Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Al Qaeda Has Vanished!!

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 1:54 pm on Monday, March 30, 2015

Guest Post. Note on terminology “Ousted” is a reference to the deposed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh a war criminal who was granted immunity by the UN.

Al Qaeda Has Vanished!! By: Mohammed Al Haddar.

One day after the collapse of Abdel Hafiz Al Saqaf, i.e. pro Ousted and Hothies, the Head of Al Amin Al Khas, formerly known as Al Amin Al Markazi, Al Qaeda has launched an attack on Lahij Governorate and destroyed some government buildings and slaughtered a number of army soldiers believed are loyal to Hadia; and the mysterious governor ran away after the People’s Committees (PC) entered Lahij to clean it from terrorists. Days before that Al Qeada attacked some military bases in Shawah Governorate. And in a military base in Shabwah, Al Qaeda let go the head of the base that is loyal to Ousted without hurting him with punch of his subordinates; and confiscated their heavy weapons to Al Baydah!! In addition, they, i.e. Al Qaeda, attacked some areas in Abyan and Hadramout weeks ago and calling others to clean the area and the army from Hothies affiliated groups who carry Iran agenda. Many people thought Al Qaeda is the ONLY and strongest player in South and Hadramout; and the next clashes will be between them in the Eastern part of so called “Republic of Yemen” as Al Qaeda has ideological differences with Hothies which was the main declared reason for Hothies to invade South to clean it from terrorists!!

All of a sudden, the terrorist groups have been vanished in Lahij, Abyan, Shabwah and even in Al Feyoosh, i.e. terrorist sleeping cells in northern Aden at the Green City which is protected by Al Saqaf himself!! And their bluster and threatening to the Hothies went with the wind!! I thought Aden, Lahij, Abyan, Shabwah and Hadramout will be the place of a long term war between so called Al Qaeda and Hothies. Instead PC was taking care of, with the remaining army loyal to Hadi, the invaders to the land of South Arabia. The media outlets of the terrorists, which declared their responsibilities of the past terrorist attacks in Hadramout, South Arabia and Yemen, did not mention anything regarding the recent developments; and not mentioning the disappearance of their activities against the invaders in this time which was very intensive in the past 4 years in South. All we can say they have been vanished because their role is over!! The role to give the new partners of Ousted, i.e. Hothies, the excuse to invade South Arabia and Hadramout and clean it from terrorists is over. But actually the main intention for the new invaders is to share the wealth of Hadramout and South Arabia with the Ousted instead of sharing it with Ali Mohsen and Al Ahmer family.

Now Al Qaeda has vanished, but it could be called up soon again when it has another role to be given by the Ousted especially after the failure of the ousted Malishea and Hothies of capturing Aden. The only way to deal with Al Qaead is by dealing with the Ousted himself.

Brought to you by the same author who gave us, “Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout, Yemen”

Al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP): factions, motivations & regions

Filed under: Al-Qaeda — by Jane Novak at 1:00 am on Monday, October 13, 2014

Excellent article on the factions, motivations and regions of various “Al Qaeda” groups in Yemen including identifying which groups are primarily mercenaries (murtasaqat).

Yemen’s Mounting Challenges: Fractured militant groups & Post-Conflict reconstruction

By Fernando Carvajal Analyst at University of Exeter
Yemen Post:

While many praise recent victories by Yemen’s army over militant groups in Abyan and Shebwa, some warn of the coming chaos. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi warned governments of Yemen and the US of planned operations in a video published in late March. This warning came as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) published its intention to join the fight in Yemen. These announcements also coincided with the creation of Ansar al-Sharia Central Region.

US-led drone campaign Easter weekend was interpreted as a delayed, but brazen response to events in March. Drones targeted camps in Abyan and individual militants in al-Baydha and Shebwa provinces, where initial media reports claimed top leaders were targets. Yemen’s government also claimed Special Forces had participated in raids by helicopter incursion and recovered a number of bodies. No further information has been provided with regard to the operations in late April.

As heightened security warnings lead to closing of four western embassies, observers highlight not only threats made by AQAP but also fears of rifts within the organization. Local analysts have indicated growing divisions within AQAP over the past six months extend from differing visions of its future. Some argue the rift between al-Wuhayshi and second tier leaders over priorities has also led to individuals like Makmun Abdul Hamid Hatim and Ibrahim al-Rubaish praising ISIS, challenging al-Wuhayshi’s allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s successor, who formally denounced ISIS early this year. Intensions by ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula remain obscure, but contact with Somalia’s al-Shabab and AQAP in 2013 raised concerns over an expansionist agenda beyond Syria in attempt to wrestle the jihadist movement from al-Zawahiri.

The rift has also affected relations with Ansar al-Sharia (AAS), which is led by Emir Jalal Bil’ayd al-Maraqashi. Since the murder of shaykh Ali Bin Salem Ba’wazir in February, the so-called insurgency group has exhibited signs of widening divisions. The conflict within AAS is said to extend primarily from prioritizing political assassinations over the establishment of emirates in the eastern province of Hadhramawt. Observers in Aden and Sana’a insist this rift has damaged the group’s capabilities and role vis-à-vis AQAP.

Western analysts still see AAS as a natural extension of AQAP, but many in Yemen’s military insist the group is simply a mercenary arm rather than an ideological ally. Evidence lies on the priority given to Ahwar, Abyan during the current military offensive. By securing Ahwar the army has managed to eliminate a major strategic supply line that allowed AAS to deliver services for AQAP from the coast of Abyan to the mountains of Mayfah in Shebwa. The area in Ahwar was previously protected by government supported Popular Committees, but the resignation of its leader in late April illustrated the difficulty of securing the area and the troubled relations between the Committees and the government of president Hadi.

The fact Jalal Bil’ayd has now appeared in a number of videos by al-Malahem, AQAP’s media wing, served to assure analysts of the relationship between AAS and AQAP. Al-Malahem identifies Bil’ayd as ‘commander’ in videos, but has yet to officially announce his place in the hierarchy. Military officials in Sana’a have often referred to AAS as mercenaries (murtasaqat) and dismiss labeling Bil’ayd AQAP due to his obscure background and role within AAS following the death of Khaled Abdulnabi in 2011, and the split with shaykh Abdul-Latif Saeed in 2012. The relationship has simply been explained as one of mutual interest, where one looks for financial gains, while the other requires a strategic force multiplier.

The rise of AAS Central Region (AAS-CR) has also generated much concern among Yemeni analysts. The group was announced in typical AAS form, rather than by any AQAP related media source. Yet, Bil’ayd has not commented on the new wing. It is believed this wing of AAS is not only gathering some of the militants who dispersed from Abyan in June 2012, but also incorporating a large number of Yemenis and foreigners returning from Syria. The main evidence cited is the role played by those previously in charge of logistical support for Yemenis joining the fight in Syria, along side al-Nusrah Front or ISIS. Those identified as responsible for the fighters in Ibb, Taiz and al-Dhale also happen to be high profile figures with roots in each of those provinces in the Central Region. The area not only covers access to Bab al-Mandab, as opposed to the Gulf of Aden, but it is also a strong hold for Salafi elements.

The Central Region was identified as an area of priority for AAS to counter Houthi expansion, but the group had not previously expressed such interests. In contrast, ISIS has expressed fighting Iranian influence as a priority, along with its antagonism of Gulf monarchies. If indeed ISIS is responsible for AAS-CR as Yemeni analysts indicate, it would suggest ISIS is using a known brand, Ansar al-Sharia, to gain a foothold in the Peninsula and aims to take advantage of rifts within AQAP to cement that presence. It would also imply ISIS is taking the battle with al-Zawahiri out of Syria and challenging the leadership of the global jihad movement. Blogs now boast of the number of jihadist groups in Central Asia and Southeast Asia pledging allegiance to ISIS, providing further evidence of ambitions by ISIS.

Recent incidents in Sana’a have taken many by surprise, but the opening of new fronts by AQAP, as the army intensified its offensive in Abyan and Shebwa, was expected. This has renewed a lack of confidence in the government even as president Hadi and the armed forces gain support from a growing section of the population, from Sana’a to the conflict areas. The government and its international partners clearly have to gain the confidence of those affected at this time and assure people they will not be abandoned once victory comes, and that funds will be available to rebuild and help displaced people return home. Also, concerns remain over military and security capabilities to contain AQAP’s expected reaction when defeated in Abyan and Shebwa, as well as the ability of AAS to create more chaos in Aden, Lahj and Hadhramawt.

Weeks to come will be a great test to president Hadi’s resolve, international partners, and the people. Without a clear post-conflict strategy for the affected areas, people fear a vengeful return by AQAP and AAS. To prevent this will require access to funds for long-term troop presence, and perhaps new Popular Committees, as well as economic opportunities. Fighting a versatile enemy of the State in multiple fronts is a major challenge. Assuring long term security before discontented grows once again will be a monumental challenge.

Houthis dish on Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Islamic Imirate, Security Forces, al-Bayda, banking, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 10:50 am on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

finally after 10 years


AQAP leaders “are well aware they are the next target” for Houthis in Yemen AQAP recently bought so many guns, the prices rose. (Specific purchases arms and autos listed.)

AQAP receives funding via deposits in Qater Islamic Bank transfered to local branches, Saudi Arabia & cash carried in diplomatic pouches, small amounts are laundered by young people so it is indistinguishable from normal remittances.

AQAP’s Nabil al Dahab & Abu Khaled are training 163 foreign explosives experts in Yemen (Specific AQAP locations listed.)

(Read on …)

“Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout, Yemen”

Filed under: Hadramout, Military, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:23 pm on Friday, August 29, 2014

Update: This article (which I did not write) is reprinted from the Hadramout Tribal Coalition website and can be found at

The following article asserts that significant parts of the Yemeni military in Hadramout simultaneously operate as an organized crime syndicate and an incubator for al Qaeda. The configuration is not unusual in Yemen where military fiefdoms spawn local tyrants, loyal jihaddis and unchecked smuggling networks. While some vital security sector reforms have been instituted, like biometric identity cards, dislodging these nodes of criminality is essential to integrating the entire military within an overt command and control structure focused on the security of Yemeni citizens.

Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout

Hadramout has not experienced any kind of smuggling such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and human trafficking in its history like it has now. Unfortunately, Hadramout became unable to maintain its well known a safe and a security place and great values anymore, and it became the home of all kinds of smugglings. Due to Hadramout’s position and to its wide borders, it was and still used to be the station of smuggling into neighboring countries. With time expansion, another task was added to Hadramout which is converting it into an incubator for armed groups (Al-Qaeda) to serve the main purpose of the Big Mafia in the Republic of Yemen (RoY).

The beginning of this story goes back to the 1994 war and the arrival of the armed groups of Mujahedeen to Hadramout coast, who took part against the war on communism (Southern Forces). This decision was taken by the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, his brother from a different father, through recruiting those Mujahedeen and they were officially numbered and turn them into a brigade called Brigade 27 Mika ( Mika means Mechanical). Staff Gen. of this brigade since its start is Abdulaziz Makaleh Al Zindani(عبدالعزيز المقالح الزنداني ), one of Al-Qaeda militants and a cousin of Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani(عبد المجيد الزنداني). With the establishment of this brigade, smuggling and terrorism were strongly started. Its network was strongly developed since then, and is threaded from the coast of Hadramout all the way to the neighboring countries, and even inside some of neighboring territory.

The Brigade 27 Mika site is not in one place, but it spreads gradually from the coast and all the way to the neighboring countries to secure the borders for mainly smuggling and terrorism!! The Brigade 27 Mika consists of five battalions, and they are located in strategic positions with functions as follows:

1- Coast Guard Battalion: It is the one that insures all landings of contraband materials from outside RoY, and it secures all the smuggling of fuel and crude oil from Hadramout by ships to the international black market.

2- Battalion 4: a battalion stationed in the Al Dabah area(الضبه), the official crude oil export port. This battalion led by Mujahid Alkotaiba (مجاهد القطيبي) and it is the smuggling and terrorism operation room. It coordinates with local smugglers, some Local Fish Associations, and international smugglers; and it also protect trafficking along the pipeline into the valley.

3- Oil Companies Protection Battalion: This battalion has 2 tasks: the first one is to protect the collection of illegal dues from the oil companies which is amounted about a quarter of a billion dollars a year; and this amount goes directly to the Oil Mafia as cost of protection, as many press and government reports mentioned this many times, without being remitted to the state treasury. The second task is to secure the lines of smuggling in the middle of the valley and make sure they are not exposed to the obstacles. The person in charged of this battalion is Mohammad Qahm (محمد القحم) regardless of the change of the well know and the highly corrupted battalion commander in a year or so, i.e. Ahmed Al Tharab( ‏احمد الضراب).

4. TOTAL Protection Battalion: TOTAL contributes part of strengthening this network, intentionally or unintentionally, through forming alliance with the traditional power and Oil Mafia to protect them and thus protect the smuggling network.

5. Al Suwairi (السويري) Battalion: This battalion was initially created as a training camp for the Mujahedeen and for the returnees from Afghanistan which follows Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar commands directly. Later on, this Mujahedeen camp was turned into a Mujahedeen battalion which follows Brigade 27 Mika.

The elimination of the smuggling and terrorism threats to Hadramout and to neighboring countries starts with the removing of Brigade 27 Mika away from Hadramout and the dismissal of the battalion’s effective leaders of Brigade 27 and other effective members and Mujahedeen.

By Mohammed Al Haddar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Read on …)

Assassin arrested in Yemen

Filed under: Hadramout, assassination, political violence, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:17 am on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(Via Twitter) @BaFana3 Developing story in #Yemen : Man arrested for failed bid to kill judge in #Hadhramaut admits he killed 28 others. Who does he work for?


It was really an usual news to hear that a security guy in the Republic of Yemen RY shoot the assassin who was chasing him in the street of Sana’a on the 12th of March 2014; and the assassin was sent to the near by hospital to rescue him. On the same day, another assassin who was trying to kill a judge in the city of Sayoon, i.e. the biggest city in the Valley of Hadramout, was caught as well with others!! Wow very impressive!! Two days later 3 assassin’s were caught in Aden, i.e the capital of the former state in South before 1990.

Lets talk about each case with some details provided from news by public and officials!!

Sayoon Case:
Judge Adana Al Hamid survived miraculously an assassination attempt by Fua’ad Ba Naseeb, the assassin, but the other(s) 1 OR 2 with him was (or were) kept uncovered!!

later on, a “high authority” in Sana’a were insisting to transfer the assassin, i.e. Fua’ad Ba Naseeb, to Sana’a for investigation!! however, the security people in Sayoon refused it at once and insisted to carry the investigation in Hadramout which was welcomed by President Hadi. More news were coming day after day, the officials in Hadramout said they have very valuable information about a call the assassin received regarding the assassination attempt but the ID of the caller was uncovered. Moreover, the authorities in Hadramout mentioned that they arrested 3 who are related to assassination in Hadramout without mentioning names.

Just late last night, the assassin, i.e. Fua’ad Ba Naseeb, admitted that he fired 4 bullets and he hided the gun in Syaoon International Football field. In addition, 2 names came in the investigation one is called “Al Katheeri”!! and the 3rd is called ” Hassan B” but he is not captive!!

Aden Case:

The official news paper Al Jamhoriah mentioned that Judge Mohammed Ahmed Al Shagdari survived an assassination attempt on14th of March 2014 by a group of people while a Political Security PSO guy. i.e. Tariq Sharaf, was passing by the crime scene and exchanged fire with the group and he was killed while injured one attacker whose name is Marwan Mohammed Al Jokar. The other 2, who were arrested later on, are Redwan Ahmed Al Jokar and Sami Kasim ben Kasim. However, NO updates since the day of the indecent!!!!!

Sana’a Case:
On 12th of March 2014, around noon time, an assassin was chasing an officer from PSO but the officer managed to shoot and injure OR kill the assassin who was taken to the near by hospital. The scene was near Coffee Trader area next to Al Khaimah restaurant. No news about the name of the PSO officer or the assassin, and whether he was killed or injured. Everything was kept so uncovered since the indecent and NO updates about what so ever in the news!!!

It is worth mentioning that Mr. Ghalib Al Qamish was appointed as an ambassador after 33 years of being the head of PSO along with Mr. Abdual kader Kahtan, former minister of interior, on the 7th of March 2014.

Update: People in Hadramout are highly interacting with the arrested assassin, i.e. Fua’ad Ba Naseeb, case.

More news are leaked from the investigation room, and more names are discoverer day after day. While a “High Authority” in Sana’a is demanding to transfer him to Sana’a for “Full investigation”, people in Hadramout calling to keep him in Sayoon to uncover all details to the public and to the families of victims as they already know that if he is transferred to Sana’a he will be killed and the case will be closed. A similar case in Sana’a happened at the same day, i.e. 12th of March 2014, and NO news of it at all which makes the calls to investigate Fua’ad Ba Naseeb in Sana’a so fishy. Therefore, there is a big movement among the community in Hadramout to stop the “transfer” to Sana’a and proposals like forming human wall around the lockup place of Fua’ad Ba Naseeb are proposed.

Most, if not all, pro Islah news outlets are accusing Hirak of doing it and suggesting Fua’ad Ba Naseeb being part of Hirak. No one heard of him being of Hirak at all, and his political views are not met with Hirak. If he was with Hirak, then some of Fua’ad Ba Naseeb victims would pro Islah members in Hadramout!! instead, his victims were anti-Oil Mafia and anti-terrorism; while Islah members, Oil Mafia members and fanatics remain untouched for the past 3 years!!!!

Weapons, from same

The Military Police seized 2 trucks, one is of Mercedes brand and the other is of Dyna Toyota brand, full of weapons and explosives were heading to Shabwah!!

The 2 trucks were caught last Tuesday by a military check point and kept at Brigade 27 Mechanical for some days for negotiation which resulted into “royalty payment” of 4 million Yemeni Riyals.

The military check point told the Military Police which seized all of it after the release from Brigade 27 Mechanical. Some news say the loads were unloaded to the General Security Camp in Hadramout.

It has been said that these consignments belong to Mohammed Ali Mohsen (not the son of the famous Ali Mohsen) who is the Yemeni Military attache in Doha now, and he was Pro Ali Mohsen during 2011 against the ousted Saleh when he was the head of the Eastern Military Zone which was based in Hadramout!!! Some suggested that this action comes into escalation of violence game in Hadramout by big players.

It is worth mentioning that this news comes after an indecent of “Al Qaidah” seizing a big weapons consignment, approximatly 10 days ago, between Marib and Hadramout which was coming from Hadramout!! and the number of “Al Qaidah” who seized it were ONLY 2!! very brave ones wow.

You may need to refer to the links below for more details:

Whats old is new again.

The following from the new website, Hadramout Tribes Confederacy HTC, at The site, in addition to reporting Hadramout news and publishing official HTC press releases in Arabic, translates the press releases and news into English for distribution via email. Use their contact button to get on the English mailing list. Here is the press release from the HTC 3/13/14:

Proclamation No. 38
An extended meeting of Hadramout Tribes Confederacy was held this morning, Thursday the 13th of March 2014, which was attended by all tribal leaders and chiefs of Hadramout. This meeting was held in order to discuss and take a decision regarding the verdict to be issued by the Confederacy on the date set in accordance with the agreement concluded between the Confederacy’s leadership and the committee headed by Brother the Governor of Hadramout when part of the compensatory amends were delivered.

The atmosphere of the meeting was permeated by commitment and concern for the demands of the people of Hadramout in accordance with the Confederacy’s proclamations and the Presidential instructions issued by Brother, the President. During the meeting, extensive study was made of the new developments in Hadramout as manifested by the vicious attack on the people of Assay’ar tribe during yesterday and today and the large military reinforcements which arrived at Arrayyan airport yesterday and which are indicative of the intent of the influential forces and robbers of Hadramout resources for escalation and sabotage of the efforts aimed at the implementation of the demands of the people of Hadramout which were taken up and adopted by Hadramout tribes Confederacy. In this meeting, the following decisions were taken:

1. Deferment of the issue of the verdict by Hadramout Tribes Confederacy until the following conditions are met within ten days from today:
A. Completion of the delivery of the rest of the pledges ordered by Brother the President consisting of one milliard Yemeni riyals to the leader of Hadramout Tribes Confederacy and for which the minister for local administration was commissioned and in accordance with the conditions of the arbitrator that signed by the said minister and the instructions of Brother the President to the Prime Minister to commission Brother the Governor of Hadramout to implement what has been agreed upon with the said minister.
B. Cessation of the aggression against Assay’ar tribe and the immediate release of Lieutenant colonel Bin Rameedan and the rest of the detainees from Assay’ar tribe.
C. Putting a stop to the military reinforcements that have been pouring into Hadramout.
D. The return to their homes of the people of Abdullah Gharib village and Ash-Shihr city who were forced from their homes.
E. Removal of the Central security personnel at the Abdullah Gharib Checkpoint who were responsible for forcing the residents of the village from their homes and for provocations of the passers by the checkpoint and their replacement by security personnel from the people of Hadramout.
F. Immediate commencement of the implementation process of the Presidential instructions to the Prime Minister relative to the demands of the Confederacy in accordance with a timetable that would be a proof of the state’s credibility; and in case of impediments those responsible must be identified and brought to account.

2. Every tribe must send ten people fully equipped and with a Shases vehicles to the Confederacy’s headquarters in Ghail bin Yameen for distribution at joint checkpoints of the Confederacy.

3. Preparing a list of the remaining demands about which no Presidential instructions were given and to follow up contacts with Brother the President in order to issue such instructions.

4. The Confederacy stresses the necessity of the continuation of the popular uprising in Hadramout by all the people and tribes of Hadramout and its strengthening until all demands have been met in accordance with the proclamations issued by the Confederacy.

Issued by
Hadramout Tribes Confederacy.
March 13, 2014

Fostering and countering terrorism in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The US CT industry in Yemen is sketched out in the following excerpts from Inside Yemen’s Shadow War Asenal at Foreign Policy BY GORDON LUBOLD, NOAH SHACHTMAN

Since November of 2011, the United States has pledged nearly $600 million to Yemen for everything from spy drones to opinion polls to pickup trucks as part of a shadow war to fight terrorism there. But how much Washington is getting for its money is an open question, even within U.S. government circles…

Only a portion of the $600 million committed since late 2011 goes directly to fight terrorism — about $250 million, according to State Department officials. The rest goes towards “helping to strengthen governance and institutions on which Yemen’s long-term progress depends,” as then-White House counterterrorism czar (and unofficial envoy to Yemen) John Brennan explained last year. That includes cash to “empower women,” “combat corruption,” and provide “food vouchers, safe drinking water, and basic health services,” Brennan added.

But even that non-military aid can sometimes come with a hard edge. Last year, the State Department paid out $2.2 million to Griffin Security, a Yemeni contractor specializing in “close protection,” “surveillance systems,” and “maritime security services,” according to the company’s website. On June 26, Foggy Bottom sent another $3.1 million to Advanced C4 Solutions, a Tampa-based business with strong military and intelligence community ties, for an unspecified “administrative management” contract. Six days later, the State Department executed a second, $1.3 million deal with the same firm — which publicly declares itself a specialist in computer network attacks — for “translation and interpretation services.”

(JN-The US Air Force suspended Advanced C4 in 2011 for shoddy and unfinished work, and the firm was nearly excluded from any more work for the US gov’t.)

Overt security assistance was put on hold for about a year when former President Ali Abdullah Saleh brutally cracked down on his people. But that ban has been lifted, and the spigot is once again open. The Pentagon is outfitting the Yemenis with weapons, short takeoff and landing spy planes, night vision goggles, and even Raven drones to help Yemeni security forces to strengthen their effectiveness against internal threats and extremist activity, according to defense officials…

“We need to remember that we have done at least as badly in planning and managing aid as the worst recipient country has done in using it,” said Tony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Nonetheless, a variety of programs aim to directly achieve American security objectives in Yemen. During 2012, for instance, the Pentagon spent about $14 million on a single U.S. Special Operations Forces counterterrorism enhancement program in which a limited number of American military personnel provided training and equipment — from small arms and ammo to radios to rigid hull inflatable boats to night vision goggles to navigational systems — to Yemen’s counterterrorists. Another program, referred to in Pentagon briefing papers as the “Fixed-Wing Capability Program,” spends about $23 million “by providing equipment and training to improve the operational reach and reaction time of Yemen’s CT forces,” including two short take-off and landing aircraft. The United States spends another $75 million on building the counterterrorism unit of Yemen’s Central Security Forces.

During 2013, the Pentagon spent nearly $50 million on what’s called an “integrated border and maritime security” program to help the Yemenis be more effective with aerial surveillance and ground mobility, according to a defense official. That helped the Yemenis build up the capacity to monitor threats along the country’s nearly 1,200 mile coastline. The program includes 12 short take-off and landing aircraft, each with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as flight and maintenance crews.

The United States has spent other money on Yemen, including $24 million the Coast Guard spent to build two 87-foot coastal patrol boats, and another $11 million for about 340 F-350 Ford pickup trucks, according to publicly-available contracting data. Another $27 million was spent for a contract with Bell Helicopter for four Huey II helicopters within the last three years.

Two years ago, the polling firm Gallup, Inc. was paid more than $280,000 for a “Yemen Assessment Survey.” Around the same time, Yemen was part of a major contract to provide crew-served weapons, gun mounts, and stands for .50 caliber weapons. Last year, the Army paid $3 million to Harris Corporation for radios for the Yemenis, and the Navy paid $5.4 million for aircraft engines and spare parts for CASA 235 transport planes. Also last year, the Army paid $1.9 million for tactical UAVs in both Kenya and in Yemen.

Ties into my 2012 article State Dep’t ends Yemen arms embargo

US drone target tied to Yemen’s military leader

Filed under: Air strike, Military, embassy, mil restrucuturing, obits, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Saturday, November 10, 2012

US drone strike 11/6 in Sanhan, another mediator killed, tied to 2008 US embassy attack

SANAA: A drone strike near the Yemeni capital killed three suspected Al-Qaeda members including a militant wanted for a deadly attack on the US embassy in Sanaa, security officials said on Thursday. They said the drone strike, believed to have been carried out by the United States, targeted a car near the village of Beit al-Ahmar in the Sanhan region, 15 kilometres (nine miles) southeast of Sanaa. Among the dead was Adnan al-Qadhi, a former jihadist fighter in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda member wanted for a 2008 car bomb attack on the US embassy that killed six Yemeni soldiers and four civilians.

After a decade of willful ignorance, the US starts tying AQ attacks to the former regime, probably in search of evidence for sanctions:

Yemen Fox: Mareb Press cited diplomat sources as saying that the US Embassy in Sana’a exerts efforts in collecting and documenting many terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda and in which former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was found involved, most important the bombing the US Embassy in Sana’a in 2008. The sources said that the Americans have evidences that some with close links to Saleh’s family are involved in that operation, as US investigations showed that cars used in the terrorist attack were purchased by people close to Saleh’s family, specifically from Sanhan.

Better summary of the relationship

Nasser Arrabyee: The drone- killed Al Qadi was general in Yemeni army

By Nasser Arrabyee,07/11/2012

Adnan Al Qadi, Al Qaeda operative killed by US drone Wednesday, was a lieutenant colonel in the Yemeni army before he joined Al Qaeda, said sources Thursday.

Adnan Al Qadi was working as a commander of brigade in Al Makha under the leadership of Saleh Al Dani, a retired general who is now working with the defected general Ali Muhsen. All of them are from one village called Sanahan, the same village of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Adnan Al Qadi and Aref Al Qadi, were arrested after the bombing of the US embassy in Sanaa late 2008 for being involved. Aref is a nephew of brigadier Abdullah Al Qadi, retired general from Sanhan. Both of them were released secretly because of influence of their fathers and sympathy of general Muhsen.

Recently, Aref Al Qadi, raised the flag of Al Qaeda over his house in village of Bait Al Ahmar, the village of all conflicting guys, according to local sources.

The slain Adnan Al Qadi was one of the mediators between the Yemeni government and slain Sheikh Tarik Al Dhahab, Al Qaeda leader in Radaa last year according to Al Qaeda specialist journalist, Abdul Razak Al Jamal who met Al Qadi and most of the Al Qaeda leaders..On Wednesday November 6th, 2012, a US drone hit a car in the area of Al Nasrin in Sanahan, 30km south east of the capital Sanaa, killing Adnan Al Qadi and two others identified as Rabee Laheb, and Redwan Al Hashidi. Some sources said that the latter two were only injured..

Related: “‏@adammbaron abdulrazak jamal interviewed Adnan alQadhi, target of sanhan drone strike, before his death.” Had the black flag on his roof and door?

First US airstrike in Saada, Yemen at Wadi Abu Jubarah

Filed under: Air strike, Saudi Arabia, USA, abu jubarah, obits, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:53 am on Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 2011 AQAP eulogy of Ammar al Waeli said, “His father was a leader in the mujahadin in Yemen who was appointed by (bin Laden) to open a training camp in the area of Saada.” The long established Abu Jubarah training camp is discussed in my 2010 article, Large al Qaeda camp in North Yemen dims peace prospects, politician says or see my category Saada, Abu Jubarah.

Air strike kills three al-Qaeda suspects in Sa’ada: Sa’ada Governor
Sunday 28 October 2012 / 26 September Net

26 September Net – Air strikes killed three Al-Qaeda militants on Sunday in the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada, Sa’ada governor told “26 September Net”.

