Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Saleh relative orchestrated pipeline attck: Yemeni officials

Filed under: Marib, Oil, Security Forces, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:41 am on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SANAA // Yemeni authorities have accused military officers of sabotaging one of the country’s key oil pipelines during last year’s uprising, as the country battles to repair its energy infrastructure. (Read on …)

Awlaki’s son death in US drone strike provokes outrage in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Marib, airliner, anwar, obits, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 11:57 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Yemeni-American teenager is widely perceived in Yemen as an innocent, and therefore his death in a US drone strike is causing mass outrage on a level much, much greater than that of his father. There is a birth certificate showing he was 16 at the time of his death, and many photos have been posted. Like the December 2009 strikes, its the civilian casualties of US drone strikes that provoke mass public outrage. Yemeni would have liked to see some evidence on Awlaki or better yet, to bring him to trial. But killing his teen-age son, or any innocent teen, is way over the top of acceptable counter-terror collateral damage, Yemenis say.

Yemen Post According to the al-Awlaki family back in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, Abdul rahman al-Awlaki, the cleric’s son would have run away from home after news of his father’s death in a desperate bid to find him. The 17 year-old was killed subsequently in an American air raid this Friday. Outraged, his family is now speaking out against what they call a murder.

The family’s statements to the WaPo is here. His family says he ran away from home and was having a picnic when the drone hit. However what he was doing with known terrorist Ibrahim al Banaa and Fahd al Quso’s brother is unknown and not raised in the article.

Related: I posted this below but it belongs in a drone-related post: Marib Press Tribes in Marib issued a statement saying Sheikh Saleh al Taaman was killed in the air rad with Ibrahim al Banaa but not reported killed by the regime. The Sheikh was connected to the state’s security policy and paid by Ghalib al Qamish (PSO) 100K YR/month; tribesmen accuse the regime of the manipulating the terror file and US CT ops to retain power. They say the Sheikh was not listed among the dead and that’s reason to ignore the regime’s fatality lists.

Friday pro-democracy protests in Marib, Yemen

Filed under: Marib, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:57 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

The theme of this week’s protest was Victory for Syria and Yemen. The following video shows the protest in Marib, described by some analysts exclusively as a hot bed of terrorism but there’s a lot more going on in Marib that is worth focusing on than the AQAP training camps. The revolutionaries in Yemen are uniformly calling for a civil (non-military and non-theocratic) government that secures equal rights. The only exception is the southern movement which is calling for a civil independent southern state. The problem in Yemen is the historical leaders which revive ancient rivalries and power bases. At the same time, the protesters are forging a national identity in the squares and have nearly become a new tribe with a shared identity, philosophy and goals.

Another suicide bombing in Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Marib, Yemen, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:34 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The fanatics in Abyan are trying to replicate Afghanistan under the Taliban, and there’s little public outcry in Yemen, all to busy with the rev, I guess, but the danger of an al Qaeda state increases daily.

Inquirer: SANAA—A suicide car bomber killed three policemen and injured seven at a checkpoint in the port city of Aden on the Arabian Sea Saturday, a Yemeni security official said. (Read on …)

AQAP command center flees to Marib with Abyan booty, in a state of collapse

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Imirate, Marib, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:00 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

Bumped from 8/21: The Arabic article at Yaf3 Press says the intra-terrorist conflict described earlier between the AQAP (Marib, Sanaa and foreign jihaddists) and southern jihaddists (the AAIA types) in Abyan arose from the division of the spoils of jihad. The items stolen in the Abyan fighting were transported to Marib, and southern fighters were told to collect their portion there from the Emir. The vehicles transporting the goods, weapons or money passed all checkpoints including in the capital without a problem according to the article.

Once violent clashes broke out, the fitna as JM Berger called it, the command center (and likely some commanders) was relocated to Marib.

There seems to be a reference to the killing of prisoners and that was the beginning of the dispute between northern and southern terrorists in Abyan. The article also says locals found decapitated bodies. I really hope the word families here actually means fellow tribesmen or allies.

The article is from Yaf3 Press, meaning of the Yafee tribe (but not necessarily an official outlet).There’s an upper and lower Yafee in Abyan and beyond. The news site is Abyan-centric, within its broader pro-southern independence, pro-democracy focus. There are also Bakil and Hashid new sites and the young Marib Sheikhs recently made a Youtube video in order to communicate with the rest of the country.

The google translated version from Yaf3:

Abyan: Facts published for the first time on the sharp differences between the militants as a result of regional distribution of the spoils and they are now in a state of collapse.
Newspaper Yafea / private. / 20 / August / 2011 pm Sat (Read on …)

Young Shiekhs of Marib Yemen issue Youtube denying electricity sabotage

Filed under: Electric, Marib, Yemen, photos/gifs, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:35 pm on Sunday, August 21, 2011

In the following video, young Marib Sheikhs pledge not to attack the electricity infrastructure and deny the regime’s allegations that their attacks casued the blackouts. A delegation from Change Square went to talk to them about the issue and the state’s propaganda. Note the temple of Bilqis in the background. The structure shows inscriptions and construction from the 7th to 2nd Century BC. Yemen is among the most continually settled places in the world.

GPC local council members involved in pipeline, electricity infrastructure destruction

Filed under: GPC, JMP, Local gov, Marib, Oil, Tribes, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:40 pm on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sahwa Net – A Yemeni opposition leader in Marib, Mabkhot Al-Shareef, has said that most those people involved in a 43- person blacklist published by the interior Ministry are members of the ruling party in Marib .

Al-Shareef affirmed that most of those included in the list accused of bombing oil pipelines and destructing electricity stations are the ruling party’s members of local councils in Marib. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda operative Amar al Waeli killed in Abyan, Yemen?

Filed under: Abyan, Marib, Military, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, obits, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:10 am on Friday, June 10, 2011

To my recollection, a search here on Ammar al Waeli will likely lead to the following history. Al Waeli was the subject of a 2002 FBI seeking info alert generated by an associate of Fawaz al Rabie, killed in 2006. Al Waeli was seen by eyewitnesses on a rooftop in Saada City exhorting residents against the Houthis during the sixth war (2010) while Ali Mohsen’s troops chewed qat. Al Waeli was also involved in the 2009 plot against Saudi CT chief Prince Naif along with Naif al Qatahani. Al Waeli, along with Hamza al Dyanai was allegedly instrumental in the 2007 murder of eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in Marib in a suicide bombing by the (also deceased) Hamza al Qaiti group.

Al Waeli was convicted on terror charges in March. My assumption at the time was he was tried in absentia although the Saleh regime didn’t mention that part. Now in theory he is killed exiting Zinjibar, echoing some southerners reports of the RG attacking fleeing residents. Just keep in mind, Qasim al Reimi was reported dead three times by the Saleh regime. Al Waeli was also reported as killed in Jan 2010. Its important to note that different aspects of the Yemeni regime have relations with different groups of jihaddist mercenaries or state jihaddists as I call them, like al Nabi.

The Jaber al Shabwanis are possibly relatives but certainly tribesmen of the tribal sheik/assistant governor of Marib Jaber al Shabwani who was killed in an errant air strike (by who is still a question, in Marib some insist it was a Yemeni plane) as he was en route to negotiate al Qaeda surrenders. Ali Mohsen said recently Saleh orchestrated the hit on Sheik Shabwani. The sheik was the brother of Ayyed al Shabwani, a know al Qaeda operative.

al Motamar

The source made clear that a number of the organisation leaderships and its dangerous elements have been killed in qualitative operations by army men from brigade 201 and mechanized brigade 35 while those elements were fleeing Zanjibar city.

