail cell to a nearby mosque. The escape had all the signs of an inside job, and most of the escapees are still free.

Among them is Nasir al-Wahayshi, a 33-year-old who now runs al Qaeda in Yemen. In January, the group “merged” with the Saudi al Qaeda chapter, with al-Wahayshi now “emir of the Arabian peninsula.” By the Yemen foreign minister’s own estimate, between 1,000-1,500 al Qaeda and like-minded fighters are in the country. The U.S. embassy was attacked with a mortar last March and six suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of the compound in September, killing 13.

The U.S. is in talks with the Saudis and Yemenis about the Gitmo detainees. American officials favor putting them through a Saudi rehabilitation center before release. That’s almost as risky as sending them directly to Yemen. Eleven former Saudi Gitmo inmates who went through rehab are back on the government’s most wanted terrorist list. Said Ali al-Shihri turned up in a January video as al Qaeda’s No. 2 man on the Arabian peninsula based in Yemen. If some of the Yemenis rejoined the global jihad — and the odds suggest they would — all that alleged “global good will” won for closing Gitmo will have come at far too high a price.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has other unfinished terrorist business in Yemen. Jamal al-Badawi has confessed his role in recruiting the suicide bombers and renting the skiff used in the U.S.S. Cole attack, in sworn testimony to the FBI admissable in U.S. court. Seventeen Americans died in the 2000 bombing. A Yemeni court convicted and sentenced him to death, but he twice escaped from prison. Recaptured, he supposedly pledged loyalty to President Saleh and was freed in 2007. In response to U.S. pressure, Yemen only last fall put al-Badawi back in custody.

For unexplained reasons, the Bush and Obama Administrations have been reluctant to push Mr. Saleh to hand over al-Badawi and others behind the Cole bombing to the U.S. for trial. The al-Badawi case is a good test of Yemen’s willingness to stand up to al Qaeda and reverse its descent into a failed terrorist state.

Zuhair and the Cole

Filed under: Other Countries, USS Cole, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 3:15 pm on Wednesday, January 28, 2009


However, it seems that his deportation from Bosnia and Herzegovina, either to Serbia or Bahrain, will be delayed for some time. The Bosnian Federation Prosecutor’s Office is also hoping to question Al Hamad with regard to a handful of murders allegedly committed by Mujahideen fighters. (Read on …)

Hamdan Released in Yemen

Filed under: USS Cole, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:02 pm on Monday, January 12, 2009

Bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, was released in Yemen this week Yemeni authorities confirm. The US Military Tribunal sentenced Hamdan to five years, including time served, and returned him to Yemen in November. He served the next and last month of his sentence in jail and is now free.

Follow up measures by the Yemeni government are likely to be lax, considering even terrorists convicted of murder in Yemen get amnesty. (I am referencing the perpetrators of the 2000 USS Cole terror attack that killed 17 US sailors. The terrorists, according to the WaPo, are all free.) Like the terrorists Yemen has already freed, Hamdan gave a pledge to refrain from violence. Yemen’s rehabilitation program strives to convince the jihaddists that President Saleh is not an apostate. The program is widely understood to be a mechanism of expedited release.

The sentence meted out to Hamdan is in stark contrast to that given to that given to Ali Hamza Bahlul, who was sentenced to life in prison for solicitation to commit murder. Bahlul created jihaddist recruiting videos for bin Laden. The reasoning behind his conviction is very similar to that used by the International Criminal Court to convict Rwandan radio station operators of incitement to murder for broadcasting calls to kill Tutsis’s duing the Rwandan genocide. Bahlul is both clearly guilty and clearly a continuing threat. Next up for the Military Commissions is al-Nashiri, allegedly a major figure in the USS Cole bombing along with several other terror attacks and plots. If there is another trial.

Focusing on the Military Commissions themselves, its clear they have been conducted with a high degree of professionalism. As one of the victims’ family members told us, “Thank God we have individuals who are willing to see that justice is served… We are extremely proud of the prosecutions professionalism, dedication and their diligence in their work.”

In Yemen, the same backwards farce continues. The latest outrage by that psychotic mafia is the attempted assassination of a blogger and the imprisonment and torture of several others. Torture in Yemen is real torture. See our earlier report, Witness Testimony From the Dungeons of Yemeni Prisons and note some of these victims are 10 and 12 year old children. What is the Obamamessiah to do?

Not only does Yemen torture its children, but it has been documented to be committing crimes against humanity by withholding food and medicine from the civilian population in the war torn Sa’ada region, while bombing them. Tom Joscelyn of the Long War Journal sent me a breakdown of the remaining Yemeni detainees by “red flags”. And the vast majority have three of more indicators. Some of them are bad dudes (and some not), and recidivism rates are high for committed jihaddists.

News today from the Obama camp is that he will order Gitmo closed within weeks of his ascention to power. What the plan is after that is unclear. If they come onto US soil, and are found not guilty, they will be able to apply for political asylum to remain in the US according to current law. If they are relased to Yemen, they will be freed to operate in an environment that lacks of counter-terror restraints and encourages jihaddists mentality.

Sri Lankan FM: USS Cole Attack Mirrored 1991 LTTE Attack

Filed under: USS Cole, attacks — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Minister Bogollagama spoke of Sri Lanka’s deeply rooted democratic tradition, which he traced to the granting of universal adult franchise in 1931 and said that the trappings of democracy, manifested by the right of the people to go to the polls periodically and elect a government of their choice or in the many magnificent edifices housing the seat of Parliament, the Presidency or the Palaces of justice, do not qualify a country to be a true democratic state. Real democracy becomes alive in a state where the government is accountable to the people and where the rule of law is upheld by a fearless and independent judiciary.

Speaking further, the Foreign Minister drew the attention of the assembled august gathering to the similarity of the methods employed by the LTTE and the terrorists who had staged the multiple attacks on Mumbai last month and said that the fact that these attacks were committed by terrorists getting in from the Arabian Sea aboard a hijacked vessel, underscored the need for the international community to beef up maritime security. He recalled his address to the Shangri-La Forum in June 2007,where he had pointed out the Al Qaeda suicide attack on ‘USS Cole’ in October 2000,as a copycat of the LTTE’s attack on a Sri lankan naval vessel ‘Abheetha’ in 1991,which had been even acknowledged by the Sea Tigers chief, Soosai.

An analysis by Starfor finds similarity between the Mumbai attack and the ‘93 NY landmarks plot. The point being the long shelf life of a good plot and the web connecting major players and groups. I remain hopeful that the Mumbai attack was not the sign referenced in the November 9 statement in al-Quds Al-Arabya.

Yemenis Ramzi bin al Shaibh and Walid bin Attash Seek to Admit Guilt in 9/11 Plot

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 11:51 am on Monday, December 8, 2008

Update: Judge refuses the plea which includes the condition by the five detainees that they are immediatelyh sentenced to death, that’s their request which the judge refused.

Both are also accused in the USS Cole bombing, which they should hopefully be tried for as well.

Its unclear at this point if this is a formal pleading or just an admission of guilt. In a letter to the court, they requested a hearing to announce their confessions. The court is determining if it is proper to plead guilty in a death penalty case or if a defense is automatically required. The two also fired their lawyers amid the lawyers’ charges the defendants were overly influenced by Khalid Sheik Mohammed in making the guilty plea.


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Confessed al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four 9/11 accused co-conspirators offered to plead guilty Monday to orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The surprise turnabout came in what was meant to be a routine pre-trial hearing at the war court, or military commission.

The Pentagon seeks the death penalty in their case.

But the defendants made no mention of the death penalty or ”martyrdom” as Mohammed calls it, during the morning session before Army Col. Stephen Henely. (Read on …)

Convicted Al-Qaeda Operative Still Bloodthirsty

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 8:32 am on Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Miami Herald sent a reporter to Gitmo for the trial, and you can see the difference in the depth of the reporting from the majority of the big outlets that are just reprinting the AP version.

Bin Laden cohort defiant after getting life sentence
A military jury convicted Osama bin Laden’s media secretary of three war crimes charges then condemned the terrorist to serve life in prison; he responded with defiance.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A military jury Monday convicted Osama bin Laden’s media secretary of war crimes for creating an al Qaeda recruiting video that prosecutors argued incited suicide bombers. Within hours, the jury ordered him to serve life in prison.

The convict, Ali Hamza al Bahlul, about 40, responded by breaking his week-long boycott of the trial with a 50-minute anti-American monologue.

He declared his devotion to Allah, berated the United States for the plight of the Palestinians and, noting his election-eve conviction, announced that radical Islam’s war with the West would persist with whoever succeeds President Bush.

”We have fought and we fight and will fight any government that governs America,” said Bahlul. He waved a poem he wrote in Arabic in praise of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, The Storm of the Airplanes, and said he had volunteered for that suicide mission.

Until he was convicted, the Yemeni father of four had declined to mount a defense and sat silently, occasionally smiling at the mention of his handiwork. (Read on …)

Update from Gary at the Bahlul Trial in Gitmo: Thank God we have people like these

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 3:04 pm on Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I agree.

Gary’s such a nice guy, well to me anyway. He made a post with his take on the process and players:

Thank-God we have individuals who are willing to see that justice is served against terrorists. Otherwise if the liberals had their way they would all be released….

The Military Commission has treated my wife and myself with great respect. They have worked their butts off on this trial. And did an excellent job in court at obtaining justice for our son and his 16 mates. All the military people here at Gitmo have been kind to us and have been supportive of us as well. We are extremely proud of the prosecutions professionalism, dedication and their diligence in their work. And of all the sailors, air force, army, marines, and coast guard members. We were and are impressed with their professionalism and will remember them for ever.

Check Gary’s blog for the whole post.

Second Yemeni on Trial at Gitmo

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, personalities — by Jane Novak at 2:51 pm on Saturday, November 1, 2008

Witness: Gitmo detainee wants Americans targeted

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – Osama bin Laden’s former media aide produced a video portraying the United States as evil to motivate suicide attacks by al-Qaeda recruits, an ex-FBI agent testified at a war-crimes trial Wednesday.
Prosecutors ran a video allegedly put together by Ali Hamza al-Bahlul showing bin Laden and other terror group leaders calmly describing why they believe Muslims must wage jihad and defeat “American infidels.” It also had footage of al-Qaeda training camps, Israeli soldiers beating suspects, U.S. presidents visiting troops in the Middle East and wounded Muslim children.

“Muslims don’t like to die,” former FBI agent and al-Qaeda expert Ali Soufan testified. “This is to instigate recruitments for suicide bombings.”

The video also shows news images of the USS Cole, then cartoonish images of an explosion in an amateurish attempt to depict al-Qaeda’s bombing of the Navy warship in 2000.

The slender, bearded 39-year-old Yemeni defendant, who is refusing to speak during his trial, pounded the defense table when the video showed Muslim women being manhandled by security agents. He leaned forward with interest when images of bin Laden appeared.

Soufan testified that al-Bahlul, whom he interrogated in 2002, considers all Americans – even Muslims – to be enemies.

“He believes this war is only the beginning. It is Armageddon,” Soufan said. “He said America only understands blood.” (Read on …)

Open Letter to President Saleh on the 8th Anniversary of the USS Cole Attack

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 7:00 pm on Sunday, October 12, 2008

from Gary Swenchonis Sr., father of Gary Swenchonis Jr., killed in the terror attack on the USS Cole, October 12, 2000

October 10, 2008
President Saleh,

It’s that time of year again; yet another anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole in Port Aden, Yemen on October 12th, 2000. In that attack, our son and sixteen of his mates were brutally murdered, and 39 other sailors were wounded.

Since the last time I wrote you a year ago, many changes, some positive and some not, have occurred in relation to the attack on the Cole and the status of your corrupt regime. First and foremost, we wrote our Texas representative and members of Congress asking for a Congressional Hearing into why our government still supports your dictatorship after you gave the plotters and planners of the Cole attack reduced sentences and pardons for the murders of 17 American Sailors. The rest of the convicted killers conveniently escaped from your prisons. And some remain free to this day, eight years after the attack.

Our Senators have kept us informed as to our requests. We received word recently from them that next year Congress will hold Judiciary Committee hearings. We are extremely grateful to the politicians who have decided that its way past the time to review and hopefully take action against you and your regime. And to put an end to all your worthless and broken promises that you made to two American presidents and our government.

It can now be stated as fact, President Saleh, that FBI Agent John O’Neil and his team were correct in their suspicion that you and your government knew much more about the pending attack on the Cole than you admitted after the attack. Unfortunately, Ambassador Bodine and President Clinton refused to let the FBI follow up on their leads and question members of your government and family after the attack. Instead FBI agent O’Neil was kicked out of your country for wanting to conduct a proper investigation. How ironic that he would be killed in the 9/11 attack less than one year later; an attack that-if Presidents Clinton and Bush had heeded his requests-would not have happened in all probability. (Read on …)

PSA: US Congress to Hold Judiciary Meetings on USS Cole, 2009

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:18 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2008

Congress will hold judicary meetings next year on the USS Cole bombing and investigation in 2009. The next step after that is congressional hearings.

Cole bomber earlier released from custody, Bin Laden letter found with al-Badawi?

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, attacks, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:42 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This article is from the year 2000. I hadn’t seen it before so I need to throw it somewhere. The letter is an allegation and was never turned over.


One of the suicide bombers who attacked the destroyer Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden last year had been arrested — and released — just 17 months earlier by Yemeni authorities on charges of conspiring to kidnap Americans working in Yemen.

The suspect, Hassan Said Awadh Khemeri, a Yemeni who had trained at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan run by Osama bin Laden, was one of several suspects in the Cole attack who had been arrested in prior cases but released, according to interviews with officials in Yemen and the United States.

These interviews suggest that Yemeni authorities knew more about the men who attacked the Cole than they have acknowledged, and that they failed to scrutinize the ties of men long suspected of extremist activity.

American law enforcement officials complain that Yemeni officials have withheld information about the Cole plot from the United States. Indeed, several American investigators suspect that some Yemeni government officials knew about the attack before it was launched on Oct. 12 last year.

One Yemeni official familiar with his country’s investigation has charged that crucial evidence that he says links Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda to the bombing has never been turned over to the F.B.I.

The evidence cited by the official included a letter believed to have been written by Mr. bin Laden and found in the house of one of the suspected Cole plotters in Yemen. It could provide the firmest link yet between Al Qaeda and the bombing, which killed 17 American sailors. (Read on …)

Al-Nashiri Charged in the USS Cole Bombing

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 1:20 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Pentagon has charged Gitmo detainee Abdelrahim al-Nashiri in the October 2000 USS Cole bombing which left 17 US service members killed and 49 wounded in the port of Aden, Yemen. Charges include:

• conspiracy to violate the law of war
• murder in violation of the law of war
• treachery or perfidy
• terrorism
• destruction of property in violation of the law of war
• intentionally causing serious bodily injury
• providing material support to terrorism
• attempted murder

Fahd al-Quso’s Free, Received Foreign Money Transfers

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:09 pm on Sunday, June 22, 2008

But never fear: the Yemeni government talked to his guarantors.

Fahd al-Quso, convicted USS Cole bomber freed by Yemeni authorities, was involved in recent terror attacks and is supposedly being hunted. His family warned the Shabwa governor in a letter not to take action and expressed willingness to disclose the source of international financial transfers recieved by al-Quso.

Yemen Post

In a letter directed to Interior Minister, Political Security and Shabwa Governor, the family of Fahd Al-Qas’e, one of those accused of attacking USS Cole, warned against any assault or taking any measure against him.

Al-Qus’e was convicted in 2004 by the State Specialized Penal Court of being trained at the hands of Jamal Al-Badawi for using the camera to make footages of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 off Aden’s coasts.

According to the indictment, Al-Qus’e got the keys of the building from which he took footages of bombing after receiving signals on pager with the code 1010.

He also traveled to Afghanistan where he was trained on how to make explosives, anti-aircrafts missiles and other weapons.

Though he was sentenced for 10 years, Al-Qas’e was released after serving a short term in prison. He is now hunted by security forces following a series of terrorist acts that targeted oil facilities and foreign interests.

Further, security authorities also summoned his guarantors after they tracked money transfers from foreign parties outside the country.

However, the family asserted that these transfers come from relatives and sons who are living abroad, hinting that none can hold them on account for that only when these sums are exploited for acts that undermine security and stability.

They also expressed their readiness to talk with security over the source of these transfers, maintaining they reject any measure that runs counter to law.

In related news, the Sana’a-based U.S. Embassy renewed its request for extraditing Jabr Al-Bana, a Yemeni-American citizen to face the accusations raised against him in the United States.

The Embassy spokesman stated on Saturday that talks are underway in order to secure extraditing Jabr Al-Bana and Jamal Al-Badawi accused of plotting the attack that targeted USS Cole in 2000. The operation left 17 American Marines dead and dozens others injured.

US Embassy pursues extradiction or at least imprisonment in Yemen:

News Yemen The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a said the United States believes that Jamal al-Badawi and Jabr al-Banna, wanted by US, should be extradited to the United Sates to be tried before a US court. (Read on …)

Ali Soufan Nails It in an Oped About the USS Cole Bombing and its Aftermath

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 8:32 am on Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bingo! Good stuff.

Coddling Terrorists In Yemen
By Ali H. Soufan
Saturday, May 17, 2008; A17

Seven years after al-Qaeda terrorists Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Quso confessed to me their crucial involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole, and three years after they were convicted in a Yemeni court — where a judge imposed a death sentence on Badawi — they, along with many other al-Qaeda terrorists, are free. On Oct. 12, 2000, when I flew to Yemen to lead the FBI’s Cole investigation, I had no idea how uncooperative the Yemeni government would initially be. Nor could I have imagined how disconnected from reality the U.S. ambassador to Yemen then, Barbara K. Bodine, would prove.

I have hesitated in the past to share my view of the conflict between Bodine and the FBI’s counterterrorism leader, John O’Neill. I feel compelled, however, to respond to Bodine’s recent comments, which slander the efforts of many dedicated counterterrorism agents and divert attention from the significant terrorist problem within Yemen, our “ally” in the “war on terror.”

A recent Post report on Yemen allowing al-Qaeda operatives to go free offered insight into the challenges the FBI faced. Bodine was quoted in the article not urging the Yemeni government to rearrest the terrorists but, instead, denigrating the agents who investigated the attack. She faulted the FBI as being slow to trust Yemeni authorities and said agents were “dealing with a bureaucracy and a culture they didn’t understand. . . . We had one group working on a New York minute, and another on a 4,000-year-old history.”

In fact, our team included several Arab American agents who understood the culture and the region. Even so, such comments were irrelevant. The FBI left Yemen with the terrorists in jail.

It is true that while tracking the terrorists we worked “on a New York minute.” We owed that much to the sailors murdered on the Cole and to all innocent people who remained targets as long as the terrorists were free.

It is also true that we did not trust some Yemeni officials. We had good reason not to:

When the FBI arrived in Yemen, some government officials tried to convince us that the explosion had been caused by a malfunction in the Cole’s operating systems. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh even asked the U.S. government for money to clean up port damage the United States “caused.”

After we took representatives from various security agencies aboard the Cole and proved to them that the explosion was caused by an external attack, some Yemeni officials claimed that those responsible had died in the attack and that there was no reason to keep investigating. Similar excuses and smoke screens were rampant.

We faced constant threats to our safety, not just from terrorists. Members of the Yemeni parliament, in fiery speeches broadcast on official television, called for “jihad” to be declared against us. The hotel where we stayed was shot at and received at least one bomb threat, prompting an evacuation.

Rather than supporting us, Bodine declared John O’Neill, a man greatly respected by his Yemeni counterparts, persona non grata.

Many American officials in Yemen, including members of Bodine’s team, shared our frustration. Even victims of the Cole were offended by her. I’ll never forget one sailor telling me that Bodine visited the ship soon after the attack and acted “as if we had just inconvenienced her country.”

We had other reasons to be suspicious. For example, the State Department issued a “Search for Justice” poster offering a reward for information related to the bombing. After the poster was translated into Arabic, it ended up warning anyone against helping us. Was it a mistake, or calculated interference?

Ultimately, many Yemeni officials cooperated with us. We developed partnerships based on mutual respect and understanding — thanks to the dedication of agents on the ground.

Using DNA, we eventually discovered the bombers’ identities, and, through other forms of forensics, we were able to identify more terrorists, track them down and prosecute them in Yemeni courts. Working together, we disrupted further terrorist plots and protected U.S. interests. We were successful, and the release of al-Qaeda operatives cannot be blamed on the FBI.

FBI Director Robert Mueller was in Yemen last month demanding that the terrorists be held accountable for their crimes. It is difficult, however, for one hand to clap alone. The U.S. government needs a coordinated strategy on Yemen.

If Yemen is truly an ally, it should act as an ally. Until it does, U.S. aid to Yemen should be reevaluated. It will be impossible to defeat al-Qaeda if our “allies” are freeing the convicted murderers of U.S. citizens and terrorist masterminds while receiving direct U.S. financial aid.