“Three Al-Qaeda suspects were killed in the air strike targeted the suspects on Sunday in Wadi Aal Jubara, Sa’ada province” Sa’ada governor said, adding two of those killed were Saudi nationals and the third one is a Yemeni.

One of al-Qaeda chief called Omar Batais was injured in the strike.

It is believed the Saudis possessed money for financing al-Qaeda operations in some provinces, the governor went on to say.

He revealed the terrorists had been trying (ed- and succeeding) for more than five years to turn Wadi Abu Junbara a station for crossing to Mare, al-Jawf, Shabwa and Abyan provinces.

US drone and foreign fighters:

Brach Net – said a government official in the province of Saada, preferring anonymity in an exclusive authorized ¯ “politics”, said the plane that carried out the air strike on the area of Wadi Al Abu Jabara Directorate كتاف yesterday is an American drone.
And confirmed the existence of at least 70 militants of the leaders and elements of the organization in the Valley of the Abu Jabara, where “they have a training camp and allied by with the Salafists in fighting the Houthis in the past period and killed them more than 150 people at the hands of Houthis, including foreigners of different nationalities Saudi and Egyptian.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original Arabic below: (Read on …)

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.

AQAP and/or Houthis to Syria? Buzz

Filed under: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 10:36 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

Last week’s local buzz. Using al Qaeda as internationally supported mercenaries against Assad is an ominous concept. Hopefully no one on the planet thinks thats a good idea. Oh wait, that’s what happened in Libya. The Houthis lining up fighters behind Iran and Hezbollah is not impossible, but I’ve never seen them export fighters before, unlike al Qaeda, and they are not lock-step with Iran. It would be new.

Yemen Observer: Former al-Qaeda leader Tareq al-Fadhli said that Ansar al-Sharia militants affiliated to al-Qaeda organization have withdrawn recently from Zinjubar and Ja’ar cities of Abyan province as a matter of partaking in the war against the Syrian regime, local media reported. (Read on …)

al Zindani interview English

Filed under: Religious, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 7:42 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

AJE: Attacks against civilians from the West were forbidden, he said. When pressed, he distinguished between diplomats and soldiers – referring to the 50 US Marines controversially deployed to the US Embassy for protection after attacks.

Rather than openly endorsing attacks on soldiers, he preferred to mention those who should not be targeted.

“If there are civilian people and military trainers who the Yemeni government use to train [the army] for a limited time, they have protection guarantees,” he said. “But to bring forces for occupation which could expand – this is what we reject.” — (Read on …)

Suicide bomber targets pro-govt, former AQAP, militia commander, 4 killed

Filed under: Abyan, Yemen, assassination, popular committees, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:24 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

I remember this guy and three years ago would be likely during the 2009 battle of Jaar when various factions of AQ fought each other for control of the city. The Defense Ministry paid one side. I wonder how many reformed al Qaeda are heading the popular committees and where they are obtaining their weapons, ammo and funding since they are militias and outside the formal military structure. And what was promised in return. Maybe its an authentic ideological reversal. Its the fifth time Latif was targeted for death by al Qaeda. NAA: Sanaa hospitals failed to treat Al Sayed who suffered serious injuries in the suicide bombing of Saturday in Aden, taken to Saudia. Update below: militia attacks al Qaeda who attacked commander.

ADEN (Reuters) – A suicide bomber failed on Saturday in an assassination attempt on a former Islamist in Yemen who helped drive al Qaeda militants out of a southern region this year, a security source and resident said. (Read on …)

Yemeni officially withdraws claim of death of AQAP #2 Saed al Shihri’s

Filed under: Yemen's Lies, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:13 pm on Friday, September 14, 2012

Shocka! DNA shows its not al Shihiri who was originally reported as killed on 9/10/12 in an air strike in Hadramout: al Masdar:

Yemeni Interior Min has no info confirming death of AQAP #2 Saed al Shahri

Filed under: Air strike, Military, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 3:09 pm on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dagnabbit. In an interview in the Saudi Okaz, the Yemeni Interior Minister says he has no info on whether AQAP #2 al Shihiri was killed, and he says to ask the Defense Ministry. Meanwhile AQAP denies he’s dead, and confirms Ahmed al-Daradish and Albatar al-Baydani were killed and the terrorists are usually much more accurate than the Yemeni govt in this situation, unfortunately.

Its quite possible the US media was spun again, just in time for the 9/11 anniversary, as they have been many times before. I thought it was way too quick for all the al Shihri obits, because the Yemeni Defense Ministry has released total disinformation time and time and time again, see my earlier post. I don’t know if hes dead or not, but I wouldn’t count on it. Its the fifth time he’s been announced as killed or captured. So its more likely that al-Daradish and al-Baydani were killed in yesterday’s strike and Al-Shihri is still alive, but really its too early to know.

al Masdar:

Yemeni Interior Minister skeptical of information killed Qaeda’s second-in-Said al-Shihri (Read on …)

AQAP’s Saed Al Shihri killed in Yemen?

Filed under: Hadramout, Pres Hadi, obits, personalities, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

Update: Two US officials confirm. Update 2: Interior Ministry has no info, may be another disinformation job on the US media.

Original: Interesting. Frequently through the years, at politically sensitive moments like before 9/11 or USS Cole anniversaries, the Yemeni government announces a major CT coup that turns out later to be false. So time will tell on this one. Its the fourth fifth time that the Yemeni DOD has announced Saed al Shihri was killed. The fourth time al Shihri was reported killed was Feb 2011, at the outset of the rev against the Saleh regime. It could be true though. There’s somewhat better odds since its a US drone strike, but then again the US is far from infallible as the recent airstrike on a minibus of civilians demonstrates. The minibus was following the targeted vehicle in al Baydah.

From the 26 Sept: Saeed al-Shihri, who was the Saudi national and the second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed on Tuesday in a qualitative operation carried out by the security forces in Wadi Hadramout, a senior official told 26 September Net. The official said that six al-Qaeda leaders accompanying him were also killed.

AP: SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni officials say an airstrike has killed al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car.

The Defense Ministry officials say Monday’s attack killed the deputy, Saudi national Saeed al-Shihri, as he left a house in the southern Hadramawt province.

They say the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone. The U.S. doesn’t usually comment on such attacks but has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.

Related: Yemeni President Hadi says the government officials help al Qaeda. Good, its true and has been true for more than a decade:

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s president says some tribal chiefs and government officials are helping al-Qaida fighters hide after the military defeated the militants in the country’s south.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says “there are tribal chiefs and senior officials who are covering-up for al-Qaida figures” in Abyan and Shabwa provinces and “impeding security measures to arrest them.”

Hadi spoke to lawmakers and senior officials Sunday night. He did not name any suspects.

Related: Ansar al Sharia update from the Yemen Times:

ABYAN — The People’s Committees and security apparatuses in Abyan governorate are continuing operations to track Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS) affiliates in Abyan to terminate violence and install security.

Ali Abdu, spokesman for the People’s Committees, said on Saturday, the group, backed by security forces, held a large campaign to pursue AAS militants—who are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—in Shoqra and the controlled Al-Kalasi Mountain. Moreover, They patrolled Moneeb Valley and sent the militants out. (Read on …)

Al Fida interview

Filed under: Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 11:49 am on Sunday, September 2, 2012

Al Fida discusses match making for bin Laden and the discussions with Saleh in 2007
(Read on …)

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

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

Duh! Bungled is the charitable explanation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Soufan’s full interview with the BBC:

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

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

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

(Read on …)

“Al Qaeda reiterates the September 11 tragedy in Yemen”

Filed under: Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Sana'a, Tribes, attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:24 pm on Saturday, July 28, 2012

A tragic essay published by Hour News, the original Arabic below, outlines many of the disasters that Al Qaeda has wrought on Yemen, directly and indirectly. I believe the article is in response to the awful and deliberate murder of a 12 year old boy with a package bomb, that sad article is also below:

Newspapers and magazines — “This report for publication”

Al Qaeda in Yemen declares war on the citizens, and reiterates the September 11 tragedy in Yemen, “the report”

Abdul Karim Hazmi

Al Qaeda in Yemen war on Yemeni citizens in general as well as its war against the government for the establishment of an Islamic state as they called them.

It is noticeable in this war-Qaeda in Yemen that the only loser is the people of Yemen, a victim, a target of this war, economically and militarily.

Since the takeover in the province of Abyan war killed tens of innocent victims of the citizens and the displacement of thousands of them in order to establish the rule of the Islamic state in the nation, forgetting that they are all Muslims and citizens united to God is not a partner, was the victim of most of them innocent civilians. (Read on …)

Assorted Yemen links

Filed under: Abyan, GCC, USA, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 8:44 am on Friday, July 27, 2012

Influx of Gulf money to al-Qaeda in Yemen (supporters of Sharia) Thursday, July 26, 2012 (ar)

360 cities panoramic photos of Yemen

Abyani Tribes and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, Critical Threats, good overview

Official Blind Eyes Thwart Yemen’s Attempts to Rehabilitate Al-Qa’ida Terrorists
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2012, The Media Line on PSO releases of AQAP. Now they are going to Jaar; before the rev they went to Saada.

Tawakkol Karman: I can’t believe that (the U.S.) didn’t know of Saleh’s connection with al Qaeda

Asharq Al-Awsat interview: US Envoy to Yemen Gerald M. Feierstein 08/07/2012, the one where he uses the royal we.

GAO: Uncertain Political and Security Situation Challenges U.S. Efforts to Implement a Comprehensive Strategy in Yemen: 2/29/12 Since fiscal year 2007, U.S. agencies have allocated more than $642 million in security2 and civilian assistance to Yemen. …..However, both State and DOD officials expressed some concerns about future security assistance activities, including identifying who will be the key U.S. partners in the Yemeni security forces. Until 2011, the United States trained and equipped specialized security forces focused on counterterrorism that members of the Saleh family led. While the implementing mechanism for the Gulf Cooperation Council political transition agreement calls for the reorganization of the armed services, it is unclear how or when the military will be reorganized and who will lead it. (ed- the US is apparently still hoping to keep nephew Yahya and son Ahmed which would be a tremendous error.)

Another 20 sitting in drafts were back dated and posted.

and via email, Ali Mohsen and Ahmed Saleh have to go: Karman

Tawakkol Karman: Iran wants to militarily overthrow Yemen. The Houthi should admit into the political process and leave the option of the violence. Tawakkol Karman appreciates Ali Mohsen’s stance with the revolution; the president Hadi should dismiss him, along with Ahmed Ali before turning the Republican Guards into the Revolutionary Guards. (Read on …)

al Shabab, talks in Shaqra, al Mohsen bio

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Somalia, Yemen, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 11:58 am on Monday, July 23, 2012

500 of Islamic militants leaves Somalia to Yemen

Somali embassy in Yemeni capital Sanaa disclosed on Sunday that 500 militants from Islamic Al-Shabab have reached Yemen to join Al-Qaeda in Arabian peninsula. (Read on …)

AQAP re-establishes at Abu Jabarah, Saada, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Yemen, abu jubarah, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 4:59 am on Monday, July 16, 2012

Related 30,000 Saudi spies in Yemen

NAB: AQAP fled to Sanaa and “One group made a camp in Al Mahfad, a mounteneous area between Shabwah and Abyan, and second group went to the eastern province of Hadhrmout, more specifically in Wadi Dawan in Sayoun, and the third group went to Rada’a in Al Baidha province. The recent estimate of Al Qaeda elements in the whole country is 10,000, according to sources close to Al Qaeda.”

7/6/12 al Hadath: Revealed a Saudi newspaper on Friday that elements of al-Qaeda had infiltrated to some districts in the province of Saada in northern Yemen, disguised in women taking advantage of the sympathy of some members of the tribes who helped them to reach the valley of the Abu Jabara near Saada, and provide safe haven for them. (Read on …)

Sami Dhayan a scapegoat says a statement from his father

Filed under: 3 security, Yemen, personalities, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:16 am on Saturday, July 14, 2012

first an update on Sami’s status

Yemen Post: Yemen Arrests Leader of Suicide Cell behind Killing of Senior Commander (Read on …)

Yemen intel chief’s disinfo in cadet attack

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Yemen, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:06 am on Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yemen president launches investigation into cadet attack 14/07/2012

The Yemini Interior Ministry announced that president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi has formed an investigative committee in order to probe regarding a bombing in Sana’a that killed 10 police cadets this week after the panel misidentified the bomber, media reported on Friday. (Read on …)

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 …)

Money Laundering, Yemen

Filed under: Yemen, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 6:06 am on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Theres also a 2007 FSAT report on the US embassy’s website that highlights many of the structural obstacles (including lack of investigative training) in Yemen’s efforts to thwart terror financing and money laundering, but of course political context and influential people have a direct impact as well:

UPI: SANAA, Yemen, June 26 (UPI) — The Financial Action Task Force has added Yemen to its list of countries that have failed to tackle money-laundering and terrorist financing related issues.

In its latest statement, the group criticized Yemen for not addressing the risks arising from deficiencies associated with its jurisdiction, stressing inaction could lead to Yemen being labeled a high-risk or uncooperative jurisdiction.

The Socialist Forum newspaper Tuesday said Yemen failed to implement FATF recommendations to prevent terror-related financial activities, jeopardizing the impoverished nation’s ability to do business with the international community.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the ministers of its member jurisdictions. Its objectives are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money-laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
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Obama admin leaking intl for political payoff?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, UK, USA, Yemen, airliner — by Jane Novak at 6:17 am on Sunday, May 27, 2012 but not me:

An alleged intelligence leak regarding a covert operation that thwarted an “underwear bomb” plot last week is now creating distrust and ill feelings within the U.S. intelligence community and has led to increased talk about intelligence leaks at the highest levels of government, according to terrorism experts on Friday. (Read on …)

Al Fahdli denounces crumbs of federalism, heralds the impending era of Islamism in Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:55 am on Friday, April 27, 2012

Tariq Fadhli leaders attacked the southern and says that his goal «liberation of the South» and the rule of Islam is coming
(Read on …)

Lacking intel on AQAP, Obama admin broadens drone targeting guidelines

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:03 am on Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Obama admin has approved droning Yemenis deemed a threat to the US even if their identities are not known. The US is currently relying heavily on aerial surveillance for intel on AQAP, following a decade of exclusively relying on half bogus intel from the subverted Saleh regime. And its likely the CIA/DOD has identified individuals regularly seen in the company of known al Qaeda leaders. However, sentencing random, unknown Yemenis to death based on tenuous associations or physical proximity is exactly the same rationale Al Qaeda used in justifying the murder of pedestrians passing the US Embassy in 2008. On a practical level, one more uniquely bad hit could create blowback that overwhelms any progress. Human intel may be difficult to obtain in Yemen, but some reporting has detailed over 3000 informants including some who aren’t aware the end user is the US. But draining the swamp can go a long way. The Obama admin appears to still be on a quest for shortcuts, easy fixes and stability through institutionalized injustice. Inexplicably, the US politically empowered religious hardliners and negated the impact of authentic democracy advocates and their quite logical and productive demands.

WSJ: The Obama administration has given the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. military greater leeway to target suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen with drones, responding to worries a new haven is being established from which to mount attacks on the West.

The policy shift, as described by senior U.S. officials, includes targeting fighters whose names aren’t known but who are deemed to be high-value terrorism targets or threats to the U.S. The White House stopped short of authorizing attacks on groups of lower-level foot soldiers who are battling the Yemeni government, the officials said.

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 …)

Al Qaeda plans to hit US Embassy, other Sanaa targets, after diversionary strike in Mukallah, report; Update: drones in al Baydah & Jaar, Ethiopians in Abyan

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Sana'a, USA, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:05 am on Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sounds bad, kind of a vehicular Mumbai style swarm. There’s no way the US embassy doesn’t know this already though right? The article was published last night at 9pm. Also note there’s sources and there’s security sources. This is but one reason why freedom of the press is so important in Yemen–open source AQAP reporting. There’s history and links to news articles on Ibrahim al Banaa below.

Related: Yes they are apparently all over it. US drones strikes kill 25 in Yemen overnight:

US drones raided several hideouts of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda wing in the southeast restive province of Al-Baydha on Friday night. At least 25 AQAP militants were killed, including senior figures, with several other militants being wounded in an air strike conducted by the United States forces according to local website news…Moreover recent news that al-Shaba’a, the Ethiopian al-Qaeda wing had sent hundreds of Jihadists over to Abyan to join in Ansar al-Sharia, has been the cause of great concerns for both the government and the civilian population, as they feel their land could become the ground of a mighty war.

Ethiopians? al Shaba’a? 1) Maybe these are the nine mystery ships that everyone is talking about arriving before last Sunday’s attack on the military base in Abyan that killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers and 2) How weak is AQAP that they need to import fighters?

There’s also reports of drone strikes in Jaar, Abyan that destroyed the military equipment AQAP captured from the army last week-end. Update: The al Baydah airstrikes hit the AQAP training camp and targeted local al-Qaeda leader Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani, the BBC reports. Its always good when there are no immediate reports of civilian casualties, I would have heard by now.

The Yemeni soldiers captured (who weren’t beheaded or otherwise mutilated) were paraded around Jaar, forced to train the terrorists on how to operate the tanks, and now are threatened with execution if the govt doesn’t release AQ prisoners.

The YO article regarding reports of an impending attack follows: Yemen Observer:

Yemen based al-Qaeda plans strikes on Sana’a and Mukala Reliable sources have said that al-Qaeda has been preparing for its largest operations yet in the capital city of Sana’a, operations aimed at strategic sites including military and security installments and embassies.

Sources said that al-Qaeda cells in the areas of Zindan and Arhab have trained for operations involving the storming of fortified sites, attacking fixed and mobile targets while aboard vehicles and motorbikes, and that al-Qaeda militants have entered Sana’a in preparation for carrying out their attacks in the coming few days.

The sources expect that al-Qaeda’s potential targets include the Airbase in Sana’a, the Interior Ministry, Republican Guard units and a number of embassies, including the American embassy.

The sources confirmed information regarding intentions by al-Qaeda to attack Mukala to divert attention its plans in Sana’a.

Security sources said that over 400 al-Qaeda militants are currently in Shabwa’s Azan Directorate, with three al-Qaeda leaders in charge (Ibrahim al-Bana, an Egyptian, Qasem al-Rimi and Shaker Hamel) of plans to attack vital installations, security sites, and important government facilities as part of a plan to expand their so-called Azan Islamic state to Mukala. (Read on …)

AQAP’s Ibrahim al Banna plans to take over al Mukallah, Hadramout, Yemen?

Filed under: Hadramout, Islamic Imirate, obits — by Jane Novak at 7:03 am on Friday, March 9, 2012

Yemen Post: Yemen’s interior Ministry has disclosed on Wednesday that Al-Qaeda has a “terrorist” plan to attack Al-Mukallh of Hadhramout governorate with the aim of declaring it as an Islamic Emirate.

In its website, it said that 300 of Al-Qaeda operatives including three leaders, Ibraheem Al-Bana’a, Egyptian Nationa, Qasim Al-Raimi, and Shaker Hamel were planning to attack strategic government facilities, military and security camps.

This Ibrahim al Banna? ( The undead, previously arrested, tried & convicted somehow free again long time al Qaeda operative? You can just keep clicking the links and trackbacks from post to post. I’m too tired. Supposedly Ibrahim the Egyptian was arrested in Hadramout in 2008 (after the lethal January ambush of a Belgium tourist convoy in Shibam), tried in 2010, and killed in 2011, but then he wasn’t dead after all and it turned out that many of the 21 charged with the terrorist murder of the two elderly female tourists and two Yemeni guides were convicted in absentia.

Qasim al Reimi is also among the repeatedly undead; declared as killed by the Yemeni government at least three separate times although he remains very much alive. Shaker Hamel was arrested and tried with al Banna and apparently is still hanging out with him. Cozy.

(My Ibrahim al Banna search also returned Jaber Elbaneh results but that’s the Lackawanna NYer/al Farouk grad who we haven’t heard from lately. His is another bizarre story that would almost be funny except he’s al Qaeda.)

Observations in Jaar, Dofus attack, Aden Research Ctr paper, southern questions, AQAP obit

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, attacks, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:56 am on Friday, March 9, 2012

The following article is in part a sociological sketch, with interviews and observations of the al Qaeda occupation of Jaar. One interesting point is that among the first tier of leaders are many bitter ex-prisoners of the political security organization. One was tortured and forced to eat from the toileting bowl; his crime was attempting to go to Iraq to fight US forces there. “He added: «I thought the Jews and the Christians were the only ones who should have jihad against them (but) if our fellow Yemenis are cursing God and apply electricity for trivial reasons». He is currently living the best days of his life in Abyan with his brothers «Mujahideen»”

There’s also a reasonable profile of new publicity hound and Prince Abu Hamza, and his depiction of AQAP’s provision of social services, basic needs and “justice.” So far they executed eight Saudis accused of spying, three people have had their hands chopped off. The authors note the Al Qaeda “court” considers defense lawyers irrelevant. Tobacco, qat, alcohol and all smoking is prohibited. “The “popular satisfaction left by those acts and policies (ed- bountiful gas, water and electricity) of some residents of Jaar are offset by resentment at the vast majority of the population of those areas.” They consider Khalidabdul Nabi a Saleh operative, and fought his operatives before gaining control.

The original article is is here and the GT is below. Following that is a GT’d research paper by the Aden Research Center about al Qaeda, then an AP article on the AQAP statement of responsibility, a YT round-up of the Dofus attack and a random southern comment on the whole scenario. (Read on …)

US to resume military training in Yemen prior to restructing military

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Security Forces, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hows that going to work? Clearly the Yemeni forces are not up to the challenge without support considering yesterday’s bloodbath. But how to offset the AQAP subversion, root out the corrupt and purge the murderers while training is ongoing, (it didn’t work so well in the past), al Qaeda is attacking and restructure the Yemeni military simultaneously. Southerners, Houthis and other excluded groups have to be integrated into the new military for balance. Meanwhile its been AQAP’s goal to draw in US military forces.

US officials’ statements alienating southerners en masse (al Qaeda’s unwilling captive and nearby communities) isn’t helping overall efforts.

US and Yemeni officials have agreed to restart a controversial military-training program to help the new president tackle Al Qaeda militants as part of planned enhanced counter-terrorism relationship.

While President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has openly turned to Washington as he attempts to get the upper hand over the terrorist group, his policy may have a key drawback — upsetting the delicate political balance of power in the country and complicating the sensitive task of overhauling the nation’s fractured security forces.

Dozens of US special operations forces already on the ground are set to resume training of counterterrorism forces after a lull last year amid a wave of new sophisticated assaults by the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group and loosely linked jihadi groups. FOX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potshots at US trainers in Aden, bombing at Saada rally, protests in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Aden, Counter-terror, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:29 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012

Reuters: – A gunman opened fire on a U.S. security team as it trained Yemeni soldiers in the south of the country, the Pentagon and a security official said on Friday, both denying reports from an Islamist group that a CIA officer was killed in the assault.

In the north of the country, a bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the region said. (Read on …)

America’s Dangerous Game: a video

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 6:58 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012

America’s Dangerous Game a video by Jeremy Scahill at AJE, “This film reveals the full scale of Washington’s covert war in Yemen and asks: Is the US creating more enemies than it can capture or kill?”

A good, coherent presentation and analysis that follows up Scahill’s earlier article. It makes the point that no matter how many leaders are killed (and the US doesn’t really know who its killing with the drones), if the corrupt, nepotistic, despotic regime remains, there won’t real progress. The vid also makes the valid and previously contentious point that there is a symbiotic relationship between the intelligence services and the terrorists, which is a step beyond the (finally) widely accepted premise of Yemen’s ruling family manipulating the terrorist threat for profit and international support.

Saleh returns, new Yemeni president, suicide bombing in Hadramout

Filed under: Elections, Hadramout, Presidency, Transition, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:16 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barak Obama’s friend, the war criminal Ali Saleh departed the US and is back in Yemen. Saleh’s immunity is a central part of the US sponsored “transition” plan that followed a 48 million dollar, single candidate (sham) “election.”

Yemen’s first new president in 33 years, Abdo Mansour Hadi, previously Saleh’s Vice, was sworn in on Saturday. Hadi received 6.6 million votes of 10 million registered and two million eligible new voters. On election day, the electoral commission said 13 million votes were printed and they had run out of ballots during the day.

Also on Saturday, a suicide bomber in a slow moving pick-up truck killed 28 soldiers in Hadramout. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility via a text message to Reuters.

Link save: April 9, 2010, Yemen National Dialog Coalition Seeks Reform, Broad Political Inclusion

Protected: Fahd al Quso interview at Marib Press, tries to justify vast AQAP war crimes

Filed under: aq statements, fahd — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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South Korea pays market price for Yemen LNG

Filed under: LNG, SK, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 1:46 pm on Saturday, February 18, 2012

In the first half of the story, South Korea was paying well under fair market price since 2005 despite opposition and activists strenuous objections.

Yemen LNG and Total Gas LIFT gas shipments redirected to Korea
[18 / February / 2012] Saba

Agreed Yemen LNG, Total Gas & Power to increase the number of shipments transferred by 20 shipments per year to Korea during the years 2012.2013 and 2014 m due to the continued low gas prices in the U.S. market.

Under the new agreement which was signed in Paris on the fourteenth of February, the ongoing presence of the Minister of Oil and Minerals Engineer Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, will be selling LNG to Kogas, according to the current price of the market. (Read on …)

Tariq al Dhahab killed by elder brother

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Tribes, Yemen, anwar, attacks — by Jane Novak at 2:50 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

to avoid tribal revenge. Later in the day, Tariq’s gang attacked Hazam’s house and in total 17 are dead. Several articles are citing an inheritance dispute among 20 brothers, but that was in play by 2007 when Nabil was released from prison alongside Anwar al Awalki. The overt enmity between these two began last month when Tariq tried to occupy Raada, al Baydah in order to release his brother, Nabil.

Al-Qaeda leader in southeastern Yemen killed by elder brother

Yemen Post Staff: Hazam al-Thahb, Yemeni tribal chief from the southeastern Yemeni town of Rada, which was briefly taken over by al-Qaeda militants, killed his younger brother, Tariq al-Thahb, a high-profile leader in AQAP.

Hazam broke on Wednesday evening into a mosque, where his brother and some of al-Qaeda militants were living, and killed his Tariq and some of his followers, tribal dignitary from the area told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

“He has killed his younger brother after he repeatedly warned him not to align himself with the islamists, however his brother was obstinate and did not pay heed to his warnings and advice. That’s why he had to kill him before he is killed by the authorities, said the tribal dignitary. (Read on …)

Nigerian says Anwar al Awlaki gave him airline plot, introduced bomb maker

Filed under: USA, Yemen, airliner, anwar — by Jane Novak at 9:33 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abdulmutallab was found guilty and sentenced to death for trying to murder all the people on the airliner. I’m sure he’ll appeal.

USA Today: According to court documents, Abdulmutallab spent months pursuing American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, where the two men eventually met and hatched out a plan to blow up an American airliner over U.S. soil on Christmas Day 2009. In the weeks leading up to the bombing attempt, the two men texted each other, spoke briefly on the phone and ended up spending three days together at al-Awlaki’s house planning the attack, the government wrote in court documents. (Read on …)

New US backed Yemen Unity government hopes to negotiate with AQAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Lebanese al-Akhbar Newspaper

Abaad Centre for Studies and Research report on Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, reports — by Jane Novak at 12:53 pm on Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yay, an English version, pretty much what I thought it said but less headache inducing:

Yemen Post The Yemen-based Abaad Centre for Studies and Researches has cautioned that some factions seek to collapse Yemeni cities militarily under the pretext of Al-Qaeda as happened in Radda and Abyan provinces scenarios.
“This scenario may be carried out in Ibb, Dhala’a, Lahj, and, Hadhramout and other cities would be controlled under the pretext of fighting Al-Qaeda as it is expected to happen in Dhamar, Taiz, and Hodeidah.
In a periodic report, Abaad pointed out that Al-Qaeda has no systematic structure and its goals are foggy, affirming that it lacks strategic visions.
“Therefore, Al-Qaeda was penetrated by local and international bodies, and only those bodies take advantages of Al-Qaeda,” added the centre. “Even some figures benefited from Al-Qaeda as that clearly appeared during its control and withdrawal of Al-Amria in Rada when Tariq Al-Dhahab could get his brother out of the custody.”
“There are figures affiliated to Al-Qaeda, some were in Abyan and others who escaped jails, are currently existed in Sana’a, and some Al-Qaeda fugitives live with the displaced people inside schools in Aden.”
The report ruled out that Al-Qaeda has the ability to take over any town, if it does not receive direct and indirect logistic support by some sides that are in connection to the power transfer process.
“Al-Dhahab withdrew from Radda after he failed to recruit enough numbers to completely control the city as well as he got his main demand, release of his bother” the report added.
The periodic report revealed that Al-Dhahab was not the real leader of Al-Qaeda in Radda.
It further cited that Al-Qaeda senior leaders, Nasser Al-Wohaish, the leader of Al-Qaeda, and Ebrahim Darwish, another Al-Qaeda leader were at Alzahir district of Baidha governorate when Radda was taken over.
“Decisions were taken by Al-Qaeda Shura council consisted of 20 persons who are selected of 60 persons, the real division of Al-Qaeda which is called ” Almuhajreen” which includes a Saudi and Pakistani nationals. Their duties were not external protection. Some Bedouins, tribesmen and other escapees joined Al-Qaeda in its fighting with the aim of getting money and others were contained as a result of Al-Dhahab’s charisma in the area. (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOHR report Dec 2011: human rights violations in southern Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, South Yemen, War Crimes, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:04 am on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Its a monthly report on state violence and other HR violations including by AQAP that is always precise in terms of names, dates, photos and locations, and it usually is issued within a month or two of the end date, except for those months with large massacres. The recently issued report for December 2011 lists three dead, as opposed to earlier months and years when many dozens were killed and hundreds were wounded in state violence against southern protesters and activists. The fatality totals in the southern protests (2007-2011) far exceeds the number killed by the state since the broader rev began in 2011, a distasteful metric of murder. (The UN SC forgave 33 years of atrocities in Yemen in the interests of “stability,” providing little incentive for Assad to stop his butchery.) In the following, I pulled out some AQAP violations of human rights for a future project but the entire report is available here at

SOHR report Dec 2011

On Monday, December ,5 Sheikh Tawfiq Ali Mansour Juneidi ,nicknamed
“Hawas “the leader of the People’s Committees in the town of Lauder of
Abyan province ,died as a result of wounds sustained by a blast of an
explosive package targeted him on Friday, December ,2 and which also
caused the death of his colleague ,Ali Nasser Houshan .The Web site” ,Taj
South Arabia “reported that the People’s Committees protect the district
from the al-Qaeda operatives ,since it is believe that the al-Qaeda is behind
this assassination….