The source added that the operations led to the killing of terrorist Amar Abada al-Waeli, one of the most dangerous leaders of al-Qaeda organisation and with him seven other elements in addition to killing the terrorist Abu Ali al-Harithi , a leading element in Shabwa province , terrorist Abu Ayman al-Masri , media official in the organisation , terrorist Ali Saleh Farhan ‘amir of the organisation in Mareb province an a number of terrorist elements that came from Mareb province , among them the terrorist Mabkhout Ali Jaber al-Shuwani and wounding his brother Fahad Ali Jaber al-Shuwani .

Yemen Wed June 8, updates: Proxy War in Abyan

Late update: Saleh: late night in Sanaa and Taiz, over two hours of heavy gunfire so far from pro-Saleh forces shooting in air at news of his return or good health. Simultaneous in Dhamar, Hadramout. In Aden, govt cars seen shooting live rounds (more celebration?) Over 20 wounded in Sanaa arrive at the field hospital. According to friends in Saudi Arabia, theres no report airing about Saleh’s good health and return, and Mareb Press just retracted the report that Saleh wanted to return in 24 hours. However “celebratory” gunfire continuing for hours already. The RG is going to be cranky tomorrow.

Sanaa: Ali Mohsen meets US, EU ambassadors; forces intercept two attacks on Acting President Hadi’s compound. Reports also disbursed protesters demanding a transition council, near Hadis compound, dozens injured. Vid, al Khaiwani arguing with Askar Zoail, Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager who incited soldiers with sermons on jihad against the Houthis at a mosque in the fifth Saada war. Al Khaiwani was later nearly kidnapped. Later video indicates Zoali’s forces shooting into the air. See below for Mohsen’s role in Abyan fighting.

JMP: did not meet with Hadi, expect to meet within two days; seek Hadi’s formal declaration that Saleh’s reign is over, threaten to unilaterally create transitional council with protesters.

Protesters: demand transitional council immediately in mass demo, “In Sana’a, a spokesman for the youth-led protesters in the change square outside Sana’a University said, after thousands of people marched Street 60th, they had given a 24-hour deadline for the concerned political parties to form a transitional council otherwise the revolutionaries will do that.”

Taiz: still tense, sporadic clashes on the outskirts of town. The Al Qaeda district is the name of the suburb, not a AQAP hideout. Three killed Maweah and Thikra

Ibb : YP: Government forces clashed with armed tribesmen in Qaeda district, Ibb province, 30 miles off Taiz province. According to the tribesmen, the goal of the tribes is to get rid of all government forces attacking the people. “Security forces are now using this lawless time in the country to loot and attack civilians. We will not allow our people to be attacked and will ensure that they are safe from any attacks from pro govt thugs,” said a tribal fighter.

Hodiedah: roads leading in blocked by pro-Saleh thugs.

Saudi Arabia, “Yemen’s neighbor and the biggest GCC country, said after a June 6 Cabinet meeting chaired by King Abdullah that the proposal is still viable, and called on Saleh to accept it. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, will also send Yemen 3 million barrels of oil to alleviate fuel shortages, Yemen’s state news agency Saba reported yesterday.” ( SFgate)

Saada: Mass protests in favor of the end of the regime and against all plots on the rev.

UNICEF: Yemen facing humanitarian disaster.

State Department briefing; must read

AQAP: a decent analysis at Foreign Affairs of relation between tribes and AQAP and prospect in the post-rev phase.

Zinjibar: reduced to “hell” with fighting among unclear sides: < <"There is a cat-and-mouse game going on in the streets now between the army and armed men. I can't tell who's who among them any more,"... The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.>> Most residents of Zinjibar fled to Aden where many are sheltering in public buildings. The Central Security forces of Yahya are attacking the refugees as they flee.

The armed parties appear to be the national military, local tribesmen, local militants (both Saleh’s and Mohsen’s) and the defected army but I’m checking. Update: Gah!!! Armed members of the southern movement also maintaining security on some roads, and for sure they would be described by the regime as al Qaeda. If this is true, southerners carrying arms and creating their own security checkpoints outside local villages in various governorates, its new. (I deleted the areas where they are deployed or the regime will start bombing them.) It needs to be double checked. But being rebuffed after asking to coordinate security with the international community leaves few options. However as security fails, its likely the Southern Movement will reject new deployments by either Saleh’s forces or Mohsen’s forces. The only possibility is Aliwi who has a better reputation in the south than Hadi (as unlike Hadi he didnt attack civilians in the 1986 civil war, according to local lore.) And Mohsen is Mohsen.

Abyan: Local direct reports indicate military airplanes dropped two bombs today recently. Vid here of warplanes that bombed Abyan City, per local sources.

Another says the attack was on tribesmen who took up arms in the face of military assaults. “Ms. Novak – Greetings – I would like to clarify what is happening today in the province of pilgrimage in southern Yemen as a witness elders – the army is firing different weapons on the housing Almutnyen and Batalli tribes touched by the bombing respond and of these forces and drops dead from both sides.” Still no names on the militants leaders, but likely remnants of the localized jihaddist group AAIA operating under another new name. Upon asking, it seems that most discussions on southern forums regarding Zinjibar are operating on the assumption (as am I) that Khaledabul Nabi* is leading the jihaddists in Abyan but no eye witness confirmation. Ja’ar and Zinjibar are close enough. In 2009, Nabi was fighting on the side of Saleh in the battle of Ja’ar, another jihaddist proxy war.

Update, Southern Yemen: Ali Mohsen’s forces are in Abyan, see YT article Rebel soldiers engage militants, but are described below as “gunmen” so these could be the jihaddists as well. Majority of Mohsen’s soldiers are either graduates of Iman Univ or loyal to Zindani, per local buzz. The defected military issued a statement though that they were going to intervene in Abyan as military, and that may be what is triggering an armed (defensive) response by the southern movement if there is indeed an armed response. When the article below talks about forces loyal to Islah, it sounds like they mean armed militants loyal to Mohsen and Zindani. Maybe this is what Nuba meant by an invasion of Zindanis forces.

So Abyan could be a proxy war between Saleh and Mohsen with both sides using militants and military men and equipment. and the southerners who take defensive positions attacked by both. Now I really have a headache. Saada source comments, “That’s exactly whats happening with al Jawf,” and likely why the Houthis are fighting there, as a defensive measure.

Al Jawf/ Marib: Battles reported and continue over last months between Houthis and “Islahis” in conjunction with Mohsen’s forces, with back up from pro-Saleh forces according to news and local sources. Explains positioning of large amounts of troops there. Both the Mohsen forces and Saleh forces, militants and military, are fighting the Houthis in rotation. These developments bring into question both Mohsen’s alleged reformation and his commitment to the youth rev goals. Maybe he is just out to finally wipe out the Houthis and the Southerners. Clarification: There’s no troops on the al jawf/Saada border. Troops and militias of both Saleh (Republican Guards and militias) and Mohsen’s army and militias are on the border of Aljawf/Mareb and also inside both Aljawf and Mareb. There’s quite a number of troops in Saada but they are non-combative.

Yaf3press: Lapin: genocide and the destruction of cities, “Zanzibar and Jaar .. and forces loyal to the Reform Party (ed-Islah) and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar involved in control of southern Yemen. (Read on …)

Saleh orchestrated drone attack on Sheikh Shabwani: Mohsen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, Tribes, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:18 pm on Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Saleh regime topple watch has begun: Tomorrow’s Friday pro-Saleh rally has been canceled and no Saleh speech either. Republican Guard commander defected and called to the troops to join the protests. Tribal mediators working on exit for Saleh after tribes declared Saleh’s blood is free. Tomorrow will be the 16th week of peaceful protests in Yemen, and likely see the largest yet.

Original: After Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar said today Saleh is leaving Yemen barefoot, Ali Mohsen al Ahmar says Saleh doens’t even have a fig leaf to cover himself with. At Mareb Press Ali Mohsen also said in an interview that Saleh orchestrated the assassination of Sheikh Shabwani in Marib who was thought killed by a US drone. Maybe Saleh deliberately misled the US, like when Saleh gave the Saudi Air Force the coordinates Ali Mohsen’s camp as a Houthi compound. I hope Mohsen keeps talking.