The families of the victims of the USS Cole, and all Americans who want to see terrorists face justice, should be assured that this is not over. Many determined agents will not rest until justice is served. Their efforts, thankfully, receive unconditional support from Mueller. In the FBI, we believe that fidelity to our fallen heroes’ bravery exemplifies true integrity and real patriotism.

The writer was an FBI supervisory special agent from 1997 to May 2005.

Ew-rah. That needed to be said.

Update: published also on Al-Sahwa, website of the Islah party.

Where’s Al-Badawi

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Saturday, May 10, 2008

So if he’s really in jail, then its not a problem is it? The fact that the story doesn’t say Saleh agreed to it indicates he’s not. And furthermore, there would be a lot less tension about Yemen’s refusal to extradicte al-Badawi if he was in jail, where he should be. The US never asked for him until recently.

U.S. “uncertain” about USS Cole bomber’s incarceration

Sana’a, May 10, 2008 (yemenonline) – The U.S. State Department asked the Yemeni authorities to allow some of its embassy officials in Sana’a to visit USS Cole bomber Jamal al-Badawi without a prior permission.

A State Department source said that this request comes as U.S. doubts regarding al-Badawi’s incarceration are growing.

Source: Radio SAWA

All the USS Cole Bombers Free in Yemen, Journalist on Trial for Terrorism

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:24 am on Sunday, May 4, 2008

On October 12, 2000, two suicide bombers on an explosives laden dingy attacked a US destroyer in the Gulf of Aden, killing 17 US service members and injuring 49 others. The perpetrators of this terror plot are all free in Yemen despite being found guilty in court and sentenced to jail.

If Saudi Arabia pardoned 9/11 highjacker Mohammed Atta while imprisoning a completely innocent journalist on terrorism charges, the US would be in an uproar. But that’s exactly what is going on in Yemen. The USS Cole bombers are free. My good friend, the journalist al-Khaiwani, is on trial in terrorism court. Sentencing is May 21.

Regular readers are familiar with the Yemeni regime’s habitual accommodation of al-Qaeda terrorists, but this is a great article from the WaPo on the bombers. Besides what I’ve written, its the first comprehensive treatment of what happened to the bombers after the trial. Much of details we published on the last anniversary, but the WaPo incorporates the recent updates on the release of mastermind Jamal al-Badawi and apparently now, also Fahd al-Quso. The article also has some interesting quotes.

One thing that’s new to me is al-Nashiri was in Taiz after the bombing, but the Yemeni government insisted he was out of the country. This type of obstruction is actually quite in character with the regime’s approach to the USS Cole investigation and, generally speaking, to the murderers of US soldiers whether on the Cole or in Iraq:

Amid the friction, U.S. and Yemeni investigators soon identified the ringleader of the attack as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national of Yemeni descent who served as al-Qaeda’s operations chief in the Arabian Peninsula.

At the time, Yemeni authorities insisted that Nashiri had fled the country before the Cole bombing. But a senior Yemeni official said that was not the case and that Yemeni investigators had located Nashiri in Taizz, a city about 90 miles northwest of Aden, soon after the attack. The official said Nashiri spent several months in Taizz, where he received high-level protection from the government. “We knew where he was, but we could not arrest him,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation.

Nashiri eventually left Yemen to prepare other attacks on U.S. targets in the Persian Gulf, U.S. officials said. He was captured in the United Arab Emirates in November 2002 and handed over to the CIA. He was detained in the CIA’s secret network of overseas prisons until he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2006.

Sooner or later attention will turn to the fact that regime affiliated persons are using tools of the state in a variety of ways to produce and facilitate suicide bombers of all nationalities that kill our troops in Iraq. In 2005-2006, over 1800 Yemeni jihaddists went to Iraq with the assistance of Yemeni military commanders and others within the Yemeni administration. That’s another part of the paradigm that needs coverage.

It’s nice to see some US governmental outrage about the release of the USS Cole bombers. The families need to know that, so do our soldiers and the rest of the country.

Q: “After we worked day and night to bring justice to the victims and prove that these Qaeda operatives were responsible, we’re back to square one,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent and a lead investigator into the bombing. “Do they have laws over there or not? It’s really frustrating what’s happening.”

A: Yes, Yemen does have laws and they are quite consistently applied. This is no anomaly. One way to discern what the laws actually are is to compare the lenient treatment of al-Qaeda with harsh treatment of a) criminals and tribal kidnappers, b) the Houthis and the 700,000 people in Sa’ada or c) the southerners and their leaders. It is often said that Saleh is bending to public pressure on the al-Qaeda issue; however he refuses to bend to public pressure on any other issue, be it the south, Sa’ada, reform or even the fuel riots. It is an alliance, whether financially or ideologically driven. To stipulate that Saleh is unable to move against al-Qaeda in any way presupposes that the movement was always or has become as powerful as the military and tribal legs of the regime. The alternate view is that Saleh chooses not to antagonize al-Qaeda because it benefits him in some way or another. The current rash of missing mortars and nightime bombings of government buildings is a result of Saleh’s policy of appeasement, one way or another.

From the article:

Yemen’s interior minister, Rashad al-Alimi, said the deal-cutting was necessary because al-Qaeda has rebuilt its networks in Yemen and is targeting the government.

“Our battle with al-Qaeda is a long one,” he said. “It isn’t our battle only. Our tragedy — and what makes things worse — is that al-Qaeda is united. And our coalition is divided, even though we have a common enemy.”

Some Yemenis have questioned whether their government has other motives. One senior Yemeni official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Badawi and other al-Qaeda members have a long relationship with Yemen’s intelligence agencies and were recruited in the past to target political opponents.

Al-Qaeda functioning as a paramilitary of the Yemeni regime at the behest of the intel agencies and their commanders raises the question of the terms of the quid pro quo.

Al-Qaeda’s Repeat Offenders: Bin Attash

Filed under: USA, USS Cole, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 4:49 pm on Thursday, May 1, 2008


Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek bin ‘Attash, a Yemeni national, has been charged with conspiracy, attacking civilians and civilian objects, causing serious bodily injury, murder, destruction of property, hijacking, terrorism and providing material support for terrorism. Bin ‘Attash is specifically accused of having been instructed by Osama bin Laden to obtain a US visa so he could travel to the US and receive pilot training in order to participate in the eventual hijacking. It is also alleged that he applied for a US visa in 1999 but was denied, after which the government claims he continued to do research for al-Qaeda and facilitated travel for the 9/11 hijackers. (Read on …)

Fahd al Quso Free in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, USS Cole, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 2:39 pm on Monday, April 28, 2008

Excuse me while my head explodes; however, I didn’t think Mueller’s visit was to praise Yemeni democracy. Apparently Bush’s call wasn’t either.

Suicide bombers attacked the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000, killing seventeen US sailors and injuring forty-nine others. Two convicted facilitators of the terror plot escaped twice and now both are free in Yemen, apparently with the Yemeni government’s approval.

Jamal al-Badawi was reported released on October 16, 2007. Now Newsweek reports that the US believes Fahd al-Quso is also free in Yemen. Both al-Quso and al-Badawi escaped from Yemeni jail in 2003. They were indicted in absentia in the US charged with 50 offenses each including conspiracy to murder and the murder of U.S. nationals; conspiracy to murder, the murder and attempted murder of U.S. military personnel aboard the USS Cole and the USS The Sullivans; and providing material support to the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

Both later were recaptured in Yemen in 2004. A Yemeni court sentenced Al-Quso to ten years in connection with the Cole bombing and Al-Badawi was sentenced to death, which was later reduced to 15 years. Both escaped jail again in 2006 and al-Quso remains free. President Saleh said at the time that he was in contact with all the escapees. Al-Badawi surrendered in October 2007 and was allowed house arrest. After strong US protests, al-Badawi was returned to jail, at least for a day where he was seen by US officials. When FBI Director inquired as to al-Badawi’s status during a recent visit with Yemeni President Saleh, “Saleh gave no clear answers about the suspect, Jamal al-Badawi, leaving Mueller ‘angry and very frustrated’, said one (Newsweek) source, who added that he’s rarely seen the normally taciturn FBI director so upset.” Newsweek also notes, “U.S. officials only recently learned that another indicted Cole bomber, Fahed al-Quso, broke out of a Yemeni jail along with Badawi two years ago and remains a free man.”

The paper noted, The cases last Friday prompted President George W. Bush to have his own phone call with Saleh—a leader he once warmly praised for his cooperation in the War on Terror. “We are not fully satisfied yet,” said one national security official familiar with the conversation.

In January, we were honored to publish a letter from Gary Swenchonis to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Gary is the father of Gary Swenchonis Jr. who was killed aboard the USS Cole. Mr. Swenchonis asked President Saleh to imprison his son’s killers according to the Yemeni court’s verdict. Apparently Saleh has a greater loyalty to these fanatical terrorists than he does to the US, the concept of justice or Yemeni courts. But that’s no surprise. (Read on …)

US Navy Yet to Return to Aden

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:57 pm on Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Defense News

U.S. Navy Yet To Return to Aden
By christopher p. cavas
Published: 10 Apr 15:23 EDT (11:23 GMT) Print | Email

Once terrorists have chased out United States forces, do those forces go back?

Not in the case of Yemen and the USS Cole.

The Navy confirmed April 10 that no port visits have been conducted in the port of Aden since the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 wounded in the attack, which took place during what was intended as a brief refueling stopover.

Aden is in a key location for U.S. and coalition forces, who routinely operate out of nearby Djibouti and patrol the Horn of Africa region. (Read on …)

Bin Laden’s Driver Wants to Talk to the Other Yemenis at Gitmo

Filed under: USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:31 am on Tuesday, February 19, 2008

But they are not asking for not Saleh’s boy, al-Hilal.

Hamden’s lawyers are seeking access to Attash, al-Nishiri and bin Al-Shibibh.

I find it hard to believe there is not enough evidence to try Attash and al-Nishiri for the USS Cole bombing.

Miami Herald: Pentagon prosecutors are challenging a military court’s decision to let Osama bin Laden’s driver send written questions to alleged senior al Qaeda members held incommunicado at Guantánamo. (Read on …)

Two Yemenis Charged with over 2900 murders Committed on 9/11/2001

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:41 am on Monday, February 11, 2008

OK I understand they have to charge what they have the proof on, but how about charging bin Attash with the USS Cole bombing?

Yahoo News: The Pentagon is charging six detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America, and will seek the death penalty….

The New York Times reported in Monday’s editions that the others are Mohammed al-Qahtani, the man officials have labeled the 20th hijacker; Ramzi Binalshibh, said to have been the main intermediary between the hijackers and leaders of Al Qaeda; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, known as Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been identified as Mohammed’s lieutenant for the 2001 operation; al-Baluchi’s assistant, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi; and Waleed bin Attash, a detainee known as Khallad, who investigators say selected and trained some of the hijackers.

From my article, The USS Cole Bombing, A Seven Year Prespective

Bin Laden made a deal with the Yemeni government in 1999, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. After A l-Qaeda operative Khallad bin Attash was arrested in Yemen, Bin Laden contacted a Yemeni official and bargained for Attash’s release. The Yemeni regime released Attash and promised not to confront al-Qaeda. In exchange, Bin Laden pledged not to attack Yemen. This pattern of negotiation continues today.

In 1999, Attash returned to Afghanistan. In January 2000 Attash along with Yemeni Fahd al-Quso attended a high level al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia at which the attacks on the USS Cole and the World Trade Center were discussed and planned. Attash, who was captured by US forces in Pakistan in 2003, confessed to organizing the Cole attack according to a military transcripts released at his hearing held at Guantanamo Bay. Al-Quso who helped prepared the bombing of the USS Cole was found guilty in a Yemeni court.

Forum for the Future Cancelled

Filed under: USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:46 am on Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wow. In December, Condi postponed the Forum for the Future at the last minute, scheduling difficulty I think she said. Also some other foreign ministers said they coldn’t come. Now its rescheduled for Dubai.

Its not so much that the regime is refusing to extradite al-Badawi; its that they didnt keep him in jail for his 15 year term. Instead he escaped twice, surrendered twice and was given a conditional release in October, dragged back to jail for a day and then released again. Al-Wasat newspaper put him in Marib after the second release. The guy is a convicted killer who perpetrated a terror attack on an American warship, killing 17 US sailors including Gary Swenchonis whose father’s letter AOL recently posted. The fact that the Yemeni regime is more interested in placating al-Qaeda than the US says a lot about the sincerity of Yemen’s partnership in the GWOT, if we are still allowed to call it that.

Jan 24,2008-Exclusive – Yemenonline – Well informed foreign source told Yemenonline that Forum for Future meetings are to be held in Dubai instead of Yemen after US Administration managed to prevent its holding in Yemen last December 2007. American stance was based on the Yemen authority’s rejection to hand over Jamal Al-Badawi American authorities consider him to be the key mastermind of USS Cole bombing in 2001. Political observers consider Washington’s stance to be a punishment for the Yemeni government following the latter’s adherence to its position. According to a previous statement by a source at the Foreign Ministry, handing over Al-Badawi to US authorities would subject the Yemen government to legal questioning. The foreign source also stressed that Japan is the organizer of the current forum’s activities and it binds itself to 2008 program, while Germany was in charge of 2007 activities which include organizing Future Forum last December in Sana’a. Yemenonline previously published this news before being officially announced.

The Forum for the Future was previously held in Morocco, Bahrain and Jordan.

Oh good. Someone is actually saying something:

AFPYemen had been slated by the Group of Eight most industrialised nations to hold the fourth forum in November, but it was postponed then because of Rice.

A foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday that “Yemen has decided to excuse itself from hosting the fourth Forum of the Future … because it has not received a commitment from the Group of Eight on a new date.”

However, the Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anyonymity, said the real reason was because “security concerns” meant Rice would stay away.

“The American administration is also unhappy with the Yemeni authorities for allowing Jamal al-Badawi, an Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen wanted by the United States for terrorism, to live at home rather than being kept in detention.”

Badawi was sentenced to death in September 2004 for his part in the USS Cole bomb attack, which killed 17 sailors, and which was claimed by Al-Qaeda. An appeals court later commuted the sentence to 15 years in jail.

An Open Letter for President Saleh from Gary Swenchonis Sr., the Father of Murdered USS Cole Sailor, Fireman Gary Swenchonis, Jr.

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 10:00 am on Monday, January 14, 2008

January 12, 2008

President Saleh,

cole_swenchonis.jpg It has been over seven years now since our son and his mates were brutally murdered in your country on October 12, 2000 when terrorists attacked the USS Cole and murdered 17 innocent young sailors and injured 39 more.

Let me begin by thanking all the Yemenis who called us at our home and sent letters of condolence. The kindness, compassion, warmth and sympathy expressed in those calls and letters comforted us and gave us a strength that we carry with us today.

Unfortunately we never received a letter of condolence from you or your government sir. You never even denounced that horrible tragedy, nor did anyone in your government. On the contrary, your government hindered the investigation at every turn. But then, so did our own; US Ambassador Bodine continually obstructed the FBI’s investigation.

When the trials were held in Yemen, the resulting sentences were a mockery of justice considering the heinous crime and multiple loss of life. Then those sentences were reduced upon appeal. Now it is my understanding that one or more of the killers recently received a conditional pardon from you. This is despicable sir!

But we expected no less from you or your government from the beginning. We pleaded with our government to have the killers extradited for trial to another country where the government is not in league with terrorists. I want you to know that I am doing everything in my power to see to it that Yemen is placed on the United States list of countries that “Support and Sanction Terrorists Acts”.

The Clinton Administration’s agreement with you to refuel the USS Cole in the harbor at Port Aden was signed with our son’s blood. Most Americans know now what we knew then, that the negotiations should never have been conducted considering your past connections to terrorists and that some members in your administration support terrorists. These include high ranking members of the military, security and intelligence services.

We Americans also know that most Yemenis want a real democracy, not the pseudo-democracy that you are the Dictator of now. I don’t want to see the good people of Yemen punished. I want to see dictators like yourself and other corrupt people in your government disposed of by Yemenis who want true freedom.

The USS Cole tragedy is one of the most shameful and embarrassing events in United States history. US leaders covered up their own mistakes by blaming others including the ship’s captain, Commander Lippold, who is another victim of the Cole tragedy. To add insult to injury, the Bush administration continued to appease terrorist supporting governments like yours.

However, the truth is leaking out slowly but steadily, at least in this country. The tragedies 10/12 and 9/11 could have been averted if only people such as yourself and your cronies would have worried more about their citizens instead of their own egos, political futures and fortunes.

To their credit, some US politicians after 9/11 stated how they had all failed to protect the American people by ignoring the wake-up call of the USS Cole Tragedy. But mostly, the Political Speak after 9/11 was, “This is not the time for pointing out the mistakes made by officials before 9/11. There will be plenty of time after this emergency has passed to deal with those in our government who failed the American people.”
bushsaleh.jpg As so often happens with American leaders who make serious mistakes that cost so many people their lives and so much suffering, “later” never came. Instead both political parties closed ranks and deflected responsibility for the USS Cole attack and 9/11. Incredibly, US politicians returned to dealing with corrupt foreign governments such as your own. It was business as usual.

You Sir and your government do not deserve any support from the US in the form of grants, weapons or advisors until you and your government join the other civilized countries in denouncing acts of terrorism and you stop providing support and refuge for them.

You and your government could make a good start by offering a sincere apology and condolences in writing to the victims’ families of the Cole Tragedy. But I seriously doubt that any such action will ever materialize on your part. We all know that would anger the “influential persons” in your government who support killers like Bin Laden.

You could also cease the charade of justice with regard to our son’s killers. At least, keep them in prison for the allotted time they initially received from the court. Why were the killers not given extended sentences for multiple prisons breaks? Instead, their sentences were reduced after their escapes!

These men killed innocent young men and women going about their daily duties, at your invitation, in a country that is supposedly a US ally. How many other people have these terrorists killed before our son? How many more families will find their lives shattered when they murder indiscriminately again?

I read about journalists, activists and everyday people in Yemen who risk their lives, their careers and even their own families to speak out about your corrupt dictatorship. I admire and respect these people very much. My family and friends respect their heroism. These brave Yemenis give me hope that your days in power are numbered. I believe a Free and prosperous Yemen will emerge victoriously, no matter how ruthless you are in your attempts to squash that movement.

We, the families of the sailors murdered in Yemen, have just won a lawsuit against a government similar to your own, the government of The Sudan. It is my goal to obtain the right to present a case against your government in a court of law as well. Notice I say “your government”, not the good people of Yemen. It appears that you are only threatened by the loss of money and not the loss of human lives, which is why it is so important that your government, President Saleh, be placed on the list that support terrorism. There is ample evidence to support this designation.

There are politicians in this country (and yours) that still know right from wrong, politicians that will be responsible and correct one of the most shameful events in both countries’ histories. I believe that these leaders will fix this miscarriage of justice not for their own political convenience but because it’s the right thing to do. They will send a message to all potential terrorists and governments that America stands behind her citizens and their right to life, not with a bunch of eloquent words and worthless threats, but with concrete action.

The survivors and families victimized by terrorist acts are entitled to some form of Justice. I believe a Bill will be enacted to prohibit our government from dealing with individuals such as yourself, a supporter of fanatics like Bin Laden who has brought so much death, misery, and suffering to thousands of people.

I do not hate you President Saleh, nor the politicians and both US presidents that looked the other way when our son was murdered. I do pity you for the wasted opportunity that your reign represents. It is so sad to think of all the good things you could have done for your country and its peoples, and the positive changes that you alone could have instrumented.

You could have stood against tyranny, terrorism, and corruption. Yemen could have been known as a beautiful and civilized country that respected the rule of law and human life, as your people certainly deserve. Instead the world now looks at your government as just another little backwater dictatorship that oppresses its peoples, where the politicians grow richer everyday off the suffering of their citizens, where repression is the norm, and where the law is what you and a few terrorists say it is.

Your day of justice is coming, President Saleh. You must live in fear everyday, and rightly so, knowing your terrorist friends could turn on you any day. I believe a movement within your country will rise up and cast people like you where they belong, in prison. nov3007a.jpg

If Yemeni people can risk their lives everyday battling your corrupt regime, then the least I can do for our deceased son and the future victims of acts of terrorism is to establish a method for dealing with governments such as yours. I hope no one will ever have to face the pain we went through when we were told over and over by US politicians, “We would like to help you, but you have no recourse. You can’t attend the trial. You have no say, no representation, and no way to gain redress for your son’s murder.”

We have stand by helplessly as the killers who murdered our son are rewarded by you and your government and while our own government does nothing to interfere with your actions. That is a horrible experience for any mother, father, wife, husband, and other family member. We have no closure. We have nothing, except flowers and empty words spouted by insincere politicians. I want to change all that.

President Saleh, I have a question. Is there even a little marker or a plaque where our son and his mates were murdered? I would think that our ally, who invited these sailors to Aden, would erect a nice monument to the dead and wounded, assuming they were sincere. Have you taken such action?