“Al Qaeda “operatives on the evening of Monday, December , ambushed
two vehicles to target a number of people from Almayaser Tribe from the
Farajs when they were passing in” Ekd “area between the districts of Lauder
and Wadiea .Aden News Agency said that the ambush caused injuries
among three people ,they are :Ahmed Hussein Ashal ,Hussein Ali Ashal and
Ahmed Mohammed al-Ghairi. (Read on …)

Wahishi was in Raada, Center

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Yemen, al-Bayda, personalities — by Jane Novak at 10:56 am on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Yemen reprints report from Abaad:
(Read on …)

Yemen strike and Obama on drones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raada, al Baydah Yemen celebrates AQAP withdrawal

Filed under: Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Security Forces, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:24 am on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The al Qaeda operatives that occupied Raada have all departed, to the great jubilation of the town. Tribal mediation resulted in the immediate release of three al Qaeda detainees, including Nabil al Dhahab, a promise to install more conservative leaders that implement Sharia law and a promise to release the rest of the listed al Qaeda detainees (12 more) later, when the media spotlight fades. The town celebrated the fanatics departure with gunfire in the air and gathering on the streets. The agreement followed heavy clashes between tribal fighters and the violent al Qaeda cult known as “Ansar al Sharia.” The seven tribes surrounding al Baydah joined together against al Qaeda and the tribal delegation was comprised of 35 notable dignitaries.

Sheikh Khalid al Dhahab said in a later newspaper interview: “the remnants of the Saleh regime facilitated the gunmen to enter the city Radaa and the idea of formation and the establishment of the “solution and the contract” and the requirement by the “supporters of sharia law” to change the heads of districts and directors of offices services in the city of Radaa is to legitimize the rule of al-Qaeda through the establishment of Islamic emirate in Radaa, and remnants of the Saleh regime seek to make Radaa Islamic emirate.”

al Tagheer, link

al Qaeda in Yemen attacks traditional “witch doctor” in Raada; five dead in clashes

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, al-Bayda, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Like there’s not enough headaches, al Qaeda is mandating (by violence) what type of health care people can have. I don’t know anything about the type of traditional medicine practiced in al Baydah, or even what a witch doctor is, although some traditional and herbal remedies have been shown to have medicinal value in other parts of the world. However people have the right to choose who they talk to about their illnesses without some wild eyed fanatic subjecting them to physical punishment. Then there’s more blah blah about the regime loyalists facilitating the al Qaeda take over and other article below the fold about the failure of negotiations.

Yemen Post: Three tribesmen were killed and several others were wounded on Saturday as Al-Qaeda militants attacked the house of a well-known witch-doctor in Rada’a of Baidha governorate. (Read on …)

Tribes give AQAP 24 hour deadline in al Baydah

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Transition, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update: Tariq al Dhahab responds as al Masdar.

YPost: Tribal chieftains in the southeast province of Al-Baytha, some 260km southeast of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, gave on Wednesday 24 hours for al-Qaeda militants to leave their town of Rada.

Earlier the day, local tribal dignitaries accused outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh of conniving with the terrorists and letting Rada falls into their control, as the army looked on militants with simple weapons take control of an entire town.

The militants took control of al-Baytaha’s main town of Rada on Monday, with the army looking on. (Read on …)

Saleh’s fingerprints on al Qaeda’s actions

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Presidency, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:32 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The analysis below by the Abaad Center has some correct information but is missing the facts that Nabil al Dhahab (brother of Tariq) was in the same PSO jail cell as his brother in law, Anwar al Awlaki, and later was on Syrian TV taking responsibility for the Damascus bombing, that was blamed on al Qaeda, link here.

It is probable that the National Security orchestrated the take over of Radaa, one town in the province of al Baydah. It was entirely true when I wrote that the Yemeni National Security transported Nasir al Wahishi, head of AQAP, from Marib to Shabwa in 2009 or 2008, whenever it was. The implications were and remain enormous.

There’s no way the US can feign ignorance anymore or that the collusion doesn’t go to the top. So what does the continued US support mean? It can’t be fear of Islah and fundamentalists when the US designed transition plan empowers Islah, endangers the democrats and puts the fractured regime back together, a regime that by its very nature is massively corrupt and prone to sporadic blood baths, and that has created, enabled and deployed al Qaeda for over a decade.

Then we get this: “Jane, my family are from Radaa. This ALQ stuff is load of rubbish. Ali Saleh’s troops entered the city on the pretext that the city had been taken over by ALQ when no such thing had happened. They then opened the prison and let everyone out. Opposition to Saleh in Radaa has been quite strong.” Others with family in Raada disagree and say its very scary, residents have been warned to stay indoors and men are arming themselves to protect their families.

Its clear that Saleh plans on delaying the “election” by any means possible. It was clear from day one that he would never relinquish his throne and that the US was helping him stall, first by announcing there was no post-Saleh planning and then by demanding Yemenis accept the clearly unworkable (and illegal) GCC plan. I’m mystified by US support of the Sanaa regime and all its elements (including Islah), when Saleh and the Yemeni security and intelligence forces are obvious and undeniable Al Qaeda puppet masters.

al Sahwa

Think-Tank: Absence of government, armed Houthi existence behind Al-Qaeda expansion A news analysis released by Abaad Centre for Studies and Research has said five factors supported Al-Qaeda existence in Rada’a of Baidha governorate:

First, planning of expansion in the stage that witnesses a weakness of the central government, as Al-Qaeda took this opportunity to enlarge in some eastern areas that lack the power of government.

Second, Rada’a is a predominantly tribal region and it witnessed provocations four months ago by militants who were affiliated to the Zaidi Shia Houthi group as they were walking around the town with their arms.

Third, forces of the Republican Guard did not deal with the militants seriously. A brother of Tariq Al-Dhahab who leads the militants was wounded, but when Tariq came to town was not interrupted and his positions located between Rada’a and Marib were not attacked.

Fourth, Al-Qaeda exploited the kinship between Al-Dhahab and Anwar Al-Awlaki, Al-Qaeda leader who was killed in a American drone strike last fall to expand.

Fifth, It used the detention of one of Al-Dhahab’s brother as a grief to provoke armed men to fight.

The analysis also indicated to the character of Al-Dhahab who led Al-Qaeda militants positioned in a archeological mosque in Rada’a.

” Tareq Al-Dhahab is a brother of a late prominent tribal leader of Rada’a” added the analysis. ” After the death of this leader, his nephew, Majed, was crowned as a leader, but Tareq did not accept that.”

” Tareq’s brother at the age of 35, Nabil, was submitted by Syrian authorities as he tried to cross the country to fight in Iraq in 2006.”

Al-Dhahab has criticized, in a comment to Marib Press, the detention of his brother, considering that as arbitrary, and pointing out that Nabil was imprisoned inside a jail of the Political Security, added the analysis.

” After the release of Anwar Al-Awlaki in 2007, Al-Dhahab angered on his tribe escaped to a region between Marib and Rada’a and gathered around dozens of militants who came from Al-Jawf, Marib, Shabwa and Baidha,” added the centre.

” Al-Dhahab generously spends money for his followers and sponsors scores of families, but his resources are still unknown up to date.”

The think-tank said the name of Al-Dhahab was not included in any operation of Al-Qaeda, he did not travel abroad, and was not known of his affiliation to Al-Qaeda, but the Yemeni authorities suspect that he was responsible for attacking a security checkpoint in Rada’a in May, 2011.

” The authorities have not stated about the event or attacked the region in which he has been basing for years” added it.

” Al-Dhahab emerged as a member of Al-Qaeda in his sermon on Friday, 13 January, 2012, after he along with approximately 80 militants stormed Rada’a, using light and medium weapons including RPG and gun machines,” added the analysis. ” They positioned inside an archeological mosque which has been shut down for 15 years.”

Its like a carbon copy of the Abyan events.

al Sahwa: – A tribal leader of Rada’a, Khalid Al-Dhahab, has said that the National Security coordinated with his brother, Tariq who leads Al-Qaeda militants, to capture Rada’a.

In a comment to Alarabya TV on Monday, Khalid said that the National Security and the former Interior Minister, Rashad Almasri, have been contacting Tariq for long period.

Al-Dhahab pointed out that he had suggested to the Yemeni regime to submit his brother, Tariq, but the regime procrastinated regarding his arrest.

Al Wahishi survives US attack on al Fahdli farm; AQ confirms death of Wahishi nephew

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Yemen, fahd, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:42 am on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Existing of cooperation with military commanders and al-Qaeda in Yemen3/1/2012
Sources affirmed to YemenOnline that the two cities of Abyan province ,Zanzibar and Jaar, still under control of al Qaeda, which is now becoming controlled also on the line that links between Abyan and Shabwa and another between Abyan and Marib, confirming the existence of cooperation with military figures in the Yemeni army and arms dealers are known, as you get them on the weapons of a very sophisticated , and in return provide them with information. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Occupation of Abyan spurs protest march

Filed under: Abyan, Civil Unrest, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:59 am on Sunday, January 1, 2012

NYR | Yemen Fox | Abyan people stage march to lift Zenjbar blockade – Dignity March
(Read on …)

Ass’t Al Qaeda AQAP dump

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:14 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011


a href=””> Bar-kulan: An air strike in Yemen’s Ebyen province has killed three Al-Shabaab militants fighting along side Al-Qaeda network, sources say. (Read on …)

Naif al Kahtani killed again in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 12:21 am on Saturday, November 19, 2011

YT: SANAA, Nov. 13 — At least six Al-Qaeda members were killed in an aerial raid on Saturday in Zinjibar, Abyan, a southern governorate and a stronghold of the terrorist group.

Naif Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia was named as one of the six killed in the raid by the Yemeni army in the north of Zinjibar.

Three other Al-Qaeda members were killed in an ambush by armed tribesmen allying the Yemeni army in the north east of Al-Taria in Zinjibar.

Official sources claimed that Al-Qaeda members have been coming from the Horn of Africa and east Asia, according to the UPL news website.

Despite the fact that news outlets have been talking about the “seizing of Zinjibar” by Islamists since May, Al-Qaeda experts in Yemen said that state soldiers withdrew on purpose to give militants a chance to settle in the area.

According to an Al-Qaeda expert who preferred not to be named, “the whole Al-Qaeda story has no reality and it is only made up by the government”.

The aerial shelling by the Yemeni government and the US, coupled with the conflict between militants and tribesmen in Zinjibar has caused more than 30,000 citizens to flee their home to live in Aden’s schools and other places.

Other critics accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of allowing the militants to take over districts in the south such as Zinjibar in Abyan to support the view that without him, Yemen would become a stronghold of Al-Qaeda.

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

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

2014 update: this is the correct link for the 2011 CRS report

And other oddities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The western media black-out continues:

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

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

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


- Airstrikes on Arhab leave 120 civilians killed, 340 wounded

- Nationwide slaughter since UN SC council resolution 2014

- One million demand regime change

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

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

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

More AQAP fighters arrive in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, TI: External, Yemen, other jihaddists, pirates — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The AQAP CF in Abyan continues:

Yemenat: New enhancements to the supporters of al-Qaeda in Abyan

According to local sources in the city of Jaar, in Abyan province, south of Yemen, the city witnessed the arrival of new fighters and additional military reinforcements to support the armed groups that are believed to belong to al Qaeda.

The sources pointed out that the military buildup, which includes a large number of fighters who are nationals of various Asian, African and combat equipment, and arrived to the province of Abyan by sea in the coastal city of Shakra, which is still controlled by armed elements in their hands since the fall several months ago. (Read on …)

AQAP denies Ibrahim al Banna dead etc

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 5:31 pm on Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Assorted AQAP links. I’m so sick of these fanatics:

(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.

French hostages in Yemen face execution deadline

Filed under: 9 hostages, Hadramout, Other Countries, Transition, aq statements, hostages — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yemen Post reports the demands are money and the release of imprisoned terrorists, but the demands themselves and the timing of the kidnapping, following a French call for Saleh to step down, the odd video without any al Qaeda characteristics, the tension with (if not expulsion of) the French ambassador for his remarks, the bombing of TOTAL’s pipeline and the pending UN resolution may all indicate the statement is yet another attempt by the Sana’a regime to spin the media away from the slaughter in the capital.

The situation echos that of the German hostages, a crime thought committed by Saleh loyalists linked to drug smugglers and al Qaeda. As the recent West Point paper pointed out, many of the security officials murdered by al Qaeda were in fact counter-narcotics agents, and that’s another area where the footprints of al Qaeda and the Sana’a regime overlap.

Obama should grab that sleazy slimy mass murderer rat Saleh by the throat and throttle him until he gives up these and all the Yemeni hostages. Dozens more severely wounded Yemenis were kidnapped by security forces in the last days, including women, but likely the Yemenis will get much less publicity. The regime has got to go.

Yemen Post: French Hostages in Yemen Face New Challenges

On May 28th, 2011, 3 French aid workers were kidnapped in the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramaut as they were conducting a field trip near Sayyun. (Read on …)

Fourth day of state attacks in Sanaa, many fatalities, AQ threatens tribesmen in Abyan, Update: Marib tribes issue statement

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Update 9am EST, Wednesday: “Now We Have 400 youth in Alqaa area , they are surrounded and being blocked by the Thugs and the Family security forces at this time.” I lost track of the fatalities. The CSM has 12 Saturday and 4 Sunday and there was more Monday. AP has seven killed Tuesday, today, already.

A woman, Azeeza Abdo Othman was killed in Taiz, a residential home bombed in Sadaa killing an entire family, the protest square was bombed and clashes are flaring between the AMA pro-rev forces and Saleh’s family’s forces. The Guardian reports protesters are writing their names on their chests to identify them if they get murdered by their government.

Update 2: 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.

Update 3: HOOD reports over 400 arrested and dozens of injured protesters were kidnapped–again. The Saleh regime has been taking the injured all along to hide the number of fatalities and at least two credible reports of mass graves were forwarded since February.

Original: The Gulf of Aden Security Review is a great resource. Current updates include the state shelling the protest square in Sanaa, (there’s also fatalities in Taiz) and AQ issues a vid threatening tribesmen who are fighting against the AQ occupation of Abyan.

Yemen Security Brief: Fighting in Sana’a continued into a third day. There have been ongoing clashes between pro-government troops and defected tribesmen, loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar, in al Hasaba district and between pro-government troops and defected First Armored Division troops along al Zubayri Street in Sana’a. Witnesses report that three people died when a shell landed near a makeshift hospital near Tagheer (Change) Square in Sana’a as well. Government snipers reportedly opened fire at thousands of protesters from the rooftops. The First Armored Division released a statement saying that a major and nine of its troops were killed “by treacherous sniping and shelling of the positions of the division.” In Taiz, medical officials reported that one woman was killed by government troops and seven others were injured. Government troops killed at least 12 people and injured hundreds in a similar march on October 15. Also, fighting between pro-government troops and opposition tribesmen killed 17 other people in al Hasaba district of Sana’a.[1]—-

Tribal sources reported that tribesmen ambushed at least five al Qaeda-linked militants as they were transporting military equipment in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Fighting that followed the ambush reportedly killed four militants and one tribesman. Yemeni security forces reportedly captured three suspected al Qaeda-linked militants.[4]

A video called, “Are the Two Groups Equal,” was produced by al Raya Media Productions, an alleged media outlet of the al Qaeda-linked militant group, Ansar al Sharia, and posted on jihadist forums on October 14. The video features images of martyrs, tribal fighters being killed in a suicide bombing in Abyan governorate, and excerpts from speeches made by al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri. Additionally, Ansar al Sharia threatened death to tribes who are working alongside the Yemeni government.[5]

AQAP Egyptian Ibrahim al Banaa killed by drone in Yemen, Balhaf pipeline hit

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Iraq, LNG, TI: External, obits — by Jane Novak at 6:46 am on Saturday, October 15, 2011

The seven AQAP killed in Azzam, Shabwa included Egyptian Ibrahim al Banna who was among 28 arrested in Hadramout in 2008. The group was put on trial in 2010 for forming an armed gang; seven of the 28 were tried in absentia and its unclear whether al Banna still was in custody or not. An article written at the time of the trial ties him to Iraqi al Qaeda. Also killed in the strike were Anwar al Awlaki’s son and cousin, the ABC article notes. A June drone strike in the same area killed Abu al Harithy Jr. of the Zarchawi cell that admitted fighting in Iraq and was tried in 2006; the court accepted their defense argument that jihad is a duty in occupied Muslim lands. Update: Tribal leaders said that Farhan al Quso also was killed in the attack. He is the brother of Fahd Mohammed al-Quso, a particularly elusive Al Qaeda fugitive who helped plan the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole attack.

WaPo: Yemeni officials familiar with the U.S. military drive against al-Qaida in Yemen said a shift of strategy by the Americans was finally yielding results, with human assets on the ground directly providing actionable intelligence to U.S. commanders rather than relying entirely on Yemen’s security agencies the Americans had long considered inefficient or even suspected of leaking word on planned operations. They said there were as many as 3,000 informers on the U.S. payroll around the country — some without even knowing it.

The terrorists targeted a pipeline in Shabwa carrying LNG from Marib to Balhaf in retaliation.

ABC The head of the media department of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been killed in a trio of US air strikes on militant outposts in Yemen, and gunmen retaliated by blowing up a gas export pipeline.

The death of Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian described by Yemeni officials as high on their wanted list, is a fresh blow to the Islamist group regarded by Washington as the most serious threat to the United States, following the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki last month…The ministry confirmed al-Banna was among seven suspected Al Qaeda militants killed, adding that he was wanted “internationally” for “planning attacks both inside and outside Yemen.”

Al-Banna was “in charge of the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” and was one of the group’s “most dangerous operatives,” it added….

Residents and officials said the 322-kilometre pipeline, which links gas fields in Maarib, east of Sanaa, to a $US4.5 billion Total-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, was blown up soon after the raids.

Sources at Total told Reuters the pipeline was blown up in two places, stopping the gas supplies that feed the Belhaf LNG plant. Witnesses said the flames were visible from several kilometres away.

Early Saturday, a local security official told Xinhua that a pipeline carrying gas from Marib to liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Balhaf port was blown up in Shabwa province.”The targeted gas pipeline located in Rodhoum area, a few miles away from the location of the French giant TOTAL-led Yemeni LNG Company in Balhaf port in southeast province of Shabwa,” the official told Xinhua by phone.
“The bombing took place on Saturday at about 1:30 a.m. local time, just a few hours after Yemeni warplanes hit hideouts of al- Qaida militants in neighboring towns of Azzan and Rawda,” he said on condition of anonymity. The official blamed al-Qaida for the attack.

An engineer of TOTAL-led Yemeni LNG company confirmed to Xinhua the bombing of the company’s gas pipeline. “Huge fire at the hit pipeline can be seen from miles away and the company already suspended gas production,” he said.

Sanaa regime’s support of terrorists in Abyan detailed

Filed under: Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 9:38 am on Thursday, October 13, 2011

This article does a very good job at untangling the relationships between the regime, the terrorists in Abyan, Ali Mohsen’s jihaddist allies including Nabi, and it names three regime loyalists who were killed fighting alongside the al Qaeda in Abyan.

Yemen Times SANA’A, Oct 12 — In his major speech, Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, on Saturday, accused defected major general Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar of aiding armed Islamists. It is believed that these Islamists are of the same consortium that took control of Abyan late last May. (Read on …)

Suicide bomber detonates at PSO gate in Aden, Yemen, Updated

Filed under: Aden, Security Forces, attacks, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 1:12 pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Photo from scene; you don’t want to see the close-ups:


Its just doesn’t add up as actual AQAP somehow. Maybe a splinter faction from the amorphous group in Abyan, but its too early to tell. Maybe another one of those last seen arrested in Abyan or one of the 16 AQ prison escapees sheltering in one of the presidential palaces. The 26 Sep says two policemen were injured in the suicide bombing. In addition, a car bomb was planted in an officials car and exploded, killing him, as he left the air base in Lahj; it seems obvious it was planted while he was at the base:

TASS: On Tuesday, an explosion in Yemen killed a high-ranking military commander: Amin al Shami’s car exploded after he left a military aircraft base in the province of Lahej. Two people, who accompanied him, survived. The explosion was set by the same terrorist group which set an explosion at a police station on Saturday, and attempted on the life of Yemen’s defense minister in Aden last month. (ed- the driver of the Def Min’s car said there was slumped body in the car which exploded as they drove by and the bomber was last seen when arrested in Abyan.)

AFP: ADEN — A colonel in the Yemeni air force and a police officer were killed in separate attacks in south Yemen on Tuesday, military and police officials said.
(Read on …)

AQAP disaggregated, bumped: CTC report and CMEC report

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:11 am on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Post bumped a) because the CTC report is very important and challenges some long held assumptions on the relationship between AQAP and Yemen’s tribal structure and b) I need to work from it.

Also read the excellent, “Yemen’s Youth Revolution” by Chatham House’s Kate Nevens, who nails, “The Arab Spring: Implications for British Policy” in chapter 6.

Original: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has a valuable report on AQAP that anyone interested in Yemen or AQAP should download: A False Foundation? AQAP, Tribes and Ungoverned Spaces in Yemen

This study specifically focuses on events and actors in Yemen’s eastern governorates, often described as Yemen’s most tribal and an epicenter of AQAP activity. This discussion of the tribes of Marib and al-Jawf is the result of twelve months of research conducted in Yemen by the author, including fieldwork in the governorate of Marib. His network of contacts and dozens of interviews with tribal leaders and tribesmen suggest that although tribes have long been cited as a primary resiliency mechanism for AQAP, the group enjoys no formal alliance with tribes in either Marib or al-Jawf. Likewise, there is ample evidence to suggest that, contrary to popular analysis, the group’s strength and durability does not stem from Yemen’s tribes.

By prioritizing local dynamics, it is also possible to examine al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula relative to its jihadist antecedents in Yemen. This comparison challenges the notion that Yemen’s “weak state” is incapable of defeating jihadist groups. The government of `Ali `Abdullah Salih effectively diminished three predecessor jihadist groups through a combination of cooption and coercion, successfully integrating and repressing members of Islamic Jihad in Yemen, the Aden-Abyan Army, and nascent al-Qa`ida in Yemen. Refocusing attention on AQAP and its local operations also makes it clear that the group is unusual in both intent and capability from those groups that preceded it in Yemen. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda terror group hiding in Yemen confirms death of Awlaki

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awlaki lived in house of GPC official in Sanaa for five months before death: Aden Press

Filed under: GPC, Yemen, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 11:25 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

This article says Anwar was living in Sanaa in the house of a GPC member when the National Security transfered him to al Jawf for his own security, but put a transmitter in his car… Anyway this article contradicts the Ahram article, unless the National Security transferred him to Afrag’s house and then he went to visit Okaimi. Update : al Zindani does have a huge farm in Al-Jawf .. it’s about 10 kilometers x 10 kilometers.

Aden Press

The leader of the al-Qaeda al-Awlaki Anwar Al-Nasser after he left the United States of America live in the hometown of Shabwa South Yemen. However, knowing the United States exact location of his residence made ​​the life of Anwar al-Awlaki is in danger.

This situation made ​​the authorities of Sanaa, which was used and the presence on its territory to blackmail the United States of America for their financial and political feeling that his life is in danger, and that the killing may lead to loss of a chicken that lays Bayada dollars. He was secretly transferred to Sana’a, lived in a house, an official in the ruling party and a family close to him for five months. (Read on …)

Al Awlaki was moving between al Zindani’s farm, al Okaimi’s and Afrag’s in al Jawf: al Ahram

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 8:35 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

Update: does al Zindani even have a farm in Al Jawf? Some people say no. I dont know,could be knee-jerk reaction by people who don’t want to give a bad rep to the rev, w/a. Anwar and al Zindani did have relations. Also the report at Aden Press (scroll up) gives an account of Awlaki’s time prior to arriving in al Jawf as sheltering with GPC members. Update 2: yes Zindani does have a huge farm in Al-Jawf .. it’s about 10 kilometers x 10 kilometers farm

Original; Many foreign al Qaeda still at Okaimi’s al Ahram says.

al Ahram: The locals told Al-Ahram Weekly that Al-Awlaki came to Al-Jawf 10 days ago and he was staying in three places. The house of Salem Saleh Afrag, the local driver who was killed with him, was the first place. Al-Awlaki was killed immediately after he left this house. Khamis Afrag, brother of Salem, is a leading member in the Islamist opposition party, Islah.

The second place was the farm of local tribal leader Amin Al-Okaimi in Al-Jar. Al-Okaimi is a member of parliament and chairman of Islah. Many Al-Qaeda operatives including Egyptians, Algerians and Libyans are supposedly still hiding in the farm of Al-Okaimi until now, according to local sources.

Al-Okaimi and his tribesmen have been controlling the eastern province of Al-Jawf since March when ex-general Mohsen encouraged them to dismiss the president’s loyalists and replace them with rebel troops.

The third place frequented by Al-Awlaki was the farm of the Islamist leader Abdel-Majid Al-Zandani, wanted by the UN and US as a global terrorist, in the area of Nebta in the same province of Al-Jawf.

Al Zindani was a decades long time Saleh ally. In fact, Saleh announced his presidential candidacy from Al Iman university in 2006. After the March massacre in Sana’a, al Zindani defected to the rev but was jeered by some. He left Sana’a and went to Arhab, which had been under bombardment for some time. Meanwhile, the Houthis are fighting against Islahis in al Jawf and Oakimi is Ali Mohsen’s overseerer of the province.

Hard to say who this is an indictment of, if its true (ye old local sources) beyond al Zindani for sheltering him, and both Mohsen and Saleh for their long term tolerance, and who gets the credit in Yemen; there’s so many possible ways to look at it. As I said before, its just a clusterfck.

Sadiq al Ahmar: Al Qaeda escapees living in presidential palace villas

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:45 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

A France 24 interview with Sadiq al Ahmar is here on Youtube. Sheik AlAhmar on the vid says, “Ali Abdullah Saleh inserted AlQeada, to ’suck milk from the American cow.’ The biggest evidence of this relationship is that of those who escaped from prison in Hadramout, 16 of them have been at villas that belong to the presidential palace in Alsafiyah for more than two weeks.” (A google search says Alsafiyah is a district in Sanaa.)

Gee, it sounds a lot less crazy when Sadiq al Ahmar and Hamoud al Hittar say it, doesn’t it? (For al Hittar, see Al Hittar says Saleh regime pays al Qaeda in Abyan through security chiefs .) My article at PMJ covers the same topic, Yemen’s Theater of the Absurd.

I think I first used the term “false flag attack” to describe Yemeni foreign policy in 2007 and noted the regime deploying Al Qaeda as mercenaries in 2005. I’ve seen nothing that disputes the general premise since. Someone should tell General Mr. Patraeus that Saleh did not miraculously reform after hearing about the “assassination plot.” They probably knew the phone was wired.

Suicide bomber last seen in Aden jail, placed dead in car?

Filed under: Aden, Yemen, obits, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:00 pm on Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Heavens to Betsy! Not a false flag suicide attack organized by the Sanaa regime and blamed on al Qaeda… I find it interesting how nearly all westerners will reject the notion and the implications entirely, finding it improbable because it is so repulsive. However, the Sanaa regime is certainly in close enough contact to AQAP through an intermediary, and cold blooded enough to order up a suicide bomber. In fact, Saleh bragged repeatedly after the 2006 escape that he was in touch by phone with all the escapees. Or the intelligence services could do some plot themselves and blame al Qaeda, as many assert has happened previously.

The story at Aden Online comes from Major General Major Ahmed Mansour Alsoumma and is that the suicide bomber in the assassination attempt against General Mohammed Naser Ahmed was arrested in Abyan, jailed in Aden and later placed dead in the car which exploded as Defense Minister Mohamed Naser Ahmed drove by. The Def Min hasn’t commented but one of the security guards said the driver (suicide bomber) seemed slumped and sleeping.