Revealed Mohsen that President Saleh is behind the machinations of the events of the stone that targeted elders Taiz and it is who is behind the events of 13 January 1986 that led to the fighting between factions of the Socialist Party, said: “This feline is raised Vtantha and fueled its horrors among our fellow members of the Socialist , a mastermind of the assassination of Sheikh Jaber Shabwani who sent in the mediation of Marib. “

Saleh really has a long history of killing or jailing mediators. Update: Another phenomenal post in the Trench, small teaser:

This dependency encouraged his bad behavior, antagonized Yemen’s populace, accelerated the revolution, and expanded AQAP’s area of operations. (Read on …)

5 soldiers killed in Marib, 6 in al Baydah, 3 in Shabwa, 1 abducted and 2 killed in Abyan, Updated

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Marib, Yemen, al-Bayda, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 7:04 am on Monday, May 16, 2011

Wired: Also on Friday, another group of suspected terrorists attacked a security checkpoint in the southern province of Shabwa. At least three police officers were killed and another one was injured.

Hindustan Times:
Al-Qaeda militants have kidnapped an intelligence officer today in Yemen’s south while unknown gunmen killed a soldier and a policeman in separate attacks, a security official told AFP. “Masked Al-Qaeda armed men stopped a bus in Loder,” in Abyan province, which has become one of the jihadists’ stronghold, and “abducted a Yemeni intelligence officer named Fadhel Ahmed Mohsen,” said the official. (Read on …)

Clashes in Lahj and Marib, several Republican Guards killed

Filed under: Lahj, Marib, Military — by Jane Novak at 10:42 am on Friday, April 22, 2011

Aha, a roundup:

Qaeda, tribes kill 20 Yemen soldiers SANAA — Tribesmen and Al-Qaeda militants killed 22 people, all but two of them soldiers, and captured dozens of others in separate attacks over a 24-hour period, security and tribal sources said on Friday. (Read on …)

Pipeline blows in Marib, Yemen

Filed under: Marib, Oil — by Jane Novak at 10:54 am on Thursday, April 14, 2011

4/16: yup Shabwani

Yemen Times: At 21:30 on Thursday a tribal group destroyed a number of power lines in Marib governorate, which led to power cuts in a number of Yemeni cities for around 20 hours, amongst them the capital Sana’a.

The journalist Hassan al-Zai’idi, who is from Marib, accused tribes that support the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) of being behind the repeated damage to the power lines. However, others are of the opinion that the al-Shabwani tribe are behind the damage to the power lines and the oil pipelines, in protest for the government’s failure to respond to their demand for an investigation into the death of Jaber al-Shabwani, the secretary-general of the Marib local council, who was killed by an American drone last year.

On the same day Marib also witnessed the destruction of an oil pipeline in the area of Sarawih, 40 km west of Marib City. Armed men from the Jahm tribe carried out this attack. According to tribal sources, tribes led by a member of the local council of Sarawih district, who is a member of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) Party, was the leader of the operation to blow up the pipeline, which is situated between the Kofal and al-A’roush stations.

4/14: Repair teams were refused access following the earlier shut down on March 14 by relatives and tribesmen of Sheikh Shabwani who were demanding an investigation into his death by a missile strike. The new explosion was perpetrated by tribesmen affiliated with the regime and local council, al Masdar reports, but I’m sure the Saleh regime will blame it on protesters, al Qaeda or the Houthis. Since al Shabwani was deputy governor, its possible that this attack was perpetrated by nominally pro-regime tribesmen.

al Masdar: According to local sources and witnesses for the “online source” that they bent tribal militants blew up on Thursday to blow up a key oil pipeline in Marib governorate Directorate Sarwah east of the capital Sanaa.

وقالت المصادر إن مسلحين يقودهم عضو بالمجلس المحلي للمديرية وقيادي بالحزب الحاكم أقدموا في الثانية بعد منتصف ليلة الأربعاء على تفجير أنبوب النفط الممتد من حقل صافر النفطي إلى ميناء رأس عيسى للتصدير على ساحل البحر الأحمر غرب اليمن. The sources said that militants led by a member of the Local Council of the Directorate and lead the ruling party perpetrated at the second after midnight on Wednesday to blow up oil pipeline extending from the Safer oil field to the port of Ras Issa for export to the Red Sea coast west of Yemen. (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

My article from March 2010: (Read on …)

At least 37 injured and one dead in Ibb as thugs attack protesters

Filed under: 3 security, Ibb, Marib, protests — by Jane Novak at 3:21 pm on Sunday, March 6, 2011

Its amazing how little coverage western media is giving developments outside the capital of Yemen, Sanaa. Dynamic developments in Libya are naturally sucking up air time, and all the western reporters are sequestered in Sana’a, a function of both state restrictions and reporters’ hesitance. Saada has been cut off from journalists since 2004. Several Yemeni news sites were blocked and hacked this week including al Msadar and Yemen Online- for reporting the news. Several reporters were beaten and harassed. Two al Jazeera reporters were threatened with expulsion. Today’s protest in Ibb is estimated at 200,000 and there’s new violence in Aden. Other estimates of injuries in Ibb go as high as 70.

Ibbmarch6.jpg

Ibb, Yemen March 6, 2011

Government supporters attack protesters in Yemen, killing 1: CP: SANAA, Yemen — Government supporters wielding knives and handguns attacked protesters in southern Yemen on Sunday, leaving one dead in the latest in weeks of demonstrations demanding the president step down.

In a separate development in the increasingly chaotic Middle Eastern nation, suspected al-Qaida gunmen killed four soldiers from the elite Republican Guard forces in a mountainous region… (Read on …)

Day 12 Yemen uprising and other updates

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Hodeidah, Libya, Marib, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:45 am on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(Its Day 12 if you don’t count the six year war in the north and the nearly four years of protests in South Yemen.)

Update: Sanaa, reports are two killed and somewhere between 10 and 26 injured after Ali Saleh’s deniable proxies open fire on protesters on Tuesday evening at Sanaa University. New national death toll is 13. Video here of rock throwing and gunfire. via email: “Our sources said that the promise of today’s attack was Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the eldest son of President and Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, President of the National Security Service.” The National Security was set up in 2002 because the PSO is both corrupt and infiltrated by AQ; in statistical studies, the National Security is responsible for most of the attacks on journalists whether by beating, kidnapping, death threats, torture etc. The National Security reports to Ali Saleh directly.

- Iranian vessel seized in Yemen: The Yemeni Defense Ministry reported that the Iranian vessel and its crew of 13 people have been arrested in the Aden Gulf as it was illegally sailing in the Yemeni waters. Happened before many times. Yemen govt will likely say Iran smuggling weapons to Houthis but much more likely Sudan. A few days ago, an Egyptian fishing vessel was captured.

- Yemeni youth demand Sheikhs who receive monthly stipend from Libya denounce violence against Libyan people. There is a LOT of Qadaffi’s money floating around Yemen through direct monthly payments and via his charitable fund. Daughter came in oh 2006 or so and spread oodles.

- Sanaa protesters find weapons, torch car (Tuesday) News Yemen: ten injured by rent-a-thugs at Sanna Univ, CNN: Student protesters in Sanaa, Yemen, overturned a car and set it on fire Tuesday after discovering weapons inside apparently brought to a demonstration by government loyalists, a protester said…The sit-in at Sanaa University is one of at least five protests going on Tuesday in Yemen. There were others in Aden and Taiz, and in the provinces of Ibb and Lahj.