Our government told the American people that my boy and the other sailors died protecting your citizens and our people against terrorism. If only that were true, instead our son was killed due to political incompetence in this country and your administration’s support for Bin Laden. Our son was sold out by his own government and yours as well sir, just like all the other victims of terrorism. But I am his father, and I will not let that stand.

In this country we are preparing for another presidential election. Real democracies do that Sir. My hope is that a new president will be elected who will not deal with people like yourself. I hope this new president will help to correct the injustices that have been committed by the last two presidents and administrations in this country in ignoring small groups of victims of terrorist attacks, and in providing money and assistance to corrupt leaders like you who took our money and then looked the other way when our son was murdered.

Bin Laden and his fanatical followers did not carry out their horrific crimes in a vacuum. Bin Laden and other terrorists need political leaders and countries that are sympathetic to their evil ideologies. These leaders including you foster extremism and provide terrorists with a safe haven where they conducted the business of planning the murder of 17 US sailors, and later the mass murder of thousands of Americans and peoples of all nationalities. These are acts of pure unadulterated evil.

Mr. Saleh, to quote an old saying “You can kill people. But you will never kill the dream of freedom.” Make no mistake, your people and nation will be free one day from you and your supporters. They will be free from the terrorists like Bin Laden, and his oppressive followers. The dream of freedom will become a reality in Yemen. I would like to visit Yemen when your people have obtained their freedom and to know that our son had a small, yet significant part in making that dream a reality.

Gary G. Swenchonis, Sr.
and Family

Note: Petty Officer Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr. and 16 other Americans on the USS Cole were murdered by two Yemeni al Qaeda operatives while the ship was anchored in Yemeni waters. Several suspected in the bombing plot were never charged. Those convicted received light sentences, have escaped from Yemeni jails, or have had their sentences commuted. It is unclear if a single suspect remains in jail today. For more about the USS Cole Bombing see The USS Cole Bombing in Yemen: What We Know Today. Since Mr. Swenchonis does not have his own website, he asked me to publish this letter for him. Jane

Seche Has a Press Conference

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Yemen Online:

US Ambassador Demands the Submission of Jamal Al Badawi for Trial in USA – Will this be a pressurizing paper on Yemen to Punish it for its Stance?!
US Ambassador to Yemen, Mr. Stephen A. Seche, confirmed publicly the necessity to turn in Jamal Al Badawi, accused in exploding US Ship “Coll” in 2000, the incident that resulted in killing 17 America sailors, for fair trial in the United States Government. He added that Sheikh Abdulmajeed Al Zendani, is still classified in the terror supporter list. As for Moayad, the verdict would be issued soon, he said.

It is clear that the American Ambassador, in spite of his diplomatic maneuver on postponing Yemen support through the Millennium Fund, was clear that the handing over of Al Badawi was the main reason for this postponement as similarly is the case with postponing the Future Forum all of a sudden before holding it by 2 days last December. The Ambassador statement confirms that the dispute is still there between Yemen and US governments on the issue of handing Al Badawi over in spite of having many Yemeni delegates to US and the confirmation of the Yemeni government that Yemeni Constitution forbids handing over any Yemeni citizen for trial in a foreign country. The question: will Yemen be punished for this position?

I think if the regime managed to keep al-Badawi in jail, perhaps there would be less pressure to hand him over. He did escape twice already. And more: – The US ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche on Monday praised the democratic process in Yemen, saying the latest presidential elections an evident of the strong trend towards democracy. He pointed out that his meeting Monday with Yemeni female journalists to discuss and assess the local issues as added evidence on Yemen’s progress in the democratic process.

Washington’s ambassador to Yemen said signing the agreement of the millennium project that was scheduled last October of funding amount of $20 million was not cancelled but postponed.

At the press conference organised today by Yemeni Female Journalists Forum for the US ambassador he pointed out that most of he joint projects between the American and the Yemeni governments are of security and military fields containing exchange of intelligence information aimed at guaranteeing security of the Yemeni land and sea borders as a friendly country and offering full support for the creation of specialised establishments in fighting terror.

In his answer to questions of the female journalists for whom he made the conference the ambassador said Sheikh Abdulmajid al-Zandani, president of Al-Eman University and member of the Islah Party Higher Committee is accused by America over financing terror and that sheikh Mohammed al-Mouayad, member of Islah Shoura council and his companion are accused of direct conspiracy of financing Hamas , explaining that sentencing in the case of sheikh al-Mouyad would be issued soon inside the United States.

According to a press release issued by the Yemeni Female Journalists Forum the US ambassador asked he Yemeni government to hand over Jamal al-Badawi who is condemned of cases in Yemen by killing 17 American seamen to the United States as part of the security cooperation between the two countries on fighting terror.

The release, a copy of which received a copy, mentioned that the ambassador praised the democratic process in Yemen, saying the latest presidential elections an evidence of the strong orientation towards democracy, indicating that his meeting with the Yemeni female is another proof on Yemen progress in the democratic process.

Democratic progress? (……) Fill in the blank, I’m tired.

ah, Al-Badawi is currently imprisoned, my buddy al-Qirby says: – Yemen’s Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said Tuesday that Jamal al-Badawi who is now spending an imprisonment sentence over the explosion of the American destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni regional waters, is a Yemeni citizen and the Yemeni law and constitution do not allow handing him over.

Minister al-Qirbi clarification came in his comment on statements of the US ambassador to Sana’a on Monday during his meeting with Yemeni female journalists. The American ambassador asked in his statements the Yemeni government to hand over Jamal al-Badawi to the United States as part of the security cooperation signed between the two countries.

Al-Jumhouria newspaper for today quoted the foreign minister as explaining that the American ambassador concerning the issue of sheikh al-Mouayad imprisoned by the American authorities and his receiving a sentence punishment is still too early and there is still an appeal.

The minister said since the beginning Yemen considered the way of arresting al-Mouayad as violating the international law and rules of human rights and that Hamas was being supported by many countries and Arab organisations and that is not considered a crime.

In conclusion of his statements al-Qirbi praised the level of the Yemeni-American relations and that they are good in all fields, calling on all journalists not invest the news in a mistaken way offending the homeland.

Al-Qirby should encourage Yemenis in other countries to obey the laws of their host countries, regardless of whether he personally agrees with those laws or not. Collecting money for Hamas is illegal in the US. It in no way violates international law for the US to enforce its own laws, public opinion not withstanding. Al-Moyyad is on video (with audio) standing on McDonald avenue in Brooklyn, New York taking money for Hamas. It could have been Coney Island Avenue, but either way, the handover of the cash inthe US is on video. I know everyone in Yemen is sorry for al-Mayyad, but he broke the law. Whether the sentence is too harsh is another question, as is whether there were any proceedural mistakes in the trial. Whether taking money for Hamas should be illegal in the US is a matter of opinion, not law. I was going to say Americans can’t break the law in Yemen and get away with it, but then there’s American Jaber Elbaneh who was tried in absentia for the Marib attack after surrendering earlier to the regime.

Al-Badawi Freed Again?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:45 am on Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Currently in Marib? Good relations with the PSO we know already.

AFP s reporting that the independent the Yemeni paper al-Wasat published a report that Jamal al-Badawi was RELEASED AGAIN by the Yemeni authorities. Al-Badawi you will recall is under indictment in the US for 53 counts of terrorism related to the USS Cole bombing. He was sentenced to death in Yemen. The verdict was reduced to fifteen years in jail. He escaped twice (2003 and 2006). Al-Badawi surrendered and was conditionally released in October by the Yemeni government. When that became public, the regime spouted a number of explanations, including he was visiting his family for a few days before returning to jail. Subsequently, a US official saw him in Aden jail.

The US postponed Yemen’s USD 20 million Millennium Challenge Award (that could have led to USD 700 million if they actually reformed). Last week (at the last minute) Condi canceled the “Forum for the Future” that was to be held in Yemen. Unconfirmed reports indicate the US wants al-Badawi extradited to the US, and Yemen has refused.

I’ve been published in al-Wasat several times. I met the editor Jamal last year when he visited DC. Jamal is the guy who was kidnapped and beaten in August of 2005 when he published a story about corruption. The report on al-Badawi is not a story he would publish lightly, without good sources. If I had to bet on who is telling the truth here, its not the Yemeni regime.

Yemen denies Cole bomber freed from jail
2 hours ago

SANAA (AFP) — Yemen denied on Wednesday reports that an Al-Qaeda fighter convicted of taking part in the bombing of the USS Cole had been freed from jail for a second time, saying he had never been released. (Read on …)

al-Badawi and the Forum for the Future

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:53 pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yemen On Line:

Sources reveal: the extradition of Jamal Badawi behind the postponement of the Forum future
sources informed Yemenonline that the postponement of the Forum for Future came against the backdrop of the failure of the negotiation of United States and Yemen in the issue of Jamal Mohammad Ahmad Badawi – second defendant incident bombing the American destroyer (USS Cole) in 2000 in port of Aden , which claimed the lives of 17 American sailors.

The Yemeni delegation recently returned from the United States after a series of talks held with the American security departments on the issue of “handing over al-Badawi,” without reaching an agreement appropriate in view of the United States’s request for the extradition of Al-Badawi, while Yemen remained apologize to respond to the request “for violating texts Constitution, which prohibits extradition of any Yemeni citizen to a foreign country before being convicted prosecuted. “According to that result was postponed date of the Forum for Future , “for an indefinite period”, according to the same sources, which asserted that the controversy on the subject will continue, “and not conducive to a result, the Forum for Future will take place in Sana’a.”

Aden Is Here

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, South Yemen, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:50 pm on Saturday, November 17, 2007

An article from Al-Attariq weekly newspaper, issue no. 529, October 30, 2007:

In light of U.S.A objection about al-Badawi’s release, will the Islamic Extremists come back to face the Southerners again?

ayman 1.JPG


The American TV channel (CNN) uncovered in its report at 4p.m last Saturday, the objection and indignation of the American Administration due to the release of Gamal Badawi by the Yemeni authorities. Al-Badawi is the second defendant in the case of the attack on the American destroyer (U.S.S Cole) which took place in Aden port in October , 2000 and resulted in the death of seventeen members of the marines. The USA announced a reward of $5 million for anyone with information on the culprits. That objection by the American Administration according to the CNN appeared in a statement issued by the most prominent character in counter-terrorism in the National Security Dept. of the American Dept. of Justice, recited by the its spokesman Dean Boyed when he said: we are extremely displeased and disturbed by the decision of Yemeni government to release al Badawi.

This American protest was included in a letter by the American president George W. Bush to his Yemeni counterpart delivered by his assistant of counter-terrorism affairs in her last visit to Aden for several hours on Monday before.

The official Yemeni information indicated that the US message included the American Administration’s confirmation and support for Yemeni Unity which reflects the stability in the area and renewed the USA commitment to the development of Yemen. Those sources didn’t mention to the topic of Gamal Badawi’s release or the al-Qaeda Organization. It seems that the American Administration didn’t receive then any confirmation concerning AL-Badawi, or it is agreed to keep the whole matter away from publication, particularly what Bush’s letter included.

Soon afterwards, the American Administration declared its attitude through the statement issued by Dept. of Justice via the American (CNN) and in co-ordination with AL-Arabia TV channel, stating the Yemenis Authorities had carried out such an action as a bargain with the stringent Islamite’s – AL-Badawi and AL-Qaeda- to employ them in its conflict against the Southern disunity powers which seem to dominate the public in the south, in contrast with the situation in 1993 and 1994 war when Sana’a then employed both the Yemeni “Jihad” Organization and Afghan Arabs in its dispute against the Yemeni socialist party .

On the same time, sources confirmed the presence of Gamal Badawi in his residence and shim in the days before the official declaration of giving up himself to the authorities on the 16th of October, 2007 and his release on the 24th of the same month. The involved authorities denied this news.

The way he was released and its causes were not sufficient. It is a legal release by the court of law which is known as a conditional release and that doesn’t apply to the defendant being a fugitive, once he escaped Jail in Aden and later in Sana’a?

Definitely, the Yemeni Authorities are going to issue an explanation referring them to the dialogue outcomes and that as the program of the Yemeni Govt. with the stringent Islamite’s from al-Qaeda Organization. This step may be taken to have more than a message.

If it is read roughly for once, it may guide us to the fact that the authorities intend to re-employ these people to fight the Southerners, while a profound reading will introduce a very serious message to the American Administration indicating that Sana’a are still the owners of a lot of sources in its hand. Al-Badawi and his companions are the strongest to face the USA itself, if the other counterpart attempts to support or patron the southern political powers which appeal for a poll right due to the recent news indicating that Brother Ali Salem Al-Beech, the former vice president had delivered his Omani passport to the Omani Authorities and left Muscat for London accompanied by a high official American diplomat and after the latter had brought him a passport issued by the UN especially given to political refugees with the real rank for former presidents .

We can imagine that Sana’a accepts the official American point of view concerning the Southerners, solving it in a frame of a number of reforms for the whole Yemen, standing on a local rule with rest competences to fight corruption and a number of items included in the president’s Election program, in addition to his last proposal suggesting to amend the political system into a presidency system instead of the current system (parliamentary – presidency ) which supposedly will depend on a federal base and that’s what all incidents guide to silently . Nevertheless, it looks that Sana’a won’t endure the alteration of the American attitude more than that aiming at using the Southern case as a means of pressure on Sana’a to carry out several serious basic reform leading to a pure American project within the American strategy to subdivide the area.

The release of Gamal Badawi by the Yemeni Authorities is an apparent procedure to fight southern and internally to inform the Americans that the fire will catch everybody related. It’s a trial to make the American Administration to decline its pressure on Sana’a in connection with the southern case and get back to the level of reforms within the Yemeni Union Frame and that what Bush’s message confirmed in his last one-according to the Yemeni officials .

Each side remains observing his opposite counterpart’s step carefully and looking at each other’s obligations. Hence we can understand why the last meeting held last Saturday in Aden devoted on, in presence of the president Ali Abdulla Saleh himself, the prime minister and the governors of the four states of Aden , Lahej , Dhaleh and Abyan, where the four states were mentioned more than four times in the news, which produce an impression that there is intention to create a circulation or a huge administrative square including the four states together, planned for it and it is this way we have got to understand, so that this square would form one of the regions of the Yemen Republic with vast ruling competence in a new political presidency system. The question remains if Sana’a will succeed in probing the American Administration to secure its attitude towards Yemen unity? Will it succeed in dealing with files of the southern case and hold a political dialogue to exceed or overcome the recent squares of the southern project within a political and popular support for it, unknown in the previous decades.

On the other hand, the question will remain existing if the American Administration will stand still at the same pressure boundary imposed on the government for the reforms, urging the president to carry out his election program as soon as possible and which is going to solve the problems? Or is it a political maneuver through which all the tools of the ruling party are taken off paving the path for the birth of the Southern project seriously?

Nobody knows except Allah.

Edited by Ayman Mohamed Naser Mohamed
Editor – in – chief
Attariq Weekly newspaper

MCC Meeting Cancelled

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Donors, UN, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:03 pm on Saturday, November 3, 2007

Al-Badawi, the $700,000 mistake. After the 23 escaped, they slowly surrendered on the condition of security guarantees (pardons). The pardon of the first seven who surrendered was arranged by al-Fadhli. Al-Badawi’s release was the culmination of a long standing and unchallenged pattern.


The Millennium Challenge Corporation MCC has suspended the grant of $ 20.6 million scheduled to be donated to Yemen until unidentified time. A spokesman at the US embassy n Yemen said to the board of the corporation has decided to suspended the grant secheduled to be signed on Wednesday until unidentified time. The spokesman added the board is now considering the future of Yemen at the corporation.

The suspended grant is considered to qualify Yemen for two years after that Yemen will get about $700-800 million from the MCC.

In this regard the director of the corporation John Danilovich has postponed his visit to Yemen which was expected to be during coming week.

The decision of suspending the delivery of the grant came as punishment due to a press release issued by the Yemen news agency Saba regarding the release of Jamal al-Badawi, al-Qaeda member accused of bombing the US destroyer Cole in Aden port. The release created an angry US reaction among all the US circles and ministries. The US Justice Ministry said” We are so angry for the Yemeni government decision of releasing al-Badawi.”

The Spin Continues

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:54 am on Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Yemen Observer is owned by President Saleh’s press secretary, Faris Sanabani. This latest official version of the ever evolving story does not take into account that his relatives said they visited him at home and, according the the AP, other witnesses saw him in Aden.

ADEN – UPDATED: More that one security official at Aden Central Prison confirmed to the Yemen Observer that Jamal al-Badawi is in prison. The Yemen Observer’s Aden correspondent is on the ground attempting to gain access to the imprisoned al-Badawi for a brief statement. More updates will follow.

Jamal al-Badawi, a high-profile Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, is in police custody, contrary to widespread media reports. Al-Badawi surrendered himself to authorities two weeks ago, according to a senior security official at the Yemeni Ministry of Interior.

The rumor that al-Badawi had been released and was being kept under effective house arrest after pledging allegiance to the authorities was denied by security officials in Yemen. A senior security official at the Ministry of Interior told Yemen Observer that al-Badawi had not been set free, nor was the sentence against him dropped as has been reported by US media.

Regarding the following International Herald Tribune article, first of all, the escape was in February 2006, but second of all, hasn’t the MSM figured out that “re-arrested” means “released” in Yemen? None of them are in jail.

IHT: Al-Badawi and 22 others, mostly al-Qaida fighters, escaped from prison in 2004. Only four are still at large while the others were either killed or re-arrested. He with nine other suspects of the Cole attack had escaped prison in April 2003, but was re-arrested.

Saleh to Use al-Badawi against Southern Protesters

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, South Yemen, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:47 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2007

My thinking exactly but lets let an anonymous Yemeni analyst comment:

There are credible reports coming out from Yemen saying that Saleh decided unilaterally to temporarily abandon his interests with the US in the war on terror for the sake of crushing a possible revolution in the south using Al-Qaeda as recruits. This is no joke as it was successful in Saadah. It is the same scenario used in 1994 before Al-Qaeda was much of a concern. I wonder how this would play in the hands of the US and others. This also explains the massive growing anti-separatist religious sermons and even fatwas popping up in northern states (such as the one said on the Eid by Al-Shaibani, who literally encouraged the slaughter of those who seek to disobey the leader and secession the country).

What Saleh has done, IMO, is calculate his risk/reward ratio and realized that trouble to his throne at home is much more of a credible threats than a few blasting comments from the US, which he feels is still in need for him in the long run.

We have been watching the protests growing in the South since May. And we all recall the northern war in Sa’ada against the Shiite rebels, during which the regime used terrorists to train and indoctrinate Salafia tribesmen, as well as to fight the rebels. The tactics used by the Afghan Arabs in the 1994 civil war included a lot of assassinations. However, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if al-Badawi directed one of these nineteen year old suicide bombers to blow himself up in the middle of a crowd of protesters. And then Saleh would cry that he needs more money from the US to fight terror.

Meanwhile, my good friend, the quite heroic and courageous editor Abdualkarim al-Khaiwani is on trial this week on entirely bogus terrorism charges.

Democracy advocate on trial for terrorism; terrorist home receiving well wishers: this is Yemen in a nutshell.

Does the US Approve of the Pardon of USS Cole Bomber, Al-Badawi?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Judicial, USA, USS Cole, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Thursday, October 25, 2007

The following article says US embassy in Sana’a has not yet commented on Jamal al-Badawi’s pardon. They owe a comment to the families of those sailors killed in the bombing and to every member of the US military.

The news of the glowing praise by Bush of Yemen’s efforts on the counter-terror front is coming from the official news sources, which is nothing more than a propaganda machine. The regime once published official news that some index had rated Yemen as a 2.4 on a scale of 1-3, when the actual scale was 1-6. I don’t know if Townshead made any public comments or if this all regime spin. If it is spin, the US needs to unspin it. If its not, the US is in much worse shape than I thought. I thought they might wake up a tad when it came out that Abu Bakr al-Raibi was never actually in jail, just transported to and from his house to court in prison clothes.

The reason the Yemeni administration is partially co-opted by al-Qaeda is that the Afghan Arabs fought for Saleh in the 1994 civil war, after they returned from fighting for bin Laden in Afghanistan. They were later rewarded with state positions. These Bin Laden loyalists are currently in the PSO and the military and in a variety of high level positions, governorships for example.

SANA’A, Oct 24 — US President George W. Bush praised Yemen for its success in the field of combating terrorism.

This came in a message to President Ali Abdullah Saleh conveyed by the assistant to President Bush for Internal Security and Combating Terrorism Affairs, Francis Townsend.

In his message, President Bush confirmed his country’s support for Yemen in development, education, military, security, and fighting against terrorism. (Read on …)

In view of the fact that the Yemeni dictator is a qualified liar….