Al Qaeda never claimed responsibility. The state announced the the identity of the bomber very quickly as it is prone to, having the fasted DNA lab in the world. Its the second assassination attempt on the Def Min. Aden Online asserts that there are dozens of young men arrested in jail that are held to become suicide bombers.

Update: Xinua 10/8/11:

Yemen Identifies Suicide Bomber in Attack on DM Convoy
2011-10-09 05:53:30 Xinhua Web Editor: Guo
Yemen’s interior ministry managed on Saturday to identify an al-Qaida suicide bomber, who detonated his explosives-packed vehicle on the passing convoy of Yemeni Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, who survived the attack late September in the southern port city of Aden.

The country’s interior ministry quoted a senior security official in Aden province as saying that the 17-year-old buy, who was killed in the blast, identified as the Yemeni national Abdul Rahman Abdu Aziz al-Doarde, an Aden’s native and a member of al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The investigations revealed that al-Doarde has stayed for two years in Abyan province, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa and one of AQAP’s key strongholds, where the army forces have been battling the terrorists for more than three months, the ministry said, adding that five suspected al-Qaida members involved in the assassination bid against the defense minister were arrested also in Aden.

There have been several reports like this including one suicide bomber, I think it was in Sayoun 2008, who was arrested as a southern activist. He was a student of medicine and a member of the Southern Movement, and the next time he was located weeks later when the state ID’d him as a suicide bomber. The Yemen Times reported earlier the assassination:

The General Mohamed Naser Ahmed, Yemen’s minister of defense in the care-taker government has escaped an assassination attempt targeted his convoy in Aden on Tuesday by a suicide bomb attack in which the government immediately blamed Al-Qaeda for the attack.

This is the second time in which the defense minister targeted in less than a month. In late August Ahmed’s vehicle was struck by RPG shells while he was on visit with other generals to some military units in Abyan south Yemen where Al-Qaeda took over its capital Zunjbar late May.

The original in Arabic: (Read on …)

Awlaki trained Farouk, the jet bomber, on how to detonate bomb

Filed under: Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 3:11 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I thought we knew that a long time ago:

Radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was directly involved in the failed Christmas 2009 plot on a commercial jet and failed October 2010 plot on cargo planes, according to the federal bulletin issued after Awlaki was killed Friday in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen.

The Homeland Security/FBI bulletin, obtained by Fox News, specifically says Awlaki, an influential new-generation figure in Al Qeada, showed the suspected Christmas Day bomber how to detonate the bomb he is accused of hiding in his underwear.

Read more: Fox

Awlaki preached against US openly in Yemen, Update: family ID’s body

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:05 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awlaki moved between Shabwa and Abyan, preached openly, negotiated with a sheikh for AQAP passage through tribal territories (request denied). If Awlaki was with Saed al Shihri, its pretty clear that he was in AQAP, and pretty high up, I cant believe anybody is debating that point. Update: Anwar’s family

Awlaqi moved freely in Yemen’s lawless regions, AFP

ADEN — Long sought-after US-born Al-Qaeda cleric, Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a US air strike last week, used to move freely around Yemen’s lawless provinces and even preach in mosques, witnesses said.

During the past few months, the radical cleric had moved between the Al-Qaeda hotbed regions of Abyan and Shabwa in the south and Marib in the east, one tribal chief told AFP on condition of anonymity….Awlaqi and AQAP number two, Saeed al-Shehri, escaped death on September 20, when US drones carried out several air strikes on the village of Al-Mahfad in Abyan, the tribal chief said. (Read on …)

Yemenis and the world will not accept Saleh

Filed under: A-analysis, Al-Qaeda, Presidency, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:27 pm on Monday, October 3, 2011

Yemen’s problem: The president and ‘al-Qaeda’

It is almost certain that the Yemeni government was not serious in fighting al-Qaeda within the past years. But, has Yemen been using al-Qaeda in its political purposes or was the regime afraid of the organization? This worrying questioned would probably remain unanswered. Within the current crisis that President Saleh has been facing, al-Qaeda managed to seize the city of Zinjibar and thus creating the fear that it might imitate what al- Qaeda in Iraq has been doing; namely seizing cities under its control. It took the Yemeni forced 90 days to evacuate the city of Zinjibar from al-Qaeda, with the help of the Americans in breaking the siege of an a Yemeni army battalion. Two weeks later, one of the most important leaders of al-Qaeda in Yemen—the U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki—was killed.

Both parts, the government and the opposition, exchange accusations over supporting terrorism. The opposition accuses Saleh that he supports terrorism and that he masterminded the fall of the city of Zinjibar. In the meantime, some government figures claim that al-Qaeda is being protected by opposition., For the Yemeni citizen the problem lies President Saleh’s refusal to step down and his transfer of power to his sons and relatives. For world powers, however, the problem is al-Qaeda.

I think that both are right; al-Qaeda is a problem and so is Saleh. Saleh has been walking on a tight rope and accordingly Yemen remained undeveloped for more than 30 years. He only cared about remaining in power by achieving tribal and regional balance, once with Saddam Hussein, another with Qaddafi and now probably with al-Qaeda when it is time for him to leave. The world will not accept a regime that is rejected domestically and internationally.

(The writer is the General Manager of Al Arabiya. The article was published by the London-based Asharq al-Awsat on Oct. 3, 2011 and was translated from Arabic by Abeer Tayel.)

Yemen Post Saleh to Use Terror File to Stay in Power; World Must not be Tricked

President Saleh has been using the terror card for well over a decade now, almost blackmailing western powers into financing his efforts against al-Qaeda and supporting his regime as he claimed to be the only entity in Yemen able to will enough power to carry through America’s requests in Yemen. (Read on …)

AQAP claims Awlaki alive: Yemen Post

Filed under: Air strike, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:28 am on Monday, October 3, 2011

Hopefully these unsourced statements will prove to be an embarrassment to al Qaeda:

Yemen Post: “As is happens, al-Qaeda in Yemen is now claiming that both al-Awlaki and al-Asiri are still alive and were in fact nowhere near the explosion.”

But there hasn’t been an actual press release, if we can call it that, from AQAP. Supposedly they promised a video of Anwar disputing reports of his death to Xinjua, but there’s been nothing beyond that a few days ago. ( Here’s the summary of the reports of Anwar alive from 11/1.) Maybe the YP has sources. Marib Press says the local population confirmed to the family that Anwar is alive but has nothing from AQAP itself.

The fact that his family was unable to identify Awlaki from among the body parts was unsurprising. His father has my sympathy for that task alone. YP: “Tribal leaders in Jawf told the family that Awlaqi was not killed in the attack. Tribes in the province say there is no proof that Awlaqi was amongst the killed and DNA tests on the remains of the five killed can prove that.”

At the same time, Yemeni muj are confirming on the forums that he is dead. And DOD would never let President Obama make the statement if there was a chance Awlaki was still alive; otherwise, undead terrorists are quite common in Yemen. Al Reimi was announced dead three times and al Quso twice, but none of these were USG statements.

Dead al Qaeda worked for National Security

Filed under: Air strike, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, anwar, obits — by Jane Novak at 7:02 am on Monday, October 3, 2011

A lot of al Qaeda get checks from the intelligence agency. Many of those killed in Abyan also had National Security ID cards. Badr al Hassani said that the PSO deputy paid him to train terrorists in Mareb in karate.

Yemen Times: He explained that one of the dead is from the local A’lmarwan clan in Khashef of Al-Jawf called Salem Saleh Arfaj and the other one is Saleh Mohsen Al-Na’j of the Abida tribe in Mareb, 173 km northeast the capital Sana’a.

“The two people mentioned were easy to identify because we know them, but it was hard to identify the other two since they were not from our area,” he said.

He indicated that one of the killed persons of his area was a well-known Al-Qaeda member among the population.

He described the area where the strike was carried out as “a plain surrounded by five mountains in the desert.”

“The vehicle which was said to be Al-Awlaki’s car was totally torn up into pieces and another car belonging to one of the citizens whose brother was killed in this strike was smashed,” he said.

And while the local relatives of the dead person were picking up the human parts of the dead bodies, they found two national security cards – one for their kinsman and the other for the dead person of Mareb, according to the local source.

“They were really Yemen’s national security agents recruited by Amar Saleh [chief of Yemen’s intelligence service],” he said.

Yemen Air Force bombs soldiers fighting al Qaeda again

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Islamic Imirate, Military, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:21 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2011

For the second time the Sanaa regime has “accidentally” bombed the troops fighting al Qaeda. The last time in early August dozens of the tribal fighters against al Qaeda were killed as well as four military commanders. The tribesmen later said that al Qaeda fighters were lying in wait after the bombing, as if it was coordinated with them. And this time, the al Qaeda fighters were laying in wait again. The Yemen Air Forces is commanded by the half-brother of Saleh, Mohammed Saleh Ahmar. I used to say the Sanaa regime was like John Gotti with an airforce, but now they are more like Zawaheri with an airforce. Update: Sanaa regime denies but multiple news outlets have local sources confirming.

USA Today: The officials said the bombing, which took place on Saturday evening in the southern Abyan province, targeted an abandoned school used as shelter by soldiers of the army’s 119th Brigade. The school is located just east of Abyan’s provincial capital Zinjibar, where militants linked to al-Qaeda have been in control since May.

Heavy fighting has been raging in the area for days as part of the army’s months long campaign to seize back Zinjibar from the militants.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said there were unconfirmed reports that militants arrived at the school soon after the airstrike and killed an unspecified number of wounded troops.

The school is in the Bagdar area, along the frontline between Yemeni forces and militants. On Saturday, fighting in Zinjibar killed at least 28 soldiers and militants.

The 119th Brigade has rebelled against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to join the protest movement demanding his ouster. It is thought to have received significant support from the U.S. military to enable it to fight the militants in the south more efficiently.

(Read on …)

Religious Decisions For Murder

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Religious, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 12:21 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2011

The article deals with the fatwa on protests and protesters issued by state clerics on Thursday.

Religious Decisions For Murder
a guest post by Amr Mohammed AL Rishia

The meeting was held in capital of Yemen by the so-called Yemen Clerics Association reached a religious decision for killing opponents of President Saleh .

This meeting was held after it was requested by President Saleh using religion against his opponents and demonstrations held in all around Yemen .

Saleh attempt to use the religious side to create chaos inside of revolution in Yemen , president Saleh evasions had Failed to break down legitimacy of the revolution .

That confirms the success of revolution in Yemen , particularly it has managed realign Centers of power in the Yemeni society tribal , military , parties & youth for one purpose is to remove the corrupt regime.

President Saleh no longer has any political plans in order to destroy the revolution, that why he used the religious side. Actually it reveals to international society Saleh’s intentions to lead Yemen to civil war by using religious decisions for murder.

What I saw on TV screens were a group of normal men did not reach to stage of clerics , in any way regarding about clerics qualifications. Where are they standing from the view of religion in the continuing injustice of 33 years? Where are they from stealing the country?, Where are they from killing Yemenis? Where are they from spread of corruption for 33 years?

It is shameful and ridiculous at the same time. Where are they from regarding the constitution which since the twentieth year allows citizens to demonstrate.

Finally, day after day, President Saleh exposes himself and makes others aware of President Saleh who has ruled the nation as great as the Yemeni people, It became clear to the world that this is how Saleh thinks, killing of Yemenis in order to remain as ruler .

Amr Mohammed AL Rishia

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Al Qaeda linked sources deny Al Awlaki dead: BBC; AQAP contradictory: Mareb Press

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen, anwar, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:31 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update: Mareb Press report on an AlQuds Alarabia report that PM Mujawir is Anwar Awlaki’s uncle and they are from the same tribe, that this is the reason the Sanaa regime failed to take any action against him for years. If true, it also means the Fahd al Quso is Mujawir’s tribesman.

Update 2: AQAP contradictory, it sounds like they don’t know or havent confirmed themselves: Mareb Press The questioning in the killing of al-Awlaki is reinforced by a conflict of information from sources close al Qaeda, where some close to AQ stress he is not dead, while others assert the news of his death (is correct), while it did not issue any official statement from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that confirms or denies the news of his death.

Original: Gah! Al Qaeda linked sources tell the BBC that Awlaki is alive and they will produce video to prove it. On one hand, the US said it had definite confirmation and Obama wouldn’t have announced it if there wasn’t. Also there was a witness on the ground, the homeowner. And there was confirmation on one of the forums. On the other hand, the remains were charred and in pieces and his father couldn’t identify him. There’s been so much duplicity from the Sanaa regime on the al Qaeda issue before. However I don’t recall AQAP denying a death that occurred, they are usually more reliable in announcing causalities than Sanaa, which has a habit of announcing kills that weren’t going back to 2004 and Nabi. Likely the BBC’s source is not actual AQAP? Until I see it a reliable Yemeni site that has a statement directly from AQAP, not reprinting the beeb story, then its likely untrue.

BBC, GT: Tribal sources linked to al Qaeda, told the BBC that al-Qaeda in Yemen, Egypt denied the news of killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the organization, and vowed to broadcast a video of an interview with Aulaqi prove that he is still alive

But sources close to the father of Anwar al-Awlaki who is a professor at the University of Sanaa, confirmed to the BBC that he went today to the al-Jawf province, eastern Yemen to identify the body of his son, and supervising the burial, if so, then his death.

According to tribal sources is entirely distorted and could not be identified but believed to be Anwar Awlaki.

Similar report at Barakish

Drone strike gets bomb maker al Asiri too; Update: No?

Filed under: Air strike, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, UPS bombs, Yemen, fahd, prince — by Jane Novak at 4:06 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update: Yemen Officials report he was not killed.

Original: Nice! The death of Ibrahim al Asiri is huge and should quell any whining doubting the threat from Anwar, who in reality was fully operational, focused on the US and associated with numerous plots. Al Asiri was responsible for the bomb in the assassination plot on Saudi Prince Naif, the Nigerian’s underwear bomb, the toner cartridges on the UPS plane, and they were experimenting with poisons including the poison perfume plot and there was the warning about riacin and the castor beans. Bad news dudes all around.

The fact that the Saudi bomb maker al Asiri was in the car with two American al Qaeda jihaddists shows in itself what they were up to. The drone strike likely saved the lives of untold thousands and whether Yemenis believe it or not, saved a lot of misery for the Yemeni people. Also the strike was executed perfectly in that there were no civilians anywhere around.

There has been some confusion that the location of Awlaki’s death (al Jawf en route to Marib) means he wasn’t involved in AQAP (??!! really I read that today) or their occupation of Zinjibar; however, earlier reports indicated the terrorists brought items looted from Abyan residents to Marib to be divided up there, causing tension along regional lines.

Now that they are dead, lets get back to the war of ideas and support representative democracy, equal rights and freedom of the press.

There’s less much grumbling about the strike in Yemen than there is in the US, beyond the expected statement by HOOD. Actually many Yemenis are happy to be free of the burden of Anwar and all are cursing AQAP because of the atrocities the fanatics are committing in Abyan, including executing a suspected witch and another man after a dispute ( link to vid here) and cutting off a teen’s arm for stealing. The boy later died. Over 100,000 fled al Qaeda when they took control of, and looted, the provincial capital Zinjibar and the families are living in schools in Aden since May.

Yesterday’s anti-government protests by millions around Yemen was themed in unity with and support of the Syrian people’s struggle against Assad. A secondary theme was in rejection of the fatwa, requested by President Saleh and delivered by 500 state clerics, that finds public demonstrations against the state and for regime change are illegitimate under Islam. I am quite concerned by the fatwa; through the years, Saleh fatwa’d his opposition before attacking them. Nonetheless I am trying to convince the Yemeni protesters to adopt AC/DC’s Highway to Hell as a theme song.

Saleh continues to dissemble, as he will unto infinity, saying that the protests have to end before the VP can sign the GCC initiative: He pointed out that signing of the Vice President to the initiate depends on the readiness of the other side, adding that the Gulf initiative states to remove the causes of tension as tension elements are known to all and power can not be transferred without implementing this item. Saleh also says General Ali Mohsen and Hamid al Ahmar should leave Yemen before he does. The only bright spot is that Sec. Clinton appears to have moved off the GCC plan to an agreement of principles; nonetheless Saleh has never been motivated to any action by what is in the best interests of the Yemeni people. He only operates in self-interest although not in a rational manner.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two US officials say the drone strike in Yemen that killed Anward al-Awlaki appears to have also killed al-Qaida’s top Saudi bomb-maker.

Officials say intelligence indicates Ibrahim al-Asiri also died in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the death has not been officially confirmed.

Al-Asiri is the bomb-maker believed to have made the explosives used in the foiled Christmas Day airline attack in 2009 and last year’s attempted cargo plane bombing.

Al-Asiri’s death would make the attack perhaps the most successful single drone strike ever.

(HT: Weasel Zippers)

Video: al Qaeda executes man in Jaar after personal dispute

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 12:05 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

Warning: video shows a man getting shot in the head many times:, from the Aden Tomorrow news site

Uploader comment: The killing was not due to the establishment of God’s law, but was because the person who carried out the sentence fought with the man and a group of family members and in clashes with al-Qaeda killed one of them and killed one of his family and then Al Qaeda falsely claimed that it applied the law of God, this is the settlement of political calculation, nothing more to explain

Related: Mukalla Today: al Qaeda releases video explaining the prison break by 67 terrorists from the PSO prison, nice screen grabs.

Anwar al Awlaki killed in al Jawf?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brig. General Mohammed Sawmali, Commander of 25th Mech interview

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

General Sawmali says few local jihaddist are fighting in Abyan, Khalidabdul Nabi is not. Many have come from other governorates and other countries. Some payments made to fight; its a leaderless amorphous group. They confiscated weapons that were left behind by the Public Security, Police, and Central Security after their sudden withdrawal

“I do not want to cross the line and accuse my colleagues of complicity with Al Qaeda” yes that would be a death sentence

“We receive promises from [Southern military commander] Major General Mahdi [Maqwala] that “tomorrow we will be with you” however when tomorrow comes, nobody shows up.”

“All that we have received from the US side was a shipment of food supplies.”

“The Yemeni Navy bombarded some of Al-Qaeda fortifications for one day, but we need much more than this.”

Yemen Fox translates the Asharq Alawasat interview: In his first media interview, Brigadier General Mohammed al-Sawmali, commander of Yemen’s 25th Mechanized Brigade in an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat , from the heart of the Yemeni forces siege of the city of Zanjibar, the capital of Abyan Governorate, this has become an Al Qaeda stronghold. “Yemen fox” republish the interview. Brigadier General Al-Sawmali spoke through telephone about the 25h Mechanized Brigade’s lone mission to eradicate Al Qaeda from Abyan, particularly after Yemeni military units that were previously stationed in the region withdrew, allowing Al Qaeda to gain its foothold there. Al-Sawmali played down claims that the security apparatus purposefully withdrew from the region and allowed Al Qaeda to gain a foothold there as part of a plot to strengthen Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s grip on power. The Yemeni General insisted that the 25h Mechanized Brigade would not withdraw from Abyan, even in the face of defeat and death.

The following is the full text of the interview: (Read on …)

Suicide bomber in Aden attacks military convoy, Updated

Filed under: Military, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:03 pm on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some brainwashed teenager pays the price as AQAP tries to burnish its anti-regime credentials as they are being paid by the Saleh family. The perception is so widespread, USS Cole bomber Fahd al Quso had to deny it in an interview, but he’s been Saleh’s boy for a long time, a lot of give and take there.

Mareb Press: Likely another false flag attack, as the explosive was in one of the cars in the convoy, although the regime immediately blamed a suicide bomber of al Qaeda: General al Souma

CBS: (AP) SANAA, Yemen – A suicide attacker driving an explosives-laden car blew himself up Tuesday next to the passing convoy of Yemen’s defense minister, who escaped the attack unharmed, security officials and witnesses said.

The assailant detonated his car as Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed’s convoy passed by on the coastal highway in the southern city of Aden, witnesses said. The ministry confirmed the attack and said in a statement that Ahmed, who survived another attempt on his life last month that killed two of his bodyguards, was unharmed.

A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said at least 10 were wounded in the blast. It was not immediately clear whether senior military officials were among the wounded.

Interview with Sheikh Hussain al Shuaib, mediator to AQAP

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:13 pm on Monday, September 26, 2011

via email, this is an excerpt that deals with tribal mediation efforts last month in Abyan with top AQAP leaders. Sheikh Hussain is one of the local dignitaries that attempted to convince al Qaeda to lay down their arms and withdraw. Another section regarding evolving concepts of jihad, US counter-terror tactics and other related topics will be published later.

Q4: I learned from XXX you have contributed in mediation between the al-Qaeda, which controls parts of the south, and the tribes. Can you explain to us what kind of mediation and what resulted?

A4: Yes, I mediated after some tribal and other notables asked me, including some leaders of the ruling party in the province of Abyan. I responded to the request and was accepted in the tribes in the city claiming in the province of Abyan. Despite all the good that I do, our efforts are still ongoing, and the most important thing for us is to convince the young al-Qaeda to withdraw from the provincial capital of Zanzibar and return the situation as before, then arrange the return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Our efforts are underway and there were some obstacles, the most important of which is that there are parties in the State and others that struggle to serve its interests and the achievement of its objectives, but there is no shortage of God’s solution.

Q5: There is a lot of talk that some of the devices of the Saleh regime are in favor of al-Qaeda taking control of some areas of the south. Are you able to confirm that?

A5: The role of the leaders of the brigades of the Saleh regime in Abyan and Aden was clearly evident on what happened and is happening in Zanzibar, the capital of Abyan province. The city was handed over entirely to al-Qaeda. Security pulled out of the military forces that were stationed there, including the central security. The sudden withdrawal from the city sparked surprise among all observers.

The modern Yemeni street and the south know of the existence of a conspiracy by the Saleh regime to deliver Abyan into the situation as it is now. We are accustomed to such policies from the Saleh regime which uses and always used al Qaeda fighters in any internal conflict between him and his opponents. The regime used them in the summer 94 and used them in wars on the Houthis in Saada. It is no secret that those who blew up the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on 17 \ 9 \ 2009, were some military officers and they used a military vehicle and hired al Qaeda fighters giving them military uniforms. The Saleh regime is not to be trusted on anything, it is the cause of all problems of the country.

I think that the situation worsened for Ali Saleh when he learned that the southern movement has almost complete control of the province of Abyan, after control of Lahj, and the young Qaeda fighters were planted there by Saleh, as it is known that Abyan province is representing the South.

Q6: What is your view of the U.S. role in combating terrorism in Yemen?

A6: I welcome the U.S. role in the fight against terrorism through dialogue and scientific discussion rather than violence and military intervention. As I said before, violence only begets more violence, we welcome that any role of the U.S. put an end to violence and terrorism and that is peaceful.

Most Yemenis believe that AQAP operates as an arm of the Yemeni intelligence and security services. There are substantial indications of the relationship. With the revolution in full swing, defectors are starting to come forward with details.

Judge Hamoud al Hittar is the head of Yemen’s now defunct Koranic Dialog Committee that “rehabilitated” 342 hardened al Qaeda operatives. A former Minster of Endowments, al Hittar said recently that the Saleh regime is “supporting a number of al Qaeda members in Abyan to frighten the West, and to suppress the Yemeni revolution.”

Judge Hamoud Al Hittar said many of the top al Qaeda members who he met during dialog sessions are, “dealing with the Yemeni regime and receiving financial rewards.” A well established system of communication and payments to al Qaeda militants is headed by three security officials, “one in a Presidential Guards, the second in the National Security and the third in the Interior Ministry.” (The Central Security forces are within the Interior Ministry and contain one of the counter-terror units.) In essence, the same counter-terror commanders the US is relying on for its national security are paying al Qaeda to engage in violence, foster insecurity and heighten the US’s threat perception.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah al Asnag wrote in June about the conflict in Abyan, “Although the government has declared the dead as terrorists, a substantial number of these supposed terrorists have turned out to be on the payroll of the National Security Agency (headed by Ammar Saleh). Many families of the deceased and supposed terrorists have reported that their sons were employed by the National Security Agency and some families even presented NSA ID Cards belonging to the deceased.”

Over 100,000 Yemeni civilians have fled the violence in Abyan, and are sheltering in schools in Aden. A military brigade that refused to surrender to the terrorists was left stranded by the Defense Ministry and under assault by al Qaeda for two months without reinforcements or food. The US ultimately resupplied them by air. About 1500 local tribesmen came together to fight alongside the besieged unit against al Qaeda, and in late July, the Yemeni air force “accidentally” bombed the tribesmen, killing dozens.

Al Qaeda warlords cut off boys arm for stealing in Jaar, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:08 am on Sunday, September 25, 2011

Coupled with Fahd al Quso’s interview, its is abundantly clear that the Obama administration policy had failed on all fronts in Yemen. The solution, as trite as it may sound, is to take a principled stand. If the current plan is to let Saleh hang on until the US has had a chance to drone all the al Qaeda leaders, it will certainly fail because AQAP has infiltrated the security and military and the regime has an incentive to keep the group strong.

AJE: Al-Qaeda linked militants severed the hand of a 15-year-old boy after he stole electrical cables in a southern Yemeni town, witnesses who had been summoned to watch the punishment said Sunday.

The militants cut off the boy’s hand with a sword in front of dozens of residents of Jaar, in the troubled southern province of Abyan, on Saturday evening before taking the limb around town for all to see.

An AFP correspondent spoke to four witnesses at the scene who confirmed the incident took place. They all requested anonymity due to fears of reprisals from militants.

The witnesses said the militants announced they would also cut off another man’s hand later on Sunday. He too had been caught stealing electrical cables, they said.

al Quso interview

Filed under: Yemen, fahd — by Jane Novak at 10:12 pm on Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fahd tweaks western fears by expressing support for the rev

Interview with Sheikh Fahad al Quso discernible al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, tells the details of the battle in Zanzibar

Sheikh Fahad Bowl III Regulations required the U.S.: Yemeni tribes did not turn against us, and Saudi Arabia’s position of the revolution shameful Mujahid bin Laden and died a martyr … And ‘base’ part of the fabric of society

Interview by Gamal Abdul Razak

Bowl interview, Sheikh Al-Qaeda leaders

We had to cut a long distance through the bumpy mountain road to reach the region selected by the required third in the American Bowl Sheikh Fahad to conduct an interview with him. (Read on …)

Saleh in Yemen calls for cease fire and then shells protesters, Update: deploys al Qaeda or just a scare tactic?

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:50 am on Friday, September 23, 2011

As expected. CNN reports a dozen deaths since midnight. Its going to be a long bloody night and week.

Unfortunately the Libya option is among the few remaining to safeguard millions, ie- downing the Yemeni Air Force, including the new Hueys. As Saleh refused to resign with immunity and a palace, four times, it is abundantly clear that negotiations are not going to work. Maybe its time for all those symbolic steps the US and international community failed to take until now, but its late for symbolism, half measures and statements.

Al Qaeda suicide bombers moving?

The following could be outright regime propaganda, and maybe al Fahdli never said it, I’m looking for the interview. (Here the report at the Yemen Observer the regime’s stooge paper that sometimes publishes real news.) If al Fahdli did say it, then there’s likely some real al Qaeda movement toward the capital, unless he is back in the pro-regime camp. If its true, its another despicable plot by Saleh. There’s only a remote chance the AQAP moved without approval by somebody. We must recall the long history of very good relations between Saleh and Zawaheri. But this story smells like a typical diversionary tale by Saleh to distract from the carnage. Frankly, AQAP is not that stupid, sending 50 suicide bombers to Sanaa would be the death knell for the group.

Al-Qaeda militants sent 300 insurgents to Sana’a so as to fight the regime, said Sheikh Tareq al-Fadhli in an interview with al-Omana newspaper published on Thursday.

Al-Fadhli said that the extremists fighting in Zinjubar dispatched over three hundred of their insurgents including 50 suicide bombers to Sana’a to teach the son of the president Ahmad Ali, and his nephews Amar and Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh a lesson.

He added that they have developed car bombs named Osama 1, Osama 2, and Osama 3 that carry over a ton and a half of explosives so as to launch a series of [martyrdom operations] in Sana’a in retaliation for bombing what he called the Al-Shabab in Abyan.

Electricity is out in large parts of the capital again, preventing news from getting out.

The Saudis should clarify if they are supporting (and re-arming) Saleh or if they kicked him out after he refused to sign.

The new drone base is in Seychelles, not Yemen; Brennan redefines imminent and other drone related articles

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 4:57 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WASHINGTON—The U.S. military is deploying a new force of armed drones to eastern Africa in an escalation of its campaign to strike militant targets in the region and expand intelligence on extremists, officials said.
(Read on …)

Head of Dialog program, al Hittar says Saleh regime pays al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Presidency, Religious, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:18 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Of course Saleh is paying al Qaeda and has been paying al Qaeda to do his dirty work for years and the payments are ongoing. Judge Al Hittar who met many of the AQ leaders through the dialog program says now what I said in 2005, not one was reformed. He also says as I have said that the main conduits between the regime and the terrorists are through the security and intelligence services. Saleh and his relatives use AQAP as an instrument of foreign policy like they use the fanatics domestically. And the US must know this if everyone else knows it and has known it. Brennan must be deliberately lying with every statement and the embassy entirely content to knowingly betray millions of Yemenis in order to protect this relationship. The question is the US afraid of Saleh, in cahoots with Saleh or just stupid?

al Hadath (google translated): Chairman of the Commission launched a dialogue with members of the former al-Qaeda in Yemen and the Minister of Endowments and Guidance outgoing Judge Hamoud al-Hattar, a scathing attack on the Yemeni regime and accused him of “supporting a number of al Qaeda members in the show to frighten the West, and the suppression of the Yemeni revolution.”