- Dhalie teachers protest broken up by tear gas, batons and live fire News Yemen & reports, journo harrassed, Teachers have had periodic strikes to demand the implementation of the 2005 Wages Strategy. HOOD one serious injury, 16 wounded total, one LC member arrested. (Tuesday)

- People beaten in Hodeidah (Monday?)

- Protests in Hadramout, Yemen Post: About 5,000 anti-government protesters gathered in eastern Yemen calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime. Demonstrators marched on Tuesday in the eastern town of Al-Shiher, chanting “Down, down with Saleh.”

- Shoot-out in Marib with al Qaeda (Monday) ( SABA) Marib province have arrested the al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Maodhah ,while he was heading for Shabwa province with a group of terrorists. Governor of Mareb Naji al-Zayidi said that three soldiers were killed in a fire exchange between policemen and gunmen came to support Maodhah. The accident caused the killing of two civilians and one injured, in addition to wounding six soldiers

- Security intimidates, shoots protesters in Taiz (Sunday) Youtube vid here: military car drives into crowd, shooting. Vid gunshot victim here. Video of Liberty Square in Taiz, February 22, 2011.

- Clerics back Saleh, mixed messages from al Zindani, JMP and Hamid al Ahmar, great article, overview of groupings & positions Nassar Arabyee, worth full read, here’s part:

Nasser Arrabyee The association of the Yemeni clerics held an exceptional meeting on Monday February 21st, 2011, and said in a statement President Saleh should remove all corrupts around him and take “serious steps” for reforms.

One of the most influential Yemeni cleric said the opposition must take to streets only if President Saleh has not accepted their conditions for a guaranteed peaceful transfer of power.

“A national unity government must be formed, with the most important ministries shared between the opposition and the ruling party, to prepare for elections within six month,” said Sheik Abdul Majid Al Zandani, a leader in the largest Islamist opposition party, and chairman of the religious university of Al Eyman.

Al Qaeda kills security official in Marib, Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Al-Qaeda, Marib, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:55 am on Monday, January 24, 2011

Al Ghad reports Lt Col Aklan was targeted last in November when an explosive device planted in his car was disarmed.

People’s Daily: Militants of the al-Qaida wing shot dead a top security official in northeast Yemen, a provincial security official told Xinhua on Sunday.

Lieutenant Colonel Nabil Aklan, deputy director of the investigation unit in the northeastern province of Marib, was gunned down by a group of al-Qaida militants in front of a supermarket, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

“The attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida,” the official said.

Brother of Marib governor beaten by Sanhan gang, site says

Filed under: Marib, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Its a google translation but I can read it.

after a member of its secretariat was attacked by gunmen from the Sanhan ..
The children of revolutionaries condemns the targeting of its leaders in the center of the capital, Sana’a

Through the Forum of National Democratic Party for the children of revolutionaries and freedom fighters and martyrs Yemenis (glory) Member of the International Alliance for Defending Rights and Freedoms for disapproval and strong condemnation of the attempted attack, who was a member of the Secretariat General and brother of the governor of Marib Sheikh / Abdullah bin Ali al-Zaidi, by armed groups of approximately two hundred people Region Boss House in the capital Sanaa on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon .. (Read on …)

AQAP claims 50 operations in Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Marib, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Security Forces, TI: Internal, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Saturday, January 1, 2011

GAN: Yemen (Sanaa) – Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arab Peninsula said Saturday it was responsible for some 50 operations carried out in different parts of Yemen in the last five months of last year. (Read on …)

Three al Qaeda listed by Interior Ministry in attack on UK Ambassador, Update 100K reward for 8

Filed under: Counter-terror, Marib, UK, UK amb, Yemen, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just adding the names to the database in case they show up three years from now on the local council. The three are wanted in the second pedestrian suicide attack on the UK ambassador. The six on trial including Badr al Hassani were initially touted as the perpetrators but were charged with vague crimes. That trial may just evaporate before the the PSO deputy director in Marib is called to testify about his payments to Hassani. Also below the fold various rewards offered for the capture of AQAP operatives.

Interior circulate the names of 3 of the al-Qaeda targeted the British Ambassador
الخميس, 02-ديسمبر-2010 – 11:05:58 Thursday, 2002 – December -2010 – 11:05:58
نبأ نيوز- صنعاء – Naba News – Sana’a -

وذكر مركز الإعلام الأمني أن المطلوبين الثلاثة الذين عممت عنهم قيادة الوزارة هم: The Center for Information Security that the three wanted persons who circulated them the leadership of the ministry are:
1. محمد صالح محمد علي المطري 1. Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Ali Matari
2. محمد عبد الرحيم عبد الله الشميري 2. Mohammad Abdul Rahim Abdullah Shamiri
3. عثمان سراج عبد الله. 3. Uthman Siraj Abdullah.
ورجحت المعلومات إن يكون المطلوبين أمنياً متواجدين الآن في محافظتي شبوة ومأرب. And information likely to be online now wanted security in the provinces of Shabwa and Marib.

More data storage (Read on …)

The common denominator of the two suicide al Qaeda attacks in Yemen, Updated

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, Sa'ada, Saada War, TI: Internal, War Crimes, Yemen, al Jawf, attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:37 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

Mareb Press reports that a Marib Sheik, Mubarack Saleh Al-Mashan, was at the scene of both al Qaeda suicide car bombings (the al Ghadeer day procession from Marib to Saada and the convoy going to pay respects in Dhayan, Sa’ada to the al Houthi family). The Sheik survived both attacks. Al Mashan is also an adviser to the Ministry of the Interior and recently became a supporter of the Houthis.

Update: Al Mashan blames the US in an interview with Ansar al Allah: after the incident and met with Sheikh Almcn and we had a brief conversation with him which he said…Regarding the incident, the car bomb which we were today, he is a U.S. plan unveiled aimed at the disintegration of Yemen using pretexts and flimsy so-called al Qaeda, and that the beneficiary of and behind this are the Jews, and that the purpose behind all these criminal acts is to turn Yemen into the case like Iraq and Afghanistan. And it didn’t occur to him that he may have been the target? The list of potential puppet masters of the attacks is long.

Update 2: Below is an earlier interview with al Mashan explains why he chose to join the Houthis.

(Read on …)

Al Qaeda suicide bomber targets Shia mourners in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, Sa'ada, Saada War, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:26 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

This is such a bad development that I can hardly wrap my mind around it.

Suicide bomber kills Yemen mourner AFP
SANAA — A suicide bomber killed a tribesman on Friday travelling to the funeral of the spiritual head of Shiite rebels observing an uneasy truce with Yemen’s government, a rebel spokesman and tribal sources said.

The bombing in northern Yemen also wounded another eight tribal dignitaries who had travelled up from the east of the country for the funeral of Badreddin al-Huthi, who died on Thursday at the age of 86, the sources said. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda blows South Korea’s oil pipeline in Marib

Filed under: Donors, UN, LNG, Marib, Oil, Other Countries, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aaron notes its a South Korean pipeline. South Korea divested some of its holding in the LNG project after the lethal terror attack on the South Koran tourists in March 09. And France’s TOTAL is the developer of the LNG project and a major stake holder. France was recently warned by the Saudis about an AQAP plot and is on alert. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

Korean Times:
Tuesday’s explosion at a South Korean oil pipeline in southern Yemen was apparently a bomb attack, raising concerns about the safety of Koreans abroad. There is no confirmation about who was behind the blast and what prompted it, although al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for the bombing….Yemen has already emerged as a breeding ground for al-Qaida terrorists. Four South Korean tourists were killed in a bomb attack in the historic city of Shibam, 90 kilometers east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on March 15, 2009. About three months later, a Korean female aid worker was killed by rebels.

(Read on …)

The invisible hunt for al Asiri, Local security directors: nothing happening here

Filed under: Marib, Security Forces, UPS bombs, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:36 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have little confidence in President Saleh’s alleged reformation. Yemen Observer

The hunt for 28-year-old Ibrahim al-Asiri was launched in the provinces of Marib and Shabwa on Tuesday, a security official told the Reuters news agency.