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Presidency, Security Forces, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:21 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Guest Post, oped by Abu Yemen

October 17, 2007

Yemen Security Service Attempts To Mislead Others

It has been released by a Yemeni security source two days ago that the wanted Gamal Al Badawi was arrested in Aden. Al Badawi has been arrested for his role in planning and carrying out with others the attack on the USS Cole. After spending a long time in custody at a Sana’a prison, he was allegedly able to free himself with another two Al Qaeda prisoners by digging a tunnel some hundred yards long. This story was spread by the Yemeni security authorities in an attempt to avoid rendering necessary answers to the FBI and CIA team that awaited for long to bring their mission on Cole to a conclusion.

The arrest of Badawi was also published in Al Ayyam daily today (Wednesday, October 17, 2007) and the French A.F.P. news agency a day earlier.

In view of the fact that the Yemeni dictator is a qualified liar, this particular event should not be taken its face value, but instead judged on previous records of systematic packages of lies and false information which have been fed to the Yemeni public and friendly governments.

Gamal Badawi is certainly a most wanted on security lists. He and other associates were at one time awarded with jobs within the Yemeni armed forces followed their participation in rallying behind President Saleh’s military confrontations with the Yemen Socialist Party, which use to run the South Yemeni government at one time. Al Badawi and his associates were in constant contact with senior Yemeni national security officers, namely (…), and many others.

It is believed that Al Badawi is a source of information that will incriminate the president and his men in serious terrorist activities in Yemen and maybe overseas. Nobody should therefore be surprised if Badawi is killed while attempted to escape his detention. I am sure is Badawi is interrogated outside Yemen and a deal is offered to him, he might reveal a substantial amount of information.

Al-Badawi Freed

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Presidency, Religious, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Otay. Cole bomber Jamal al-Badawi voluntarily surrendered to Yemeni security forces. I wonder if he is going to be under loose house arrest like Jaber Elbaneh. But its good he’s in some kind of custody. This is a dangerous guy. He escaped from a jail in Aden in 2003 and from a jail in Sana’a in 2006.

From the website of Yemen’s Ministry of Defense (

SANA’A.( – A security source affirmed that Jamal Al-Badawi, a leader in Al Qaeda and an escapee from the political security prison has surrendered himself to the security forces.

The source told “” that Jamal Badawi, had escaped from prison twice in the first in Aden and from the political security prison in Sanaa within 23 persons of al-Qaeda members, where he voluntarily surrendered himself.

There’s some kind of deal here. The question is who is getting what.

Update: FREE. Did I call it or what?

SANAA (AFP) — Fugitive Al-Qaeda suspect Jamal al-Badawi, who was convicted for the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 American sailors, has surrendered to authorities, an official said Tuesday.

A witness in the southern port city of Aden said Badawi had been allowed to return to his home there….A witness in Aden told AFP Tuesday that Badawi had returned to his home there two days ago amid reports in the neighbourhood that authorities had allowed him to go home in return for a pledge not to engage in any violent or al-Qaeda-related activity.

So the 15 year jail term was just a show for the US, among the many shows for the US, because this is a pardon for the killer of seventeen US sailors.

In Yemen, there is no judicial penalty for killing US military personnel either in Yemen or in Iraq. This is not a constraint of public opinion, not an effect of corruption or incompetence, no no, this is the policy and bias of Yemeni state institutions.

Oh yeah, the trial. Bets on the outcome?

AFP Neighbours of Badawi confirmed seeing him at his home.

A source close to security services meanwhile told AFP that Badawi’s surrender had come as a result of negotiations between Yemeni authorities and Al-Qaeda militants in the Arabian Peninsula country.

The authorities are pursuing their hunt for the two other Al-Qaeda prison escapees who are still on the run — Kassem al-Raimi and Nasser al-Wehaishi — who are considered among top militants in the group, the source said.

The government is also trying to start negotiations with them through tribal mediators, the source added, requesting anonymity.

The Yemeni interior ministry had accused the fugitives of masterminding a July 2 suicide bombing in Marib, 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Sanaa, which killed eight Spanish tourists and two local drivers.

Badawi and the two fugitives are also among some three dozen Yemenis on trial on charges of planning or carrying out attacks for Al-Qaeda.

These include an abortive twin attack in September 2006 on an oil refinery at Marib and petrol storage tanks at the Dhabba terminal operated by the Canadian firm Nexen in southeastern Hadramut province.

A verdict is due on November 7.

Two weeks ago, fourteen scholars including Sheik Abdulmajid al-Zindani issued a fatwa published in Al-Motamar against the Southern protesters, in a move very similiar to the fatwa against the Houthis. Hopefully, this is unrelated to the pardon of Jamal al-Badawi and not a beginning of a replay of the 1994 incidents.

Update from the Empty Quarter:

Dar al Hayat reports that the government was in negotiations with al Badawi for over 9 months. The “informed source” said that Jamal was on the run, living in multiple places until settling in Abyan (Surprise). The source said there is a secret deal between al Badawi and the government, in which he agrees to go back to jail. No further details were released.

Its likely al-Badawi will be in jail for a few months at most and then be quietly released, probably with money, land, a car and possibly a government job. Or it could go the “house arrest” route. But what does al-Badawi gain in return for his cooperation, other than that warm fuzzy feeling that comes along with making Saleh happy? Other releases?

The USS Cole Bombing: What We Know Today

Filed under: Janes Articles, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:19 am on Friday, October 12, 2007

Seven Years Ago Today

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.
(Read on …)

Sudan Owes 8 Million to Cole Families

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: Internal, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Thursday, July 26, 2007

What does Yemen owe?

Yahoo News

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Sudan to pay nearly $8 million to the families of 17 sailors killed in the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole.

The families had sought $105 million, but U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar in Norfolk ordered Sudan to pay $7.96 million.

Doumar applied the Death on the High Seas Act, which permits compensation for economic losses but not for pain and suffering.

“It is depressing to realize that a country organized on a religious basis with religious rule of law could and would execute its power for purposes which most countries would find intolerable and loathsome,” Doumar wrote in his ruling. “It is a further tragedy that the laws of the United States, in this instance, provide no remedy for the psychological and emotional losses suffered by the survivors.”

The families accused Sudan’s government of providing support, including money and training, that allowed al-Qaida to attack the destroyer while it was in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. In March, Doumar found the African country liable for the attack on the now-repaired Navy destroyer. His ruling Wednesday reaffirmed those findings. (Read on …)

New al-Qaeda Leader in Yemen?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Sunday, June 24, 2007

Maybe. I’d like to know if this is the same website that published the earlier statement purporting to be from Al-Qaeda in Yemen after the two remarkably thwarted attacks on the oil facilities.

From AKI


Sanaa, 22 June (AKI) – A man identifying himself as Abu Basir Nasir al-Wahishi – one of 28 terrorist suspects who in February 2006 fled a high security prison in Sanaa – has claimed in an audio message posted on Islamist internet forums that he is the leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen. The man who also uses the battlename Abu Hureira al-Sanaani, said his group’s full name is al-Qaeda of the Jihad in Yemen. Most of those involved in the 2006 jailbreak were re-arrested while those who successfully escaped are believed by Yemeni authorities to have sought refuge in Somalia or in Yemen’s remote southern Hadramawt province.

的 have been nominated leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen and I say no to any surrender to government forces. Ignorance and Islam can never blend together. Several tyrants have tried to insert ignorance in Islam but they have all failed,” the man said in the 20 minute-long recording.

“They want us to renege our beliefs and to repudiate some of our principles. But during this time when they have been waging their crusader war, the enemies are being defeated as is happening in Afghanistan at the hands of the mujahadeen,”

Yemen authorities have for some time suspected an al-Qaeda presence in the country blaming the terror network for a failed attempt to attack two oil plants last September.

Source: AKI

I’m just not seeing this guy on the list of the 23 escapees from Feb 2006.


The official list of the suspected prisoners as distributed by the Ministry of Interior consisted only of 22 names, excluding Hamdi Al-Ahdal. The names are: Yaser Naser Al-Homikani, Mohammed Sa’eed Al-Omda, Fawzi Mohammed Al-Wajeh, Zakria Hasen Al-Baihani, Abudlrahman Ahmed Basora, Abdullah Ahmed Al-Remi, Fawaz Yahya Al-Rabe ai, Hizam Saleh Mugli, Gamal Mohammed Al-Badwi, Zakria Hasen Al-Baihani, Abdulrahman Ahmed Basurah, Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Hoidi, Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Mukri, Aref Saleh Mugli, Shafik Ahmed Zaid, Gaber Al-Bana’a, Hamza Salem Al-Kuaiti, Omer Sa’eed Gar Allah, Abdullah Yahya Al-Wa’ adi, Khaled Mohammed Al-Batati, Kasem Yahya Al-Remi, Mohammed Ahmed Al-Remi, Mansour Naser Al-Baihani.

Or at News Yemen:

The Mutamarnet website mentioned that the fugitives, particularly Jamal al-Badawqi, the second one accused in the case of Cole, were 9 of those tried in the case of blasting the French oil tanker Limburg offshore Mukalla in 2002. They are: Mohammed Ali Saad, Arif Saleh Mujali, Omar Saeed Jarallah, Qassem Yahya al-Raimi, and Mohammed Ahmed al-Dailami. The list of runaways also includes four persons convicted on charge of their membership of al-Qaeda organization and formation of an armed gang, namely: Ibrahim Mohammed al-Maqri, Shafiq Ahmed Omar, Abdullah Yahya al-Wadie and Mansour Nasser al-Bayhani. Two others are from al-Tawheed battalions that were headed by Anwar al-Jelani. They are: Abdulrahman Ahmed Basurra, and Khalid Mohammed al-Batati. The other convicted one is called Abdullah Ahmed al-Raymi, handed over to Yemen by the sate of Qatar and he had been sentenced for four years imprisonment.
In addition there are six other defendants scheduled to stand trial on charges of their affiliation to al-Qaeda Organization.

There he is:

(Reuters) – A combination photo released by the Yemeni interior ministry on February 14, 2006 shows 23 al Qaeda operatives who escaped from a prison in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on February 3. The Yemeni government is offering 5 million riyals ($25,550) for information leading to the arrest of 13 al Qaeda inmates who broke out of jail earlier this month, an official said on Tuesday. The men are among a group of 23 inmates who tunnelled their way out of prison. REUTERS/Handout Top Row (L-R): Fawaz Yahya al-Rabyee alias Furkan al-Tajiki, Mansour Nassir al-Baihani alias Aassim al-Tabouki, Zakaria Ubadi al-Yafee alias Abu Yahya, Nassir Abdul Kareem al-Wahishi alias Abu Bassir, Ibrahim Mohammad al-Moqri alias Abu Mohammad and Musaab, Khaled Mohammad al-Batati alias Abu Sulaiman, Shafeeq Ahmad Zaid alias Abu Abdullah, Yassir Nasser al-Humaiqani alias Abu Khaled. Middle Row (L-R): Ibrahim Mohammad al-Huaidi alias Usaid, Fauzi Mohammad al-Wajeeh alias Abu Musaab al-Taizi, Jamaal Mohammad al-Badawi alias Abu Abdul Rahman, Aarif Saleh Mujalli alias Abu al-Laith al-Sanaani and Abdul Bari, Qassim Yahya al-Raymi alias Abu Huraira, Mohammad Abdullah al-Dailami alias Hashim, Hamza Salim al-Quaiti alias Abu Samhar, Muhammad Saeed al-Ammari al-Umdah alias Abu Gharib al Taizzi. Bottom Row (L-R): Abdullah Ahmad al-Raymi alias Uais and Auss, Zakaria Nassir al-Baihani alias Jaafar, Abdullah Yahya al-Wadee alias Marwan al-Hashidi, Jaber Ahmad al-Banna alias Abu Ahmad, Hizam Saleh Ali Mejalli, Abdul Rahman Ahmad Ba-Surrah alias Abu Gharib, Omar Saeed Jarallah alias Abdullah Gharib and Bin Hafeez.

I forgot about this from 2006:
Afghan Arab/Yemeni Intell Officer, Acquited in the Cole, Released Shortly after Escape

SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 21 (UPI) — Yemeni authorities have released 11 Muslim fundamentalists, including the suspected leader of an al-Qaida cell, who were detained in east Yemen.

Daily al-Shura, mouthpiece of the opposition Popular Forces Union Party, Tuesday quoted well-informed sources as saying Abdel Rauf Nassib, who is accused of leading an al-Qaida cell whose members were convicted of planning terrorist activities and forging official documents, was among the released prisoners.

Nassib, a former Yemeni intelligence officer, was tried and acquitted in the case of the bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden in October 2000 in which 17 U.S. servicemen were killed.

He was also accused of planning attacks against U.S. interests in the poor Arab Gulf country. There was no information about the reason for the release of Nassib, who was among Yemenis who had fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation.

In another development, a Yemeni court which specializes in terror cases Tuesday ordered the release of Hadi Mohammed Saleh al-Waeli, who was accused of selling arms and ammunition to the bombers of the USS Cole.

The public prosecution accused al-Waeli of selling arms without a license and asked for the highest punishment provided by law in such cases. But the court ruled that the three years that he had spent in prison were sufficient and ordered his release.

The releases of Nassib and al-Waeli come a few weeks after 23 al-Qaida prisoners, described as the most dangerous, escaped from the central intelligence prison in Sanaa.

Among the escapees are 13 convicted in the bombing of the USS Cole. The incident sparked anger in Washington and accusations that Yemeni security officials were involved in the escape.

Yemen’s Catch and Release Program

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Security Forces, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:49 am on Sunday, May 27, 2007

NPR is talking about Jaber Albaneh here and brings in the Lackawanna connection and Yemen’s obstruction of the FBI. Its a good article missing only that Ali A. al-Banna (Jaber’s uncle) was convicted of sending money from one of the Lackawanna six to Yemeni-American Derwish in Yemen who was later killed sitting next to al-Qaeda chief al-Harthi in a hellfire missle attack in 2002. The uncle admitted in his 2006 plea agreement that he used false names in registering the transaction. In total, millions were sent to Yemen.

NPR: “He’s on and there is a picture and a wanted poster of him,” said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko. “He’s been in Yemen, and several months ago he escaped from jail and there were reports last week that he was back in jail and we haven’t confirmed his status at this point.”

The FBI isn’t confirming that Elbaneh is behind bars because of an odd dance they have had to do with the Yemeni authorities. Working with officials in Yemen has been hit or miss. They will report they have a terrorist fugitive in prison one day, and then he will be gone the next, he said.

One former law enforcement official familiar with the case said that Elbaneh’s arrest in Yemen is like a “catch and release program,” because he has been arrested and then released on numerous occasions.

Elbaneh was in Yemen’s maximum security prison last year when he escaped. He and two dozen prisoners dug a tunnel out of the facility and emerged from under the women’s bathroom floor of a nearby mosque and disappeared. Among the people thought to have escaped with him were masterminds of the USS Cole bombing in Aden, Yemen, which took the lives of more than a dozen U.S. servicemen and blew a house-sized hole into the American destroyer.

“Elbaneh had been on the lam for quite a while,” Kolko said. “We have a legal attache that is stationed in Yemen and she will work with the local authorities there to try to determine Elbaneh’s current status and we’ll have to go from there.”

There is a great deal of interest in the Lackawanna Six because they have been a marquee case for the Bush administration and its war on terror. When officials talk about battlefield successes, Lackawanna is always in that list.

The FBI learned about the Lackawanna Six by sheer luck: they received an anonymous letter from someone in the Yemeni-American community who knew the Lackawanna Six had gone to Afghanistan to train at the al Qaida camp. The FBI began tracking the men from the moment they returned, just months before the 911 attacks.

They watched them for a year hoping, among other things, that Elbaneh and the man who recruited the participants, Kamel Derwish, would return. Neither man came back. The FBI finally arrested the group in the States and charged them with material support of a terrorist organization. Some observers say the men never planned anything against the United States, but were arrested for political reasons.

“The greatest significance of that case was the timing,” said Rodney Personius, one of the defense attorneys for the Lackawanna Six. “The arrest took place on the one year anniversary after 9-11 and the case was used by the Bush administration as evidence that, in their words, they were winning the war on terrorism.”

The FBI is eager to apprehend Elbaneh, though the organization doesn’t think he will shed any more light on the Lackawanna Six case. The men who were charged already admitted that they attended the camp in Afghanistan and even met Osama bin Laden. They also provided information about their recruitment and details about the camps themselves and pleaded guilty to the charges. They are now serving between 7 and 10 years in prison.

What Jaber Elbaneh may provide, analysts say, is a goldmine of information on what happened after the Lackawanna Six came home. Elbaneh’s time in Yemen could provide clues into recruitment and al Qaida training. “He may have gone back to Yemen and stayed in Yemen to do things that the group in New York were not doing,” said Tom Sanderson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Of course, the FBI needs the Yemeni government to hand over Elbaneh first.

Update: ABC: Elbaneh under house arrest

One of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists has been placed under “house arrest” in Yemen, according to U.S. counterterrorism and federal law enforcement officials.

Jaber Elbaneh, an alleged al Qaeda operative with ties to the Buffalo, N.Y., “Lackawanna six” terrorism case, reportedly surrendered to Yemeni security services last week. Elbaneh has been charged in the United States with providing material support to al Qaeda and is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

But officials say it’s unclear when  or even if  they will ever get to question Elbaneh.

A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy released a statement to ABC News, noting that because Elbaneh is a Yemeni citizen, the constitution of that country prohibits his extradition to face a trial abroad.

Elbaneh holds dual citizenship with the U.S., but no extradition treaty exists between the two countries.

Spokesman Mohammed Albahsa concluded his statement by saying, “Elbaneh is in our custody and make no mistake justice will prevail.”

al-Zindani named in US Federal Court as Coordinator of Cole Bombing

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, GPC, Religious, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:39 pm on Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One of the findings in the case against Sudan by the Cole families was that al-Zindani selected the suicide bombers who blew up the USS Cole, killing 17 US sailors.


Al-Zindani was recently identified in a U.S. federal court as the coordinator of the October 2000 suicide attack in Aden harbor on the USS Cole. A two and a half year-old lawsuit filed in Virginia by the families of the 17 servicemen killed in the bombing has recently finished by finding the country of Sudan responsible for the attack, opening the way for compensation payments from the US$68 million in Sudanese assets frozen by the U.S. government. The suit also alleged that al-Zindani selected the two suicide bombers that carried out the strike, although the sheikh was never charged by Yemeni authorities with complicity in the attack (The Virginian-Pilot, March 12). Yemen’s minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, welcomed the decision, ignoring the alleged role of al-Zindani, while declaring the verdict proof that Yemen was in no way involved in the attack on the U.S. destroyer.

Nashiri Claims: Tortured into Confessing to Cole Bombing

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:50 pm on Friday, March 30, 2007

CR, Nasheri:

Rahim al-Nashiri. [Graham and Nussbaum, 2004, pp. 59] Al-Nashiri is one of al-Qaeda’s top field commanders and was involved in an arms smuggling plot (see 1997) and the East African embassy bombings (see August 22-25 1998), in which his cousin was martyred (see August 7, 1998). He also organized the attack against the USS Sullivans (see January 3, 2000), and will be involved in the attacks against the USS Cole (see October 12, 2000) and the Limburg (see October 6, 2002). He will be arrested in the United Arab Emirates in November 2002. An al-Qaeda operative had identified a photo of al-Nashiri for the FBI in late 1998 (see August 22-25 1998). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 152-3]

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen said he was tortured into admitting responsibility for that attack and others, according to a hearing transcript the Pentagon released Friday.

Abd al Rahim Hussein Mohammed al Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian detainee held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, denied participating in the Cole attack.

Al Nashiri said he “was tortured into confession, and once he made a confession his captors were happy and they stopped questioning him,” according to a statement read at his hearing. “Also, the detainee states that he made up stories during the torture in order to get [it] to stop.”

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department would investigate al Nashiri’s torture allegation if the military was holding him at the time. If another agency was detaining him then, Whitman said that agency would be responsible for the investigation.

The transcript was the ninth the Pentagon has released since the combatant status review tribunals began this month for 14 detainees whom the CIA once secretly held.

The hearings will determine whether a detainee should be classified as an “enemy combatant.” If so, they then can be charged and tried under the military commissions law that President Bush signed in October.

Suicide bombers on a boat attacked the guided missile destroyer USS Cole on October 12, 2000, in the harbor at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed and 39 injured.

The U.S. military’s summary of evidence against al Nashiri said an FBI source identified him as an important person in al Qaeda and “heard” he helped arrange the Cole bombing.

The evidence said al Nashiri bought a boat and explosives used in the Cole attack with his own money.

Al Nashiri said he is not a member of al Qaeda, according to the transcript. However, he said he knew those who bombed the Cole because he had business dealings with them in the fishing industry.

“He did not even hear about the USS Cole bombing until many hours after it had occurred and was surprised by the incident,” according to the transcript.