Hitar announced in a statement the “Rai”, “that he knows many members of al-Qaeda in Yemen during his dialogue with them when he was chairman of the dialogue with Islamic militants, who are now dealing with the Yemeni regime and receive financial rewards.”

Hattar said, “It interlocutors over the past years did not return one of them, and did not Ihor number of al Qaeda who is dealing with the system, and accused the regime that gives them bonuses, refusing to reveal their names.”

He pointed out that “there is a committee of the system communicate with the base made ​​up of three officers, one in a private guards and the second in the national security and the third in the Interior.” And the contradictions of the opposition in their statements of information such as a «base» or not explained that «the media discourse of the opposition and the revolution was not successful », calling at the same time the opposition and called them« rebels »to« correct their mistakes ».

Terrorist mercenary Fahd al Quso strongly denies relationship with Saleh regime

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

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

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

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

AQAP statement as they flee to Shabwa

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen, shabwa, statements — by Jane Novak at 5:33 am on Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yemen Observer:The leadership of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was seen in the southern province of Shabwah in the south East of Yemen, after they were defeated in Abyan, reliable sources in Shabwah said Tuesday.

The sources said they saw Fahd Al Qusu, Qasem Al Raimi, and Saeed Al Shihri along with tens of their companions including Saudis and Egyptians. (Read on …)

Yemen protesters cancel Anti-al Qaeda protest

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:25 pm on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The “Together against Terrorism” name was designated by the National Revolutionary Council for this Friday and today was rejected by the Islah-led Organizing Committee. The designation was seen as placating the US, but the cancellation subordinates the demand for a civil state to anti-Americanism. Regardless of how bad US policy is, the reversal will been seen as an endorsement of al Qaeda. The new name is something meaningless like “The Friday of Sincere Promise.” Its a shame. If the protesters can’t condemn al Qaeda’s violence, Yemen may indeed become a Taliban state whether the Saleh regime is overthrown or not. Bummer.

Update: the Islah led Organizing Committee agreed and it was the Houthis who rejected is as a CIA ploy (when it was my idea tht started it) to legitimize an invasion of Yemen based on a false al Qaeda threat.

Zinjibar-separating fact from fiction

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, South Yemen, USA, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:13 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Separating fact from fiction is always quite difficult in Yemen. As predictable both the state’s military forces and the pro-revolutionary military forces claimed credit for freeing Zinjibar, although the extent to which it has been freed is questionable. Certainly some jihaddists fled, because people saw them withdrawing. Some moved to the mountains (Hattat) and some to Jaar, maybe Shabwa, and it is unclear if the split in the al Qaeda forces between northern and southern jihaddists is reflected in the divergent destinations. However residents are currently reporting that Zinjibar has not been liberated, only some sections of it, and fighting continues. The Yemen Times had an article, Who freed Zinjibar? but the paper is entirely off line at the moment. Tribal mediation has thus far failed to bring about a compete withdrawal. It was only with US help that the three month siege 25th Mechanized was broken.

Residents are without water, electricity, food and medical services since the Razi hospital was closed and many have fled to Aden and Lahj where there is no housing or aid waiting. The state announced that it will be moving the internal refugees out of the schools in Aden, but it is unclear where the IDPs will be going next.

Some links: (Ali Mohsen’s news paper): In that context sources familiar with the situation said to “Today’s News” that Secretary of Defense may send a tribal delegation to negotiate with the insurgents and persuade Jalal Blaidy and insurgents that they need to withdraw from the city of Zanzibar, noting that the tribal delegation failed in his mission to persuade the gunmen to withdraw from the Zanzibar and that the insurgents said that they would step up their operations against the army.

News Yemen Local residents: we saw the insurgents moving into Jaar
Army restores Zanzibar and frees 25 Major Mika
10/09/2011 NewsYemen:

Local residents said city of Zanzibar, in Abyan province to NewsYemen that the forces of the army freed today by members of the Brigade 25 Mika besieged by al-Qaeda members in more than four months, and Zanzibar has cleared of insurgents. (Read on …)

Yemen’s National Council of Revolutionary Forces announces “Friday Against Terrorism,” national protests against al Qaeda slated 9/16

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 2:28 pm on Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Yemeni National Council of Revolutionary Forces announced today that next Friday’s nation wide protest will be themed against terrorism, al Qaeda, its violence against all civilians and its destruction of the Yemeni economy. Update: its the first time the National Council tried to name a Friday, previously its been the Organizing Committee. Both the regime and the revolutionaries are trying to win brownie points with the US on CT, and the decision is likely politically motivated, nonetheless, I want to see a nation wide anti-al Qaeda protest. I think it will be very good for Yemen and Yemenis, and it will give a clearer picture of the Yemeni mentality to the western world.

Mareb Press: (Hand translation) The national council of the forces of the peaceful revolution affirmed that President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to extend the influence of armed groups from the province of Abyan,to other areas, but he failed because of what the council described as “people’s of Yemen awakening” .

The National Council denounced, in a statement today, what it described as « attributing the achievement in Abyan by state media to who was the reason for planting the armed groups and nutrition them to convey a false image to the world that his remain in power is linked to security, stability and the fight against terrorism».

The national council of the revolution forces held its regular meeting this morning , in Sanaa , in which it condemned all acts of violence and terrorism activities against civilians which disturbed development efforts , warning the remnants of the regime from what it called “the cheap use of terrorism paper to gain from outside” pointing out to the commitment of revolutionary forces to all international conventions to fight terror.

In this regard, the National Council named next Friday “Friday of fighting against terrorism”, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the start of the global war against terrorism.

The National Council announced its formation of its executive organ, and seven specialized committees, also announced the formation of teams of national experts inside and abroad to help the committees in the performance of its duties in high quality.

The Council repeated its call for national and regional international community to not deal with the remnants of Saleh regime, announcing that, in his capacity as a representative of the revolutionary and political forces , it reserves the right to appeal any agreements or transactions held by the regime, and their implications.

The National Council called all the people affected by the policy of collective punishment, to defend their fundamental human rights by all legitimate means, warning everyone who contributed to the policy of collective punishment of succumbing to legal accountability.

The National Council also warned the remnants of the regime from the attempts to undermine its members and members of its general assembly, stressing that its monitoring these violations represented in their harassment and threatening directly and indirectly.

Mediation leads to AQAP withdrawal from Abyan? Developing

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, South Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:50 pm on Thursday, September 8, 2011

A rights and media activist and Vice Chairman of the Media Association in the Abyan Province is reporting AQAP has agreed to withdraw from Abyan, with compensation, following mediation. Also he reports a schism between two factions of jihaddists in Abyan in response to the proposal, and some are going into the mountains instead of leaving the province. Separately, I have an interview with one of the mediators that was conducted a few days ago and before the agreement was reached, and that should be posted shortly. (Or not.) There were a few rounds of mediation in the last weeks.

Update: Additional confirmation by residents of large scale withdrawals from Jaar and Zinjibar in Abyan. This is following the Yemeni bombing campaign and the resupply of the 25th Mechanized by the US.The question is where are they going? Update 2: Another report says the withdrawal is from Jaar and those who are agreed are from “the provinces of Yemen,” meaning the north. The red on red fighting a few weeks ago was also between northern and southern terrorists. And it makes sense that southern jihaddists wouldn’t want to relocate to Marib which is the likely destination.

1) Last night, the authorities reached agreement with the militants in Abyan to waive their Islamic Emirate in Abyan in return of their safe withdrawal and compensation for any loses, we actually saw many of them leaving with their weapons, more details later.

2) Agreement has been reached on the withdrawal of militants with their weapons and the abandonment of the name of “Emirate of Abyan” and to stop pressing for prosecution as well as compensating them for their losses according to sources close to both the Authorities and the militants. The agreement has been singed a few minutes before the bombardment threat the Minister of Defence has vowed to carry out against Jaar, which would have “wiped it out” in the event of rejecting (the agreement). But after the signing, a dispute as broke-out between the militants (between supporters and opponents of “the agreement”). Currently, the opponents (of the agreement) are now withdrawing to the mountains. Hence the Abyan show has ended..

Another variation:

The withdrawal of armed groups from the city of Jaar after an agreement with the authorities of the Yemeni occupation regime Breaking News: Private sources: the Yemeni regime makes a deal with armed groups, which occupies the city of Jaar requires their withdrawal with all their equipments to the nearby mountains in Hattat Breaking News: Private sources: Acceptance of armed groups that belong to the governorates of Yemen (ed-northern Yemen) of the agreement with the Sanaa regime has led to splits in the ranks of these groups Braking News: Groups, the so-called Sharia supporters held an agreement with the Authorities of the Sanaa regime leading to the exit from the city of Jaar to the surrounding mountains to carry as much as they can of their equipments

AQAP taking on characteristics of an insurgency: Brennan

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Thursday, September 8, 2011

To say cooperation is better than its been in years is not saying much in Yemen’s case. The Saleh regime has been a two-timing, double dealing “partner” for a decade. The examples of overt duplicity are numerous. The problem is the duplicitous regime split in two, and the protesters, who are quite sincere, are in denial or uninformed and have little tradition of democratic action and organizing.

Yahoo; Brennan said the United States has observed some alarming trends by al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). American analysts believe the Yemeni affiliate rivals al Qaeda’s base in Pakistan’s tribal areas as the chief terrorist threat to the United States.

AQAP “is now taking on more the characteristics of an insurgency, it has held ground in the south [of Yemen], which is not consistent with its terrorist background, which is more ‘hit and run,’” Brennan said. Meantime, he noted, the Yemeni government’s ability to fight AQAP is hampered by continuing domestic unrest and a power vacuum.Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh has been recovering in Saudi Arabia since a June attack on his presidential palace.

Brennan, who went in July to Saudi Arabia to meet with Saleh, said the United States continues to urge him to agree to a plan put forward by neighboring Persian Gulf states to transfer power.

“The Yemenis know our position,” on urging Saleh to step down, Brennan said. In the interim, however, he noted, “counterterrorism cooperation with Yemen is better than it’s been in years.”

AQAP nearing Balhaf natural gas plant in Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, LNG, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Handy for them that the French amb is out of town, either expelled or on vacation, and RG commander and presidential son, Ahmed Saleh has open hostility to all French visitors since French officials issued statements of support for the rev. YLNG is the biggest money maker in Yemen, and TOTAL owns 39%.

If one more person tells me that AQAP will disappear when Saleh is gone, I think my head will explode. While there certainly is substantial overlap and facilitation between the two, it doesn’t matter in the outcome or for the victims.

Al Qaeda takes over new town close to huge gas project
Source : Xinhua,07/09/2011 via Nasser Arrabye

SANAA,-Al-Qaida militants Tuesday seized Rowda town in Yemen’s southeast province of Shabwa, a few miles away from the location of TOTAL-led Yemeni Liquefied Natural Gas ( LNG) Company, a provincial security official told Xinhua.

“The militants of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took over Rowda town following fierce battles with government forces backed by the Yemeni air force,” the official said on condition of anonymity. (Read on …)

Bombing hits wrong mosque in Abyan: dozens killed, Update: five fatalities

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Protest Fatalities, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:53 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Update: News Yemen says five fatalities and eight wounded. Also the dead al Qaeda in al Razi hospital is not al Wahishi.

Yemen Post : At least 31 civilians were killed in three misdirected air strikes when the army continued fighting Al-Qaeda militants or Sharia supporters in Abyan on Monday.

The two raids struck a mosque in Jaar city, which is under the control of the militants, the outlets cited local officials as saying.

“The strikes, which also injured dozens civilians, were supposed to target a small mosque of Al-Qaeda in the area,” the officials continued…The Jet fighters flew over the area several times as to identify their targets before launching their bombs onto the city, causing widespread panic amongst the population.

Yemen Post also reports that it was a Yemeni plane. Marebpress reports that the victims may number in the hundreds. It also is quoting a military source as saying the Great Mosque was bombed by “mistake”, as the intended target was Hamza Mosque, Mareb Press

Jaar Abyan FB page, translation indicates the AQAP had advance warning and told at least one person to leave the city before leaving themselves prior to the air attack:

The city of Ja’ar has been bombed today, following is a list of the bombed locations:
The Great Mosque
Al Razi Hospital (ed- YP: Allegedly, al-Qaeda fighters would have used the medical premises to treat their wounded, forcing doctors to cooperate, and preventing residents from accessing the facility.)
Bureau of Education
AlFarooq Secondary School
Ja’ar Court
House of AlWathi
So far, the deaths have not yet been counted, which has reached dozens according to eye-witnesses. Noting that the AlQaida elements have – hastily – disappeared one hour before the bombings – and one of them has secretly informed one of the youths in Ja’ar to get out as the City of Ja’ar will be destroyed today. They (AlQaida) came back after the bombardment and cut-off the roads between Ja’ar and the villages of AlDarjaj, AlMakzan and Abir Othman.

This comes after the burned president’s statement that Abyan will be cleared. It seems the “clearing” is of from the citizens.

Saudi most wanted terrorsts in Zinjibar, Abyan, Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:32 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Throwing all Saudi related AQAP news here: (Read on …)

Tribesmen battle soldiers to forestall AQAP take-over

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fearing the soldiers will hand over the town to al Qaeda, tribesmen attacked the soldiers…

Aden al Ghad: Tribal gunmen took control over Musaimeir District in southern Yemen. According to sources said to “Adenalghad website” that clashes broke out in the district continued for several hours between local tribal gunmen and soldiers stationed in a number of government facilities in the district in the early hours of Thursday. (Read on …)

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 leader Wahishi in Mukairas, al Baydah? Or Dead?

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Yemen, al-Bayda, personalities — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We’ll know if he gets a spread in the mag.

Yemen Observer; Over 26 al-Qaida militants and 10 Yemeni troopers, including a colonel, have been killed in fierce confrontations between the Yemeni forces and insurgents of al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan province, over the past 24 hours, said an official military source on Monday.

The source added that 38 militants and 30 soldiers also were wounded when al-Qaeda militants intercepted advancing army troops in Dawfas, west of Zinjubar, capital of Abyan province.

Also an official source at the ministry of interior said that over 300 al-Qaeda operatives have been killed since the start of the battles between the Yemeni military and security forces and between al-Qaeda militants in Abyan province that broke out in May 2011.

According to local information from Abyan, Nasser Al Wahayshi escaped from Zinjubar to MuKairas on Thursday July 21, 2011 after the government troops and tribesmen tightened the noose on his fighters in the city and its outskirts. Mukairas is close to Al Wahayshi village, Ghail Al Wahayshi in Al Baidah province.

al Teef: A medical source said hospital Bazib the military’s “network spectrum,” said the hospital received this afternoon the body of a dead al-Qaeda, the source said military sources said it was up to a leading figure in the al-Qaeda, “Nasser al-Wahishi,” saying it the first time in which they are bringing the body of one of al-Qaeda to Aden .
(Read on …)

Awlaki and 9/11

Filed under: Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 10:17 pm on Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Atlantic: In the late 1990s, Awlaki was approached by an al-Qaeda facilitator known as Ziyad Khaleel, who performed simple tasks for the terror network, for example paying for a satellite phone to be used by Osama bin Laden. Khaleel and Awlaki were both connected to a Yemeni charity, founded by an associate of bin Laden. Awlaki served as its vice president for a time. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda executes “witch” in Abyan by firing squad at stadium

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Imirate, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:47 pm on Friday, September 2, 2011

News Yemen: “Abyan tribal sources said that armed groups belonging to al Qaeda said on Monday executed a person in Jaar, and accused him of killing someone two weeks ago. The sources of NewsYemen said that the death sentence carried out against Haidara Mansour Jaber. He was executed at a stadium before a crowd of citizens. It is the first death sentence carried out since al-Qaeda control of the Zanzibar.”

Then they executed a “witch.” Jihaddists in Jaar executed four homosexuals in 2009, showing the ideological affinity between the stated al Qaeda doctrine and local jihaddists in Yemen who may or may not have international ties. The merger this year of these two groups in Abyan has led to some dissension arising from both practical concerns and philosophical difference.

al Tagheer

Carried out an armed group affiliated to al Qaeda on Tuesday sentenced to death by firing squad against one of the citizens of the city of Jaar Abyan province, south of Yemen, after less than 24 hours for the execution of another citizen.

Witnesses said the “al Tagheer” that elements of al Qaeda in the city, led by Abu Ali Hadrami raided the eleventh hour yesterday morning the house of Abdo Hussein Baidhani and took him to the Stadium Club Khanfar sports, and carried out the death sentence by firing squad, in front of a large number of citizens and members of the organization al-Qaeda. (Read on …)

Cole redux fails or never happened

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, attacks, pirates, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 11:39 am on Friday, September 2, 2011

This may or may not be true or pure propaganda or the distortion of an event that occurred. The Yemeni government claims it thwarted a maritime suicide bombing attempt:

Yemen Online: Suicide maritime attack foiled: SANAA — Yemen’s navy has foiled a suicide bomb attack on one of its warships off the coast of the Al Qaeda stronghold of Abyan province in the south, the defence ministry said on its Internet site on Sunday.

“A small high-speed boat tried to approach one of our warships on Saturday at around 21:00 hours local time (1800 GMT)” off Abyan, navy chief Rear Admiral Ruiss Abdullah Mujawar was quoted as saying on the site.

The vessel continued on its course despite warning shots being fired, and “naval forces then fired at the craft, which sank along with its occupants,” he said.

The defence ministry said the small boat had been filled with explosives, but gave no information on those thought to have been behind the failed attack.

Abyan al Qaeda steal communication equipment?

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Military, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Friday, September 2, 2011

Al Qaeda spying on the Yemeni military with stolen communications equipment is not beyond reason. Maybe its the translation, but the reporter seems in many articles to be extolling AQAP’s military gains.

Yaf3: The source said the gunmen took control of the sensitive devices in the operating rooms Abyan province and the central axis and Security, which saw fully armed confrontations in the past and were taken to unknown destinations, including listening devices and wireless, which enabled them to learn the movements and the Yemeni army units, (Read on …)

Attempted assassination

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yemen’s defense minister on Tuesday afternoon survived the attempted bombing, targeting his motorcade during his visit to the military units of the Yemeni army stationed in Western part of the city of Zanzibar, in Abyan province. The blast, which sources said was a mine planted in the minister’s car, targeted the minister and senior military leader, Major General Faisal Rajab 119 and the brigade commander, who announced his support for the protests against the regime of President Saleh of Yemen. al Teef.

The regime later denied the event occurred. For a wrap up of the last weeks, see Critical Threats Gulf of Aden Security Review.

Three dozen al Qaeda killed by air strike in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:15 am on Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yemen officials: Airstrikes kill 30 suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in south; 8 troops die Bab al Yemen:
SANAA, Yemen — Military and medical officials say airstrikes have killed 30 suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Yemen. Eight soldiers also died in clashes in the area. (Read on …)

Lahj prison stormed

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Lahj, Security Forces, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 10:14 pm on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trend: Dozens of armed tribesmen stormed a police station and a central prison in Yemen’s southern province of Lahj early Tuesday, releasing 20 prisoners, security officials said.

Two groups of tribesmen raids the two sites, which share one buliding in Tuban district, and freed 20 prisoners following clashes with guards around the building, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

No casualties have been reported, he added.

One of the guards said they were unable to counter the heavy shootings by the armed tribesmen, who were backed by members of the separatist Southern Movement in Lahj, and finally surrendered.

Lahj, some 337 km northwest of the capital Sanaa, is a key stronghold of the Southern Movement.

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 …)

Al Qaeda has plenty of oil and gas in Abyan, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, LNG, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:27 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

The southern military commander, Maj.Gen. Mahdi Maqualah, Supreme Commander of Southern Region, has been accused many times in directly aiding the AQAP forces in Abyan, as a political tactic to support Saleh. In this case, residents (fishermen and gas station employees) in Shakra, the third Abyan city to fall to al Qaeda, are surprised at the large quantities of oil that AQAP moves repetitively through checkpoints since the beginning of hostilities. There is some collusion by the director of the Aden refinery (again nothing new, the refinery has been a source of AQ funding for a decade). The rest of the Yemen is experiencing severe fuel shortages.

via Yemen Portal blocked sites;

08-22-2011 08:03 Involvement of the military zone in the southern Abyan events .. The forces transferred Abyan get fuel from plants is facilitated by the government Madawa Elahwal

A number in the city of Saedua, Shakra in Abyan province are extremely surprised by the facilities obtained by the al-Qaeda forces and transferred in the show (Abyan), particularly in obtaining large quantities of oil derivatives on a daily basis in order to facilitate the movement and control of the city .. the quantities of up to more than (five thousand liters) per day on average. (Read on …)

YOHR discusses alliance between the Yemeni authorities and AQAP

Filed under: Counter-terror, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

“He said that there is mutual exploitation between government authorities and terrorist groups against the forces of modernity in society” Baghdadi: should build a partnership in the war on terrorism clearly devoted to the prevention of tyranny

al Tagheer: Said lawyer Abdul Aziz al-Baghdadi, Chairman of the Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights to stop terrorist activity against the construction of the state, through the activity of terrorist groups, and mutual exploitation between government authorities, and between these groups against the forces of modernity in society. (Read on …)

Two Al Qaeda suicide bombers kill 14 in Yemen Sunday

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:10 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

Reuters – Two suicide bombs killed at least 14 people in separate attacks in Yemen’s volatile south on Sunday morning, including the bombers themselves, local officials and tribal sources said.

The attacks targeted tribesmen who have sided with the army in an effort to flush Islamist militants out of the south, where the government has lost control of some areas as months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule drag on.

One of the suicide bombers blew himself up in a vehicle at a checkpoint set up by tribesmen in the al-Arqub area, killing 9 tribesmen and himself and injuring others.

The second attack took place in Mudiyah, where the bomber approached a crowd and then set off an explosion that killed him and three others.

They were coordinated bombings according to the Yemen Times:

Al-Qeada in Abyan escalates by attacking tribesmen

Sana’a, Aug. 21 — Rebel militant groups in Abyan believed to be close to Al-Qaeda escalated violence on Sunday morning by committing two simultaneous suicidal operations. This time the attacks targeted local tribes, rather than military forces.

The attacks took place in two of the central areas of Abyan, Moudia and Lauder. In Moudia three people were killed. In Lauder the attacks left 11 tribesmen dead and injured several others, who were taken to al-Baida Hospital.

Moudia’s attack targeted Abu Bakr Al-Ashal, the head of the ruling party in Moudia. Al-Ashal was also a leading figure of Ashal’s tribes and the brother-in-law of the governor. He was killed by a man wearing an explosive belt.

“The man who committed the suicidal attack came over to Al-Ashal where he was sitting with two others, chatting. The guy greeted them and sat for a bit and then pressed the button that ended him with the others,” said Ahmed Yaslem, a freelance reporter in Abyan. (Read on …)

US State Department Country Report on Terrorism: Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, US jihaddis, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:07 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

We’ll know the US has turned the corner when it utters the words “False flag attack” or “State affiliated jihaddists” or “State officials facilitated attacks.”

YEMEN: Overview: In 2010, resource limitations and unstable security conditions in several parts of the country impeded the Yemeni government’s ability to eliminate potential safe havens in Yemen. In addition, counterterrorism efforts were impeded by a lack of legislation. Yemen’s vulnerability along it long and weakly protected borders has allowed al-Qa’ida associates to find safe haven in Yemen. Nonetheless, the Government of Yemen continued to build its counterterrorism capacity and deployed its security forces against terrorist threats. The Yemeni government security forces killed or captured numerous suspected al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants, and received assistance in the form of equipment and training from the United States. The Yemeni government’s response to the terrorist threat included large-scale kinetic operations against suspected AQAP members in the south. In turn, AQAP attacks against foreign interests, Yemeni government targets, and the Shia Houthi movement in the north increased dramatically in 2010. (Read on …)

C-130’s, with wrong coordinates, re-supply AQAP?

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:49 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

Only the US militatry Saudi military will know if this is true but there have been several instances of duplicity by the Saleh regime regarding coordinates: directing the Saudi Air Force to bomb Ali Mohsen’s camp during the Saada War, the awful miss in December 2009, the errant bombing of Sheikh al Shabawni in May 2010, the “near misses” on Awlaki and al Quso, and the state’s own bombing of the tribal force fighting al Qaeda which killed dozens in July. Update: the Jihaddi forums are saying they were Saudi planes and the supplies “blew” over to them, via Critical Threats. Frankly I was hoping it was all anti-Saleh propaganda but now we know AQAP is well stocked.

al Wahdawi: Southern Military Command deliberately gives the wrong coordinates to foreign aircraft that was providing hardware and supplies to the 25th Mechanized Brigade

Confirmed local sources in the city of Zanzibar that four foreign aircraft were carrying supplies to the Brigade 25 Mechanized that is besieged in the capital of Abyan province for two months ago, but instead al Qaeda robbed the load of food, fuel, and other things that was dropped in the area under the control of members of al-Qaeda by the low flying aircraft.

The sources, who declined to reveal their identity and the identity of foreign aircraft said four aircraft type (C-130) were flew to the city of Zanzibar on the evening of 8 August. They were carrying food enough for the military camp for several months, but the Southern Command, led by Maj.Gen. Mahdi Maqualah, Supreme Commander of South Division, gave the aircraft the wrong coordinates to make the cargo delivered into the hands of militants from the al-Qaeda. (Read on …)

The AQAP battle for Shaqra Abyan lasted one hour or several days

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:11 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

In reporting about Yemen, discrepancies abound. Even before the six month revolution, the dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh was a master of propaganda and constructed complex plots to give the west the appearance of reform or counter-terror cooperation when in fact the reverse was true. By the same token, the newspapers associated with opposition parties have a tendency to skew reporting for political advantage.

The news that AQAP, the Yemeni affiliate of al Qaeda, took over a third town in the Abyan province, Shaqra, has inconsistencies, depending on who is reporting it. The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, based on statements from regime officials, is reporting the battle for control of the town lasted days, but multiple Yemeni sites have eyewitnesses who say the military abandoned the town after an hour of light skirmishes amid retreat. China is a prime purchaser of Yemeni oil and has thwarted Security Council statements denouncing the state’s slaughter of Yemeni protesters.

One eyewitness reported to al Teef, an opposition site, that, “I saw them (al Qaeda members) this morning entering the city on the cars owned by the Yemeni army. They were carrying machine guns and RPG’s.”

Yemenis from all walks, from politicians to street vendors, are adamant that in May the Saleh regime relinquished control of Abyan’s capital Zinjibar to Al Qaeda as a foreign policy strategy, -i.e., to pressure the US into supporting the widely reviled dictatorship.

In July, local tribesmen began a counter-offensive against the al Qaeda fanatics, driving them back from several areas. The Yemeni Air Force then bombed tribesmen, killing dozens along with two Yemeni military officers. State officials said it was a mistake, although tribal fighters had notified the Air Force of their position.

My article today at the Yemen Times covers earlier developments but provides a little more background: Al Qaeda in Yemen alienates local jihaddists

Shaqra Abyan falls to militants with little resistance from govt forces: News Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:56 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is what happens when Saleh gets cranky, busy or drunk and exactly why the US can’t rely on the Salehs et al for US national security. The US needs better conduits.

News Yemen: Sharia Ansar militants took control again of the coastal city of Shakra in the Abyan province.
The tribes cleared the city in July from insurgents after fierce battles.

Reuters quoted tribal sources and residents said Wednesday that Islamic militants took control of the coastal town of Shakra in the south of Yemen, which became the third town in their hands (ed-after Znijibar and Jaar.)

The tribal sources said that the government forces offered little resistance. And the militants who the government says are linked to al-Qaeda entered in the town in cars coming from another city they control.

Update: the army fires on the tribesmen, al Teef

Houthis accuse US of suicide car bombing in Al Jawf, Yemen

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf, protest statements, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Its al Qaeda and/or the Saleh regime that uses a remote control device to blow somebody up and/or convinces some hapless teen to become cannon fodder and/or puts a dead body in the car, and the Yemeni DNA lab that comes up with the positive ID in half an hour. As much as the Houthis are rabidly paranoid, its clear to them I’m sure that the long string of suicide bombings in Yemen would point to the AQAP murderers as the culprits in this one, either independently or as mercenaries. Maybe the Houthis are trying to de-escalate the situation by blaming the US because in no conceivable parallel universe did the US stage or execute a suicide bombing against the Houthis.

AQAP previously declared jihad on the Houthis and killed Badr al Din al Houthi (along with 14 others) in a suicide car bombing November 2010, also in al Jawf. Its this kind of irresponsible rhetoric which the Saleh regime uses to manipulate the public that the Houthis have condemned for years.

The national: SANAA // Rebel forces yesterday accused US intelligence agencies of plotting the car-bomb attack that killed two people and injured one in Al Matamma, north-east of Sanaa, on Sunday.

