Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen Defense Min targeted for assassination for 7th time, AQAP raid

Filed under: Ministries, Post Saleh, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.

The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.

When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.

Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.

This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.

On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised

They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.

Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.

“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.

The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.

Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.

A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

Justice Minister gets death threat after statement about seizing former regime’s funds

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Judicial, Ministries, Post Saleh, assassination, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Sunday, September 16, 2012

Many ranking members of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s former regime made millions through corruption, embezzlement and fraud. The Obama administration continuously blocked all efforts to freeze Saleh’s funds in addition to providing him political cover. Every now and then somebody mumbles something about sanctioning those who block the political transition at the same time that its clear the purse of Saleh et al is what is funding the counter-revolution, like Saddam and the Fedayeen.

Alsahwah.net- Minister of Justice Murshid Al-Arashani received threats of killing by unknown persons on Friday.

A source of the ministry said that they received a letter on late Friday in which the minister was threatened with assassination.

These threats came after Al-Arashani said on Tuesday that Yemen prepares to pursue funds that were looted by the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides.

In a forum held in Qatar on recovering frozen assets of fallen Arab autocrats, Al-Arashani stressed that those officials who looted funds of the Yemeni people will be hunted through mechanisms of civil laws.

Yemen assassination attempt round-up, Saleh sticks to his old tactics from 1992

Filed under: Post Saleh, South Yemen, Transition, assassination, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

With all the assassinations, its looking like 1992 all over again (except this time some southern leaders are blaming al Beidh for the attempted murder of a rival within the southern movement the Yemen Post says.) Equally or more likely, Saleh is staying true to form and playing the exact same game with the exact same tactics he’s been playing for decades. The period from unity in 1990 to the civil war in 1994 was marked by an onslaught of assassinations of southern leaders in Sanaa by al Qaeda/security types at the direction of Saleh; it was his MO and one major factor in prompting the civil war. The logical first suspect is the guy who did the same thing before. If it is al Beidh (and Iran) then its just as bad and the same point that these old leaders are playing their old deadly games. I wrote an article once about how Saleh is pathologically unable to share power, and its a near certainty now he’s not going to stop disrupting the transition until he is exiled or jailed. Freezing his funds, no matter how embarrassing that would be to the US, is one quick way to dis-empower him. No money, no mercenaries, no murder. The following article lists some of the prior assassination attempts on high profile politicians that occurred recently.

Southern leader survives assassination attempt

Yemen Post Staff
A senior southern leader, Mohammad Ali Ahmed, survived on Monday an assassination attempt in Al-Mukla city of Hadhramout governorate.

An explosive was detonated at the vehicle of Ahmed while he was outside his car in Hadhramout.

Ahmed is considered among the prominent southern leaders, and he spent about 18 years in exile.

He stated after his return home early of the current year that he came back to struggle for the sake of the southern independence.

Yemeni officials including Deputy Chairman of the Political Security Nasser Hadi, the former Interior Minister Hussein Arab, Deputy Governor of Aden Hassan Al-Darab and other officials welcomed Ahmed in Aden Airport.

Ahmed served as a governor of Abyan, and as interior minister before the Yemeni unification in 1990.

No side claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, but some southern leaders accuse Ali Salem Al-Beidh of standing behind the bombing.

Yemen witnesses a state of insecurity in the capital Sana’a and other major cities as Yemeni senior military and security official were assassinated, and other politicians were targeted during the past few months.

Security officials said that the authorities foiled many plans to carry out terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda in the capital Sana’a, affirming that seized 40 belts packed with explosives.

Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party Yaseen Saeed Noaman survived an assassination attempt in Sana’a last week two days after the Transportation Minister Waeed Bazeeb survived assassination in the port city of Aden.

Just saving links

In fourth attempt on Yemen’s defense minister, car bomb in Sanaa kills 12
Kansas City Star SANAA, Yemen — A car bomb targeting Yemen’s defense minister exploded Tuesday outside the office of the prime minister in central Sanaa, missing its target but killing at least seven soldiers and five nearby civilians.