Bin Attash Administrative Review

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:01 am on Sunday, March 25, 2007


8. The detainee worked with a1 Qaida members who provided timers, remote control
devices, and explosives to groups in Khowst and Qandahar; the equipment was to be used in
operations against United States personnel. The detainee said he transported the explosives to
Afghans in Quetta.
9. The detainee established a number of e-mail accounts to communicate and coordinate
with other a1 Qaida members. The detainee also admitted he sent letters confirming plans to
carry out major operations in Yemen including targeting oil tankers in Yemeni ports, which
would have completed a plan to attack ships in the Straits of Hormuz.
10. The detainee posted letters to a former mujahid living in Saudi Arabia, who was
attempting to acquire guns and silencers to conduct assassinations in Saudi Arabia.
1 1, The detainee worked directly with a senior a1 Qaida lieutenant, who was in charge of
Usama Bin Laden’s cadre inside Pakistan. He was responsible for coordinating and facilitating
travel for a1 Qaida and Mujahidin fighters, raising money through charitable organizations, and
providing a1 Qaida operatives and Mujahidin with false documents, including passports, stamps,
and visas.
b. Training
1. In 1997, the detainee went to Afghanistan where he received basic military-type
training in the Khalden Camp.
2. The detainee stayed at the Khalden Camp where he received training on weapons such
as the Kalashnikov, Beeka, and Deshooka, as well as explosive devices such as mines, grenades,
and mortars.
3. The detainee took bomb-making classes in Khowst, Afghanistan, at the Khalden and
Jihad Wahl camps. The detainee was trained to make a bomb using TNT and C-4. The detainee
was shown how to make remote detonators out of the game cartridges in Sega games.
1. The detainee’s family had been close to Usama Bin Laden since the early 1980’s. It
was not uncommon for Usama Bin Laden to be at the detainee’s father’s house, and the detainee
had often been to the Usama Bin ‘Laden family home in Jeddah.
2. The detainee worked with a senior a1 Qaida member involved in the operation against
United States naval vessels and United States oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz.
3. The detainee assisted a senior a1 Qaida member with providing timing devices needed
for an operation involving hotels in Karachi.
Page 2 of 3
d. Detainee Actions and Statements
The detainee traveled back and forth fiom Karachi to Qandahar every two months,
bringing money to support a1 Qaida operations.
e. Other Relevant Data
The detainee was arrested on 11 September 2002, in a safe house, referred to as the “Tariq
Road House.” The detainee was arrested with a senior a1 Qaida operative.
4. The following primary factors favor release or transfer:
a. The detainke stated even though he was involved in correspondence with the attack on
ships in the Straits of Horrnuz, he claimed to have no further details about these operations.
b. At the Khalden Camp, the detainee received training on weapons. The detainee did not
attend all the training, estimating that he attended less than 50 percent of the classes. The
detainee speculated that he was given great leniency due to his young age,
c. The detainee indicated he did not know what the remote detonators he was asked to
transport would be used for.
5. You will be afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to present information to the
Board; this includes an opportunity to be physically present at the proceeding. The Assisting
Military Officer (AMO) will assist you in reviewing all relevant and reasonably available
unclassified information regarding your case. The AM0 is not an advocate for or against
continued detention, nor may the AM0 form a confidential relationship with you or represent
you in any other matter.

Attash and the Cole

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:39 pm on Monday, March 19, 2007

NY Times:

A top operative of Al Qaeda has acknowledged his role in the bombings of two American embassies in Africa in 1998 and in the attack on the destroyer Cole off Yemen in 2000, according to a hearing transcript released yesterday by the Pentagon.

The operative, Walid bin Attash, who is also known as Khallad, made his statement, according to the transcript, to a combatant status review tribunal on March 12 at the United States naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The tribunal will determine whether Mr. bin Attash has been properly designated an enemy combatant, which would make him subject to indefinite military detention. He may also be charged with war crimes before a separate tribunal known as a military commission.

During the status review tribunal, an official whose name was not released asked Mr. bin Attash to outline his role in the three attacks.

“Many roles,” Mr. bin Attash said, according to the transcript and apparently speaking through a translator. “I participated in the buying or purchasing of the explosives. I put together the plan for the operation a year and a half prior to the operation. Buying the boat and recruiting the members that did the operation.”

He added that he had been with Osama bin Laden in Kandahar, Afghanistan, at the time of the attack on the Cole.

“And at the time of the embassy attacks?” an unidentified member of the tribunal asked.

“I was in Karachi meeting the operator, the guy that basically did the operation a few hours before the operation took place,” Mr. bin Attash replied.

There was no indication in the transcript that Mr. bin Attash, one of 14 “high value” detainees transferred to Guantánamo from secret C.I.A. prisons last year, was speaking under duress. In contrast to a hearing involving Khalid Shaikh Mohammed released last week, there was no indication that Mr. bin Attash claims he was mistreated while in C.I.A. custody.

The broad outlines of Mr. bin Attash’s admissions were consistent with the findings of the Sept. 11 commission and other sources, but it is possible that Mr. bin Attash misstated or inflated his role.

The hearing last week lasted about a half-hour, according to the transcript. It included a presentation of a two-page summary of unclassified evidence against Mr. bin Attash. The tribunal indicated that it would also hear classified evidence in a closed hearing.

The unclassified summary said that Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-’Owhali, who received a life sentence from a federal court in New York in 2001 for his role in the bombing of the embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, had received instructions from Mr. bin Attash. It was not clear, however, whether the “operator” Mr. bin Attash referred to last week was Mr. al-’Owhali. The embassy bombings killed 224 people.

The summary also said that statements, notebooks, forged documents and telephone numbers linked Mr. bin Attash to the attack on the Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed in the attack and 39 wounded.

Under the rules of the status review tribunals, detainees are not entitled to lawyers. They are aided instead by personal representatives provided by the military. According to Mr. bin Attash’s representative, an Air Force major whose name was not released, Mr. bin Attash did not dispute the essence of the charges.

Referring to an interview in February, the representative said, according to the transcript: “Facts of the operations are correct and his involvements are correct, but the details are not correct. Detainee did not wish to correct the details.”

Mr. bin Attash himself nonetheless addressed the tribunal to take issue with some details.

For instance, the summary said that a notebook seized from another Qaeda operative contained a phone number that was also stored in a phone belonging to Mr. bin Attash, who was seized in Pakistan in 2003. Mr. bin Attash said he did not have a phone at the time.

John Sifton, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, questioned why the government had shifted tactics in responding to the embassy bombings. Four men were convicted for their roles in those bombings in federal court in Manhattan in 2001.

“What does it mean to treat something as a crime in 1998 but as part of armed conflict in 2007?” Mr. Sifton asked.

Defense Link

Department of Defense
Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy
Combatants at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
8 February 2007
TO: Personal Representative
FROM: OIC, CSRT (8 Feb 07)
1. Under the provisions of the Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, dated 14 July 2006,
Implementation of Combatant Status Review Tribunal Procedures for Enemy Combatants
Detained at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Tribunal has been appointed to
determine if the detainee is an enemy combatant.
2. An enemy combatant has been defined as “an individual who was part of or supporting the
Taliban or a1 Qaida forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United
States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who committed a belligerent act or has
directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.”
3. The following facts support the determination that the detainee is an enemy combatant.
a. On 7 August 1998, near simultaneous truck bombs were detonated at the United States
embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The explosion at the United States
embassy in Nairobi resulted in the death of 2 13 people, including 12 Americans. More than
4,500 people were wounded.
b. Mohammad Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali (Al-Owhali) stated that in approximately June or
July 1998, the detainee told him that his (Al-Owhali’s) mission was a martyrdom mission, where
he would be driving a vehicle filled with explosives into a target which would result in his death.
The detainee told Al-Owhali the target was a United States embassy in East Africa, but he was
not told the exact country.
c. In 1998, Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali was indicted in the United States District
Court, Southern District of New York, for his involvement in the 7 August 1998 bombing of the
United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Charges included conspiracy to kill United States
nationals, conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim at places outside the United States,
conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against nationals of the
United States, conspiracy to destroy buildings and property of the United States, and conspiracy
to attack defense utilities.
d. During the latter part of 1999, the detainee facilitated and participated in close-combat
training which was held in the Lowgar training camp in Afghanistan. The graduates of the class
R- 1
Page 1 of 2
then met with Usama bin Laden who lectured about the operational details of the East Africa
e. On 12 October 2000, the USS Cole was attacked during refueling in the Yemeni port of
Aden by operatives of the a1 Qaida network. A1 Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack.
Seventeen United States sailors were killed and 39 other sailors were wounded.
f. Stamps utilized on a forged Yemeni merchant’s registration card, which was utilized by
the detainee, were forged by a suspect of the USS Cole bombing.
g. A participant in the USS Cole bombing identified the detainee as someone he knew from
an al Qaida training camp. The participant in the USS Cole bombing that identified the detainee
stated an individual approached him with a letter from the detainee requesting assistance in
facilitation of the USS Cole bombing. The participant in the USS Cole bombing claimed the
only reason he agreed to assist the individual was due to the letter from the detainee.
h. The detainee went to an a1 Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in December 2000.
i. An a1 Qaida cell associated with a senior a1 Qaida operative used the code name, father of
the leg, which was a reference to the detainee and the fact that he was missing a leg.
j. A notebook that was seized during the capture of a senior a1 Qaida operative contained a
phone number that was also found in the stored memory of a phone belonging to the detainee.
k. The detainee’s University of Islamic Studies identification card was found at an alleged
a1 Qaida residence in Karachi, Pakistan.
1. The detainee was implicated in a notebook containing account ledgers for payments made
to various a1 Qaida operatives which was found during a raid of an a1 Qaida safe house.
m. A source that met the detainee in Afghanistan stated he also saw the detainee at a1 Farouq
training camp. The source stated the detainee worked for an important person in a1 Qaida and
the detainee was a body guard for Usama bin Laden.
4. The detainee has the opportunity to contest his designation as an enemy combatant. The
Tribunal will endeavor to arrange for the presence of any reasonably available witnesses or
evidence that the detainee desires to call or introduce to prove that he is not an enemy combatant
and that is deemed relevant to that issue. The Tribunal President will determine the reasonable
availability and relevance of evidence or witnesses.

Attash Confesses to Cole Attack and Picking 9/11 Highjackers

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Monday, March 19, 2007

Yahoo: WASHINGTON – Waleed Mohammed bin Attash, long suspected of plotting the bombing of the USS Cole, confessed to planning the attack during a hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a Pentagon transcript released Monday.

An alleged chief operational planner for al-Qaida, bin Attash also said he helped organize the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that killed more than 200, the transcript said. Seventeen sailors were killed and dozens injured when suicide bombers steered an explosives-laden boat into the guided missile destroyer Cole on Oct. 12, 2000.

“I participated in the buying or purchasing of the explosives,” bin Attash said when asked what his role was in the attacks on the Cole and the embassies. “I put together the plan for the operation a year and a half prior to the operation, buying the boat and recruiting the members that did the operation.”

The release of bin Attash’s transcript came five days after the Pentagon released the record of hearings held for three other so-called “high-value” suspects at Guantanamo — 14 alleged high-ranking terrorists transferred last year to U.S. military custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in southeastern Cuba after being held by the CIA at a secret location.

One of them, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, confessed to nearly three dozen plots including the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., according to the transcripts released last week.

Bin Attash said he met with the man who did the Africa embassy bombings just a few hours before the operation took place.

“I was the link between Osama bin Laden and his deputy Sheikh Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri,” who authorities say worked with bin Attash on planning the Cole attack, bin Attash said.

Bin Attash also said he was with bin Laden when the Cole was attacked.

Said to be an al-Qaida operational chief, he also is known as Tawfiq bin Attash or Tawfiq Attash Khallada or simply Khallad.

U.S. intelligence documents allege that bin Attash — a Yemeni who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia — is a “scion of a prominent terrorist family” that includes his father Mohammed, who was close to bin Laden, and younger brother Hassan, who has been held at Guantanamo since 2004, arriving at the age of 17.

Several brothers attended al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in the 1990s and two have been killed, one in a 2001 U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan, the U.S. says.

A federal judge in Virginia last Wednesday found the government of Sudan liable for the attack on the Cole in a lawsuit in which the sailors’ relatives argued that al-Qaida could not have succeeded without the African nation providing a safe haven for bin Laden and financial support. No damage amount has yet been awarded.

In the late 1990s, bin Attash allegedly alternated between serving as bin Laden’s bodyguard and fighting Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance force. He lost his right leg in a battlefield accident in 1997, U.S. intelligence says.

Bin Attash helped choose the Sept. 11 hijackers and made two flights on U.S. airlines to assess in-flight security procedures, authorities allege. Bin Laden wanted bin Attash to be one of the hijackers on Sept. 11, but that plan was foiled when bin Attash was arrested in Yemen in April of that year and briefly imprisoned after attempting to get a U.S. visa.

After Sept. 11, he helped shore up bin Laden defenses at Tora Bora, bin Laden’s last stand when the U.S. routed the Taliban regime from Afghanistan. He fled to Pakistan and over the next year in Karachi served as a link between al-Qaida senior leadership and the network in Saudi Arabia, also helping to move operatives from South and Southeast Asia to the Saudi peninsula, officials allege.

In the months before his 2003 arrest, he and others were close to executing a plot to simultaneously attack the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Westerners at the airport and Westerners living in the area.

From Cooperative Research and regards the same Hilal who is in Gitmo, thought to have been rendered from Egypt.

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


From the same very interesting link:

In May 2001, UPI will report, “According to several US government sources, one of the reasons the attack on the Cole succeeded was involvement by the ‘highest levels’ of the Yemen government of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, although Saleh himself personally was not, one said.” [United Press International, 5/20/2001]

Ahmed al-Hasani, commander of the Yemeni Navy at the time of the bombing asserts that Saleh knew in advance.

Wow they updated the Cooperative Research since I last read it, now its got Able Danger and Lawrence Wright’s book, Looming Towers.

Appeal of 16 accused of document forgery and hiding Cole attackers

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Judicial, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:42 am on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

interesting combo of charges there – The Appeals Section at the Penal Court, in its sitting held Saturday and chaired by Judge Saeed al-Qataa, fixed next Saturday for final procedures in the case of 16 defendants on charges of forging official documents and smuggling escapees from the political security prison in Aden as well as possessing weapons and explosives.

The prosecution accuses the cell of forging official documents and hiding escapees from the political security prison in Aden, who are accused of attacking the USS Cole Destroyer. The cell is also accused of possessing weapons and explosives in addition obtaining identity cards and passports in names other than theirs and using them for certain purposes, a matter required sentencing them with severest punishments decided legally. A first instance court had released seven of the accused; some were acquitted from charges and others the court considered the period of their detention as enough for their punishment.

The defendants in this case are Omar Masoud Nasser Ali, Abdullah Amin Abdulwali al-Rahbi, Fawaz Abdullah Muhsin Fadhl, Maath Ahmed Abdullah, Ali Ali Yahya Hassan al-Jawri, Saddam Ali Mohammed Abdulrahman, Adel Saleh Ahmed Dharweh, Mohammed Ali Mohammed Abdullah al-Dhiyaie, Ibrahim Ahmed Abdullah al-Sairafi, Abdullah Saleh Salem, Sami Ahmed Maher al-Haifi, Salim Muzahim Mohammed Bajabir, Wadhah Ali Mohammed Qaied al-Jund, Shawqi Ali al-Budani, Mohammed Ali Abdullah Haydar al-Nashiri, Rashid Mohammed Salim al-Abeedi, Ahmed Abdullah Mohammed al-Mareesi, Hani Abdulwariuth al-Ariq, Mutee Muhtir, Yusuf Mohammed Abdulrazzaq, Ahmed Saeed Ali al-Hijri and Ali Ahmed Ali al-Bajili

Question on al-Ahdal and the Cole

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The question is: is the Al-Ahdal that recently got sentenced to 37 months for financing terrorism the same al-Ahdal who was involved in the Cole bombing or were there two people named al-Ahdal involved in the bombing? Question two: why was there no charges in the 2006 court case of anything to do with the Cole during the trial? Question three: WTF, seriously, what is that?


The government subsequently released a list of suspects in the Cole bombing, which named Jawal Muhammad al-Badawi as the leader, Muhammad Omar al-Harazi as the financier and several others, including two policemen who provided false documents, and the two bombers. This information was apparently supplied by Badawi, who was arrested shortly after the attack. The Yemen Times reported in 2001, “Investigations so far revealed that one of the key terrorists, Ali Mohamed Al-Ahdal, 29, used to work in the personal status department of Aden Police. He joined Islamic Jihad in 1991 and used to train in weapons usage at one of the Islamic military camps in Lahj.”

So then in 2006, he would be 35 years old. But the al-Ahdal called Mohammed Hamdi (vs Ali Mohammed) is the one who got sentenced to the 37 months on unrelated charges.

YT 2003

Sources close to bodies conducting investigations with Hamdi Mohammed Hamdon al-Ahadal known as “Abu Assim” who was captured in late November have said he had made confessions regarding the terrorist attacks on the USS Cole and the French super oil tanker Limburg, confirming his being in charge of technical and financial preparations of the two explosions.
The sources further said that Al-Ahdal had received money remittances from Yemenis and non-Yemeni persons inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that he had supervised spending the sums of money in those and other operations.
Saudi parties have taken part in the investigations with al-Ahdal with the aim of getting more information on persons who were buying weapons that had been transported from Yemen to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through terrorists.
Al-Ahdal had also confessed of technically and financially supervision over other smaller operations and that he had received money transfers in small installments in order to avoid suspicion about recipients and those receiving the money.

2006SANA’A, April 12 — Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz commented Tuesday on confessions made by Al-Qaeda second-in-command in Yemen, Mohamed Hamdi Al-Ahdal, who was tried in Sana’a confessing that he received money from Saudi citizens but refused to name them.

In a Riyadh press conference, Prince Nayef said, “We feel sorry for the irresponsible Saudi nationals who help terrorists from other countries.”

Al-Ahdal confessed before the State Security Specialized Penal Court that he received financial assistance and cars from Saudi citizens. Meanwhile, Yemen allowed Saudi detectives to investigate Al-Ahdal, who confessed to receiving 1.06 million Saudi Riyals from Saudi businessmen.

Then theres this indicating the 37 month soon to be if not already released al-Ahdal was a mastermind of the Cole. Yemeni court found his three years in detention as sufficient for his terror financing activities and there were no charges related to the Cole during the trial if I recall. So he walks? He walks?

YT 2003
A Western diplomat in Sana’a said the U.S. is putting pressure on Yemen to allow American F.B.I. investigators to interrogate Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, alias Abu Assem al-Makki, who was arrested in Sana’a last Tuesday along with other four men.
Al-Ahdal, who is on the U.S. list of wanted terrorists in Yemen, is believed to be one of the masterminds of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden harbor, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, and the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg off the Yemeni coast.
He is reported to have replaced Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi after he was killed by a missile fired from a U.S. drone aircraft November last year. Al-Ahdal is also described as the main coordinator of al-Qaeda activities in Yemen, supervising the terror group’s finances, weapons smuggling and operational planning and was well-connected to other extremists in Persian Gulf countries, according to official sources.
However, Yemen’s government refuses to allow U.S. investigators to question al-Ahdal, or any other terrorism-linked detainees directly, and suggests that the US investigators can hand over their questions in writing to al-Ahdal through their Yemeni counterparts.

Do I look cranky?

YT 2006: In a separate case, the court released Ghalib Al-Zaidi on commercial bail. Al-Zaidi was accused of hiding Mohamed Hamdi Al-Ahdal, Al-Qaeda’s number two man in Yemen. Following the USS Cole attack in Aden, Al-Ahdal hid in Al-Zaidi’s house for a month and then in Al-Jawf until his December 2003 capture in Sana’a.

Al-Zaidi’s release followed his defense attorney’s demand, which stated that he should be released as he had served three years in prison for hiding the first suspect in his house in Sirwah district in Marib. Defense added that Article 190 of the penal law stipulates that whoever hides a suspect should be fined or imprisoned no more than three years.

The court also held a hearing on testimony involving Al-Ahdal nicknamed Abu-Asim. The Attorney General confirmed that Al-Ahdal traveled to Afghanistan and Bosnia and collected money for mujahideen in Chechnya. He was accused of collecting money in Yemen for Chechen fighters under the name of the Caucasus Charitable Society. Prosecution said Al-Ahdal trained in various types of heavy and small weaponry in Pakistan and Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

The Attorney General affirmed that Al-Ahdal had connections with a man in Saudi Arabia who sent him three cars and money for transporting Al-Qaeda members in Yemen. Al-Ahdal also collected 61,000 Saudi Riyals from some Saudi citizens to distribute among martyrs, prisoners and Guantanamo detainees’ families.

Prosecution confirmed that Al-Ahdal met Abu Ali-Harithi after 2001 and became his companion. While living in Al-Huson area, through Al-Harithi, Al-Ahdal became acquainted with two Saudis who traveled to Iran and Afghanistan via Hadramout’s Raian Airport.