Al Houthi rebels said in a statement that the blast targeted a government complex in which their leaders were meeting.

“This is clearly a US intelligence-style criminal act,” the rebels said, while offering no evidence supporting their claim.

The blast came two days after the Al Houthi rebels and the Islamist Islah party agreed to a truce to end the fighting that had flared intermittently since March when Al Jawf province, in which Al Matamma is located, fell to the anti-government tribes.

The Al Houthis said the attack was intended to “provoke sectarian divisions between Yemenis”, adding that the attack was aimed to “help maintain the unjust regime” of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been facing six months of protests calling for him to relinquish power.

Shipload of weapons to al Shabab, Somali from Yemen’s AQAP or Yemen’s Fares Manna?

Filed under: Donors, UN, Proliferation, Somalia, TI: External, Yemen, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The shipment of weapons is par for the course. Yemeni weapons shipments to Somalia are a leading cause of its instability and have been ongoing for years. The last shipment doesn’t necessarily show that AQAP and al Shabab are linked up in a new level of coordination; what it likely shows is that UN sanctioned weapons dealer Fares Manna is back in business. Its a very complicated relationship, check my category “Proliferation” or search “Fares Manna” for the chapter of the story about the shipload of Chinese weapons brought into Yemen with forged documents from the Defense Ministry. See Evaluating relations between Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda for a review of the rhetorical and physical support between al Shabab and AQAP, including the arrest of Warsame. For earlier, see the 2006 arrest of eight westerners in Yemen (all later released) who were smuggling weapons to the fanatics in Somalia and the connection of Awlaki to those persons, who are hopefully all under the microscope now. Rahm’s report below seems to be from Sun Times: U.S intercepts ship suspected of carrying weapons for Al-Shabaab

Terror Free Somalia: The U.S Navy has intercepted a Somalia bound Yemeni cargo ship carrying weapons suspected to be for Somalia’s Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militia.Somalia consulate in Yemen said the cargo ship en route from Yemen to Somalia coastline ended up in the hands of U.S Navy at the Gulf of Aden.The Somali consul Hussein Hajji Ahmed said U.S navy opened fire on the ship after the ship captain defied Navy orders to stop the vessel but later surrender to the United States navy.

He added that the ship is suspected of carrying military supplies for the Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia, a clear indication that Yemeni Al-Qaeda supports the militia in terms of weaponry.Ahmed said investigations into the issue are currently underway.He urged the Somali government to boost security along the country’s coastlines and seek supports from the neighbouring countries in making sure that no arms are illegally smuggled into the country through the coastal areas.The U.S has recently received critical information suggesting that Yemeni based Al-Qaeda network provides weapons and other military necessities to Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgents fighting the Somali government.

Al Qaeda kidnaps 100 teen agers in Zinjibar, Yemen, accuses them of spying

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:31 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

News Yemen: Aden Online said that militants in Zanzibar, who called themselves (supporters of Sharia) arrested a hundred youths in the city on Friday who were guarding their family homes and facilities, and put them in the political security prison. One of the buildings was targeted by the warplanes and military aircraft missiles – according the parents.

The website quoted sources saying the military commander of Ansar al-Sharia and named (Dujana) lduring the past two days led a campaign of arrests for all those who remained in the city of Zanzibar, accusing these young people of giving the warplanes coordinates of insurgent positions, and thus making them vulnerable to aerial bombardment.

Families of young people, who are all displaced outside the province, placed responsibility for the lives of their sons on “Ansar al Sharia” and appealed to the military and civilians in the provinces of Aden and Abyan to move with speed to save their children from the hands of these killers, noting that they are able to capture all of the city and suspicious political deals delay the process of its liberation – in their words

AQAP fractures in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Yemen, other jihaddists, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

@intelwire (J.M. Berger) notes “the reported Abyan fitna (was) mentioned earlier on the forums.”

Khaleej Times ADEN — Clashes between rival extremist groups on Monday left four fighters dead and seven others wounded in Yemen’s restive southern province of Abyan, witnesses said.

A group under the leadership of Abdellatif Sayyed, who has distanced himself from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, asked alleged members of AQAP to leave the town of Jaar.

But a witness said the latter, who are loyal to a local Al-Qaeda leader named Abu Ali Hadrami, refused, triggering a series of clashes that caused casualties on both sides.

Jaar is 12 kilometres (seven miles) north of the provincial capital of Zinjibar which was seized in May by Partisans of Sharia (Islamic Law), an organisation linked to the Al-Qaeda network.

I wrote it up Monday at as

Al Qaeda in Yemen alienates local jihaddists

Local jihaddists in Abyan, Yemen are fighting their former allies, al Qaeda militants from other countries and other Yemeni provinces, for control of Ja’ar City. The combined group, which calls itself “Ansar al Shariah,” has been in control of areas of Abyan since May when the military withdrew.

Clashes between local jihaddists and al Qaeda erupted Monday morning, al Teef reported. The local militants’ commander, Abullatif Al Sayed, tried to expel the non-resident terrorists who had earlier joined their operations for control of the province. Many came from Marib and are linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The gun battle that ensued raged for hours and the number of casualties is unknown. (Read on …)

Fighting between al Qaeda factions in Ja’ar: al Teef

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:23 am on Monday, August 15, 2011

Local jihaddists are fighting (and seek to expel) their former allies, those al Qaeda militants who came from outside Abyan. It sounds like the indigenous Aden Abyan Army type of fanatic (Nabi, the Dhayans) is fighting with the AQAP type (Wahishi and others from Marib and elsewhere) and Ansar al Shariah is fracturing.

Actually its incorrect to call the local jihaddists “al Qaeda” because they have no transnational coordination, support or goals and never pledged loyalty to any external entity or person (except Saleh). This group has long aspired to an Islamic Emirate in Abyan, going back to the 1990’s, and murdered four suspected homosexuals in 2009 when they were in control of Ja’ar. At that time, they called themselves Jamaat al Jihad or the Jihad group.

After a face to face meeting between Saleh and several of the jihaddists’ leaders in January 2009, Nabi fought in the battle of Jaar alongside the military and Saleh released over 100 of their members in April. The Yemeni embassy here in the US said maybe a few al Qaeda were accidentally mixed in but most of the prisoners released were “aged and harmless” AAIA types, and many had been jailed without trial, or so the justification went.

Al Nabi’s later call for an Islamic Emirate in December 2009 produced some skepticism as he has a long, mutually beneficial relationship with the state and bounces between playing the terrorist villain and reformed jihaddist as needed by Saleh. Also in December 2009, after clashes in Jaar had died down, al Nabi re-took some govt buildings because he did not get some land that Saleh promised him. But things were ironed out between the two as current events demonstrate.

Al Teef, Network Spectrum - Jaar–Monday morning armed clashes erupted between members of Islamist groups claiming affiliation to al-Qaeda in the second-largest city of Jaar after the outbreak of sharp differences between the elements of these groups against the backdrop of the affairs of the city.

According to sources in the town of Jaar speaking to “network spectrum,” the clashes broke out after dawn prayers between the two factions of the armed groups, one follows the leader of these groups, “Mr. Abdul-Latif” (“Abullatif Al Sayed,”) and the other are elements of armed groups from outside Abyan.

There was confrontation during which the machine guns were fired and the outcome of the victims is unknown until the moment within the irrigation district, where elements of Mr. Abdul Latif tried to expel the armed groups coming from other provinces.

The sources pointed out that the elements of the master of the last few days tried to exert control over Jaar and asked members of other groups to leave, an appeal that was rejected and caused the outbreak of fighting at dawn today.

Sharp differences erupted over the last weeks between the elements of armed groups in Abyan after the elements of groups from outside the province were accused of vast destruction and looting while maintaining control of the city.

Another article on the growing schism between the two groups and this morning’s violence in Ja’ar at SaadaAden (ar) indicates the local jihaddists accuse the imported jihaddists of creating “overwhelming discontent” among the population in a war without limits. The stance of the local tribesmen against the militant forces has exacerbated the divisions among them, the article notes.

The Yemen Times reports on the aftermath of seven air strikes in Jaar which destroyed the water tank and hit an empty health clinic over the week-end.

Some of Abyan’s tribe came together to expel the militant groups, according to Ahmed al-Aydaros, the governorate’s council member. After successfully expelling the militant groups from Lauder, they formed popular committees.

“The tribes now discuss their plans to free Zunjbar from the militant groups, but there is a dirty game being played by the authorities to hand Abyan to the militant groups, groups without who believes that the Central Security was under the militant groups without even one bullets” said al-Aydaros.

On the other hand, the main military camp 25 Mika in Abyan has been surrounded by the militant groups for more than three months now. Abdalrahim al-Aswary, public relations officer at the 25 Mika camp, told the Yemen Times that this week things have improved at the camp. “We managed to evacuate the martyrs and casualties from the camp.” Although the camp is still surrounded by al-Qaeda from Zunjbar’s side, the state is using air strikes to free the camp, said Al-Aswary. Food is provided well there but al-Qeada has managed to cut the phone coverage.

“Together against terrorism” seminar in Taiz, Yemen, video and paper

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Taiz, Yemen, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Monday, August 15, 2011

Dr. Al Guneid talks about AlQeada in Yemen, the truth and illusions, in the seminar “Our revolution against terrorism” in Taiz on August 10, 2011. An English version will be ready shortly.

تنظيم القاعدة في اليمن خدعة كبيرة !!

هناك جدل كبير حول وجود تنظيم القاعدة في اليمن، وحول حقيقة وجود التنظيم بالحجم الذي تتحدث عنه وسائل الإعلام، وحول علاقته بنظام صالح، لقد تناول الكثيرين الكتابة حول هذا الموضوع الا إن مع معظمها لم تَصب كبدَ الحقيقة..

ما دفعني للكتابة حول هذا الموضوع الندوة التي عُقدت في ساحة الحريه بتعز تحت عنوان ” ثورتنا ضد الارهاب” وكان من ضمن الشخصيات التي تم استضافتها الدكتور / عبدالقادر الجنيد وهو شخصية معروفة جيداً في الوسط الاجتماعي ، ويُقال ان الجنيد احد الجنود المجهولين في الثورة الشعبية وله اسهاماً كبيراً في ايصال صوت الثورة الى العالم الغربي من خلال الدور الاعلامي الكبير الذي يقوم به ليلاً ونهاراً عبر موقع التواصل الاجتماعي التويتر..

الجنيد في المحور الذي تناوله حول ” القاعده في اليمن” شرح ووصف وحلل واستنتج في كلمات غاية بالبساطة والروعة جذبت اهتمام الحاضرين ونالت استحسانهم لطريقة الطرح النادرة..

يقول الجنيد عن القاعده هذا الموضوع الشائك:
(Read on …)

AQAP trying to make Ricin in Shabwa

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, anwar, fahd — by Jane Novak at 5:55 pm on Sunday, August 14, 2011

The good news: obviously they have no access to nuclear materials despite that constant rhetoric. This oddly timed US announcement relates to intel announced in Dec 2010 by the Saudis as the purported poison perfume plot . Update: this article at Global Security decimates the Times article.

MSNBC: American counterterrorism officials are increasingly concerned that the most dangerous regional arm of Al Qaeda is trying to produce the lethal poison ricin, to be packed around small explosives for attacks against the United States.

For more than a year, according to classified intelligence reports, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin, a white, powdery toxin that is so deadly that just a speck can kill if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

Intelligence officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, an airport or a subway station. (Read on …)

NY AQAP suspect Hanafi trial motions to exclude statements

Filed under: TI: External, US jihaddis, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:42 pm on Sunday, August 14, 2011

Note to self: If giving a gift to someone in Yemen, make sure its not a Casio watch. Hanafi’s lawyers are claiming he was coerced in to making statements by an implied threat of remaining on the no-fly list without an interview, and the statements should be excluded from the trial

MSNBC: But Manhattan federal prosecutors, in a court filing on Friday, said any statements Brooklyn-born Wesam El-Hanafi, 36, might have made were voluntary and not coerced.

Hanafi was arrested in April last year and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda militants. Prosecutors have said Hanafi bought seven digital Casio watches through Internet seller Amazon to send to militants in Yemen, home to a resurgent al Qaeda wing, and that the alarms in the watches could be used as triggers for a bomb. (Read on …)

Bomb in Sanaa, assassination in Amran, truce and car bomb in al Jawf, double dealing in Abyan

Pop quiz: Q: What was the characteristic response of the Saleh regime to power sharing demands following unity in 1990 that precipitated the 1994 civil war? A: Assassinations. Hundreds of southern political leaders were assassinated, often by veterans of the Afghan jihad who were allied with Saleh.

Five protesters wounded in Sanaa by an explosive device thrown from a car with police plates.

War planes bomb Arhab, five dead. Three houses, a mosque and many farms damaged. Clashes in Nehm, 20 km south of Arhab, eight wounded.

The Yemen Post reports Hamid Al-Qushaibi of the 310th escaped a car-bomb assassination attempt in Amran province but al Sahwa reports Major Ismail al-Ghurbani, commander of the 310th Armored Brigade of the 1st Armored Division was shot dead in an assassination in Amran

A truce between Islah and the Houthis in al Jawf will go into effect 8/17 when the JMP declares the national council; Fares Manna, UN sanctioned weapons dealer and long time associate of Saleh, will be replaced as governor by Sheikh Hussein Al-Thaneen from the Islah Party.

One person was killed and three wounded Sunday evening when a suicide car bomber detonated at a gathering of Houthis near the health center in al Jawf, News Yemen reported. The Houthis blamed the US, saying “The process shows the intense action and malicious plots by the Americans and the targeting of Yemen in general and the northern areas in particular.” Mareb Press reports dozens of injuries. Interior Ministery says 14 dead and the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

16 suspected al Qaeda were killed Sunday as clashes in the province take place in seven areas. The tribesmen (like the commander of the 25th Mechanized) say that the government is arming the al Qaeda militants and providing other support.

Yemen Post: Local tribesmen in Abyan province, fighting with government against militants, are accusing the government of helping al-Qaeda fighters stay strong by attacking tribal posts and arming the militants.

According to tribal sources in Abyan, at least 19 tribesmen have been killed by government attacks.

A senior Yemeni Defense Ministry official denies that the toll is that high, but did not deny that government raids did kill tribal fighters in accidental attacks.

Over the last month, tribes have succeeded to retake more than 60 percent of the province from the hands of suspected al-Qaeda militants after the government failed to show progress in its fight against the militants since May.

At least 1600 tribesmen are fighting al-Qaeda militants in the province.

More than 15 al-Qaeda fighters were arrested on Thursday by the tribesmen as their push to cleanse the province from the militants nears the final steps.

Update: Sultan al Barakani says Hamid al Ahmar is the prime suspect in the bombing on the presidential palace because the sims cards used in mobile phones belonged to SabaFone.

Taiz “Together against Terrorism” Seminar Aug 10, Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Taiz, Yemen, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:53 pm on Friday, August 12, 2011

After a mass anti-regime march Wednesday in Taiz, a seminar about how al Qaeda in impacting the nation and the revolution was held:


The first sign says, Within the activities of Ramadan and with the Collaboration of the Freedom Square’s Youth the Legal Center for Defending the Revolution – Taiz is holding an intellectual symposium titled “Together against Terrorism”

The second sign: Our Revolution is Against Terrorism and it Seeks Peace for all the nations Of the World

Activist Bushra Maqtari presented a paper I have a scan copy as a photo but not a doc.


On a related note, from what I understand, the organizing committee has decided to hold a nationwide protest against al Qaeda and their attacks on western interests in Yemen (and Yemenis) on the third anniversary of the 9/17/08 attack on the US Embassy in Yemen.

But they may be using the Islamic calendar to determine the anniversary date, and the attack was during Ramadan that year. I think its a good idea and commend them for their initiative. Al Qaeda is sucking the blood of all Yemenis (see below) and has elicited from the US a counter-productive idiotic policy. However, I think Ramadan 17 is also the date the JMP is going to announce the transitional council, so we’ll see what the people are shouting for on that date.

The following cartoon is entitled al Qaeda in Yemen.

Yemen’s major cities prepare for national protests against al Qaeda (AQAP)

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, aq statements, protest statements, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:47 am on Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yemen’s youthful revolutionaries across the country are making plans for a day of protests against al Qaeda in an effort to send a clear message to the American public. Protesters have coordinated their message in the capital Sanaa, Yemen’s largest city Taiz, the coastal city of Aden in south Yemen and Hodiedah on Yemen’s west coast.

There is a near uniform consensus among Yemeni protesters that al Qaeda has been nurtured by President Saleh and that once Saleh and his family are finally deposed, the terror organization will be substantially weakened. They take that as a given and assume the US knows it. Therefore it appears to some Yemenis that the US government seeks to ensure the terror organization’s longevity with its support of the ruling family’s continued power.

When Yemeni protesters call for “a civil state,” they mean a) not under military rule and, b) not a theocracy. The demonstrators have been condemned by religious hardliners (including Abdelmajid al Zindani) for seeking a civil state, and they responded with all vigor that it is an unyielding and legitimate demand. The newspapers are full of articles and statements rebutting al Zindanis denunciation. Yemeni is a religiously pluralistic society and one goal is to ensure equal rights and protections for all sects. The spread of hard line Salafism was a direct function of Saleh’s support and financing of extremists in exchange for their political backing.

Al Qaeda has brought nothing but disaster to Yemen. The downturn in the economy before the revolution was in part a function of al Qaeda attacks in Yemen on tourists, aid workers and the US embassy. External attacks on Saudi Prince Naif and the attempted downing of an airliner over Detroit meant an increase in drone attacks, and civilian casualties. The AQAP takeover in Abyan drove 90,000 from their homes fleeing both the violence and the al Qaeda Taliban-like governance. The upcoming protests are also a national assertion of solidarity with those Yemeni victims of al Qaeda.

The upcoming protests by the Yemeni youth are meant as a clear statement to the American public which has little understanding of the nature of Yemeni society, values and culture. The message is the rejection of all violence. The protesters have demonstrated their commitment to peace every day for six months as the state engaged in vicious atrocities against them, murdering nearly 1000.

The Yemeni protesters written statements have been entirely ignored by a western media that amplifies the statements of al Qaeda fanatics. The Inspire Magazine issued by the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula distorts western perceptions of Yemen and generates fear of Yemenis. Protesters hope that by overtly condemning both the al Qaeda organization and its media releases, the American public will come to understand that the protesters reject al Qaeda entirely and have suffered more from its violent, supremacist ideology.

On the counter-terror front, Yemenis object to drone strikes when they kill civilians and when no effort was made to arrest the suspect. Yemen’s have no objection to a fair trial that results in a jail term for those who commit or plan violence.

Saudi al Qaeda surrenders

Filed under: Saudi Arabia, TI: External, Yemen, other jihaddists, prince, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 5:38 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011

Excellent lets hop ehe brought back a substantial amount of inside information on AQAP. Maybe all their questionable practices like dressing up like women,

Riyadh, 4 Aug. (AKI) – A Saudi fugitive accused of being a member Al-Qaeda and hiding in neighbouring Yemen recently turned himself in to police in Saudi Arabia, according to newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. (Read on …)

Three Yemen govt airstrikes targeted tribes fighting al Qaeda despite notice

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, South Yemen, Tribes, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Update: Reuters reports the tribes have returned to the fight.

Xinhua: Tuesday’s offensive by the 119th Military Brigade in Khamila area in western Zinjibar killed three Islamist militants and wounded seven others, who all were hospitalized in Razi hospital in Abyan’s city of Jaar, a doctor at the hospital told Xinhua. Zinjibar, about 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, has been besieged by the 119th Military Brigade from the west and by the 25th Mechanized Brigade from the east

Original: This is an excellent article from AP and should be read in full. Lets again review the sequence of events. Saleh warns of an al Qaeda take over in Abyan, if he is deposed, then government troops withdraw leaving behind large stocks of weapons. Al Qaeda moves in, takes possession of the weapons and takes over several towns including the capital, Zinjibar, forcing about 90,000 residents to flee from Abyan to Aden. The Defense Ministry leaves the 35th Mechanized Brigade stranded for two months, ordering the brigade to surrender twice. (The US trained CT forces are no where in sight.) Southern tribesmen launch a counter-offensive along with the 35th MB and drive al Qaeda out of Zinjibar. As the fighting moves to the outskirts of town, the Yemeni military bombs the tribesmen three times, although they had notified the military of their position. The Yemeni government calls it a friendly fire incident. Yemenis call it another instance of state collusion with al Qaeda in order to play the western powers, especially the US.

Al Qaeda will be much, much weaker without Saleh and his relatives (including Ahmed) and could be easily conquered, on all levels, by the multitude of indigenous forces that are naturally opposed to them. Its a much more cost effective option as well.

Botched Yemen airstrikes harms anti-militant fight

By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press – 20 hours ago

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni government airstrikes that accidentally killed 40 people last week, including four army officers and a tribal sheik, brought an abrupt halt to the largest military effort yet to dislodge al-Qaida-linked militants from a key southern town, officials and tribal fighters said Tuesday.

The airstrikes, which took place late Friday just east of the town of Zinjibar near Yemen’s south coast, outraged pro-government fighters, prompting them to withdraw from the military offensive against Islamist militants. (Read on …)

AQAP arrest, statement and drone strikes

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, TI: External, Yemen, aq statements, arrests, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 8:02 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I’m so sick of these al Qaeda jokers.

ABYAN, July 30 (Saba) – A security source said Saturday that senior leader of al-Qaeda “Abdullah Saeed Omar Houbaibat” was captured in Abyan province. (Read on …)

Sheikh beheaded in Yemen following MIGs “accidental” friendly fire? Updated

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, Tribes, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:03 pm on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The tribes fighting al Qaeda in Abyan in support of the 25th Mechanized Brigade were bombed by the state in “accidental (MA)” friendly fire after they drove al Qaeda from Zinjibar and were chasing them down the road. The AQAP counter-offensive occurred in the evening following the state’s bombing the tribesmen, which killed and injured dozens, about 10 km from Zinjiba. The name of the victim beheaded is Sheikh Abdel Mon’em Mohammed Nasser Nakha’i, the Sheikh of all Sheikhs of the Nakhee tribe of the Fahdl clan. Six tribesmen are still unaccounted for.

Several news sites reported the incident, and there was one denial by a purported fellow tribesman on Facebook who said the Sheikh died of three gunshots and was buried in his home town, Amshal. Generally in Yemen, the brutality of the state outpaces that of al Qaeda, for example Ahmed Saleh’s soldiers mutilating tribesmen bodies in Arhab, but this is egregious.

The report from Yaf3 Press hold the government as well as AQAP responsible: “This crime was indicted by a tribal to the security authorities and the Yemeni regime as a major crime joint between Sana’a authority and armed groups (suspected of al-Qaeda) committed against Sheikh Abdel Mon’em Mohammed Nasser Al Nakha’i the sheikh of sheikhs Nakha’i tribe one of the most important and largest tribes of Al-Fadl.” Others hold the Saleh’s plain clothes operatives responsible, and following what happened in Arhab, corpse mutilation, this is also a fair assessment.

Yaf3 Press: Sheikh Nakha’i found slaughtered from vein to vein in common crime and a vehicle in the right. (Read on …)

Yemen Air Force bombs tribesmen who are fighting al Qaeda, kills two army commanders, four soldiers and nine tribesmen

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Islamic Imirate, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 9:39 pm on Friday, July 29, 2011

A Yemeni summarizes, “The Yemeni air force is assisting Ansar Al Shariyah (or AlQaidah) fighters in Abyan by attacking the Tribesmen who are fighting Ansar AlShariyah, and the Army is claiming that the Tribesmen didn’t coordinate with the army about their positions? This could be just another proof that the militia who took over Zinjibar are nothing more than employees with The Yemeni regime using them in times of need.”

The 25th Mechanized Brigade is the unit that was surrounded without reinforcements or resupply for weeks and was ordered by the head of the military’s southern command to surrender to AQAP twice. However with the help of local tribesmen (and the retired southern military), they have largely driven AQAP from Zinjibar. The tribesmen and military battling al Qaeda suffered serious losses when they were bombed by the Yemeni Air Force. Two officers, four soldiers and nine tribesmen were killed, and 18 soldiers wounded in the Air Force’s bombing which they claim was a mistake. Salehs army also blocked the road, preventing the ad hoc force from pursuing the militants driven out of Zinjibar.

The commander of the 25th Mechanized earlier said in an interview that that withdrawing army forces left behind a substantial stockpile of weapons. He alleged a conspiracy to empower AQAP based on the actions of the Defense Ministry and Southern Commander, who by some reports was also instrumental in the suicide car bombing in Aden that killed nine soldiers.

How many of hundreds of times is the US going to be suckered by the Salehs before the light bulb finally comes on? Its gotten to the point the US should bomb the four Hueys recently delivered before they are used in a civilian massacre, and maybe take out the rest of the air force as well: all the Air Force is doing is killing civilians, bombing villages and providing air cover for al Qaeda.

The following is a google translation of al Masdar’s report. (Read on …)

AQAP ransom demand for kidnapped French aid workers

Filed under: 9 hostages, Hadramout, Yemen, aq statements, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 10:01 pm on Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ammar wants new toys? There was never a legitimate ransom demand from al Qaeda in Yemen in the past. Its interesting the regime knows the hostages are in good health. But then again, Saleh’s network has many conduits to “al Qaeda.” The French workers were kidnapped after France made a statement urging Saleh to leave the throne immediately.

News 24: Sanaa – Three French aid workers who were kidnapped in southeastern Yemen are held by al-Qaeda members who are seeking a $12m ransom for their release, tribal sources said on Wednesday.
(Read on …)

Withdrawing Yemeni security forces fed weapons to incoming al Qaeda: military commander

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This poor guy has been surrounded for some time with no reinforcements or resupply, and he said in another interview that twice he refused orders to surrender to al Qaeda. There’s no way the US doesn’t know that Saleh et al are playing the al Qaeda card. Despite the total absence of US public diplomacy in Yemen, the message to 22 million Yemenis is loud and clear.

Sahwa Net- Commander of the 25th Mechanized Brigade in the Zinjibar city of Abyan governorate has said that Yemen security forces withdrew from Zinjbar and left behind large quantities of arms which al-Qaeda militants gained. (Read on …)

Aden, Yemen bomber identified as Saudi al Qaeda Turki al Sharani

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Saudi Arabia, obits, security timeline, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:54 am on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Odd the explosives expert would kill himself, normally these cowards send brainwashed teenagers to do the dirty work. We have al Shahrani showing up several times on the lists of the Saudi Most Wanted. Yemen is becoming the proxy location for the conflict between the Saudi royals and the Saudi fanatics. Related: Wahishi pledges AQAP loyalty to Zawaheri, a tad late no? Jealous or under pressure maybe. Wahishi notes both the government and the opposition support the drone campaign.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni authorities identified the bomber who rammed an explosive-laden car into a military convoy on Monday in Aden as Turki Saad Muhammad Qulais Al-Shahrani. (Read on …)

Tribesmen, retired southern military who drove al Qaeda from areas in Abyan withdraw

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, South Yemen, Yemen's Lies, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 1:29 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011

What did I say from day 1: the most effective force in the south against al Qaeda is going to be the retired southern (PDRY) military/ tribes because a) they have military training b) they know the lay of the land c) they are against al Qaeda firmly d) they are not connected to Saleh’s regime e) they respect human rights and are concerned for the welfare of the locals. But no, no one from the international community can talk to the southerners, the real southerners, because they want an independent state.

Anyway the retired southern military and tribesmen that drove out al Qaeda from areas of Abyan are now withdrawing because the regime is trying to use them politically, for propaganda, and its just not happening. The media stories that the Yemeni military forced the withdrawal of al Qaeda in some areas are incorrect; according to everything I’m seeing it was the southerners.

The following is google translated from Yafi Press but we have essentially the same story here from al Teef: Withdrew this afternoon, hundreds of tribesmen who had taken over the past few weeks the areas controlled by al Qaeda to the east of Zanzibar to protest the military leaders loyal to the regime of President Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to pay dozens of elements affiliated to these areas.

Yafi Press: He said the activist, a former military commander of the Army (South) Republic of Yemen People’s Democratic Republic, which united with North Yemen in 1990, said “We have confirmed through our presence among the tribes show that we are the leaders of military-trained and have experience in the topography of our land, we do not want the supervision of a not of the power system not from the opposition and brought us out of our homes to fight these battles but jealousy on our province handed over by soldiers into the hands of the Yemeni regime of these groups simply to leave the capital of our province a battleground between the poles of this dying regime (Read on …)

Second car bombing this week in Aden Yemen, a frequent AQAP tactic

Filed under: Aden, Counter-terror, Military, UK, security timeline, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 11:52 am on Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wednesday a British worker was killed when his car exploded in a terror attack and today, Sunday, a car bomb rammed a military convoy, killing 8. There were many messages of outrage and condolences posted by Yemenis regarding the murder of the British national. Car bombings are a hallmark of the so called AQAP: the tactic was used in the attacks on two oil facilities in September 2006, on tourists in Marib were killed in July 2007, in the bombing at the Sayoun police station in July 2008. The September US embassy attack also included car bombs, as did the suicide attack on a Zaidi religious procession organized by the Houthis in November 2010 which killed 17. That’s off the top of my head. (Yemen released those murderers responsible for training the driver who carried out the 2007 car bombing which killed two Spanish tourists in Marib after two years in jail, if they even served that much time.)