“Asiri is believed to be hiding and moving with senior al-Qaeda elements such as Nasser al-Wahayshi [the Yemen al-Qaeda leader]. Security intelligence forces are still tracking them down to exactly identify their whereabouts,” the official said to Reuters.

However, Ahmed al-Magdash, the security director of Shabwa, Ahmed Sheikh, the security director of Attaq city, Mohammad al-Gadrab, the security director of Marib, and Nati al-Bogaish, the security director of Hareeb city all denied that there were any new operations being carried out against AQAP currently in an effort to track down Ibrahim al-Asiri. Citizens in Marib and Shabwa also stated that they were unaware of any new military operations in the area.

Fareed Abu Bakr, Sheikh of the al-Saeda district of Shabwa, said to the Yemen observer that there have been no new efforts to track down al-Qaeda but the campaign of tribal cooperation with Yemeni troops to hunt down AQAP affiliates is still ongoing.

Striking refinery workers arrested in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Marib, Oil, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:31 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

They are demanding that new workers hired by Safer are afforded the same treatment as HUNT’s former workers. Their claims and the right to strike are supported by law, however they were arrested.

Yemen Observer: 47 workers at the Safer refinery in Marib province were arrested last Tuesday and are being held at al-Qatta’a prison after demanding better working conditions, better hours, and higher pay. The workers of Marib refinery launched a strike on October 10 to demand financial equity between new plant workers and the former workers of the Hunt Oil Company. (Read on …)

al Shawish, an AQAP Hamza al Qaity disciple, sentenced to death

Filed under: Hadramout, Marib, Oil, Sana'a, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:47 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

Al Qaity was killed in August ‘09 after the attack on the security station in Sayoun. Al Qaity and al Qamish, the head of the PSO, became antagonistic after the mortar attacks on the embassies early in ‘09. al Qaity was enraged with al Qamish about something or other. The odd thing about the mortar attacks is the streets were clear afterwards, and in three attacks, the attackers got away clean every time and all the mortars missed.

CRI: A Yemeni security court on Monday sentenced convicted al-Qaida bombmaker Saleh al-Shawish to death, official Saba news agency reported.

Al-Shawish made no appeal against the verdict as he proudly admitted to be affiliated to the Yemen-based regional wing al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said Saba. In the previous trial by the Sanaa-based security court, al- Shawish confessed to the jury that he had taken part in seven military operations planned by the AQAP. (Read on …)

Marib Sheikhs Declare Loyalty to Houthi?

Filed under: Marib, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:49 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

Nothing on this yet from the al Houthis. As the money runs out, people switch sides.

Marib Sheikhs Declare Loyalty to Houthi Yemen Post Staff

A number of Marib sheikhs including advisor to Interior Minister brigadier general Mubarak Al-Mashan arrived in Saada on Sunday to declare their loyalty to the Houthi Group after a meeting with Houthi leader in Jawf Province two days ago, sources reported. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Defendent Claims to be Intel Agent, Court Summons Marib PSO Official

Filed under: Marib, Security Forces, UK amb, arrests, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:04 am on Sunday, October 3, 2010

There are many, many al-Qaeda on the payroll of the Political Security Organization. Earlier reporting on this trial can be found here. Today’s trial update comes from al Sahwa, also see Yemen Post. Apparently they wanted him to take the fall for the botched suicide attack on the British Ambassador but forgot to tell him. These defendants were touted as the gang that organized the plot on Torlot but the court didn’t charge them with the attack, only with the vague charge of plotting.

Yemen court asks intelligence official witness on al-Qaeda, 3/10/2010 – Sahwa Net

Sahwa Net- The Specialized Penal Court has asked an intelligence official to attend the court on the upcoming Sunday to witness whether an al-Qaeda suspect, Badr al-Hassani was an intelligence informant.

Al-Hasani said his work as an agent would be verified by an intelligence officer named Abdullah al-Ashul, who was summoned to witness before the court.

Al-Hassani along with other three al-Qaeda suspects, including a German and an Iraqi, are being tried on charges of involving in plotting to carry out terrorist acts against tourists, foreign installations, Yemen’s security and military.

Updated: Accused al Qaeda says in court that he was paid by Ghalib al Qamish, Head of the PSO

Filed under: Marib, Security Forces, UK amb, Yemen, arrests, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:21 pm on Monday, September 20, 2010

Update: And they weren’t even charged with the attack on Torlot.”Four alleged Al-Qaeda militants, including a German and an Iraqi, appeared before a Sanaa court on Monday charged with planning attacks on foreign, government and military targets. No mention was made in the charge sheet however of the defendants’ alleged involvement in a suicide attack targeting the British ambassador’s convoy in Sanaa in April.”

I have to say it: I have been reporting this for five years. And there’s some who acknowledge corruption in the security but think it doesn’t go as high as Ghalib al Qamish, head of the Yemeni political intelligence organization (PSO). Yes it does. And it has for a decade, longer. And it does today. A billion dollars in funding will enhance not diminish al Qaeda. Anyway I added the News Yemen article below, apparently Badr al Hassani wants Ghalib al Qamish to testify on his behalf that he was working for the state when he was training al Qaeda. Oh and John Brennan is in town. Someone should read him a newspaper.

Aden Press: In the first public admission and an official accused of belonging to al-Qaeda and the indoor court specializes in Sana’a the role played by the Yemeni regime of helping Al Qaeda for logistical support to keep this terrorist organization at the disposal of the Sanaa regime to exercise through which the policy of blackmail destructive to obtain international support or threaten these seducer their security and regional and global peace at risk, as the transfer site, “News Yemen” Badr Al-Hassani, admitted his role before the Court in words attributed to him, but he said, explaining rationale for coming to Marib to train young people at martial arts: “Before coming, coordination with Ghalib hay – Chairman of the PSO Yemeni “intelligence” – which gave him the amount of 50 thousand riyals to go, and returned two days later, he was well in touch with the political security officer Abdullah Alocwal. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda or Tribesmen bomb Marib pipeline

Filed under: LNG, Marib, Oil, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 12:09 pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Yemeni government first denied it and then said there were limited damages

Yemen Post Unidentified attackers bombed on Monday the pipeline transporting LNG from Marib Province to the exporting port in Balhaf, Shabwa, a local official said.

Explosive devices were used in the bombing, the official said as they did not rule out Al-Qaeda was behind the attack and gave no details about damages. (Read on …)

Four soldiers killed in Zanzibar, CID deputy in Marib and Eight in Jaar

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Marib, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:54 pm on Monday, August 30, 2010

al Tagheer

A security official said the regional wing of al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an attack on a checkpoint in southern Yemen on Saturday that killed eight soldiers.

وأنحت وسائل الاعلام الحكومية باللائمة في القتال في الجنوب والذي قتل فيه عشرات الاشخاص على مدى الاشهر الثلاثة الماضية على جناح تنظيم القاعدة في المنطقة ومتشددين انفصاليين مسلحين. Sculpture and state media blamed the fighting in the south, which killed dozens of people over the past three months on the wing of al Qaeda militants in the region and separatist militants. (Read on …)

Battle of Mareb Participants Sentenced to Death

Filed under: Marib, Yemen, anwar, arrests — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It was billed by Awlaki as the first face to face confrontation between the military and AQAP. Does anyone really think that Anwar Awlaki was at the battle of Marib? Whoever wrote that post on his site at the time was still pumped with adrenaline. Let give it two years and see if the sentence is still standing.

July 7: AFP: A court in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday sentenced to death two young men suspected of being Al-Qaeda members for a series of lethal attacks. The men, Mansour Saleh Salem Daleel, 18, and Mubarak Ali Hadi al-Shabwani, 23, who denied the charges, were arrested on December 11 in the Marib province of eastern Yemen.