Prosecution mentioned that Al-Ahdal met an Al-Qaeda financial official at the house of an Al-Qaeda mujahideen named Abdulraziq Al-Amir. He also met Al-Qaeda leaders while in Saudi Arabia. Prosecution disclosed that Al-Ahdal was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for more than a year for charging some youth with infidelity.

He’s probably in Saada now.

Last question: where is Fahd al-Quso currently? Somehow I’m having difficulty accepting that he’s still serving his ten year sentence.
One More (really the last one) is Reimy who escaped with the 23 re-captured or not? There’s conflicting news reports; the latest say he’s still on the run.

Ok so how’s this for a Cole bomber round-up? Accurate? Am I missing anybody?

Six convicted Cole conspirators’ appeal verdict was rendered in March of 2005. In 2005, a court appeal reduced al-Badawis’ sentence from death to 15 years, Mamoon Amswah was commuted from eight to five years. The court upheld the death for Abdu al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is being held in US custody and who is believed to be the mastermind of the USS Cole attack. Fahd Al-Quso’s ten year prison sentence was upheld. Ali Mohamed Murakab and Morad al-Sorori both retained five years in prison for forging identification documents.

Jamal al-Badawi was originally sentenced to death by a Yemeni court for his involvement in the attack. The sentence was commuted upon appeal to fifteen years in prison. However, al-Badawi managed to escape from jail twice and is currently at large. In May 2003 after their escape from prison the month prior, Jamal Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi and Fahd al-Quso ak/ak Fahd al-Qis’e were indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, New York for plotting the attack on the Cole and in total were indicted for an excess of fifty terror related offenses. Both al-Quso and al-Badawi were recaptured in March 2004.

Jamal Al-Badawi escaped from prison again in 2006. Shortly after which Yemen’s Specialized Penal Court ordered the release of Hadi Saleh Al-Waeli suspected of selling arms, ammunition and explosives to the terrorists who bombed the USS Cole Destroyer at Aden Port in 2000. Khaldoun Al-Hukaimi and Saleh Mana held in connection with the attack managed to escape from the custody of the Political Security Organization in Aden in 2003 along with eight other detainees. The pair was reported to have committed suicide attacks in Iraq in 2005, RayNews reported.

In 2003, Yemen arrested Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal who was on the US list of most wanted terrorists in Yemen and was believed to be one of the masterminds of the Cole bombing. Yemen refused to allow US federal investigators access to Al-Ahdal, the Yemen Times reported, suggesting instead that the FBI submit questions for al-Ahdal in writing. Sources indicated to the Yemen Times that al-Ahdal had confessed to involvement in the bombing. He admitted “being in charge of technical and financial preparations” for both the Cole and Limburg attacks, the paper reported. Al-Ahdal was tried in 2006 on charges of distributing money for al-Qaeda. No charges were brought relating to the Cole bombing. He was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and with time served, was expected to be released shortly. Also tried in 2006 was Ghalib Al-Zaidi who was charged with harboring al-Ahdal for a month following the Cole bombing; al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years time served and released.


Remember the USS Cole

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:19 am on Thursday, October 12, 2006

Linda Sog: On Thursday, October 12, 2000, 17 of our Nation’s finest were killed in a terrorist attack on the USS Cole, docked in the port of Yemen to take on fuel. We must never forget these brave young men and women, they gave us their all.

She has a poignant tribute with photos.

Chrissie posts a letter written at the time by a helicopter pilot about strength and determination of the surviving crew of the Cole :

But I will tell you that right now there are 250+ sailors living in hell on Earth. They’re sleeping out on the decks at night. You can’t even imagine the conditions they’re living in, and yet they are still fighting 24 hours a day to save their ship and free the bodies of those still trapped and send them home.

As bad as it is, they’re doing an incredible job. The very fact that these people are still functioning is beyond my comprehension. Whatever you imagine as the worst, multiply it by ten and you might get there. Today I was tasked to photo rig the ship and surrounding area. It looked so much worse than I had imagined, unbelievable really, with debris and disarray everywhere, the ship listing, the hole in her side….Then I started to notice the mass of activity going on below, scores of people working non-stop in 90 plus degree weather to save this ship. They’re doing it with almost no electrical power and they’re sleeping (when they can sleep) outside on the decks because they can’t stand the smell or the heat or the darkness inside.

(Read on …)

Sudan Appeal Against Ruling in USS Cole Case

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:41 am on Wednesday, September 20, 2006


461 F.3d 461
Olivia RUX, individually and as next friend for I.M.O., a minor; Jamie Owens, individually and as next friend for I.M.O., a minor; Sharla Costelow, individually and as next friend for E.C. and B.C., minors; Novella Wiggins, individually and as next friend for J.R.M., Jr., a minor; Lorrie D. Triplett, individually and as next friend for Andrea Triplett and Savannah Triplett; Jennifer Clodfelter, individually and as next friend for Noah Clodfelter; Kenyon Embry, individually and as next friend for Capri Dumar; Ronald W. Francis; Jacqueline Saunders, individually and as next friend for I.S. and J.S., minors; Sandra Francis; Rogelo Santiago; Simeona Santiago; Sarah Guana Esquivel; Jesse Nieto; Thomas Wibberly; Patricia Wibberly; Theodis Triplett; Wayne Triplett; Reed Triplett; Gary Swenchonis, Sr.; Deborah Swenchonis;
Shalala Swenchonis; Kate Brown; Sean Walsh; Kevin Roy; Lou Gunn; Mona Gunn; Jamal Gunn; Jason Gunn; Anton J. Gunn; Leroy Parlett; Etta Parlett, individually and as next friend for H.P., a minor; Kera Miller; Matthew Parlett; John Clodfelter; Gloria Clodfelter; Joseph Clodfelter; Toni Wibberly; Diane McDaniels; Teresa Smith; George Costelow; Dorothy Costelow; Frederica McDaniels-Bess, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
REPUBLIC OF SUDAN, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 05-2003.
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.
Argued: May 24, 2006.
Decided: September 1, 2006.
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED ARGUED: Douglas Knox Bemis, Jr., Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Andrew C. Hall, Hall, Joseph & Lamb, P.A., Miami, Florida, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Gregory N. Stillman, Carl D. Gray, Hunton & Williams, Norfolk, Virginia; Thomas R. Snider, Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Mary Jane Hall, Kaufman & Canoles, P.A., Norfolk, Virginia; James Cooper-Hill, Rockport, Texas; Nelson M. Jones, Nicholas & Jones, L.L.P., Houston, Texas; Alan W. Young, Portola Valley, California, for Appellees.

Before WIDENER and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges, and HENRY F. FLOYD, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, sitting by designation.

Affirmed in part and dismissed in part by published opinion. Judge DUNCAN wrote the opinion, in which Judge WIDENER and Judge FlOYD joined.


DUNCAN, Circuit Judge:

In this action for damages brought against it by relatives of American sailors killed in the terrorist bombing of the U.S.S. Cole (“Plaintiffs”), the Republic of Sudan (“Sudan”) appeals an order of the district court largely denying its motion to dismiss. On appeal, Sudan argues both that the district court erred in denying its motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and also that this court should exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over, and reverse, the district court’s denial of its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Sudan also argues that this court should exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over and consider for the first time its motion to dismiss for lack of standing, an issue on which the district court deferred action. Because we find that the district court’s exercise of subject matter jurisdiction was proper and that there is no basis to exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over the remaining issues, we affirm the district court’s denial of Sudan’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and dismiss the remainder of Sudan’s appeal. (Read on …)

USS Cole Families vs. Sudan Appeal Verdict

Filed under: Sudan, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:34 pm on Monday, September 4, 2006


Olivia RUX, individually and as next friend for I.M.O., a minor; Jamie Owens, individually and as next friend for I.M.O., a minor; Sharla Costelow, individually and as next friend for E.C. and B.C., minors; Novella Wiggins, individually and as next friend for J.R.M., Jr., a minor; Lorrie D. Triplett, individually and as next friend for Andrea Triplett and Savannah Triplett; Jennifer Clodfelter, individually and as next friend for Noah Clodfelter; Kenyon Embry, individually and as next friend for Capri Dumar; Ronald W. Francis; Jacqueline Saunders, individually and as next friend for I.S. and J.S., minors; Sandra Francis; Rogelo Santiago; Simeona Santiago; Sarah Guana Esquivel; Jesse Nieto; Thomas Wibberly; Patricia Wibberly; Theodis Triplett; Wayne Triplett; Reed Triplett; Gary Swenchonis, Sr.; Deborah Swenchonis;Shalala Swenchonis; Kate Brown; Sean Walsh; Kevin Roy; Lou Gunn; Mona Gunn; Jamal Gunn; Jason Gunn; Anton J. Gunn; Leroy Parlett; Etta Parlett, individually and as next friend for H.P., a minor; Kera Miller; Matthew Parlett; John Clodfelter; Gloria Clodfelter; Joseph Clodfelter; Toni Wibberly; Diane McDaniels; Teresa Smith; George Costelow; Dorothy Costelow; Frederica McDaniels-Bess, Plaintiffs-Appellees,v.REPUBLIC OF SUDAN, Defendant-Appellant
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. – 461 F.3d 461
Argued: May 24, 2006 Decided: September 1, 2006
Before WIDENER and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges, and HENRY F. FLOYD, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, sitting by designation.

Affirmed in part and dismissed in part by published opinion. Judge DUNCAN wrote the opinion, in which Judge WIDENER and Judge FlOYD joined.

DUNCAN, Circuit Judge:

In this action for damages brought against it by relatives of American sailors killed in the terrorist bombing of the U.S.S. Cole (“Plaintiffs”), the Republic of Sudan (“Sudan”) appeals an order of the district court largely denying its motion to dismiss. On appeal, Sudan argues both that the district court erred in denying its motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and also that this court should exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over, and reverse, the district court’s denial of its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Sudan also argues that this court should exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over and consider for the first time its motion to dismiss for lack of standing, an issue on which the district court deferred action. Because we find that the district court’s exercise of subject matter jurisdiction was proper and that there is no basis to exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over the remaining issues, we affirm the district court’s denial of Sudan’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and dismiss the remainder of Sudan’s appeal. (Read on …)

US ignored multiple warnings prior to Cole Bombing

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Thursday, May 18, 2006

I have all this somewhere here already but this is a nice summary, except Rory forgot to mention the warning from Kie Fallis at DIA also prior to the Cole, also not passed along. Fallis resigned on Oct 13, 2000. Also General Zinni made the decision to refuel in Yemen, which was not reviewed by Franks when he took over command of CENTCOM.

Drudge: On Oct. 12, 2000, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole pulled into harbor for refueling in Aden, Yemen. Less than two hours later, suicide bombers Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa approached the ship’s port side in a small inflatable craft laden with explosives and blew a 40-by-40-foot gash in it, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 others. The attack on the Cole, organized and carried out by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida terrorist group, was a seminal but still murky and largely misunderstood event in America’s ongoing “Long War.”

Two weeks prior, military analysts associated with an experimental intelligence program known as ABLE DANGER had warned top officials of the existence of an active Al Qaida cell in Aden, Yemen. And two days before the attack, they had conveyed “actionable intelligence” of possible terrorist activity in and around the port of Aden to Gen. Pete Schoomaker, then commander in chief of the U.S. Special Operation Command (SOCOM).

The same information was also conveyed to a top intelligence officer at the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), headed by the newly appointed Gen. Tommy Franks. As CENTCOM commander, Franks oversaw all U.S. armed forces operations in a 25-country region that included Yemen, as well as the Fifth Fleet, to which the Cole was tasked. It remains unclear what action, if any, top officials at SOCOM and CENTCOM took in response to the ABLE DANGER warnings about planned Al Qaida activities in Aden harbor.

None of the officials involved has ever spoken about the pre-attack warnings, and a post-attack forensic analysis of the episode remains highly classified and off-limits within the bowels of the Pentagon. Subsequent investigations exonerated the Cole’s commander, Kirk Lippold, but Lippold’s career has been ruined nonetheless. He remains in legal and professional limbo, with a recommended promotion and new command held up for the past four years by political concerns and maneuvering.

Meanwhile, no disciplinary action was ever taken against any SOCOM or CENTCOM officials. Schoomaker was later promoted out of retirement to chief of staff, U.S. Army, and Franks went on to lead the combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A shallow article with some good quotes

Filed under: Iraq, USS Cole, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 1:20 pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

There’s a lot I disagree with in this article, which perpetuaties many of the same tired stereotypes, propagnada and excuses created by the regime:

Khaldoun al-Hakimi was one of 10 prime suspects in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole when he broke out of a Yemeni prison in 2003. He was recaptured, jailed for eight months, then freed. Not long after that, he blew himself up in a suicide attack in Iraq.

“He told us he was going to check out job prospects in San`a,” said his brother Ghassan al-Hakimi, who lives in the southern port city of Aden. “Had we known he was going to Iraq, we would’ve stopped him.”

Many Yemeni men have slipped into Iraq to join other Arab recruits in the anti-U.S. insurgency. Some fear the fighters will return to Yemen with even more radical ideas – return to a homeland where sympathy for al-Qaida runs deep and weapons are as easy to buy as fresh vegetables.

As if to underline the country’s vulnerability, 23 convicted al-Qaida prisoners tunneled out of a high-security jail earlier this month in the capital San’a. Two of them have since turned themselves in.

A Western diplomat told The Associated Press on Monday the men appeared to have had help both inside and outside the prison.

Outside, they received guidance that helped them dig precisely to a point below the women’s restroom in a nearby mosque. The helpers then drove getaway vehicles.

Inside, corrupt prison officials gave cover during the two or three months it took the al-Qaida convicts to prepare their escape, the diplomat said.

The prisoners needed privacy to dig without being questioned about the noise and to dispose of the dirt shoveled out of the tunnel and prison officials appeared to have provided it. The diplomat said several prison officials were being questioned.

The prison break has raised concerns that the regime is reluctant to crack down on known radicals for fear of a militant backlash. Beyond that, it calls into question a government-sponsored program under which Muslim clerics try cajoling jailed, hardened Muslim radicals into repenting and pursuing a more moderate religious path. Several hundred militants have been freed under the program and some are believed to have headed for Iraq.

There is concern, too, over the militants who began to trickle back to their homes about six months ago, said a second Western diplomat. Those militants stand to be just as disruptive as al-Hakimi, who first got his militant training in Afghanistan.

“If these people had extreme beliefs before, they’re not going to come back calmed down,” said the diplomat, who spoke of a network of returnees trying to recruit young men at mosques and universities. Some of those returning are militants who were in Afghanistan.

Both diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Yasser al-Awadi, deputy chairman of the Parliamentary bloc of the ruling General People’s Congress Party, said Yemenis are largely sympathetic with the militants as a matter of Muslim solidarity and because the West – the United States in particular – has undercut its standing with unpopular policies in the region. He cited the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

“Even those who do not openly pray for bin Laden’s triumph over the Americans do so in their hearts,” al-Awadi said.

The Yemeni government has a problem at home and with its alliance with the U.S. because “the way it views the (militant) issue is different from the way the rest of society views it,” he added.

The government is trying to prevent young men from going to Iraq in a number of ways including making it difficult for them to travel to Syria, a main transit point.

“The men still manage to get away,” al-Awadi said.

Yemenis say the government should encourage them to stay home by providing jobs. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of Yemen’s work force is unemployed.

“The system should give more care to people like my brother,” said Ghassan al-Hakimi. “Stability makes men want to stay home, not go on such missions.”

He said the family had paid a high price for Khaldoun’s disappearance. One of his brothers, Wael al-Hakimi, was arrested about five months ago, three or four months after Khaldoun blew himself up, al-Hakimi said.

“They say they will not release him unless we give them Khaldoun. How can we produce him?” said al-Hakimi. The family learned of Khaldoun’s disappearance shortly after he left Aden to go look for a job in San`a.

Then they got a call saying Khaldoun, who was 30, had died in a “martyrdom” operation in Iraq. Al-Hakimi said he did not know when or where in Iraq his brother perished.

Al-Hakimi said he believes his brother went to Iraq after he lost hope finding a job when he was released from prison in March 2004. He may also have been troubled by his wife’s refusal to return to him after he was first arrested.

Get Out of Jail Free Week continues in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:46 am on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Update 3: Some releases occured but the indentity of the releases may not be as ominous as originally indicated and the timing may be coincidental.

Update 2: Despite the UPI story, this may not be correct. Still checking.

In addition to the 23 escapees who dug their way out of jail with a spoon and al-Waeli, supplier of weapons to the Cole bombers, there have been additonal releases of al-Qaeda affiliated individuals in Yemen. Note: I am waiting for secondary confirmation of the following:

The PSO released 22 prisoners from its prison in Aden last week. On Thursday, four persons “well known as terrorists” were released from Abyan prison. Yesterday 15 individuals were released from al-Baida prison including three well known AQ affiliates including someone named Naseeb.

On the bright side, they managed to recapture an escaped lion.

Ok, its not funny. Really Im quite concerned, not about all the terrorists on the loose, although we all should be, but more about the US reaction. Lately Saleh has been acting like an axis-of-evil wannabe and I think this time he may have gone too far.

Update: Nassib confirmed.

Cole Co-Conspirator Released in Yemen

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen, Yemen-Corruption, prisons — by Jane Novak at 9:00 am on Monday, February 20, 2006

No, not rehabilitated, not escaped, released. Yemen Times:

• The Specialized Penal Court (SPC) last Tuesday ordered the release of Hadi Saleh Al-Waeli suspected of selling arms, ammunition and explosives to terrorists who bombed the USS Cole Destroyer at Aden Port in 2000.

According to media sources, the SPC ordered Al-Waeli’s release after three years in jail. The decision to release the arms trafficker comes shortly after the jailbreak of 23 Al-Qaeda prisoners from Sana’a Political Security Central Prison.

I guess they are finally getting off the fence and picking a side, but my, what a bad choice it is. So does this mean everybody is out now? All the people involved is blowing up a US ship and killing 17 sailors? Saleh is covering his tracks.

Related from this YT link: Released to be re-captured for the reward money? Finacial motivations vs. ideological ones? What a harebrained scheme if true.

• A report published in the latest issue of U.S. magazine Newsweek revealed that the U.S. embassy in Sana’a believes there are parties in Yemen’s government that facilitated escape operations of 23 suspected Al-Qaeda members. The report mentioned the allegations are attributed to Yemeni sources in contact with the U.S. embassy who believe some elements in Yemen’s government might have aided the prisoners’ escape, motivated by the hope of gaining financial reward from U.S. authorities allocated for capturing the most-wanted individuals, namely, Jamal Al-Badawi and Jaber Al-Banna. A $5 million reward is to be given to whoever provides information leading to any of the fugitives’ arrest.

Sympathizers, how about accomplices?

• Media reports mentioned in recent days that Saudi Arabia has imposed a state of emergency regarding its borders with Yemen, fearing infiltration of 23 Al-Qaeda escapees into its territory. Reports added that Saudi Arabia has strengthened its watch on the borders, about which it complains of weapons smuggling and infiltrators from Yemen. A Saudi official earlier said the cause behind the prisoner escapes was weakness in Yemeni security apparatuses and the existence of Yemeni sympathizers.

Logistical Support , From M&C: Opposition leader Abdullah Salam Hakimi said the repeat of the escape operation by the same people and with the same details ‘increases suspicion about the presence of logistic support at the highest level inside the Yemeni system based on unclear interests.’

From the People’s Daily,China: Six more troops killed. (This thing with the Houthis is just unending.) From the Yemen Times, also civilians: Three soldiers and two women killed in confrontation in Saada, Breaking through citizens houses in Amran in search for al-Houthi followers

Interpol Waiting for Info on Escaped Cole Bomber

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:56 pm on Sunday, February 5, 2006

You would think in an effort to hold on to their last shred of credibility, the regime would hand over the names and photos. When Democrat Senator Barabara Boxer of all people calls you a “so called ally,” really its time to pay attention.


An Interpol statement said: “Red notices can only be issued by Interpol at the request of member countries and only if they are supported by underlying national arrest warrants.”

Interpol’s Secretary-General Ronald Noble asked Yemen to provide the required information immediately, saying the escape could not be considered an internal problem.

“Unless Interpol red notices are issued urgently for these fugitives and unless the world community commits itself to tracking them down, they will be able to travel internationally, to elude detection and to engage in future terrorist activity,” Noble said.

The 13 militants were among 23 inmates who broke out of jail in the capital Sanaa in a major embarrassment for Yemeni authorities, who have cracked down on militants in the ancestral land of Osama bin Laden and positioned themselves as an ally of the United States in the war on terrorism.

They included Jamal Badawi, mastermind of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. He was originally sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to 15 years in prison.

Another prominent escapee was Fawaz al-Rabe’ie, sentenced to death as leader of the group convicted of bombing the French oil tanker Limburg off the Yemeni coast in 2002, killing one crewman.