On Wednesday, a car bomb killed David Tom, David Mockett who worked as a marine surveyer through his office in Al-Mualla St, detonated when he left his office. It was followed by an attack today on a military convoy.

Yemen Post An explosive-laden car was rammed into a military convoy on Sunday morning in Yemen’s business capital Aden killing at least six people including soldiers and the attacker, eyewitnesses were quoted as saying.

Almost twenty others were injured, the website said, quoting medical sources as saying that the death toll is likely to rise.

The suicide attack took place near an air force camp in Al-Mansoura district while it was heading to Abyan province, where the army has been fighting Islamists for almost two months, it quoted military sources as saying.

Brits just as loco as US regarding Yemen

Filed under: UK, UK amb, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wow, a Yemen Times interview with the new British ambassador (Wilks) demonstrates the inane talking points of the US/UK position:

1- he urges the opposition not to engage in violence, fails to note all the violence has been perpetrated or initiated by the state forces

2- he says if the Saleh family refuses to engage in dialog, the UK will urge them some more (how’s that working for you?)

3- he urges youth to hold elections for representatives, when the state has been unable since 2006. Parliamentary elections slated for 2009 had to be postponed for two years and there wasn’t even a revolution then. Gee, maybe something like a council might work in this situation.

4- he urges elections but wont recognize the leaders if elected unless it is according to the UK’s plan

5- the UK’s plan is to support inclusive dialog, the magic potion, with no plan B, and here it is six months later and there’s still no plan B.

6- he says Yemen prone to chaos but no chaos by the protesters occurred since protests began; its Saleh’s regime that is prone to chaos.

7- he says the politicians have all the power to resolve the crisis, and over looks the support of the people who are to be governed by them-ie, the UK is urging Yemenis to replace one illegitimate govt with another.

8- he is annoyed by blame on the international community ??!! for not sorting out the problems. Wow, just wow, I think just shut up and stop supporting and legitimizing the failed regime is all anybody wants.

9- He is waiting for a basic agreement? theres been one since Feb but Saleh and Obama rejected it, its been written and presented time and time again. The protesters want a transitional council. Oh, does he mean Saleh should agree to be overthrown? Its a strawman position. (The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.)

10- “The political process in Yemen should not just be about seats in government, it should be about dealing with the fundamental economic crisis in the country.” Is it an economic crisis or a glut of corruption that bankrupted the country? Q) Why is there an economic crisis? A) No reform, no diversification, subsidies, poor education, no spending on basic services and elite capture of all resources. The structures of patronage and corruption must be shattered for any hope of an economic recovery. There can be no economic reform without political reform and there’s no hope of political reform without regime change: the last decade has demonstrated the immutability of that truth.

11- The ambassador’s experience of getting kidnapped/besieged by an angry mob of regime thugs was no problem, he smoked and ate and went home. That’s just a great attitude. When Iran captures your ship again, we’ll know its not a problem. I guess the two “al-Qaeda” attacks on Amb. Torlott were no biggie either, when we all know who sent those brainwashed teenagers to bounce off the motorcade, twice.

12- he says freezing assets requires reviewing the UN report on human rights to see its conclusions; so the UK doesn’t know right now whether Saleh’s regime has engaged in human rights violations against the protesters? Uh, there’s over 500 dead, there’s video, eyewitness accounts and reports by HRW.

I had to stop when I got to “no evidence” of UK trained CT forces violating human rights, its both comical and infuriating. Now I know why my British friends are also sputtering. Its a load of propaganda. The entire population of Yemen knows it; they should include the UK in their impending boycott and demand Wilk’s expulsion when they demand Feierstein’s. Full text of the interview below for posterity’s sake:


Armed with his M.Phil in International Relations from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and around 22 years of diplomatic experience since joining the British Diplomatic Service in 1989, Ambassador Jon Wilks presents as a capable person who can understand Yemen and all its complexities. He speaks fluent Arabic which he mastered in the early nineties in Cairo, a skill that has come very handy in Yemeni qat chewing sessions with officials, diplomats, activists and Yemeni leaders. (Read on …)

Tribesmen break siege of 25 Mech in Abyan, Yemen;commander alleges conspiracy to empower al Qaeda in Zinjibar

Filed under: Abyan, USA, Yemen, attacks, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:54 pm on Friday, July 22, 2011

al Sahwa: Yemen’s defected army in collaboration with tribesmen could halt on Friday ba convey of militants heading the southern town of Zinjibar where government troops.

The defected army supported by General Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar could defeat al-Qaeda in many areas in Abyan and cleansed several districts from militants who had grasped areas in Abyan after the Yemeni regime help them control the governorate, local sources affirmed.

Local sources said the defected army along with some tribes had secured the road from Shabwa province to Shaqra in Abyan, a main highway leading to Zinjibar which is still controlled by the militants.

Yemen defected generals had accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of of letting his forces ease their grip around areas suspected of hosting militants, in order to convince foreign governments that only he stands in the way of a militant takeover.

al Masdar reports a senior commander of the 25th mechanized unit alleges a conspiracy by the Southern Military Command and the Ministry of Defense because a) the 25th was twice ordered to surrender to AQAP, hand over weapons and withdraw, b) they have been besieged for weeks without any support, food or resupply of equipment c) the Defense Ministry refused the US demand two weeks ago to supply weapons and food by helicopter (there’s 4 new Hueys, why not use those?) With the support of Yemeni tribesmen he says, they were able to break the siege and make progress.

Aidh & Awadh al Shabwani killed in Abyan, Yemen?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 3:12 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2011

Doubts raised by the swift announcement after the air raid. Yemen has the fastest DNA lab in the world and frequently announces the deaths of live al Qaeda. Also a new round of announcements that the US nearly hit Awlaki in May, and Yemen is suddenly feeding the US CT info. The Saleh administration knows where Awlaki is, and is using that information politically to blackmail the US into supporting Saleh. Deciding to dish on Awlaki now in order to save Saleh is an indication of the regime’s utter insincerity on the al Qaeda issue., Saba – Sana’a – Two leaders of al-Qaeda have been killed in Abyan province, a security source in the province said on Wednesday. The two terrorists were Aidh al-Shabwani and Awadh Mohammed Saleh al-Shabwani, who have been killed among many other terrorists in the clashes between armed forces and the terrorist organization currently taking place in Abyan, the source said. (Read on …)

Yemeni scholars and clerics demand names of Abyan fighters in statement

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Religious, Tribes, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:53 pm on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In an appeal letter to vice president Mansour “Hadi,” clerics and intellectuals demand revealing the persons involved in the Abyan battles

ADEN 18 JULY A number of clerics and intellectuals in Delta Abyan located in Abyan governorate, south Yemen sent a message of appeal to the vice president Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi and called on him to take a series of procedures to be taken with regard to the bloody events which are taking place in the Abyan Delta region by the armed jihadists militant groups.

Armies of Liberation obtained a copy of the appeal letter which included five points as follows:

1) We praises the steadfastness of 25 Mica camp and assured our confidence in the ability of the various branches of the armed forces to liberate the Delta region, therefore demand quickly clinch the battle.

2) Accelerate bringing security forces in the city after its liberation to fixing security and preserve what remains of public and private property, that the state shall ensure safe return for displaced persons to their homes.

3) Reveal the names of the elements whom involved in the fighting and looting operations and submit them to the justice.

4) Establishing fund to rebuild the affected cities and villages and make statistics, develop plans and budget necessary to restore the infrastructure of electricity, water, and other services that fund will manage by group of people of the Delta.

5) Compensate those affected in military operation (dead, wounded and private property) and make necessary limitation to them and consider the dead as martyrs.

AQAP’s Inspire 6: Ammar al Waeli dead

Filed under: abu jubarah, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The AQAP eulogy of Ammar al Waeli says, “His father was a leader in the mujahadin in Yemen who was appointed by (bin Laden) to open a training camp in the area of Saada.”

Abu Jubarah anyone? See my article, Large al Qaeda camp in North Yemen dims peace prospects, politician says dated 3/29/10 or my category Abu Jubarah.

During the Saada Wars, both the US and al Qaeda (bin Laden division) were facilitating Saleh’s forces against the Houthis and the residents of Saada. In essence, the US was supporting a state sponsored jihad, as the Saleh regime itself characterized the conflict. Kahlidabdul Nabi, who in theory is heading the current al Qaeda uprising in Abyan, fought in Saada for Saleh in the 2005 and the 2007 rounds of war. Nabi also lead the state jihaddists in the 2009 battle of Jaar. Ayman Zawaheri provided fighters for Saleh and the US provided the money.

The diversion of US counter-terror aid to Saada was documented by the US Congress. The US was aware of the redeployment of US trained CT units as revealed by Wikileaks. At the same time, the reports of al Qaeda on the same side of the battlefield since 2005 have been consistent, credible and detailed. European nations including the UK and France also provided logistical support to Saleh’s regime including surveillance photos.

The now defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar led the Yemeni military against the Houthis in rounds 1-5 of the Saada war (2004-2008). Ahmed Saleh, President Saleh’s son, head of the Republican Guard and the US’s primary CT liaison, commanded round 6 (2009-2010) of the Saada War, the most brutal and lethal.

In Saada War number 6, Saudi Arabia took part in the carnage, bombing residential areas in Yemen as well as refouling refugees who were fleeing the bombing. Over 300,000 residents were displaced in several governorates, international aid was blocked, doctors arrested and hospitals bombed. The internal refugees, mostly women, children and the elderly, received little support from the UN. Only a few thousands were afforded safety in refugee camps where conditions were so abysmal that malnourished infants died all too regularly amid shortages of tents, food and medicine. The rest starved in fields and caves.

The nature and scale of the war crimes against the Yemeni civilian population, based on their ethnic and religious identity, in Saada and throughout the nation, is among the most brutal slaughters of the 21st century. After an investigation, Human Rights Watch said the state’s actions likely violate international law and rise to the level of crimes against humanity. President Obama’s insistence on immunity for his friend President Saleh whitewashes US, Saudi and western complicity in these crimes.

Yemen and Somalia al Qaeda

Filed under: Counter-terror, TI: External, US jihaddis, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 2:50 pm on Monday, July 18, 2011


Reporting from Washington— Al Qaeda’s powerful branch in Yemen has provided weapons, fighters and training with explosives over the last year to a militant Islamic group battling for power in Somalia, according to newly developed American intelligence, raising concerns of a widening alliance of terrorist groups.

Leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen also have urged members of the hard-line Shabab militia to attack targets outside Africa for the first time, said U.S. officials who were briefed on the intelligence.

The information, they said, comes in part from a Somali militant who was captured en route from Yemen to Somalia and interrogated aboard a U.S. warship before being arraigned in New York on terrorism charges this month. Further intelligence was gleaned from detailed digital files found at Osama bin Laden’s hide-out in Pakistan after he was killed in May. (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Civilians killed by Yemeni gov’t as AQAP uses citizens as sheilds

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, TI: Internal, Transition, USA, Yemen, attacks, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 8:43 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

The article doesn’t make note of the enhanced US role in the conflict, directly and indirectly. But its undeniable that the Yemeni regime is currently committing war crimes, and has committed mass violations and mass murder for years in the Saada War, in the south as well across the nation.

HRW 7/9/11, (Aden) – Yemeni forces may have killed dozens of civilians in unlawful attacks while fighting an Islamist armed group in southern Abyan province since May 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The militants in Abyan, called Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), may have unlawfully placed civilians at risk by deploying in densely populated areas and engaged in looting and other abuses, Human Rights Watch said. (Read on …)

Awlaki, al Qaeda’s pimp to Somalia; Warsame arrested; other AQAP updates

Filed under: Counter-terror, Somalia, TI: External, USA, Yemen, anwar, arrests, pirates — by Jane Novak at 8:29 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

A bunch of overdue AQAP links and articles: First, business as usual: Sadiq al Ahmar said 16 of the recent al Qaeda escapees are living in villas in Sanaa, and other al Qaeda members are in the counter-terror forces, Republican Guard and Central Security. Its typical; we listed names of some of the AQ in the CT forces some years ago. Its well documented that other al Qaeda terrorists receive no-show salaries from the army or intelligence forces. The regime spun it as “rehabilitation,” until they needed a deniable proxy. The US dismissed them as “militants” but now the US is droning “militants” with no clear affiliation to al Qaeda or any transnational terror organization.

Yesterday, in an interview with Al Sheba, about what promoted the power of “the existence of al-Qaeda in Yemen”, Shekh Sadiq al Ahmar stressed that the so-called al-Qaeda elements are out of the house of the presidency and they exist in an anti-terrorist forces and the Republican Guard and the Central Security, noting that 16 members of Al Qaeda leaders who fled from the prison of Al-Mukalla month the past, “present in the villas in the capital alone to them the system in it.” He added, “The system uses the al-Qaeda bogeyman to extort from the Gulf, and promoted himself to America.”

Second, Shabab fighter Ahmed Warsame, arrested in the Gulf, was brought to the US for trial. Warsame has ties to both AQAP and al Shabab and met Anwar. Awlaki has been pimping al Qaeda to the Somalis since (at least) 2006 when the eight westerners were arrested trying to smuggle weapons to Somalia from Yemen. The enmeshment between al Qaeda in Yemen and al Shabab was politically inconvenient prior to the rev and is an expedient sound bite now.

NYT 7/10: In his remarks on his plane, Mr. Panetta said there were greater dangers to the United States in Yemen. “There’s no question when you look at what constitutes the biggest threat in terms of attacks on the United States right now, more of that comes from Yemen and people like Awlaki,” he said. He added that in Yemen, “There are a number of operations that are being conducted not only by the Defense Department, but by my former agency to try to focus on going after those targets. I would say that’s one of our top priorities right now.”

Fox News: The Somali terror suspect transferred this week to a New York City federal court spent “significant time” with American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, a U.S. official told Fox News. (Read on …)

“Saleh and Al-Qaeda: Who Empowered Who?”

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Abyan, Yemen's Lies, guest posts, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:32 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

SANAA, July 15, 2011

Saleh and Al-Qaeda: Who Empowered Who? BY: Nedhal Moqbel

The current Yemeni scene is full of question marks regarding the country’s present and future. Opponents are still protesting in the North, Southerners are maintaining their call for secession, and violent conflicts dominate the situation of this fragile country. Amidst this dilemma, Al-Qaeda has strongly reemerged and taken over Zinjibar, the capital city of the Southern governorate of Abyan, simultaneously extending its control throughout the entire governorate.

President Saleh did send his intended message to prove right his previous warning. “If I quit, Al-Qaeda could take over,” he once said in response to the mass protests in Taiz and Sanaa. There is no doubt that Saleh is replaying the terrorism card in an attempt to protect his reign. Logically, how could a small number of Al-Qaeda fighters, who came down some Abyan mountains, besiege and defeat two prominent brigades in Abyan (25th Mechanized and Al-Amaliqa)? How could they quickly capture Zinjibar and gain control of the government facilities? How can one believe that an entire government, with huge government troops, could fall into the hands of a few hundred fighters?

On the other hand, one wonders how Southern fighters in Radfan, whose number is much larger that of Al-Qaeda militias, have not been able to defeat only two battalions of government troops there. For several months, these fighters, who came from multiple areas to defend Radfan, could not put an end to their fierce battles with the government forces. These troops have besieged the area, frequently shelled it, and fought with all kinds of weapons.

Therefore, what happened in Abyan was not a real battle but an obvious collusion whose outcome was the handing of the governorate to an armed terrorist group. This collusion reveals close ties and mutual benefits between Saleh’s government and Al-Qaeda, which goes back to the 1990s. Several times, Saleh’s government allowed and eased the escape of a countless number of Al-Qaeda inmates from Yemeni prisons. In 2003, for example, eight of those prisoners involved in the Al-Qaeda Cole operation in Aden escaped, and about twenty-two others followed them later. In 2006, twenty-three Al-Qaeda prisoners fled a Sanaa jail, and much more (around sixty-three inmates) escaped last month from a prison in Mukalla.

Plausibly, Saleh and Al-Qaeda have empowered each other for decades. This group sprang from Saleh’s own Republican Palace to be his fundamental card through which he got more Western support and fought his internal enemies. When the world is angry at him, Saleh would imprison his Al-Qaeda men to calm it down. But when he needs them, the world would wake up to news of their escapes.

Dirty 30

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, other jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:34 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

(Read on …)

Youth militias counter Al Qaeda in Yemen; US trained CT forces elsewhere

In yet another demonstration of the total failure of US CT policy in Yemen, the US trained and equipped CT forces are busy countering the peaceful protesters with violence, while untrained government supporters are armed and roughly organized into militias that will fight the terrorists. The state is also highlighting the new training camp that state jihaddists set up under the government’s nose last month, likely the camp at Qauarir Mountain at Moalla, Aden reported here on 6/22.

By Associated Press, Published: July 3
SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni officials say the government has formed special youth militias to prevent militants linked to al-Qaida from gaining a foothold in the strategic southern port city of Aden.

The officials said Sunday there are signs that the presence of al-Qaida linked militants in Aden is growing. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Authorities in Aden spotted a newly created militant training camp, officials say. They have also detected attempts by militants in Aden to store large amounts of weapons and explosives in rented apartments and houses.

Defense Ministry abandons soldiers, 50 missing

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:10 am on Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not unusual, a unit was left surrounded during the Saada War for six weeks until the soldiers called local media. Its important to recall the Defense Minister hinself was the one who engaged in the hiring of the jihaddists during the battle of Jaar in 09. Meanwhile Tariq al Fahdli is calling for negotiations, no prob I’m sure as US policy now includes negotiating with the Taliban.

Yemen Online: Fifty Yemeni troops have been posted as missing after clashes with militants around the southern city of Zinjibar, a commander said on Saturday, accusing top brass of abandoning them to al Qaeda.

“We have lost all trace of 50 soldiers after an attack by al Qaeda elements enabled them to recapture control of the al Wahda stadium” outside Zinjibar, the commander serving with the 25th Mechanised Brigade told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He was unable to specify whether the troops had been killed, captured or deserted in the battle for the stadium which the army had recaptured from the militants only Friday.

The commander accused the defence ministry of abandoning the brigade’s soldiers to their fate in the face of repeated attacks by the militants of the Partisans of Sharia movement who seized much of Zinjibar in late May. (Read on …)

Organized jihaddists in Zinjibar, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Diplomacy, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Friday, July 1, 2011

Al Qaeda showing more respect for locals than the US is bad; there should be no comparison. Beyond the drones, Ambassador Feierstein continues meeting with regime officials including military intelligence while ignoring the protesters and their demands. The protest movement nation wide is discussing demanding the US Ambassador’s expulsion from Yemen as a person non grata. This NY Times article accurately covers the Saleh induced developments in Zinjibar.

June 26, 2011
Chaos in Yemen Creates Opening for Islamist Gangs
ADEN, Yemen — The ancient port city of Aden is now virtually surrounded by roving gangs of Islamist militia fighters — some linked to Al Qaeda — who have captured at least two towns, stormed prisons and looted banks and military depots in southern Yemen.

Yet the Yemeni government, still busy fighting unarmed protesters farther north, has done little to stop these jihadists. Members of the military, the police and local officials have fled their posts across much of southern Yemen. The country’s American-trained counterterrorism unit has not been deployed. It is no surprise that many Yemenis believe the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, intended it all to happen. (Read on …)

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 …)

CIA drones to augment military drones

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, TI: External, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:45 pm on Saturday, June 25, 2011

LAT: Reporting from Washington— The CIA is planning a campaign of targeted killings by drone aircraft against Al Qaeda militants in Yemen modeled after a similar program in Pakistan, U.S. officials say.

CIA attacks from Predator drones will augment a clandestine effort by U.S. special operations forces, which have been conducting manned airstrikes, drone strikes and small raids in Yemen, the officials said Tuesday.
(Read on …)

Hadramout escape details and list of escapees

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, prisons, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Friday, June 24, 2011

One guard was killed during the 8 am prison break by 63 prisoners through a tunnel 35 meters long, some were convicted some never tried, many arrested for traveling to Syria to go the Iraq. From the info and the names are here.

a) the prison warden was replaced two weeks prior to the escape

b) 12 dangerous al Qaeda transferred in to the Hadramout prison from Sanaa prison prior to the escape (just like Jaber Elbaneh was transferred into Sanaa prison before the 2006 escape)

c) later Wednesday firing heard from jail and strange men wandering the streets with guns asking for water

d) use of a drill (like Sanaa escape 2006, as I noted at the time) (Read on …)

“Ansar al Sharia” rejects humanitarian cease fire in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, aq statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:23 pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Marib Press reports on demonstrations in Abyan against the militants and negotiations for a humanitarian cease fire. Mediators did not meet any known figures of AQAP and the representatives themselves said they were part of the group Ansar al Sharia. Googlish version:

Mareb Press Ansar al-Sharia and reject any mediation or a truce between them and the army, before the departure of the benefit, and the delivery of Aden, and reports on the presence of a number of (militants).

Exposed to local sources in the governorate of Abyan, the presence of mediation, led, currently, a number of religious leaders from the province, and the Sheikhs of Shibuya, to try to cease fire and truce between the Yemeni army forces, and the jihadi groups in control of the show, in order to allow charitable organizations to reach women and children and civilians trapped in areas of confrontation. (Read on …)

Local reports from Abyan, Yemen indicate Nabi directed by presidential son, Ahmed Saleh; new training camp

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:40 pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The group of state jihaddists in Abyan is headed by Khalidabdul Nabi. Nabi has very strong links to the National Security and regularly works as a mercenary according to other jihaddists, prominent politicians, activists, Yemeni political analysts, local witnesses and all known open source documentation, his own interviews and history going back a decade. The al Qaeda uprising in Abyan is directed and funded by Yemeni counter-terror chiefs, Ammar Ali Saleh and Ahmed Ali Saleh. This new reporting dovetails with the earlier report by Abdullah al Asnag which found that many of the supposed jihaddists are members of the National Security.

Ammar, the de facto head of the Yemeni National Security, was injured in an “auto accident” last Wednesday and taken to al Urdy mil camp hospital. He reportedly has a serious head injury.

One local observer reports the sequence of events as follows: the terrorist group in Abyan is a combination of Ahmed Ali and Amar Ali’s al Qaeda forces plus al Zindani’s jihaddi forces and some of Ali Mohsen’s al Qaeda force; this grouping of so-called “al Qaeda” was attacked (and partially defeated) by the defected military coalition led by General Fisal Ragab along with locals. A division of the army under Ali Mohsen’s command is currently engaged in the battle against militants in the provincial capital of Zinjibar, “to show America that we are serious in the fight against Al Qaeda,” said his spokesman, Abdulghani al-Shumeeri.Then General Ragab’s force, after engaging the militants, was attacked by the government’s military force, naval and air, and the National Security, prompting the withdrawal of Ragab’s forces. The state forces attacked the defected military and southern forces which earlier attacked the “al Qaeda” militants in Zinjibar. ( Video 6/6/11 in Zinjibar shows several dead soldiers lying in the street but its unclear which side they were on.)

New training camp: Witnesses have reported activity at Qauarir Mountain at Moalla, Aden by the al Zindani jihaddi force, where they started some sort of training comp with the knowledge of the government. The phrase “al Zindani jihaddists” is used by many in the south and I am not clear if they are referring to al Iman students or the old school remnants of the Abyan Aden Islamic Army or a combination of both. However through the years there have been several credible reports of new training camps established in the south under the noses (and with the aid of) of the state security forces. Another state operated al Qaeda camp is in wadi Abu Jubarah in Saada.

The real AQAP, al Qaeda of al Wahishi, Awlaki and al Reimi is distinct and, according to some, hasn’t moved, although this interview indicates indicates Awlaki left Shibuya on orders from the authorities, probably right before the US air strike.

AQAP has not disowned the actions of the state jihaddists, as usual, likely because the retention of Saleh is in AQAP’s interests as well. Several terror incidents in the last years were attributed to al Qaeda but likely were false flag operations, carried out by state jihaddists under the supervision of the Yemeni security/intelligence including attacks on foreign nationals.

Meanwhile the residents are paying the price of the these games, with large numbers of citizens displaced from Zinjibar and al Hota. Some men have stayed behind to protect their homes. Photos and video here of the aftermath of the bombing in Ja’ar. AFP reports Yemeni government statements on the battles, over 100 military deaths, an army pull back, as well as missed airstrikes, destroyed homes and civilian casualties since hostilities began three weeks ago.

Medical sources say most of the 200 non-military killed were residents, not militants and not al Qaeda, the National ;

Government raids and US drone attacks in Yemen are focusing on Islamic militant targets in Abyan province, ignoring the more dangerous Al Qaeda stronghold of Shabwa province, a senior defence ministry official said yesterday.

Among the targets has been the Jaar farm of Khaled Abdul Nabi, considered one of the most powerful Islamic militants in Yemen since the early 1990s, according to the interior ministry.

“More than 85 per cent of the fighters killed in Abyan over the last three weeks have not been Al Qaeda members. Militants in Abyan and other areas in the south are well-known Jihadists, but we cannot prove their links to Al Qaeda,” said the official. Last week, the interior ministry said it arrested 10 militants in Aden believed to be fighters with links to Mr Nabi. Qasem Bin Hadi, head of security in Zinjibar, Abyan, said that the majority of the militants killed were terrorists.

“Who said that only Al Qaeda is a terrorist group in Yemen? These militants are causing as much problems for Yemen as Al Qaeda,” Mr Hadi said, adding that Abyan has turned into a ghost town and that clashes between government forces and militants are non-stop.

Yemeni CT chief Ahmed Saleh orchestrating “Al Qaeda” insurgency in Abyan

Filed under: Counter-terror, Yemen, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 11:44 am on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In an interview, Herak official Nakhebi said that Gen.Maqwala commander of the South Central Military Region Headquarters in Aden is tasked with carrying out the Saleh scheme to hand over the South to the so called al Qaeda. The following article reports that the Southern Movement is accusing Ahmed Saleh, head of the counter-terror forces, of funding the chaos in Abyan, which is quite likely. Below is a report on a propaganda statement purported to be from “al Qaeda” offering a reward for the murder of listed security officials, illogical on its face. Also a recap of analysis noting that most of the insurgents have military training or attended training camps. And al Masdar reports the former Abyan governor says that the militants are not al Qaeda.

Sahwa Net – Secretary-General of the South has accused the son of the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah, Ahmad, of funding armed groups that affiliate to Al-Qaeda with the aim of dominating South Yemen. (Read on …)

Saleh cronies allow 62 al Qaeda prisoners to “escape” in Hadramout

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Hadramout, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, prisons, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:04 am on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The escape is one part of the state’s plan of generating al Qaeda chaos. There is a high likelihood that the escape was arranged by the head of the security forces like Ahmed, Saleh’s son or one of the nephews. These officials are also the US’s important partners in counter-terror efforts and have been the recipients of millions in counter-terror funding.

The Saleh regime has repeatedly released al Qaeda prisoners over the years often in exchange for support as mercenaries. Individual jihaddis were released to go fight in Saada, but larger scale escapes and releases (like the 109 released in 2009 or the escape in 2006) are a habitual characteristic of the Saleh regime and generally part of a much larger deal. . The international media is uniformly reporting idiotic statements like this from Fox: Wednesday’s escape was the latest sign that Yemen’s months-long upheaval has emboldened Al Qaeda militants to challenge authorities in the country’s nearly lawless south. No, they are not challenging the authorities but working in concert with them.

Yemen Post: 62 Al-Qaeda Prisoners Escape Yemen Prison
At least 62 suspected al-Qaeda prisoners escaped from the central security prison in the southern city of Mukalla Wednesday morning.

One security personnel was killed as well as a prisoner. The security official said that a number of the escaped prisoners were arrested after coming back from Iraq, where they were fighting American forces. This is considered the biggest prison breakout for suspected al-Qaeda suspects.

Opposition forces are blaming senior military officials with close links to President Saleh for allowing and easing the escape of al-Qaeda prisoners to cause chaos in the south and get more US support and prolong the Saleh regime.

This comes at the time where the assistant secretary of state is visiting Yemen. He said the the majority of the escapees had court sentences of over five years in prison on terror charges.

More to come

Sahwa Net- Well-informed sources have accused a high-ranking military commander close to President Ali Abdullah Saleh of plotting to release Al-Qaeda suspects in Hadhramout governorate. (Read on …)

Bombing Nabi? Since when is Nabi AQAP?

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Sunday, June 19, 2011

Since when does Khalidabdul Nabi have transnational reach? Nabi is a long time Saleh operative. If al Nabi is leading the insurgency in Zinjibar, then its only with Saleh’s (and the Four Thugs’) approval and direction. If its the Yemeni government bombing him, its 100% a propaganda ploy. In 2009, al Nabi was on the side of the state in the intra-jihaddidi battle for Ja’ar and well paid for his efforts. It is as Yemeni analysts have said: Saleh pulled back his forces and opened the door in order to create chaos. Saleh said in a self-fulfilling speech that “al Qaeda” will take over four provinces without him.