US protected war criminal Ali Saleh gives speech, spurs new protests in Yemen

Filed under: Oil, Post Saleh, Sana'a, Transition, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:42 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Saleh stuff:

Yemen Post Staff
Thousands of Yemeni people led by youths took to the streets in some cities on Tuesday to demand lifting the immunity given to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh under a power-transfer deal that was reached after the 2011 turmoil.

The demonstrations came to protest the appearance of Saleh who delivered a speech on the anniversary of the General People’s Congress on Monday attacking the government and some countries which brokered the power-transfer deal.

The demonstrators demanded to lift the immunity given to Saleh because he insists on exercising politics though the popular uprising, which erupted in early 2011, forced him to resign. Some of them argued Saleh should be tried because the immunity was given on condition Saleh leave the political career, but he continues to appear and organize political events.

They also affirmed the revolution will continue until all its goals were met.

Mass protests erupted last year that forced Saleh to sign the power-transfer deal in return for full immunity from prosecution. His aides were given immunity but not covering terrorist acts.

In his speech on Monday, Saleh, the founder and president of the General People’s Congress, said the power-sharing government has failed to live up to its responsibilities and that Qatar supported the Yemeni people in an improper way.

Meanwhile, Saleh and his relatives including senior military and security commanders have been criticized for obstructing the deal and resisting orders and decisions to restructure the armed forces.

More on the protests at Xinhuanet

Alsahwah.net- Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindwa has said that the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh is behind Yemen’s instability, pointing out that he violates the GCC-power transfer deal.

He indicated that Saleh and his family still control some the state institutions, stressing the importance of reconstructing the security and military services in order to implement the GCC deal and move forward.

In an interview with the Saudi Al-Sharq newspaper, that some political sides supported al-Qaeda and armed groups with the aim of breaking down the political settlement.

He cited that Iran intervenes in Yemen’s affairs, singling out that Iran violates rules of international relations.

Yemen Times: For the first time, the General People’s Congress (GPC) celebrated the anniversary of its establishment in a state of extensive security procedures and the absence of coverage by government media outlets.

The celebration came following the popular 2011 revolution that resulted in the ouster of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who remains the head of the GPC. After the revolution, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, the former vice president, was elected Yemen’s newest leader. Hadi is now the president of the country and the deputy head of the GPC.

Saleh was an active voice during the celebration, lashing out at the reconciliation government, saying, “What have you realized thus far? Have you controlled the electricity saboteurs or those bombing the oil pipes? Or do you hold others responsible for your failure?”

Saleh questioned the reconciliation government, asking, “Why have you not captured the bandits and the electricity towers’ attackers? Why do they not stand a trial? Where have you been in the course of the last eight months?”

He displayed his resentment toward declarations that hold the former regime responsible for the difficulties Yemen currently faces.

“If a tornado occurs in America, they will say the former regime is the reason,” he said.

A hard number

More than 5,000 people, including leading party figures, attended the celebration. Tareq Al-Shami, a spokesman for the GPC, said the gathering intended to send a powerful message to people that the party is still a strong, hard number in the political arena that none can surpass. It is a political party that holds an honorable national history, he said.

“Another message is the GPC has an evolving thought.”

However, Al-Shami did add that the party remains a partner of the coalition parties; it embodies itself strongly in front of society. The party is keen to adopt the concerns of people and to resolve their problems; thus, the party rejects any unlawful actions such as banditry and assaulting government facilities, Al-Shami said.

Although Hadi belongs to the GPC, he was not in attendance. Al-Shami said the party planned ahead and was fully aware that the president would be unable to attend the event.

Al-Shami said the GPC now strives to prepare for the eighth conference, during which new leadership will be elected for all branches nationwide, in addition to electing the party’s Permanent Commission.

Futility and chaos

By contrast, some political analysts affiliated with opposition groups deemed this celebration as futile and a means to squander the resources of the nation.

Saleh Al-Soreimi, editor-in-chief of Al-Sahafa newspaper, said Saleh spent his own money on this celebration, and most of the attendees came for the sake of material gains, not to represent the party.

He said Saleh’s goal for the celebration was to let Yemen and other countries know that he is still a player in the political arena; he is able to move his party anytime he wants and in any way he chooses.

Al-Soreimi said the GPC is not an organized party; it simply attempts to attract people by means of money and by taking advantage of its power when it is at the helm of the country. He called for the GPC to adopt another more valid strategy than just collecting money.