A Yemeni state-run Web site ( said 17 of those who escaped were convicted of al Qaeda-linked crimes, while the other six were awaiting trial for similar charges.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN: “I feel very uneasy about this development … We have so-called allies in the world that are saying they want to help us, and yet how do 23 people ‘escape’? It raises some terribly difficult questions.”

Forbes: Noble urged Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, to provide names, photographs, fingerprints and other information about the suspects. …The convicts escaped via a 140-yard-long tunnel “dug by the prisoners and coconspirators outside,” Interpol said. The Yemeni official said the prison was at the central headquarters of the country’s military intelligence services in a building in the center of the capital…After the Sept. 11 attacks, the government aligned itself with the U.S.-led war on terrorism. But many diplomats and outside experts have raised questions about Yemen’s cooperation and inability to control tribal areas.

The Egyptian

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:09 pm on Sunday, December 11, 2005

Its my filing cabinet folks.

BS: The FBI and other U.S. agencies are interested enough in Mursi to have posted a $5 million reward this year for his capture. Egypt’s government reportedly is interested enough to have locked up his two sons in an effort to track down their father….

After the U.S. invasion in 2001, computer files uncovered by reporters in Afghanistan showed that by 1999 Mursi, armed with a startup budget of $2,000 to $4,000, was working to develop chemical and biological weapons in Afghanistan….

Experts believe the gas was hydrogen cyanide, used in gas-chamber executions. But NATO chemical weapons specialist Rene Pita says that compound has long been viewed as an unsatisfactory mass-casualty chemical weapon because of its instability and low density….

Even before discovery of his Afghan operation, Mursi was quietly being hunted as an al-Qaida bombmaker, Mohamed Salah, a Cairo expert in extremism, said. He said the Egyptian was suspected of having helped train suicide bombers who attacked the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 American sailors.

Five months after that October 2000 attack, Egyptian authorities arrested Mursi’s son Mohamed as he flew into Cairo with a fake Yemeni passport, Cairo’s al-Ahram Weekly reported at the time.

“That indicates the family was in Yemen,” said Salah. “Abu Khabab must have gone to Yemen. Why Yemen? Because of the USS Cole.”

The USS Cole and the US Plan to Invade Aden

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:49 am on Thursday, December 1, 2005

I have many posts that start with “Saleh, the King of Spin, Speaks Again.”

KT: SANAA – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Thursday that only his personal intervention had dissuaded the United States from occupying the southern port city of Aden after the bombing of the destroyer USS Cole there in October 2000.

“There was a plan to occupy Aden,” Saleh said in a speech to mark the anniversary of the former south Yemen’s independence from Britain in 1967.

“By chance, I happened to be down there. If I hadn’t been, Aden would have been occupied as there were eight US warships at the entrance to the port,” he said.

“The tension was enormous but we succeeded through our diplomatic efforts and our firmness in preventing what was about to unfold and had been planned.”

I have a complete transcript of the Hearings before the Armed Services Committee of the US Senate (oct 19 & 25, 2000). According to Zinni and Franks, there were no warships at the entrance to the port. As a matter of fact, the closest US ship was rather far away and wasn’t able to get to the Cole, which is why the valiant crew was on its own in trying to save the ship from sinking all together.

By chance, Saleh says, he happened to be down there….

Daily Star article on the same topic.

Update: July 2001: Yemen official says the US bombed the Cole: A senior official in the Yemenite security apparatus told Al-Ahram Al-Arabi that there was evidence that the US itself was responsible for the explosion as part of a conspiracy to take control over the port of Aden.”

The USS Cole: More Investigations Needed

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:51 am on Thursday, November 10, 2005

News Yemen

It is expected that the US visit of President Saleh would focus on Yemen’s democratic experience and the war on terror. It may also cover the case of the USS Cole, which, according to the American side, requires further investigation and testimonials.

Yes it does require more investigation. It is not correct, however expedient, to pretend for another day that the accomplices of the murderers of the 17 US sailors are not known and walking around.

Assorted Cole links:

U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (, , ), a Pennsylvania Republican who has championed Able Danger and other data-mining projects, told reporters on Wednesday that Able Danger also uncovered evidence of a threat to U.S. interests in Yemen two days before the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole, which killed 17 sailors.

Weldon, who attributed his information to Phillpott, said the Able Danger team passed along the warning through proper channels but no word of danger ever reached the Cole. “They sent it up but they don‘t know what happened,” Weldon said. “That‘s part of what needs to be investigated.”

Tommy Franks didnt get any of the three warnings per his Senate testimony. That’s a whole other story. Tommy Franks didn’t review the decision previously made by Zinni to refuel in Aden, it just never hit his desk. Per his Senate testimony.

via Rory O’Connor: · Commander Kirk Lipold, the commanding officer of the USS Cole at the time of its attack, told Weldon that he had three options for refueling venues, was never briefed on any intelligence indicating that there might be danger at the port of Aden for an American naval vessel, and that had he been told, he would have refueled elsewhere.

more cole links
In discussing an investigation into the USS Cole attack, then-Defense Secretary William Cohen said on Jan. 9, 2001, that there had been general intelligence warnings about possible attacks in the region but that the information wasn’t specific.×6538,2933,146492,00.html

linburgh sentencing increased

court document,2933,130077,00.html

trial of 6, ten recaptured,2933,124894,00.html,2933,139616,00.html

cole bombers pardoned


Zinni and the Cole

Filed under: General, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:33 am on Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Got to love the blogsphere. HT to Mike at Top Dog for pointing out that command of CENTCOM had changed to Franks in July. Check out Mike’s blog for more and updated information of Able Danger including the 9/11 aspect.

So when Zinni says this: In other words, I made the requests. Those requests were approved by the Joint Staff for what forces I would get, he is talking about prior instances. And this The refueling of that ship in Aden was my decision. he must mean by chosing Aden in the first place.

(via Mike)Q: It also sounded, from what we heard from Admiral Gehman and General Crouch, that no one was going to be looking at the question of whether or not — whether there was a mistake or a bad judgment made in sending the USS Cole to Aden to refuel; that there would be no review of the decisions leading up to that. Am I wrong about that?

Quigley: Well, I heard — I don’t remember who asked the question before, but, boy, I heard General Tony Zinni spend a lot of time in testimony before the Congress, a couple of weeks ago, addressing that very issue. So I —

Q: But General Zinni wasn’t in command at the time the Cole was ordered into the port of Aden.

Quigley: No, that’s true; that’s true. But he has not been gone from command of the Central Command very long. He was very much aware of the policies in his former region of the world, and I think very supportive of the rationale and motivation for the engagement policy that we have.

link dump: FreedomHouse: Unwilling to endanger tribal and Islamist support for his regime, Saleh resisted American pressure to rein in these groups following the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden harbor, but relented in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when U.S. officials warned that Yemen was a potential target of military action.

Also from Freedom House: In December, Islamists assassinated the deputy leader of the YSP, Jarallah Omar, and killed three Americans at a missionary hospital in Jibla. (They dont mention but everybody knows, even Amnesty International, that theres strong indications of regime complity in Omar’s murder and only a very superficial investigation was carried out. Wheres the UN on that? If its Lebanon, it counts, but a trail of bodies of Yemeni leaders doesnt count.)

original post

1) Able Danger issued two warnings about the Cole going to Aden. One was 12 days before and the second was two days before. This Fallis also issued several requests within DIA to issue an official alert immediately prior to the bombing.

Did General Zinni (correction: Franks) recieve these warnings? One article says he got Fallis’ warning and supressed it, another says DIA refused to issue an official alert. Its unclear who recieved the Able Danger alerts. In Zinni’s congressional testimony, he says he had no indications, no warnings, that any potential terrorist activity was impending.

2) Zinni in his congressional testimony asserts repeatedly the extremely cooperative nature of the Yemeni regime in the investigation. Others have characterized it as uncooperative initially and duplicitious later on. And a Saudi military told a CIA person that the regime was covering up information on the bombing.

3) In his congressional testimony, Zinni asserted that the Yemeni regime was notified 12 days prior and force protection was the regime’s responsibility. Yemeni president Saleh said publically on numerous occasions that he recieved no notice and had no force protection assembled.

4) Zinni repeatedly testified to the authenticity of Saleh’s overall committment to fighting terrorists and as one indicator, pointed to the fact that Saleh would invite Zinni to meet with him on a personal level whenever Saleh was in the US. Subsequently several of the murders and their associates have been released, re-educated, escaped, and found dead in Iraq suicide bombing.

Indicators of the Yemeni Regime’s Support of al-Qaeda

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, General, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:55 pm on Sunday, October 23, 2005

We can safely say the Pakistani model of rehabilitiation and engagement has failed, and further backfired, in Yemen.

- escaped terrorists. lots including the cole bombers

- re-educated terrorists released without debriefing by the US

- murder of Jarallah Omar, socialist leader, indications of regime complicity per Amnesty international, fatwa-ed by Zindani

- unwilling to close UN identified terrorist bank accounts

- alqaeda praises Yemeni president Saleh

(Read on …)

Able Danger, Kie Fallis, and the Cole

Filed under: General, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:35 pm on Saturday, October 22, 2005

These data mining Able Danger guys issued a second warning about the Cole two days before it arrived at Aden. Shaffer, the one going on the record, is getting trashed by DIA. WND

Congressman Weldon: you are going to hear the story that they also identified the threat to the USS Cole 2 weeks before the attack, and 2 days before the attack were screaming not to let the USS Cole come into the harbor at Yemen because they knew something was about to happen.

(So this does not square with the 9/11 commission-who refused to hear testimony about Able Danger- and their outline on the Cole.)

Congressman Weldon in his congressional testimony says that DIA is actively blocking the investigation and badly trashing Tony Shaffer, the one who came forward about Able Danger:

some nameless, faceless bureaucrat who is fearful that the information will finally come to light, that the DIA just did not get it.

Back in 1999 and 2000, they did not have a clue. They had millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, and could not do what a 20-member team did in being able to identify Mohammed Atta before the 9/11 attacks. DIA does not want that to come out, Mr. Speaker. They do not want that to come out. Heaven forbid the Defense Intelligence Agency, with hundreds of millions of dollars, would have a 20-member team do what they could not do because they were using new technology and new software. They do not want that to come out. That is why that Deputy Director, when he was at that meeting, said, I do not want to see this. Do not show it to me. And that is why today that Deputy Director is trying to ruin the career of Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer.

They are bringing allegations of theft related to an incident where Shaffer stole some pens to give out when he was 15, and this was a self reported incident when Shaffer applied for his security clearence. And a lot of other harassment. Now thats scary, the DIA turning on you. And Shaffer, who was apparently very good at his job then, is just trying to do the right thing now. There are a lot of people who corrorborate him. So the military cuts the health insurance on his kids. Quite freaky.

Mr. Speaker, do you know, Wolf Blitzer on CNN told my staff that a Department of Defense employee told him that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer was having an affair with one of my employees. How low can we go, Mr. Speaker? How low can we go to allow this Defense Department to try to ruin the reputation and the personal life of a lieutenant colonel with a Bronze Star? To Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Speaker.

(more with Weldon)

Lets reveiw what we know about the Cole: The bombers were issued official travel documents by the Yemeni government. Also weapons permits. At least one bomber used to work for the Aden police. Hassani said “Saleh had dispatched his interior minister and political security minister from Sanaa, the capital, for Aden at midnight, hours before the bombing occurred, casting suspicion on the decision. ” Able Danger identified Aden as very hot two weeks before the bombing. And issued a second warning to keep the Cole out of Aden two days before it arrived. Zinni and Congress never contemplated regime complicity. Eight of the bombers “escaped” custody and two were later reportedly killed in suicide bombings in Iraq. Two weeks before the bombing Zinni notifed the Yemeni government that the Cole would be coming to Aden, something Saleh has publically denied. Then there’s Fallis.

UKN: Kie Fallis, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterterrorism analyst, had issued a report before the disaster, warning of the danger of just such an attack in Yemen. As it turned out, the report was suppressed by senior DIA officials, and by Bodine and Gen. Anthony Zinn, who decided to allow the Cole to enter the Port under the lowest grade of security permitted in the Middle East — though they were both aware of the warning. Fallis quit in protest the day after the bombing.

Leading editor “It was clear from the start that the accessories to the attack would be tried, convicted and executed, but that the people inside Yemen who financed it, and used their power to facilitate it, would never be brought to book,” he said, adding, “that’s the way things are done here, and the Americans were naïve to imagine that it could ever have been any other way.”

PPC: “We categorically deny that any threat information has been suppressed in the case of the USS Cole, Yemen or Aden, nor would we ever suppress such information.” Mr. Fallis, however, never claimed the information was suppressed; he correctly stated that an appropriate official warning based on it never was produced. He recounted to several investigators how he had made it clear to at least five DIA intelligence officials that al Qaeda and Iranian-backed terrorists were planning deadly attacks.

NRO: Instead of destroying bin Laden’s terrorist infrastructure and capabilities, President Clinton phoned twice phoned the president of Yemen demanding better cooperation between the FBI and the Yemeni security services.

ZINNI: They were cooperative and helpful in my time. I cannot recall any instance where they did not cooperate or they did not provide the security as we had requested. I’ll have to go back through my notes, but I don’t recall any instance where they were not.

Why were Yemeni authorities being so uncooperative? The New York Times (in a full-page article 11/1/00) suggested several possibilities.

A. Inexperience or confusion about the Yemenis regarding modern investigative techniques – the explanation favored by the State Department.

B. Touchy pride about having outsiders operate on their turf – the equivalent of a toddler’s “I can do it myself.”

C. Fear that an investigation might reveal Yemeni links to terrorist organizations.

This whole thing stinks. From every angle. There were two ignored warnings and no recognition of any possibility of regime complicity. And Zinni is so adament that Saleh is committed to fighting terrorism because Saleh calls Zinni to visit him whenever he comes to the US. And DIA is currently targeting one of its own analysists. Nifty. The State Department can’t decide if Yemen’s democracy is stopped, slowing, or progressing, so they say all three. And Saleh is coming to meet Bush in two weeks when there is a real possibility that Yemen used chemical weapons against its own people recently. Just nifty, really.

Gertz analysis, Congressional Testimony Fallis, WND resignation, CRO intell timeline, Kidnap victim

Dang Meanwhile, FBI head investigator John O’Neill believes that al-Quso is holding back important information from his Yemeni captors and wants him interrogated by the FBI. However, O’Neill had been kicked out of Yemen by his superiors a week or two before, and without his influential presence, the Yemeni government will not allow an interrogation. Al-Quso is finally interrogated days after 9/11, and he admits to meeting with Alhazmi and Almihdhar in January 2000. One investigator calls the missed opportunity of exposing the 9/11 plot through al-Quso’s connections “mind-boggling.” [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02] In April 2003, al-Quso will escape from a Yemeni prison and apparently remains free. [Associated Press 4/11/03]

Former CIA agent Robert Baer is advising a prince in a Persian Gulf royal family, when a military associate of this prince passes information to him about a “spectacular terrorist operation” that will take place shortly. He is given a computer record of around 600 secret al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The list includes ten names that will be placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list after 9/11. He is also given evidence that a Saudi merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing on October 12, 2000, and that the Yemeni government is covering up information related to that bombing.

Saleh may have known about the bombing in advance, obstructed the investigation and enabled the escape of the bombers who were later were complicit in 9/11. Theres several links between the Cole bombers and 9/11. The ones that are arrested “escape” and two wind up as suicide bombers in Iraq. But lots of dead terrorists are actually alive in Yemen. Currently Saleh’s enabling terrorists go to Iraq to kill our troops and Iraqi civilians. And the baffling part, this is our good ally in the WOT. Whats the deal here? Really, some one tell me what Cheney said to our boy Ali at the airport in 2002. What is Bush going to say to him in the White House in two weeks.

al-Qaeda Training Camps in Yemen

Filed under: A-SECURITY, Al-Qaeda, Iraq, TI: Internal, USA, USS Cole, Yemen, counterfeiting — by Jane Novak at 5:49 am on Monday, October 17, 2005

Lets review what we know. There’s a link for all of this somewhere on the blog.

2003 al-Qaeda praises Saleh as the only Arab leader not beholden to the West.

2003 Hittar negotiates with al-Qaeda, supposedly the deal falls through.

Hittar “re-educates” 320 al-Qaeda and they are released from jail, many wind up fighting in Iraq.

Eight Cole bombers manage to escape from jail, two wind up as suicide bombers in Iraq.

Cordesman says 17 % of the foreign fighters in Iraq are Yemeni.

Hassani and Dunnigan say theres al-Qaeda in the top leadership of the Yemeni Military.

The military attacks the Shiites.

One official says in a newspaper that the al-Qaeda in the military have established training camps for Baathists.

Osama bin Laden’s driver (released from jail) says theres a deal between al-Qaeda and the Yemeni government not to attack inside Yemen, but outside Yemen is fine.

Now Hassani in this article says: “The suicide bombers in Iraq now and in the past are from groups that came from all over to meet and be trained securely in Yemen. Those groups have been provided with necessary documents to be able to reach Iraq and attack both American forces and people of Iraq.”

Read that again. Training and documents, Yemen a central hub for al-Qaeda. hmmm who else had official documents, oh yes the Cole bombers. So WTF? Seriously WTF. So Syria is letting the jihaddis transit and thats a big deal but our good ally Yemen is training, financing, documenting, protecting, hiding, and equiping terrorists and thats not a big deal. Why is that? So between the 17% that are Yemeni and lets guess 20% trained in Yemen, almost half the foreign fighters killing our troops and the Iraqi people are from Yemen. And Saleh knows and aids, dont buy that weak central government spin. This guy is like Saddam, little goes on he’s not aware of or profiting from.

So now theres several CIA people and reportedly a hundred FBI in Yemen. We have mil-to-mil operations ongoing. Not to mention the embassy. Does the US know that Saleh has a deal to aid al-Qaeda? I know and Im in Jersey. Does the US approve of this deal? I cant believe Bush would negotiate with al-Qaeda even through a third party. But how can we not know and if we know, how can we not oppose? Afraid of losing the base like Uzbeckistan? WTF is going on? Seriously.

Not to mention the chemical weapons. So lets sumarzie, our good ally in the War on Terror, Yemeni President Saleh is using chemical weapons and is a major sponsor of al-Qaeda, in addition to engaging in a wide variety of criminal enterprises including drug smuggling, gun running and counterfeiting, and US Amb Krajeski is talking about the journalists. And then he backtracks.

Update: Oh and lets not forget Chechnya and other arenas of the jihad. This article says 250 Yemenis are fighting in Chechnya and about fifty students from Chechnya are studying in Iman University (Zandani’s) in Sanaa. Also that the number of Arabs in Chechnya is increasing and they are mostly in possession of Yemeni travel documents. Related: 85 killed in Chechen attacks.

BTW the outbound weapons are smuggled by the Yemeni Air Force, in case anyone hasn’t figured that one out.

Its not just me : Furthermore, the President might do well to assure the Americans that all religious institutions “harboring extremism” have been closed and not just the ones that are affiliated with the mainstream Zeidi sect or Shafe’i sect, while some of the more obviously extreme religious institutes manage to continue operating unchallenged.

Cole Families Sue the Sudan

Filed under: General, USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 1:12 pm on Friday, September 30, 2005

Sudan’s Appeal Rejected:

The suit alleges the Sudanese government and Osama bin Laden co-owned a bank and a company. Also, the country allegedly let al-Qaida run a terrorist training camp within its borders and allowed an al-Qaida member to ship crates of explosives from Sudan to Yemen, where the USS Cole bombing occurred, Judge Doumar said….

“These facts not only satisfy the [Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s] definition of ’material support or resources,’ but suggest the existence of a joint enterprise or partnership. If these allegations do not suffice to establish ’material support or resources’ for the purpose of jurisdiction, it is difficult to imagine what can,” Judge Doumar said.

He also ruled that the complaint’s allegations satisfied the terrorist exception because they claimed that Sudanese officials acted within the scope of their duties when providing material support to al-Qaida.

The Cole, travel documents

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:58 pm on Friday, September 23, 2005

The court document, but theres another one already on the blog from one of the Yemeni papers: Newsmax, 8/26/2004:

Defense lawyer Abdul Aziz al-Samawi read out an official letter by former Interior Minister Hussein Arab, who was removed in April 2001, instructing security authorities to give “safe passage to Sheik Mohammed Omar al-Harazi with three bodyguards without being searched or intercepted. All security forces are instructed to cooperate with him and facilitate his missions.”

Al-Harazi is one of the names used by Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the sixth defendant and the alleged mastermind of the suicide attack that killed 17 American sailors….

“This document confirms that there is a breach in the Yemeni security system. This system has been infiltrated for a long time by terrorist elements, because of old relations,” (Afghanistan) said political analyst Mohammed al-Sabri.