The pair were accused of “participating in an armed gang which carried out criminal actions against military and security officials and members of the armed forces,” according to the list of charges…The two men were likewise accused of killing three officials along with their two companions while they were driving on November 3 in the southern province of Hadramut. Also, the prosecution said they killed a soldier in a July 2009 attack on an army truck loaded with weapons and ammunition.

Mmareb Press reports some instances of civil disobedience following the sentencing of two from Marib, accused as al-Qaeda: He said a local source for “Marib Press” Gunmen, believed to have ties including convicted today of the Specialized Penal Court in Sana’a, they opened fire on a military post at the entrance to the city of Marib (point of the airport), had cut off the tribe (Al until you Ubaydah) by Whistler Sana after the verdict.

NEFA has an account of Awlaki’s write up which includes more misdirected artillery: “The army used artillery to bomb the houses of the brothers but the shells fell on houses of members of the tribe who were against the mujahideen. The fight started at noon July 30th and ended at sunset…The first face to face fight between the army and the mujahideen ended in a resounding victory for the mujahideen.”

Al Qaeda Injures Three Children in Errant Missile Attack

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:14 am on Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nasser Arrabee: Three children were injured one of them seriously, on Saturday when Al Qaeda in the eastern province of Mareb fired a missile on a military position in Mareb, where the government is implementing a military campaign against Al Qaeda. The local sources said the missile missed the military position and fell in a residential area injuring three children.

Al Qaeda Statement Calls on Tribes Not to Turn Them In

Filed under: Marib, Tribes, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 8:52 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2010

In this statement, Al Qaeda also denied issuing the prior statement that claimed responsibility for Sheik al Shabwani’s death. So then who issued that statement, the government? Holy Moley Batman, could someone be issuing false statements on behalf of al-Qa’ida? Gee, then there was the other false statement on behalf of the Awlaki tribe threatening the US…

For more see the Yemen Post and the following from M&C

Cairo/Sana’a, Yemen – The al-Qaeda network on Friday urged tribal leaders in Yemen not to turn over its fighters – also known as the ‘mujahidin’ – to the government, according to a statement published on Islamist websites.

The statement accused the government of killing ‘the innocent people as well as children and women, under the pretext that some members of these tribes are wanted,’ referring to the death of the deputy governor of Yemen’s Marib province last month. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Kills 37 Officials in 3 Years

Filed under: 3 security, Marib, Yemen, aq statements, attacks, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:26 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2010

Global Times

Yemen government says al-Qaida kills 37 officials

Yemen’s government said Sunday that al-Qaida group has killed 37 senior army and security officials during the past three years, state media reported. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Operative Hamza al Dhayani Surrenders in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, TI: Internal, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:15 am on Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Also we learn that the recently surrendered al Zaidi is the cousin of the governor. Yemen has long had a habit of asking al Qaeda figures to go to prison for a while for the good of the country, i.e.- to take the US pressure off. Propaganda is a main stay of Yemen’s foreign policy. Click here for an earlier report on al Dhayani’s history and an interview where he accused the political security of concocting some terror attacks themselves for political purposes. He says he couldn’t be the driving instructor on the 2007 Marib attack because he doesn’t drive. Its hard to say who is the more credible source here…

AP

SAN’A, Yemen — Yemen said Monday that an al-Qaida operative turned himself in to authorities in the country’s northeastern province, the second such surrender in two days.

The development came as Yemen intensified its campaign to drive al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across this impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

According to a statement by Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee, the suspect gave himself up late Sunday in the province of Marib, surrendering to the local governor there.

The suspect was identified as Hamza Ali Saleh al-Dayan, who is believed to have trained suicide bombers and helped plan the July 2007 suicide attack that killed seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in the same province.

Al-Dayan was among 23 al-Qaida members who escaped from a Yemeni jail in Feb. 2006, through a tunnel dug under the prison. He was later accused of taking part in the 2008 mortar attack against the U.S. Embassy in San’a that killed a policeman and a young girl at an adjacent school. He and three accomplices fled in a car after that attack.

On Saturday, another suspected al-Qaida operative, Ghalib al-Zayedi, surrendered after lengthy mediation efforts to Marib’s Governor Naji bin Ali al-Zayedi, who is also his cousin.

Ghalib al-Zayedi was arrested in 2003 and spent the next three years in detention after being accused of hiding a man believed to be al-Qaida’s number two in Yemen.

AQAP Figure, al Zaidi, Surrenders

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:19 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

And the next one who surrenders may have a 2 pound remote controlled bomb in his butt.

Pal Telegraph: Sana’a, Yemen, June 5, 2010 (Pal Telegraph, by Anwar Al-Shoaybi) – A prominent leader of Yemen’s Al-Qaeda arm has reportedly handed himself over to authorities, security sources reported Saturday morning.

Ghaleb Al-Zaidi, one of the most wanted Al-Qaeda leaders in the eastern Yemeni province of Mareb, has given himself up to the governor of Mareb, after receiving assurances that he will not be killed or harmed.

Al-Zaidi decided to surrender after lengthy negotiations with the local authorities in Mareb, according to the sources. Al-Zaidi was put on trial in December, 2003 for allegedly harboring another Al-Qaeda suspect, called Mohammed Al-Ahdal, during a manhunt by Yemeni security forces.

Both men had spent three years in a maximum security prison in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital.

In March 2006, Yemen’s state security court ordered Al-Zaidi released on bail.

More

Local Council Head Killed in Airstrike While Negotiating with Al Qaeda Operative

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Local gov, Marib, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Update: BBC: The militant, named as Mohammed Said bin Jardan, was injured but escaped. Three of Mr Shabwani’s bodyguards were also killed in the bombing, security sources told reporters. The Yemen army had meant to bomb the farm but hit the deputy governor’s car instead, Reuters reported. Who the heck is going to surrender now, when the last guy got ambushed? They meant to bomb the farm but hit the official’s car instead? That’s the story?

Another version from the YP:

Deputy Marib Governor, Secretary General of the Local Council, Jabir Al-Shabwani has been killed in an airstrike while he was leading a mediation to convince Al-Qaeda members to hand themselves in to the authorities. Three others including his uncle and two escorts were killed and two others were injured.

The airstrike targeted two cars in Al-Hadba’a district, one of which was carrying Al-Shabwani and his relatives, according to independent sources.Fury prevailed in the province in northeast Yemen after the news of Al-Shabwani’s death, with sources expecting clashes may erupt between his tribe and the army.

The state is calling it (another) misdirected airstrike.

(Read on …)

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

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

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

Al Qaeda Kills Another Counter-Narcotics Agent

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

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

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

Yemen Decides to Search for Anwar Al Awlaki

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

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

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

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

First LNG shipment exported

Filed under: Corruption, Investment, LNG, Marib, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 9:48 am on Monday, November 9, 2009

The gas, like the oil, is in the south. With the EITI agreement about to fall flat on its face from a lack of transparency about oil sales, prices and volume, one would expect the proceeds from the LNG sales to be stolen at a similar rate. Click here for my 2006 write up of some of the issues associated with the LNG project.

Yemen Times On Oct. 15, Yemen Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) announced the Company started producing from its liquefaction terminal in Balhaf, on the Gulf of Aden.

The Yemen LNG project is the largest and most important investment ever made in Yemen with an investment of around USD 4.5 billion. It consists of supplying gas from Block 18, located in the Marib region in central Yemen, through a 320 kilometre pipeline to the LNG plant located at the port of Balhaf on the Arab Sea, south east of Yemen.

The plant started production with the first train while the construction of the second train is being completed. The total production capacity will reach 6.7 million tons of LNG per year.
Launched in August 2005, the project shareholders are TOTAL (project leader) (39.62 percent), Yemen Gas Company (16.73 percent), Hunt Oil Company (17.22 percent), SK Energy Co., Ltd. (9.55 percent), KOGAS (6 percent), the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions of Yemen (5 percent) and Hyundai Corporation (5.88 percent).