With regard to Hadi’s absence from the celebration, Al-Soreimi said Hadi wants to prove himself as the only president of Yemen; he doesn’t want Saleh to be perceived as his boss in the GPC.

The former president, on his last stand, thought the celebration would make him a future because he has nothing of what he did in the past, Ali Al-Sirari, the political advisor of the prime minister, said.

“It is supposed that Saleh quit politics based on the immunity given by the Gulf Initiative. Otherwise, the immunity should be lifted and he ought to stand trial, for he still continues misusing the nation and standing against the will of the Yemeni people.”

Yemen Post Staff
Head of the Joint Meeting Parties Sultan Al-Atwani has accused the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides of blowing up oil and gas pipelines, referring that Saleh uses tribesmen to attack government facilities.
In an interview with the Yemen Times Radio, Al-Atwani demanded to form an independent aid unbiased panel to investigate attacks against interior and defense ministers and other events.
He revealed that some Yemeni officials still receive orders from Saleh, not from Hadi or the interim government.
According to the JMP leader, some security and intelligence services loyal to Saleh still hold protesters who took part in demonstrations that led to the ouster of Saleh, singling out that the JMP do its best to discover the places in which protesters are held.
He reaffirmed that the JMP refuses to extend the interim stage, making reference that the military and security services must be reconstructed to end Yemen’s divisions.
Yemeni politicians repeatedly called Saleh to leave Yemen and give up politics, asserting that he operates to provoke internal divisions and disputes.
They cautioned that the GCC-mediated power transfer deal could be broken down, if Saleh continued in playing political roles.
Saleh was given immunity from prosecution under the GCC-mediated power transfer deal. However he still exploits the immunity to stir up troubles, a senior leader of the JMP Ali Al-Sarari said.
Al-Sarari called to promptly reconstruct the military and security services and put an end to maneuvers of Saleh, warning that his behaviors could undermine the political settlement in Yemen.

Yemen Times: SANA’A, Sept. 3 — Three people were injured in Sana’a’s Change Square on Monday in an attack by armed men on tents located on Al-Ribat Street.

Fathi A-Shaibani, head of the Peaceful Youth Coalition’s Organizing Department, said approximately 35 people, armed and carrying sticks, attacked ten tents Monday and blocked the street.

He said the perpetrators demolished five tents and looted everything inside the Media Center, located in a tent on the street.

Al-Shaibani said a welder summoned people to attack the tents. They burned them, looting everything inside. This raised anger among the youth, who made an attempt to fight back against those attacking them.

Ahmed Nashwan, an owner of a destroyed tent, accused the welder and an owner of a food store for the attack.

He said the attack happened at 10 p.m. Monday, and he said these attempts won’t discourage the independent youth from continuing their revolution until all their aims are achieved.

This incident came hours after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s speech—delivered before his loyalists on the thirtieth anniversary of establishment of the General People’s Congress. Consequently, the youth accused Saleh loyalists for being behind the attack.

Yemen Online: Yemen: Tens of thousands march demanding prosecution of ousted president
07/09/2012

Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Sanaa demanding the prosecution of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the longtime autocratic leader who stepped down in February after a year-long uprising.

Protesters raised banners reading, “The trial is coming.” Witnesses say demonstrators marched in other Yemeni cities as well.

Saleh signed a power transfer deal that gave him immunity from prosecution in return for leaving office.

However, his public appearance earlier this week in a celebration at the headquarters of his ruling party, which he still heads, sparked public anger and renewed calls for his prosecution over the deaths of protesters and over corruption.

Saleh continues to exert considerable influence through family members in key positions in the security forces. Yemen’s new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has tried since assuming office to purge Saleh associates from key positions, but critics of the ousted president say he is still using his allies to stir unrest.

“The revolutionary (crowds in the) squares will not permit a continued political role of the ousted president or a return of the old regime,” said Abdel-Hadi al-Azazi, a leading youth activist.

Meanwhile, the military is engaged in a broad offensive against al-Qaida in the south of the country, retaking in the summer several towns that had been captured by the militant movement during last year’s unrest.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that security forces arrested on Friday four al-Qaida militants in the capital in connection to assassination of a Yemeni intelligence general last week.