Another analyst, Jamal Amer, (the recently kidnapped journalist) said al-Nashiri’s possession of such a letter “proves that there is a link between security authorities and these groups.”

The Cole

Filed under: USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:06 pm on Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I hadn’t even looked at the Cole before this thing with Able Danger:

YT 2001 Investigations so far revealed that one of the key terrorists, Ali Mohamed Al-Ahdal, 29, used to work in the personal status department of Aden Police. He joined Islamic Jihad in 1991 and used to train in weapons usage at one of the Islamic military camps in Lahj.

Able Danger and the Cole

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, General, USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 4:07 pm on Saturday, September 17, 2005

These Able Danger people were good. So not only did the 9/11 Commission leave out that Able Danger identified Atta, the Commission’s section on the Cole is very sketchy as well and doesnt include that Able Danger issued a warning about Aden three weeks before the Cole bombing. The 9/11 report also doesnt include the information that Yemeni governmental travel documents for the Cole bombers were admitted as evidence into Yemeni court during trial. ( I have to find that link on the court documents, its here on the blog somewhere.) And what was it Hassani said, oh yes, upper level Yemeni officials were complicit in the bombing. And oddly enough, the latest hit and run victims in Yemen are Hassanis underlings (2).

NYP: Members of a secret Pentagon intelligence unit known as Able Danger warned top military generals that it had uncovered information of increased al Qaeda “activity” in Aden harbor less than three weeks before the attack on the USS Cole, The Post has learned.

In the latest explosive revelation in the Able Danger saga, two former members of the data-mining team are expected to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week that they uncovered alarming terrorist activity and associations in Aden weeks before the Oct. 12, 2000, suicide bombing of the U.S. warship that killed 17 sailors.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s former liaison to Able Danger, told The Post that Capt. Scott Phillpott, Able Danger’s leader, briefed Gen. Peter Schoomaker, former head of Special Operations Command and now Army chief of staff, about the findings on Yemen “two or three weeks” before the Cole attack.

“Yemen was elevated by Able Danger to be one of the top three hot spots for al Qaeda in the entire world,” Shaffer recalled.

Shaffer and two other officials familiar with Able Danger said contractors uncovered al Qaeda activities in Yemen through a search of Osama bin Laden’s business ties.

The Pentagon had no immediate comment.

So there was a report of a lot of terrorist activity issued in three weeks before. Zinni , who was the ultimate decision maker was unaware of the warning, and made the decision about 12 days prior to the bombing to send the Cole to Aden. Apparently he had a lot of confidence in the sincerity of the Yemeni government’s commitment to fighting terror.

SEN. LEVIN: And who was responsible for force protection?

GEN. ZINNI: The force protection in the port is the responsibility of the Yemeni government…

According to the 9/11 report, the Cole bombers had no prior knowledge of the arrival of the Cole, Hassani disputes that. Zinni doesn’t seem to even contemplate it.

I want to say, in every visit, I was seen by the president. As a matter of fact, when the president came to Washington, he asked me to come to Washington to visit him. His interest in our military-to-military relations, his interest in our helping him develop this capability of counterterrorism was direct and personal.

Lovely guy that Saleh.

Could you tell us — excuse me — who is responsible once the decision has been made to commence refueling stops or port visits in a particular country for making these specific arrangements for the visit in terms of fuel, pilots, services and the like?

GEN. ZINNI: First of all, it is done under the conditions of the contract that is set. It is done with — it includes our embassy working with us. I think in this case you’ve probably seen that the military attache was down there coordinating this, was actually aboard ship, I believe, when the incident occurred. It is done with the port authority, and the government of Yemeni officials; their security forces.

YT 2000: (Saleh) added that Americans made a mistake when they entered the port with such a large size and greatly valuable destroyer without guarding or notifying the Yemeni side to provide such protection.

YT 2003 The US newspaper reported that al-Hitar said “the government had not investigated the allegations against Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani to confirm whether he did issue such a religious order, or fatwa, targeting the warship Cole,” adding, “People suspected in the Cole case have said they acted according to a fatwa by Sheik Abdul Majeed.”

YT 2001: Yemeni observers consider the actions of Abyan Army as a message directed to the Yemeni government falsifying the continuous statements of the Ministry of Interior that this group is no longer active and that its entity as an Army is no longer valid as most of its members are either imprisoned or executed. It is worth mentioning that the (Abyan) army also tried many times to request the government to stop arresting their members and affiliates and instead offer them positions in the Yemeni army.

AN 2002: The London- based al-Sharq al-Awsat said yesterday it had received a statement through Ansar al-Sharia (al-Sharia partisans) in London in which Aden – Abyan army claims responsibility for blowing off the French oil tanker in Dubba port at the coast of Hadramout in Yemen.

(I wonder if the Yemeni goverment has shut down those 143 terrorist affiliated bank accounts yet?)

Cole Families Can Sue the Sudan

Filed under: General, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:21 am on Wednesday, August 24, 2005

YT: In a surprising decision, district judge Robert Doumar, in Norfolk Virginia today said “there was enough evidence the Sudanese government co-operated with al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden, to allow the lawsuit to go forward.”

The victims of the Seventeen US sailors, who died in the USS Cole bombing in the Port of Aden in October 12, 2000, are suing the government of the Sudan for US $ 105 million for allegedly facilitating the movement of terrorists who were involved in the bomb attack. With a guilty verdict, the victims’ families expect the US government to pay them out of frozen assets of the Sudanese Government held with it.

The suit also says bin Laden and Sudan operated joint businesses and a bank that provided financing for the Cole attack.

The hearing is scheduled for March 7, 2006, but the families’ lawyer suggests that there will probably be a delay.

“Sudan provided no support for the bombing of the Cole,” said Washington lawyer Knox Bemis, before being cut off by Doumar, who questioned the bank connection and why Sudan would allow operatives to come in and out of the country freely.

Nice move. There’s a few other people they can sue in Yemen. Theres a document admitted in Yemeni court that details Yemeni goverment complicity. More on the Sudan ruling here.

The Cole Bombers: dead or alive

Filed under: USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:00 pm on Saturday, July 30, 2005

SANA’A – Two Yemenis who fled in April 2003 from the custody of political security in Aden, were responsible for suicide attacks in Iraq, sources have told Raynews.

The two separate attacks, which led to dozens of deaths and injured, were carried out this month by two persons originally from Aden in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The sources said that the family of one of the suicide bombers, 29 year-old Khaldoun Al-Hukaimi, were informed of his “martyrdom” by a call from Syria on 19th of July, the day the attack on coalition forces was executed.

According to the sources, the same scenario faced the family of the second Yemeni, 28 year-old Saleh Mana, who received the news of their relative’s suicide the day before the Al-Hukaimi family.

The two, held in Aden under charges of involvement with the 2000 attack on the American vessel USS Cole, escaped along with another eight from custody in Aden.

So two suspected Cole bombers were reported killed in Iraq in a phone call to their families in Yemen. So I guess we can stop looking for them now. Or not.

British Embassy Bombing in Yemen 10/13/00

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, attacks — by Jane Novak at 3:51 pm on Saturday, July 2, 2005

July 13, 2001 from al Bab

THE STRANGE trial of four Yemenis accused of bombing the British embassy in Sana’a ended on July 9, having raised more questions than it answered. (Read on …)

Socialists and other victims

Filed under: A-SECURITY, Al-Qaeda, Somalia, South Yemen, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Saturday, June 18, 2005

(Also the socialists got fatwa-ed because they believe in a secular state.)

YT interview with Dr. Mohammad Haidrah Ali Masdos

there was an unjust policy that oppressed all civilians in the south of Yemen including those who opposed the Yemeni Socialist party and others who remained in the State’s civic and military apparatuses, owning to the war and its tragic consequences that negatively affected the national unity and resulted in an inequality between people.

Besides, thousands of innocent civilians and military personnel were fired from their work even though they were still young,

But after being eliminated following the 1994’s war, they became jobless and were named the party of “Stay at home”, in addition to a terrible increase in the rate of unemployment among youths.

Jobs in the southern parts of Yemen were given to people from North Yemen even at oil companies operating in the south because officials were all from the north parts of Yemen and the southerners were deprived of everything.

Despite that political leaderships of religious extremism came from the north, hunting activities and arbitrary procedures are practiced against people who are originally from the south parts of Yemen, and a clear-cut example is what happened to Abu Hassan al-Mihdar, al-Harithi and Hattat Group in Abyan and the Group of the US Destroyer Cole and others.

The authority tends to practice terrorism upon them, and an intellectual terrorism is practiced against them by the opposition.

Assorted link dump:

list Party (YSP) 2002 released a press statement on Saturday claiming that Jarallah Omar’s assassination was politically motivated….the gunman, was a member of the Islamic opposition Islah Party, and was mosque preacher known for his extremist views and opposition to the government and moderates in his own party

Hezbollah Yemen

AL-MOAYAD also stated, in substance, that he has
supplied al Qaeda with arms and communication equipment in the
past. AL-MOAYAD indicated that he worked directly for a high-ranking
official in the Islah party of Yemen (hereinafter
“Associate 1″) purchasing weapons for al Qaeda.

In response, AL-MOAYAD told CI1, in sum and substance,
that he (AL-MOAYAD) had met with Usama bin Laden on two
occasions and that on each of those occasions, AL-MOAYAD brought
money, arms and recruits.

Al-Moayad advised CI1 that Al-Moayad has met Usama bin
Laden several times and has given bin Laden millions of dollars
prior to September 11, 2001.

DOJ: The investigation revealed that Al-Moayad, an official in the Islah political party in Yemen and the Imam – or spiritual leader – of the al-Ihsan Mosque in Sanaa, has substantial and direct ties to Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Saada: Media have no access to information about human and material losses. Yet the thousands of dead and wounded rushed to hospitals in Sa’ada, Hajah and Sana’a reveal their scale. Al-Wahdawi quoted Yahya Badr Al-Din, Member of Parliament and brother to Hussein Al-Houthi as saying: “My brother was never the political leader of an organization that violates law. What will the government gain from killing him?”

GN 2004: The Yemen branch of Al Qaida has submitted an initiative to the government saying it will give up operations against the Western interests in Yemen in return for meeting ten conditions.

DT: Al-Jihad, which attracted many Yemenis who had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, had chiefly targeted secular figures from once-socialist southern Yemen….In past investigations, Americans working alongside Yemenis have complained of having limited access to suspects.

The Students

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

connection kidnappers to the cole bombers

Kidnapper via YT:
He emphasized that he kidnapped the foreign tourists to pressure their governments to stop hurting Muslims in Iraq and the Sudan and to block U.S. and UK efforts to impose their hegemony on the whole world and to end their bid to humiliate Muslims….

He acknowledged he had ordered the kidnapping of tourists and that


Saleh, al-Qaeda, and the third option

Filed under: General, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:26 pm on Saturday, June 4, 2005


last August during the trial of five men accused of plotting the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole when their lawyer presented a document in court that alleged a government role in facilitating the attack. (ed- so, its not just al-Hasani. .) The document took the form of an official letter by former Interior Minister Hussein Arab instructing security authorities to give “safe passage to Sheik Mohammed Omar al-Harazi with three bodyguards without being searched or intercepted. All security forces are instructed to cooperate with him and facilitate his missions.” In the letter, Arab said the order was valid from April 2000 until the end of 2000. Harazi is one of the names used by Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the sixth defendant and the alleged mastermind of the suicide attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors aboard the ship.

It was not immediately clear how the defense obtained a copy of the letter, but significantly enough it was considered authentic by the court and accepted as evidence in the trial. Its meaning was not lost on observers. “This document confirms that there is a breach in the Yemeni security system. This system has been infiltrated for a long time by terrorist elements, because of old relations,” political analyst Mohammed al-Sabri told The Associated Press. Another analyst, Jamal Amer, said al-Nashiri’s possession of such a letter “proves that there is a link between security authorities and these groups.”

There is a third option to the dilemma of Saleh vs. the jihaddis: a real democracy.

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and al-Qaeda

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, USA, USS Cole, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:30 am on Monday, May 9, 2005

al-Qaeda inside the Yemen govt.

Sunday Times, UK: A FORMER Middle Eastern diplomat who is seeking political asylum in Britain has claimed that three British tourists killed in Yemen were the victims of Islamic terrorists with direct links to one of the country’s most senior army leaders.

Ahmed Abdullah al-Hasani alleges that members of Al-Qaeda have infiltrated the highest ranks of Yemen’s military and security forces and were also behind the bombing of the American warship USS Cole, in which 17 sailors died.

Al-Hasani, who was head of Yemen’s navy at the time of the Cole bombing, arrived in Britain with his family 11 days ago. He flew into Heathrow from Damascus, the Syrian capital, where he was Yemen’s ambassador.

His claims, which are unverified, are likely to be of interest to western intelligence agencies and attempts to debrief him are already thought to have begun.

Al-Hasani, 57, fell out with Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, over alleged discrimination towards southern Yemenis and fears he will be assassinated if he goes home.

Last week, he suggested that Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the president’s half-brother and an army commander, may have been linked to the kidnapping of 16 western tourists in December 1998.

The tourists were taken hostage by a group called the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, who used them as human shields during a botched rescue attempt by the Yemeni authorities. Three Britons — Ruth Williamson, Margaret Whitehouse and Peter Rowe — and an Australian were killed in the shootout.

“Two days before the killings, members of the terrorist group were in al-Ahmar’s house in Sanaa (the Yemeni capital),” claimed al-Hasani. “They were also in telephone contact with Sanaa just before the shootings.”

American press reports say al-Ahmar is a former ally of Osama Bin Laden and helped him to recruit Yemenis to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The fighters later set up terrorist training camps in Yemen.

Al-Hasani claims the perpetrators of the USS Cole attack in October 2000 “are well known by the regime and some are still officers in the national army”.

This weekend, the Yemeni authorities dismissed al-Hasani’s claims. “All these allegations are untrue and groundless,” said a government spokesman. “This man is making these allegations in order to legitimise and give significance to his claim of asylum.”

Another article, same topic

Cole Trial in Yemen

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 7:46 am on Thursday, September 30, 2004

Published: September 30, 2004

CAIRO, Sept. 29 – A judge in Yemen sentenced two men to death and four others to prison terms of up to 10 years on Wednesday for the deadly attack in 2000 against the American destroyer Cole. The convictions were the first ones stemming from the maritime suicide bombing, which provided an early glimpse of the brazen nature of Osama bin Laden’s global terror network.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi-born bin Laden associate, and Jamal al-Badawi, a 35-year-old Yemeni, were sentenced to death for their roles in the deaths of 17 United States sailors on board the destroyer, for planning the attack and for organizing an armed gang to carry it out.

Mr. Nashiri, in custody at an undisclosed location outside the United States, was tried in absentia.

Law enforcement officials have suggested that Mr. Nashiri, who was arrested in the United Arab Emirates and transferred into American hands in 2002, was the mastermind behind the Cole bombing on Oct. 12, 2000, and also played a key role in the United States Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

In the Cole attack, two men in a small dinghy laden with explosives bashed into the side of the destroyer as it was refueling in the southern Yemeni port of Aden, killing the sailors and opening a gaping tear in its hull.

Cries of “God is Great!” erupted from the defendants when Judge Najib al-Qaderi read out the sentences, and relatives in the packed courtroom shouted that the sentences were unjust.

“These are American sentences!” yelled Mr. Badawi, bearded and wearing a long white robe, after he heard his death sentence. “The judge and the entire Yemeni government are tools in the hands of the Americans!”

In the United States, government officials expressed satisfaction with the outcome of a case in which investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service worked closely for nearly four years with the Yemeni authorities.

The verdicts represented a milestone for overseas investigative efforts and appeared to signal that Yemen had adopted a tougher stance toward terrorism, American counterterrorism officials said. But the verdicts came after a sometimes strained investigative effort.

Senior American officials – like the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, and his predecessor, Louis J. Freeh – traveled to Yemen several times to urge greater cooperation when the Yemeni authorities balked at providing investigators with access to witnesses and evidence. Several times, American investigators were ordered out of Yemen by their agencies because of security risks.

The issuance of two death sentences did not appear to stir concern among American officials. But the sentencing of Mr. Nashiri raised a potential issue for the United States. He is the one of the six defendants being held outside Yemen and is one of about a dozen high-value Qaeda suspects being held by the Central Intelligence Agency at undisclosed locations outside the United States.

He has been regarded as a senior Qaeda operative in the Persian Gulf region whose capture in November 2002 was hailed by the American authorities as a potential intelligence coup because of his wide ranging knowledge of Al Qaeda’s operations and plans. It is unclear how much information he has provided since his apprehension.

Unlike lower-level Qaeda detainees held in places like Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prisoners like Mr. Nashiri have not been granted access to lawyers or visits by human rights groups. It remains unclear whether the government is willing to transfer Mr. Nashiri to Yemen to face the death sentence or whether the American authorities would resist such a move on legal grounds or because of his intelligence value.

Two of the men sentenced Wednesday, Mr. Badawi and Fahd al-Qusaa, were charged in May 2003 in a 50-count indictment returned in New York for their role in the Cole attack. The indictment was brought after both escaped from a Yemeni jail and was intended in part to allow Interpol to issue a “red notice” authorizing their detention. Both men were recaptured, and it is unclear whether federal prosecutors will now seek to try either of them in the United States on the indictment’s charges.

That indictment said Mr. Badawi had procured safe houses for the attackers, obtained the boat used in the attack along with the truck and trailer used to tow the craft to the harbor in Aden. It said Mr. Qusaa had prepared to film the attack from an apartment overlooking the harbor. Mr. Qusaa, who received a 10-year sentence, was supposed to film the bombing but overslept and missed the attack, the judge said. He underwent training in Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, and a video camera was discovered in the apartment he fled after the bombing.

Lawyers who helped defend the men in Yemen objected to the entire proceedings, noting that the suspects were judged by an exceptional court set up for the very purpose of trying terror suspects and therefore outside the country’s Constitution.

“The procedures that took place completely breached the right to a fair defense,” said Mohammed Naji Allaw, a defense lawyer who had previously withdrawn from the case to protest the proceedings. In a telephone interview, he also said that the men had been tortured to extract confessions during their four years of imprisonment.

All six defendants were found guilty of belonging to Al Qaeda. Maamoun Msouh was sentenced to eight years for helping Mr. Badawi by handling funds and forging identity papers, the latter crime also garnering five-year sentences for two former Interior Ministry employees, Ali Muhammad Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri.

Mr. Badawi said he would appeal his death sentence, and the five other defendants are also likely to seek to have the sentences overturned. They can take their cases to the Court of Appeals and eventually the Supreme Court. In addition, all death sentences, which are carried out by firing squad, need confirmation by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In previous political cases, the president has either annulled or reduced sentences and even pardoned some individuals, Mr. Allaw said, but he added that the president’s ability to dismiss judges prevented them from making independent decisions.

The death sentences on Wednesday, although among the first for violence linked to Al Qaeda, are not rare in Yemen. Last month, the same special court gave 15 defendants sentences ranging from three years to death for various terror plots and attacks. Those imprisoned for 10 years included five Qaeda supporters for the 2002 bombing of the French supertanker Limburg in an attack similar to that on the Cole. The militant sentenced to death was convicted of shooting dead a police officer at a checkpoint.

Yemen Obstructs Cole Investigation

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 10:32 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2004

Just threw this back here in 2004, it popped up on my google alert:


Burden of Proof
Terrorist Threats Against U.S.: Forces in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Placed on Threat-Con Delta
Aired November 1, 2000 – 12:30 p.m. ET

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CO-HOST: Today on BURDEN OF PROOF: U.S. military forces and diplomatic personnel in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been placed on Threat-Con Delta, the highest state of alert for a terrorist attack. The Pentagon confirms the U.S. has received credible threats in the region.

Plus, the investigation into the blast of the USS Cole. Why are Yemeni investigators blocking out the FBI?


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They were just great, the Yemenis were, in the beginning of this — the first phase of this work. And I think, you know, there have been difficulties now, I think not because they don’t want to find out who did it, but perhaps because they are worried about having America deploy more resources in Yemen.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: The president and the secretary have made clear that these are important matters to us, that we do need further cooperation, and more cooperation, different kinds of cooperation in the new phase. In the new phase, we’ll need access to suspects, to evidence, to further information that they may have. (Read on …)

USS Cole bombers trial, safe passage for al Nashiri, al Badawi conviction, Limurg

Filed under: USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 9:58 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2004

Lucky I copied a variety of Yemen Times articles on the USS Cole trial before the Yemen Times updated their website. I think all these articles are dated 2004.

Yemen Times

The Yemeni Prosecution in the tribunal of the USS Cole bombing suspects’ refuted the document presented by the defense lawyer which allegedly facilitated the task of the prime suspect. Chief prosecutor, Saeed al-Akil, who has been acting like a dictator in the courtroom, said in the ninth hearing last Wednesday, that the document presented by advocate Abdulaziz al-Samawi is false, demanding the original copy of the license. (Read on …)


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