Yemen Really Really Watching the Terrorists

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Security Forces, TI: Internal — by Jane Novak at 11:01 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yemen has released hoards of jihaddists in order to use them as informers for the state, or so they say at every mass release or high profile terrorist who walks free. And there have been many. The Yemeni government insists always that they know exactly where the wanted terrorists are, and I believe it. But the fact remains the Yemeni government is unwilling or unable to to arrest these al Qaeda individuals who insist random violence against civilians is justified and have executed terror operatons. The arrangement is like loose house arrest on steroids, loose village arrest perhaps. The US-Yemeni version of the containment policy has a few flaws for all concerned.

Yemen Tribune MARIB, 30 Oct — Security measures around oil installations and vital government institutions in the northeastern province of Marib have been tightened fearing al-Qaeda ‘imminent’ attack, the Media Centre at the Ministry of Interior said in a statement on its website on Friday, adding “security was stepped up to avert any al-Qaeda attack.” “Security agencies in the province of Marib continue to hunt down al-Qaeda operatives in the region and will bring them to justice,” said the statement, stressing “their movements are monitored round the clock and a security fence has been established around them which they cannot penetrate or escape its surveillance.” The centre said “security organizations in Marib don’t rule out the possibility that terror elements might carry out sabotage and terror operations to impel security to cease chasing them,” adding “any adventure of this kind will fail and security police have been put on high alert.”

MP and Shoura Council Member Use Thugs to Block Road in Attempt to Force Release of Shipload of Smuggled Weapons

Filed under: Crime, Marib, Proliferation, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The story that just keeps on giving… The arms dealers, including an MP and Shoura Council Member, who imported the mystery ship of Chinese weapons blocked the road in Marib to pressure the authorities to release the contents of the ship, which is missing.

Nearly all organized crime in Yemen is perpetuated by, or in conjunction with, top government officials, whether drug smuggling, currency counterfeiting, deisel smuggling, weapons as in this case, human or organs trafficing. It all leads back to the top of the regime which both formally and informally is populated by loyalist Sheiks and presidential relatives.

Yemen Post: The threads of the suspected ships carrying Chinese-made weapons which was said to have anchored in western Yemen have started to appear after gunmen blocked a road in Mareb province in northeast Yemen.

The gunmen, believed to be gangs employed by arms dealer in the country, in the road linking Mareb city to Safer area where one of Yemen’s important oil fields is located in Mareb province, have demanded the Defense Ministry to release the ship carrying weapons they had imported from China. (Read on …)

Yemen Security Overview by Governorate

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Islands, Lahj, Marib, Military, Sana'a, Security Forces, al Dhalie, al Jawf   — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Monday, September 14, 2009

This is quite an interesting report from the Yemen Post that focuses on the absence of state control in many areas and identifies what alternate power structures are in place. Regarding Marib, the report notes, “Al-Qaeda is strongly present in Wadi Abeedah, a wide desert district with some rugged and mountainous areas. The same holds true for Al Shabwan.” The various southern leaders are noted by their level of popular support by location.

Several areas witness resurrection against the state, tribal conflicts, mobility or violent acts and these acts are associated with complete absence of state presence. In most governorates, the state does control only the main cities.

Bani Dhabian, Sana’a

Bani Dhabian is a tribal district in Sana’a province’s Khawlan region whose tribesmen implement constant kidnapping operations. There is no presence for security or the state apparatuses there and the last kidnapping incident targeted Businessman Tawfiq Al-Khamri’s brother. Prior to this, the tribesmen released the business manager of Shahr Abdul Haq following tribal mediation efforts. The tribesmen make big sums of money, as kidnapping is a source for wealth and it is a direct result for the lack of trust in judiciary. (Read on …)

Saudi Suicide Bomber from Marib, Yemen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alawsat:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: The excellent NEFA gives the full text here.

Electricity in Yemen

Filed under: Electric, Marib, Trials, Yemen-Economy — by Jane Novak at 5:31 pm on Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yemen Post

Informed sources at the Ministry of Electricity revealed that the official launch of the gas-powered station in Mareb will be postponed for few days due to numerous problems. (Read on …)

Marib Governor Denies Reports

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:46 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nothing is ever simple or straightforward. News Yemen

The governor of Mareb Naji al-Zaidi denied press reports that three soldiers were killed in a clash with al-Qaeda militants last Thursday.

Asked about the murder of al-Qaeda’s leader Aidh al-Shabwani, al-Zaidi said rejected to confirm or deny, but confirmed that the soldiers were only injured.

Sources in the Mareb Security Department told NewsYemen the counterterrorism forces are surrounding Al- Shabwan area to hunt down militants.

Press reports reported Friday that three soldiers were killed in an armed clash with militants belonging to al Qaeda in Mareb, northeastern Yemen, on Thursday evening. Some reports said al-Shabwani was also killed in the clash.

Military Linked Al Qaeda Murderers Busted by Accident in Marib, Yemen (?)

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, Security Forces, arrests, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:16 pm on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update: thanks everybody!!!! It says its Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s faction of al Qaeda…The jihaddists who killed the four soldiers were found with military cards and dead bodies in their car. Thats what the articles say.

Whether Ali Mohsen was trying to make the southerners look bad or he was making a move during an internal power struggle, the bottom line is – according to the articles- terrorists acting as agents of the Yemeni military killed other soldiers in a propaganda ploy.

They have been doing things like this all along, cloning their opponents to perpetrate various false flag attacks. The idea that al Qaeda when allied with the Yemeni regime is any less dangerous is absurd. If anything, the access to state resources increases their capacity.

Update 2: al Motamar reported the arrests (and blamed al Fadhli) and later began denying the arrests – which may mean they were released after some high level intercession: An official security sources has on Thursday denied the information reported by some newspapers and electronic papers on arresting, by security authorities in Mareb, the perpetrators of the crime of killing four security soldiers and injuring a fifth in Um Ayn the day before yesterday.

How complicated! The soldiers were killed in Abyan. And there’s fighting in Marib between al Qaeda and some security. This may take days to shake out.

Original post: I have to figure this out (or rather get someone to explain if it says what I think it says- HINT HINT.) Its a google translation of the latest scandal. It seems to say the perpetrators of the murder of the four Yemeni soldiers were state jihaddists but I need confirmation of who they belong to. There’s several groups of state jihaddists. From Aden Press (and below from Marib Press):

Control group of armed Bmorb followed involved the murder of Muhsin Red Yemeni security soldiers Babin

News مأرب_لندن “عدن برس” خاص: 29-7-2009 Marib-London, “Aden said,” special: 29-7-2009
تمكن أفراد إحدى النقاط العسكرية التابعة للجيش اليمني بمحافظة مأرب صباح اليوم من اعتقال منفذي الهجوم على إحدى نقاط الانتشار الأمنية الواقعة بمنطقة العين مديرية لودر والتي راح ضحيتها 4 جنود وأصيب خامس بإصابات بالغة . Enable members of one of the points of the military army of the Yemeni province of Marib on Monday morning from the arrest of the perpetrators of the attack on one of its proliferation in the eye of the security directorate for the generation that killed 4 soldiers and wounded a fifth was seriously injured. واكتشف الجنود تورط الجماعة الإرهابية المسلحة وذلك حينما مرت السيارة التي تقلهم بالنقطة وخضعت لعملية تفتيش روتينية عثر الجنود خلالها على جثتين لأشخاص قتلوا بالرصاص الحي . The soldiers discovered the involvement of the armed terrorist group, when the car passed the point of them underwent a routine check during which the soldiers found the bodies of people killed with live bullets.