A security official said that anti-terrorism special forces raided houses in Sanaa and exchanged gunfire with suspected militants during a security sweep. He spoke anonymously according to regulations.

The United States considers al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network’s offshoot in Yemen, to be its most dangerous branch.

Ammar Saleh heads pipeline sabotage team in Yemen, Updated

Filed under: Oil, Post Saleh, Security Forces, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 4:54 am on Sunday, July 15, 2012

Update: I added an English article on the events below the fold but it doesnt name Ammar, just calls him a relative of the president who oversaw the destructive efforts.

Al Hadath: Ministry of the Interior in connection with completion of the investigation with the accused in preparation for the lifting of the case file to the President Hadi

Security official: Ammar Saleh manages a band of 450 people to blow up electricity pylons and oil pipelines (Read on …)

SM leader: Saleh takes profits directly from YMC, moderate SM rejects al Beidh’s Iranian nexus, wants to participate in reconstruction

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Elections, GPC, Interviews, Iran, Islamic Imirate, Post Saleh, South Yemen, Transition — by Jane Novak at 6:54 pm on Sunday, March 11, 2012

Update: As expected howls of dissent from southerners: the new leader is someone else, I hesitate to even write the name as bad things happen sometimes to emerging leaders, Nakhbi now is an Islah operative they say and there are no, repeat no, connections to Iran. But al Beidh has been talking about Iran for a long time, when he even bothers to talk at all, and I think its quite possible. For a run down on Aden TV and all Yemen private broadcasting, see this listing of who owns what at the Yemen Times.

Original: Bingo! I also do not agree with what is happening between al Beidh and Iran. The violence during the election boycott was an entirely new phenomenon which broke with the years long non-violence of the southern movement. As al Nakhbi says, it was likely due to Iranian influence through the al Beidh wing of the SM. Keep in mind Yemen Fox is affiliated with Ali Mohsen, who has his own motives for undermining the SM. But if this is an authentic interview, then that’s what it is.

While there’s noticeably a lot fewer al Beidh photos during the southern protests, its unclear the extent to which awareness of the alliance between al Beidh and Iran has filtered down to the street, although he himself has been threatening the west with Iran for years. General Nuba issued a warning to world about the danger of Iran’s growing influence in the south a few months ago. Many external former leaders are in favor of federalism as expressed at the Cairo conference. I think there’s a few more factions than the two broad ones described.

Al Nakhbi also remarks that the several corporation including the mega Yemeni Economic Military Corp remits its profits directly to Saleh. He notes elite support of al Qaeda and the symbiotic relationship between the including the recent massacre in Abyan. He concludes that Saleh must be excluded from politics. (Actually it necessary to fully depose the Saleh regime in order to integrate the Houthis as well as the southerners.) Its an interesting interview, worth a read:

Yemen Fox: Brigadier General Abdullah al-Nakhbi- Secretary-General of Southern Movement (SM) – said that many politicians believe that who stand behind recent terrorist attacks are remnants of the former regime and that Ali Abdullah Saleh has turned from president of republic to president of terrorism. Priorities of Yemenis whether in National Reconciliation Government or Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) in coordination with Gulf States and Europeans are to dismiss Ali Abdullah Saleh from practicing political action.

Nakhbi added in an interview with “Yemen Fox” that al-Qaeda is supported by Ali Abdullah Saleh, his aides and remnants of his regime, pointing out that supervisors of GCC Initiative should put pressure to implement the second term of the Initiative which is to restructure the army and Republican Guards within Ministry of Defense and Central Security within Ministry of Interior.

Interviewed with Hashem al-Toromah

Yemen Fox: How do you see Yemen after presidential elections?
Nakhbi: after presidential elections, we as Yemenis stand at change door. The new President Abdu Rabo Mansur Hadi should have a courage to start change process. Change process should first prevent Ali Abdullah Saleh from practicing politics because recent events took place after swearing oath starting from Mukalla continuing to Bayda and now in Abyan Province. Many politicians believe that who stand behind that are remnants of the former regime and that Ali Abdullah Saleh has turned from president of republic to president of terrorism. (Read on …)

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