وحينها قام الجنود بإلقاء القبض على من كان في السيارة بعد أن تم سلبهم أسلحتهم الشخصية وبتفتيش السيارة عثر بداخلها على بطائق عسكرية تخص الجماعة المسلحة حيث اتضح أنهم عسكريون يتبعون المنطقة العسكرية الشمالية التي يقودها علي محسن الأحمر احد اكبر الشخصيات المثيرة للجدل داخل صنعاء. And then the soldiers to arrest those who were in the car after it had been robbed of their personal weapons and searched the car found inside the military cards belonging to the armed group, where the military found that they follow the northern military region, which led to an improved one of the largest Red controversial figures in Sanaa. إحدى القيادات العسكرية في اللواء 315 مشاة من أبناء محافظة أبين والذي كان مشاركا في عملية توقيف السيارة واحتجازا فرادها قال في اتصال هاتفي بـ”عدن برس” طالبا عن عدم الكشف عن هويته أن عملية الإيقاف جاءت عن طريق الصدفة وعبر عملية تفتيش روتينية مؤكدا أن الجماعة المسلحة التي تم إيقافها تم العثور بحوزة أفرادها على مبالغ مالية وهواتف خليوية تعمل بنظام “الثرياء”. One of the military leadership in the 315 infantry brigade from the province of Abyan, which was involved in the process of arrest and detention car Fradha said in a telephone call to “Aden said,” students not to be named, that the suspension came about by accident and through a process of routine inspection, stressing that the armed group was stopped was found in possession of its members on the money and cell phones operating system “Althreya.” وكانت المفاجأة التي فجرها هذا القيادي هو تأكيده على أن مسئولين في العاصمة صنعاء ومسئولين عسكريين في المنطقة الشمالية قد حاولوا التدخل لأجل الإفراج الفوري عنهم وقبل ان يتم إبلاغ الجهات الرسمية في مر كز العاصمة صنعاء والتي أصدرت بدورها تعليمات فورية ومشددة بضرورة التحفظ على من تم اعتقالهم حتى وصول قوات خاصة من صنعاء لاستلامهم . It was triggered by the surprise leader, is the assertion that officials in the capital Sanaa, and military officials in the northern region had tried to intervene for the immediate release them and be informed before the official authorities in the capital Sanaa over Kz, which in turn issued instructions for immediate and heavy need a reservation to have been arrested so The arrival of special forces from Sanaa to receiving them. (Read on …)

Marib Bomber, 21 years old

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, TI: External, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:02 am on Saturday, August 4, 2007

Dwider not mastermind anymore.

Almotamar.net, Google Alerts – SAN’A, Yemen 3 August – Security authorities have identified the body of the suicide bomber who plowed his car into a convoy of Spanish tourists in early July, killing eight of them and two Yemenis, the official Saba news agency reported.
Saba said DNA tests of human remains found at the site of the bombing indicated the attacker was 21-year-old Abdu Mohammed Saad Ahmed, a Yemeni citizen.
The Spanish tourist group was visiting a temple linked to the ancient Queen of Sheba in the central province of Marib when it was targeted.
Thursday’s report said Ahmed lived in the capital, San’a, and was recruited by Hamza Ali Saleh al-Dhiyani, a taxi driver who gave the suspect driving lessons and then took him to Marib to introduce him to other members of the terrorist cell.

The group included a total of eight Yemenis and two foreigners, Naif Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi national, and Ahmed Bassiouni Dewidar, an Egyptian, according to Saba.
Seven members of the cell were reportedly tasked with planning and supervising the attack, while two others from Marib provided shelter and protection.
Police earlier thought Dewidar, an alleged al-Qaida operative who was killed three days after the attack while resisting arrest, was the mastermind behind the operation. But Saba said the government’s investigation revealed Dewidar had offered logistical support to the group.
Fifteen people have been detained in connection with the investigation, but the members of the terrorist cell who are still alive remain at large, according to Saba.

Yemeni Security forces co-opted by al-Qaeda

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Security Forces, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yemen Times

MARIB, July 8 — Among conflicting reports, Yemeni security tightens its investigation of the Marib attack on tourists last week, which has had a substantial negative impact on tourism and security.

As part of an Al-Qaeda hunt down, police forces killed an Egyptian citizen Ahmed Basyouni last Friday who was allegedly a member of Al-Qaeda and had links to the terrorist attack in Yemen which killed seven Spaniards last week. Eyewitness accounts indicate that Basyouni refused to surrender himself and started firing at the squad who were demanding his surrender. The exchange of fire lasted over two hours and resulted in the injury of two soldiers and the killing of Basyouni, ruining security forces’ chances of extracting any information from him.

Another fifteen men were detained for interrogation. Authorities commented that they are getting important information from the preliminary investigation. Former president Saleh has offered a reward of approximately $76,000 for any information related to the attack.

Security issues

The attack on the Spaniards has brought a number of security issues into focus, such as regulating the trade and ownership of weapons and providing genuine solutions to the problems of extremism. A number of political analysts have specified the enrollment of extremists within security agencies following 1994 as the most undermining issue, which facilitates the work of terrorism. This connection was made during an investigation into the escape of 24 Al-Qaeda members from a political security prison last year. The assassination of Marib’s chief inspector two months ago has been linked to last week’s terrorism attack, indicating the possibility that the killed chief inspector knew about Al-Qaeda’s resurgence and preparations for such an attack.

Reports from local media stated that the security personnel in Marib had received a report from the citizens claiming that they saw a suspicious vehicle similar to the type used in the recent attack. Apparently the vehicle, a pick-up truck, was carrying rotten hay. The eyewitness said the car was parked in close proximity to the accident. He also commented that the truck was moving in slow motion as if carrying very heavy load and was met with another car that had three passengers who left after a brief talk with the pick-up driver

Marib Bomber, Wanted by Egypt, Sought Political Ayslum in Yemen in 2001

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Other Countries, TI: External, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:31 pm on Friday, July 6, 2007

Gulf News

Sana’a: Yemeni authorities yesterday confirmed that an Egyptian national killed in a gunfight when resisting arrest was an Al Qaida suspect and an alleged plotter of the suicide bombing that killed seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis earlier this week.

Authorities said Ahmad Bassiouni Dewidar, 52, was killed on Thursday in Sana’a during a countrywide sweep that led to the arrest of some 20 suspects in the attack on a group of tourists visiting an ancient temple in the Marib region of northern Yemen.

“He was one of the leaders … who planned the terrorist attack in Marib,” a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Egypt has asked Yemen to send a DNA sample of the slain suspect to confirm his identity, an Egyptian security official told the AP yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reasons.

A hardliner, Dewidar was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in Egypt on terrorism charges, a Yemeni security official said.

Yemen’s Interior Ministry described Dewidar as an important Al Qaida operative and said he opened fire and threw hand grenades at security forces who came to arrest him, injuring five.

“He had a wide and active relationship with Al Qaida elements in Yemen, Egypt, Syria and Iraq,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

After killing him, security forces searched his apartment and found weapons, explosives, and forged passports and identity cards apparently used by Al Qaida members to travel to Iraq or other Arab countries, the ministry said.

Dewidar is known in Egypt for a high profile 1999 terrorism case involving Albanian returnees, when 107 alleged hardliners were brought to court, including 13 extradited by Albania.

He was among 62 to be tried in absentia on charges, including criminal conspiracy, subversion, membership of an outlawed group, plotting to carry out attacks on officials and police, and forgery. He sought political asylum in Yemen in 2001, where he got married to a Yemeni and had two children, the official said.

Remote-controlled?

Authorities are also looking for three other suspects believed to have provided cover fire for the bomber. A second car has led authorities to consider whether the blast was possibly detonated by remote control rather than by a suicide bomber.

A second security official said that the method used in the attack could indicate a shift in Al Qaida tactics.

 

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