Nabi said in an interview in 2005, after SAleh returned from visiting Bush, that he is only jailed when Saleh wants to impress the US and for future use against Saleh’s opponents. However if Nabi has linked up his extensive yet localized group of militants with AQAP, it would be a concern, if only for the new pool of US citizens that AQAP would have access to. But Nabi, as he has been for the last decade, is a domestic extremist only interested in imposing his version of strict Sharia on a community. Nabi is like the Taliban to Yemen’s al Qaeda. Nabi has very strong ties to the Yemeni security and intelligence services and acts as a mercenary regularly. Maybe the goal is to wipe out Saleh’s (and Mohsen’s) army of militants that the US ignored, excused and tolerated (and funded) for years as they were used to threaten the west with false flag terror attacks and other elaborate propaganda ploys.

The kidnapping of the two French citizens, like the Germans kidnapped two years ago, like the attacks on the UK ambassador, are state sanctioned terror acts. And instead of bombing the palace, the US is bombing Nabi. Is anybody with a beard fair game? Many of Yemen’s militants spent time fighting in the state sponsored jihad in Saada, including Nabi, as the US was allied with Saleh and condoned the collective punishment of an entire province. In Saada, the military was indoctrinated in hard core takfiri Salifism and soldiers were told Houthi blood is free. Suddenly the US is turning on its former allies by association, the previously acceptable “tribal paramilitaries” are now al Qaeda militants and subject to assassination. Its extremely inconsistent. They are all on the state payroll.

Al Harithy Jr., killed in a drone strike this month, had fought in Iraq and was not sanctioned by Yemeni court for those murderous activities. There was no strenuous objection from the US in 2007 at the time of his sentence. At the same time, the US military is staking US national security to the al Qaeda infested Yemeni security services led by Saleh’s relatives. I’ve previously published the names of the members of the counter-terror units who are also affiliated with al Qaeda. Secretary Gates had no post-Saleh planning as the US disrupted, and continues to disrupt, the progress of the Yemeni revolution. Yemen is a complex environment that requires a multi-pronged approach to vanquish al Qaeda, step for step nearly the exact opposite of current and prior US policy. To paraphrase al Asnag, continued US support for murderous criminals is severely alienating the rest of the nation.
Governmental war planes bombarded the farms and property of wanted Islamic militant leader Khaled Abdul Nabi in Jaar, Abyan.

Abdul Nabi has been considered the most powerful Islamic militant in Yemen since the late 1990’s. This is the first time the government raid him directly.

Clashes have been ongoing in the province for the last seven hours and officials in Abyan said that three civilians have been killed in today’s raids.

Over the last two weeks of clashes in Abyan, more than 200 people have been killed, a number of them due to US drone attacks.

Ja’ar residents protest infiltration of “Al Qaeda”; 18 US drone strikes mostly miss

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, South Yemen, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Sunday, June 19, 2011

From the Yemen Post:

A US drone attack took place in Jaar, Abyan, on Saturday injuring six civilians. Eyewitnesses said the attack was expected to be targeting senior Jihadists in the area. No al-Qaeda members were hurt in the attack.Most of the attacks in Abyan have resulted in injuring wrong targets this month. At least 18 US drone attacks have taken place in June, in the highest foreign attack toll on Yemen lands in recent history.

The US is bombing and missing although there is supposed to be a better intelligence stream. In 2009, General Patraeus said the Bedouin locals killed in Abyan by a US missile strike were providing material support to al Qaeda by selling them food, implying the 42 civilians killed weren’t really civilians, and overlooking they had complained about the AQ infiltration to local authorities. What is one supposed to do when al Qaeda moves in? In this case, the residents are actively protesting.

Dawn ADEN, Yemen: Hundreds of residents of a southern Yemeni town in which al Qaeda has embedded itself called on Friday for the departure of the Islamic militants from their neighbourhood, an official said.

“Hundreds of residents of Jaar gathered in front of the town’s mosque to show their opposition to armed groups with links to al Qaeda,” Mohsen Salem Said, a member of the municipal council, told AFP.

He said residents “demanded that these armed men leave Jaar, so it does not befallen the same fate as Zinjibar,” a neighbouring town in Abyan province.

Hundreds of men presumed to be connected to al Qaeda on May 29 took control of Zinjibar after battles with the Yemeni army in which 140 people died, including about 80 soldiers. (Read on …)

Ghamdi sanctioned by US as AQAP fundraiser, two other Ghamdis in SA

Filed under: Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 7:51 pm on Saturday, June 18, 2011

YOL Former Guantanamo detainee in Yemen named to US terrorist list 18/6/2011

The State Department Thursday added a freed Guantanamo detainee to its list of government-sanctioned terrorists, saying the Saudi Arabian soldier is now a fundraiser for the Yemeni offshoot al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula. (Read on …)

Clashes in Lahj between armed militants and police

Filed under: 3 security, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Lahj, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:33 pm on Thursday, June 16, 2011

al jazeera reports clashes in al Houta.

Dozens of alleged al-Qaeda gunmen attacked security and government buildings in the southern town of Huta, killing two policeman and wounding five others, Yemeni medics and residents said.

Fierce clashes broke out at dawn on Wednesday between the armed men and police around the local branches of intelligence and central bank, and the courts in the Lahij province town of Huta, before dispersing toward nearby farms, residents said. (Read on …)

Zinjibar: a would-be Islamist state

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, USA, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2011

WaPo: SANAA, Yemen — Islamist extremists, many suspected of links to al-Qaeda, are engaged in an intensifying struggle against government forces for control of southern Yemen, taking advantage of a growing power vacuum to create a stronghold near vital oil-shipping lanes, said residents and Yemeni and U.S. officials.

Over the past few weeks, the militants have swiftly taken over two towns, including Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, and surrounding areas and appear to be pushing farther south, said Yemeni security officials and residents. Increasingly, it appears as if al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate is seeking for the first time to grab and hold large swaths of territory, adding a dangerous dimension to Yemen’s crisis. (Read on …)

More weapons distributed by Saleh loyalist officials

Filed under: Military, Post Saleh, Proliferation, Yemen, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 4:03 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2011

A lot of the weapons will likely be sold into the black market for food money. The weapons were destined for the military but they were diverted to para-military forces.

Al Sahwa

Sahwa Net- The commander of the Air Forces Mohammad Saleh Al-Ahmar has distributed 13500 pieces for thugs, loyal to the regime, well-informed sources told Sahwa Net. The sources affirmed that Al-Ahmar, half-brother of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, was supposed to distribute 25,000 pieces of AK-47 to arm soldiers and officers of the Air Forces, but that did not happen.

They affirmed that some officers of the Air Forces held a meeting with Al-Ahmrar a week ago and they were promised to receive the weapons, but his promises has not been fulfilled. Meanwhile, dozens of the Air Forces’ officials carried out last week an open strike, demanding to have their financial dues.

Hamza bin Laden as Usama’s successor?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Saturday, June 11, 2011

Update 2: Zawaheri 6/16 via the al-Fajr Media Center.

Update by Aaron: Person or persons unknown have seen fit to release a counterfeit as-Sahab video claiming that OBL son Hamza has been named to succeed his father. The above banner is part of the promotional effort. The jihadis on the forums quickly denounced the video and removed it from their sites.

Original: My money was always on Hamza. Why? Because that’s who Abu al Feida announced in 2008 as bin Laden’s designated successor. Hamza was the only one who escaped from the SEAL raid. There was some earlier reporting that Hamza was offered and turned down the post; maybe they talked him into it now or elase its a cover to keep him out of the spotlight for the moment. See post 2/6/08 where in Abu al Fida (Rashad Mohammed Saeed Ismael) makes the announcement and sings Hamza’s praises. Al Feida (bin Laden matchmaker and adviser to President Saleh) was always well informed and in the loop. The fact that al Tahadi took it down just adds credence to the theory. Also Hamza and al Wahishi have the Iran connection.

MEMRI: Announcement Of Hamza Bin Laden As Osama Bin Laden Successor Posted, Immediately Removed On Jihadi Forums

On June 9, 2011, the jihadi forum Al-Tahadi published what appeared to be a video statement from the Al-Qaeda media wing Al-Sahab announcing that Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, had been declared the new leader of the organization. reports prison stormed in Zinjibar

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Abyan, Yemen, attacks, prisons — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Saturday, June 11, 2011

The clufu continues. The following is an excerpt (googlish) of a report from (of the Bakil tribe) on the prison break and chaos in Zinjibar that includes some statements by former Interior Minister Hussain Arab, who issued the travel docs to al Nashiri in 2000. I think the irony of his statement accusing Saleh of activating al Qaeda is lost on him.

And spread by masked gunmen in downtown Zanzibar and streets and government institutions, while the city has been witnessing an exodus of the population. As the region is witnessing violent clashes between insurgents and Brigade 125 in the city of Zanzibar, where the use of various heavy weapons and Alkhvivip. Gunmen stormed the central prison in the city was the release of detainees inside and according to eyewitnesses. The city has the widespread looting on the institutions and government facilities. And accused former Interior Minister Hussein Mohammed Arab regime of President Saleh al-Qaeda support through the “handing over” a number of cities Abyan governorate, which led to a regulation on the control of the reins in Zanzibar. (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 .

US CT ops continue in Yemen; 2006 “Zarchawi cell” leader targeted (al Harithy Jr)

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Iraq, TI: External, Trials, USA, Yemen, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 8:20 am on Thursday, June 9, 2011

a) Drone attacks with civilian casualties could trigger a civil war if the previously unarmed Southern Movement believes it is being arbitrarily attacked by Saleh’s forces or Mohsen’s. Vid of some aircraft bomber in South Yemen is widely assumed to be Saleh’s air force and is provoking panic at the thought of a new bombing campaign like the one that occurred in Saada. (Update: Vid likely not US, has the wrong contrail, vid recorded yesterday and supposedly hit Abyan City. Whereas US air strike was in Shabwa and days earlier.) (Local reporting on Shibuya.)

Update: CNN reports Abu al Harithy Jr. was in Shabwa and the Yemeni government is taking credit on TV.

A U.S. military official with knowledge of the Yemen campaign told CNN that U.S. military-led air operations recently resumed after a pause of some months. He also said the United States believes it likely killed al-Harithi in an airstrike in southern Yemen in recent days. But he cautioned its “very difficult” to confirm the killing.

The official said the pause was due to the fact the United States “didn’t have faith in the information available,” to conduct targeting against individuals in Yemen during that time frame. He could not say what led to the improved intelligence picture, but the Yemeni government has been absorbed with the anti-government demonstrations raging in big cities and fighting tribal forces.

The US also pledged $26 mil in humanitarian aid today.

b) The embedded links in this section lead to contemporaneous posts on the 2006 trial of the 19 member Zarchawi cell headed by Ali Abdullah Naji Al-Harithi, nicknamed Abu Ali Al-Harithi junior. This is the cell that won its appeal to reduced charges by arguing successfully that its legal under Yemeni law to commit murder abroad in the name of jihad. They admitted traveling to Iraq as well as establishing training camps in Yemen. The cell made explosive belts because John Kerry mentioned something about Yemen during a presidential candidates’ debate, but then when he didn’t win, they claimed at trial they gave the belts to the intelligence services. Al Hairthy was killed in a recent US air strike (Friday 6/3) in Yemen per the NYTimes report below.

c) Another thing I will never understand about US CT policy is why Yemen got a total pass from 2004-2007 when literally thousands of jihaddists, Yemeni and non-Yemeni, were being trained in Yemen to kill US troops in Iraq. There is an incorrect concept that there was little AQ activity in Yemen during that time frame, however Yemen was buzzing with activity, receiving and exporting jihaddists. They would leave by the plane load openly. Its reasonable to say half of US military deaths and injuries in Iraq were perpetrated by individuals who in some way were connected with the Yemeni pipe line. That’s a mind boggling statement when Bush was always whining about Syria letting them into Iraq but never once publicly about Saleh letting them out of Yemen. Overview of Yemenis in suicide ops in Iraq as well as coordination with Baathists in Yemen here. Saddams nephew never located as far as I know.

NYT: June 8, 2011
U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes, By MARK MAZZETTI

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.

On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived. (Read on …)

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 …)

Rebel military fighting “al Qaeda” in Abyan, Yemen (not Saleh’s forces)

Filed under: Abyan, Military, other jihaddists, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:12 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Its General Aliwa and the other high level military commanders who defected from Saleh’s army who are coordinating the engagement of the militants in Abyan. The pro-change military are trying to restore stability in Abyan in the security vacuum that arose after Saleh withdrew forces. Possibly another goal is to burnish their CT credentials and commitment, however the western media is reporting it all wrong. The following article outlines the structure and intentions of the defected military commanders. The forces loyal to Saleh are now primarily the Republican Guard, headed by presidential son Ahmed Saleh, which are staking out the palaces in the main cities; some RG units are locked down in their camps in other regions by locals. However there have been high level as well as low level defections from the RG. The residents displaced by the militants’ take-over exceed the 20,000 estimated by the UN; some are living in schools in Aden.

Rebel soldiers engage Abyan militants, Yemen Times: SANA’A, June 1 — The Yemeni army has continued its military operations against armed Islamists in Zinjibar, the capital of the Abyan Governorate, where the alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took control of the city last Saturday amidst local suspicion that Saleh was responsible of handing over the area to such “terrorist groups”.

Defected military generals issued their first statement on Sunday stating, “Saleh is trying to divide the military forces in Yemen by leaving Abyan governorate to terrorists and to scream about the Al-Qaeda threat to the international community, with the aim of quelling the popular uprisings demanding Saleh’s departure.”

General Abdullah Ali Aliwa, former Minister of Defense, Major Hussein Arab, former Minister of Interior, Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, commanders of Yemen’s northwestern region and General Mohamed Ali Mohsen, leader of the eastern area were the top defected military figures who signed the statement.

They vowed, “We will not let Saleh use the army to achieve his ill-dream and will pay for his malfeasance.”

They also called on their colleagues who are still loyal to Saleh to join them for “the best for their nation.”

Saleh’s media sources say that the Islamists who took over Abyan are “members of Al-Qaeda and they benefit from any instability to establish their Islamic state.”

However until now, the armed groups have not yet unveiled their identity. They currently occupy two governmental buildings and carry out raids on security headquarters, targeting soldiers coming from other camps to fight against them.

Taiz: tank shells area near palace, hits residential area, kills 3 kids, 1 adult

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, Yemen's Lies, other jihaddists, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The fighting in Taiz is largely between the pro and anti governmental factions of Brigade 33 along with some civilian volunteers, not a tribe. Taiz is not a tribal area, only about 40% of Yemen is tribal.
The military/ security forces fell back from major areas but have not left the city. Al Sahwa and ohter local reporting indicates the shell was fired by the Republican Guard forces headed by Saleh’s son Ahmed.

The situation in Abyan continues to flare, 15 killed, often getting greater attention than anything else in Yemen because of the AQ packaging to the media. The opposition continues to insist its another of Saleh’s elaborate ploys: pulling back security, giving the green light to some of the state’s cadre of loyalist jihaddists and then sending the army in small numbers to be overwhelmed. While the situation remains unclear, there is no doubt that Saleh has the requisite lack of ethics required to send Yemeni soldiers to be slaughtered in order to gain a favorable sounding scroll on the cable news tickers. A good overview here at Muftah of basic fragmentation and groupings in Yemen.

MSNBC: Clashes killed 19 people, including three children, in two Yemeni provinces, military and medical officials said Tuesday.
(Read on …)

General Nuba writes the UN, GCC imploring to coordinate on security issues in southern Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, South Yemen, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:58 pm on Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mr. / Secretary General of the United Nations, Esquire
M / permanent members of the UN Security Council, Distinguished
Mr. / Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Esquire
Sirs / members of the GCC, Distinguished

After greeting:

Subject: keeping security in southern Yemen

We are pleased to send vest regards and wish you continued good health and
Success in your grave work. As you are aware the current situation in Yemen, and South Yemen in particular, could be leading up to the stages total collapse. Which leads to the formation of discussion of the seriousness of the situation on the local, regional and international as well as on the lines of international navigation in the Gulf of Aden.

We would like to extend to you a proposal to request material to us, and through which we can cover security issues in South Yemen and maintain the security and stability in the region, and the international corridor, and this Itati through Tkdmoh who support us.

We are hopeful and confident of your agreement to our proposal for the benefits of everyone.

Yours sincerely.

Brigadier General / Nasser Ali Al Nubia

President of the Supreme National Commission for the independence of the South.
President of the Supreme Coordination Council of the Assemblies of the retirees military and security officials and civilians

Issued in Shabwah on 03/04/2011

(Read on …)

Islamic Emirate in Shabwa, Yemen? A seaport in Abyan and militants with links to Islamists

Filed under: Abyan, Lahj, Yemen, other jihaddists, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:49 am on Saturday, June 4, 2011

Certainly in the security vacuum created by the stalled revolution, militants who believe in strict Sharia would try to impose their will on local populations. The pull back of the trained CT units prior to the fall of Abyan to Saleh’s cadre of militants does give rise to questions. As far as I know, AQAP never claimed to have taken over Zanzibar despite widespread media reporting. There was an announcement on the radio station and maybe some internet something. But nothing by Wahishi confirming or denying. The last thing attributed to them as AQAP was a call to AFP by an anonymous leader after bin Laden’s death promising revenge. According to residents, there’s some jihaddists in Azzan, Shabwa but they only come out at night. The reporting from the Chinese news agency though is a serous overstatement and the “local official” quoted is spinning Saleh’s propaganda.

Xinhuanet SANAA, June 1 (Xinhua) — Al-Qaida’s regional branch in Yemen took control over another large city in Yemen’s southeastern province of Shabwa on Wednesday, a week after they controlled the southern Abyan province, local officials and residents said. (Read on …)

Militants in Abyan, Yemen are not AQAP, cause humanitarian crisis

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Saturday, June 4, 2011

Update: 1) UNHCHR 20,000 internally displaced displaced by the fighting. 2) Residents report severe water shortage, roads cut.

original: So I’m the only one who recalls Saleh’s long time stooge Khalidabdul Nabi ( al Nabi background here) and all that blah blah about reviving the Aden Abyan Islamic Army to establish an Islamic Emirate. As recently as 48 hours ago the USG was talking about AQAP in Abyan. Is it shorthand for any jihaddist, a scare tactic or ignorance? The militants in Abyan are historically more likely to be state jihaddists than the Wahishi death cult. Saleh has corrupted everything in Yemen including its jihaddists.

See 12/28/09 “Nabi calls for an Islamist state in Yemen.” Do we recall the January 09 face to face meeting with Saleh and Nabi and others that culminated in the Feb 09 release of the 109 aged members of the Aden Abyan Islamic Army (as the Yemeni embassy described them at the time, making quite clear at the time they were not al Qaeda). For names of the attendees, see here. There was also a large chunk of cash that changed hands at the time. Earlier on Khanfar, Abyan.

DW “Saleh is known for the creative use of chaos as a means of control, and has pitted jihadists against the South before, so it could be a strategy,” Professor Sheila Carapico, a Yemen expert at the University of Richmond and the American University in Cairo, told Deutsche Welle….Yemen’s elite, American-trained counterterrorism units had been engaging AQAP elements in fierce clashes throughout the region in recent months but were pulled out of Abyan just days before the AQAP raid on Zinjibar took place. Reports from Zinjibar claimed that the militants were unopposed and took over the city without a shot being fired, an unusual event given the severity of combat that had taken place between government forces and militants in the preceding weeks.

Local residents in Zinjibar also claim that, far from being hardcore AQAP fighters, the militants were members of the estimated 300-strong Ansar al-Sharia movement, a group of local tribesman committed to setting up a fundamentalist state in the south of Yemen, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Ansar al-Sharia is thought to have no connections with the protestors in the capital Sanaa or the opposition forces battling his troops elsewhere in the country.

Other reporting (Read on …)

JMP willing to sign CT agreement with US, EU

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, JMP, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:35 am on Monday, May 30, 2011

Abdel Rahman Ba Fadel says the French aid workers were kidnapped because France called for Saleh to step down, unfortunately a likely explanation. He asks the west to step in.

Yemen’s opposition would be willing to sign an agreement with the West to combat al-Qaeda in Yemen, if Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s president, steps down, according to an opposition official.

Abdel Rahman Ba Fadel, a member of Yemen’s opposition Islah party, told Al Jazeera that the country’s opposition had contacted the office of the US ambassador in Yemen to this effect. At Youtube

SOHR: indiscriminate bombing by the Yemeni military in Zanjibar, Ja’ar, al Kaud

Filed under: Abyan, Protest Fatalities, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Monday, May 30, 2011

Southern Observatory for Human Rights issues distress call to Red Cross and international orgs. Yemen packages it as six civilians were killed and nine others were wounded on Sunday when Yemeni military forces shelled al-Qaida hideouts. They are suddenly fighting al Qaeda now, from the air after withdrawing forces.

Distress call to the international organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross

May 30, 2011

Sirs and madams in the international organizations and the International Committee of the International Red Cross

The Southern Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) presents its best compliments to you. And it appeals you in an urgent way that does not bear waiting or delaying to meet some demands, since the fact that there are many people of the south are exposed to murder, torture and seizure till this very moment by the Yemeni forces stationed in Abyan, southern Yemen.

According to our own sources that the cities of Zanzibar, Al-Kaud, and Ja’ar are subjected to indiscriminate bombing by the Yemeni military forces stationed in the region, resulting in the death and wounding of dozens of citizens, including many women and children. (Read on …)

Dictator’s forces kill four, shoot 90 in Taiz, Update artillery fired on protesters, Update 2: ongoing, tents burnt, corpses stolen, injured trapped

Filed under: Abyan, Military, Protest Fatalities, Security Forces, Taiz, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:30 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011

51, the deaths so far are tallied at 51, but many corpses and injured were kidnapped by the security forces. The water cannons shot petrol or gas on the protesters tents at 3 am while they were still inside, many burned. Charred bodies of children and the disabled were discovered this morning. Details and sniper videos below the fold.

Summary from the YT:Taiz, May 30 – A group of security force soldiers have raided the protest camp in the heart of Taiz city, known as the “Freedom Square”, at 3:00 AM on Sunday, 30 May, killing dozens of people and injuring others.

The loyalist soldiers attacked the square from all directions and gunmen in police and plain clothes shoot at protesters from the roofs of surrounding buildings. (Read on …)

Zanjibar, Abyan under bombardment: residents, Update: Arhab

Filed under: Abyan, Sana'a, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:46 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011
Urgent message to Human Rights Organizations

The city of Zinjibar in the Province of Abyan in Yemen is under heavy bombardment that includes large bombs and rockets, fired on them by the Government forces of the Yemeni Regime. Various reports indicate that there are dozens of civilians are under the rubber of their homes and bodies scattered in the streets of the city. The residents of the city are calling for immediate help to stop the atrocities against them which are being carried out in the pretext of fighting “AlQadia”. They need, on urgent bases humanitarian aid of food & medical assistance and most of all protection from the madness of the regime.

Saleh creates the chaos and then bombs it. Typical.

Bombing Arhab now: the 101 brigade is bombarding Arhub area, attempting to rescue the Rep. Guards 26 Brigade, Mareb Press Update: Zindani’s house bombed.

Pro-Change Military in Yemen accuses Saleh of handing Abyan to terrorists

Filed under: Abyan, Military, protest statements, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:30 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is why I have a category “state jihaddists.”

Update with English subtitles:

Al Masdar: The leadership of the armed forces in support of peaceful popular revolution in Yemen Statement No. 1, followed by Major General Abdullah Ali Elewa and former Secretary of Defense (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 French aid workers missing in Sayoun, Hadramout, Yemen

Filed under: 9 hostages, Hadramout, Other Countries, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Saturday, May 28, 2011

Many foreigners, dozens, have been kidnapped in Yemen by tribes over the last decade and all have been returned without harm. The timing of this is off though. Some are saying that since the “AQAP take-over of Abyan” didn’t generate a US reversal, Saleh is continuing to play on AQ fears with this incident. Maybe his forces will find and rescue them into order to put Saleh in a good light.

BBC: Three French aid workers are feared kidnapped after going missing in southern Yemen, officials say. The three are reported to have gone missing in Hadramawt in the south-east.

They had been in Seyun since mid-April working for Triangle Generation Humanitaire, a French NGO working in Yemen since 1998. (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 …)

Abdulelah Haider Shaea

Filed under: Judicial, Media, Sana'a, US jihaddis, Yemen, aq statements, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:35 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Al Jazeera

The kidnapping

Kamal was with Abdelillah when he was first kidnapped in July 2010. Two cars pulled up and eight men in civilian clothes carrying guns violently forced him out of the car.

“You crossed red lines in your statements on satellite television and if you don’t listen to what we say and understand the message we will destroy your life,” they told him.
(Read on …)

Zindani trashes secular people on internet, needs dictionary

Filed under: Religious, Sana'a, Yemen, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:10 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

A secular government is not one that rejects religion but one that protects all people equally to practice whatever religion they believe. Zindani also endorses the GCC proposal as a measure to avoid bloodshed. Update vid on role of Islam in the rev: watch it here.

Al Watan

الزنداني يصف الديمقراطية باللعبة ويهدد دعاة العلمانية Zindani describes the democratic game and threatens the advocates of secularism
السبت, 21-مايو-2011 Saturday, 21 – May -2011
( الوطن ) – دعا القيادي في التجمع اليمني للاصلاح المعارض -رئيس جامعة الايمان الشيخ عبد المجيد الزنداني، الشباب في الساحات وكل القوى السياسية والاجتماعية إلى عدم عرقلة جهود المبادرة الخليجية لتجنيب اليمن مزيدا من الدماء. (Home) – The leader of the Islah opposition – President of the University of faith, Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, young people in the squares and all the political and social forces not to obstruct the efforts of the GCC initiative to spare further bloodshed Yemen. (Read on …)

Zawahiri “elected” head of AQ

Filed under: TI: External — by Jane Novak at 2:43 pm on Friday, May 20, 2011

Does anyone else notice the irony of the anti-democracy death cult electing its leader? Abu al Fida, bin Laden’s matchmaker and presidential adviser in Yemen said in 2008 that UBL wanted his son Hamza to be the new chief. Hamza was the only one who escaped the recent SEAL raid in Pakistan. Zawahiri of course has very close contacts in Yemen and a working relationship with President Saleh.

MVDG This is breaking news: Ayman al-Zawahiri has officially been named ‘emir’ of Al Qaeda. This makes him the successor of Obama bin Laden, who was taken out by a team of Navy Seals earlier this month. (Read on …)

Pakistan arrests senior Yemeni AQ operative in Karachi

Filed under: AfPak, TI: External, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 10:52 am on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, alias Abu Sohaib al Makki, never heard of him


(Reuters) – Pakistani security forces have arrested what they say is a senior al Qaeda operative from Yemen in the southern city of Karachi, the military said on Tuesday. (Read on …)

Checkpoint attack in Mukalla, Yemen kills three

Filed under: 3 security, Hadramout, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The spree continues, Yemen Post

At least three people were killed, including two soldiers and another wounded in Yemen’s southern province of Hadhramout.

Private sources said that suspected Al-Qaeda militants attacked a governmental patrol vehicle at a checkpoint belonging to the Central Security Unit in Mukalla, killing two soldiers and a civilian and wounding another. (Read on …)

Saif al Adel new temp head of al Qaeda Central

Filed under: TI: External, saif — by Jane Novak at 5:23 pm on Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Egyptian Saif al Adel as acting chief makes sense. In 2010 UBL named Saif Adel commander of external operations. The Montral Gazette noted at the time that,

“His strategy is to stage multiple small terror operations, using the resources of affiliates and allies wherever possible,” said Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani expert on al-Qaida.

A U.S. counter-terrorism official said the idea was for “small but often attacks” that would hurt the West more than a “one-off terror spectacular”.

In 2005, al-Adel wrote an al-Qaida planning document that holds clues to his thinking. The document said that Islamist movements failed because their “actions were mostly random”. It called for al-Qaida to focus on “the greater objective, which is the establishment of a state”.

Small frequent attacks sounds like whats been going on in Yemen. Also confirmed is the the high level of communication and coordination that has been ongoing between bin Laden and al Qaeda in Yemen recently (and probably since the 1990’s and importantly after the formation of AQAP.)

See also “Saif al Adel’s ties to Iranian Revolutionary Guards and (Yemen based) UPS bomb plot”. As Pete Hoekstra said in Nov 2010, AQAP and AQCentral are “communicating more with each other, influencing the direction of each other and coordinating activities.”

The current head of AQAP Nassir al Wuhayshi was declared leader of al Qaeda in the region by Ayman al-Zawahiri in November 2008. Wahishi, like Adel, spent years in Iran, both starting in 2001. Wahishi was deported to Yemen in 2003 and jailed until he escaped in 2006. Adel is thought to have lived with Saed bin Laden and his younger brother Mohammed. He was released and relocated to Pakistan by 2010 .

Australian terrorism expert Leah Farrall, who is writing her doctoral dissertation on al-Qaida’s command structures, told SPIEGEL ONLINE: “Not only would Saif al-Adel’s return to the field greatly bolster al-Qaida’s operational capability, and bring a rigour to its external operations, but his longstanding connections to groups whose relations with al-Qaida have been subject to tension could herald a new era in operational cooperation for attacks against the West.”

More on Adel from Peter Bergen at CNN:

al-Adel had been appointed interim chief of al Qaeda because the global jihadist community had grown restive in recent days about the lack of a formal announcement appointing a successor to bin Laden.

However, he said, the choice of an Egyptian may not sit well with some Saudi and Yemeni members of al Qaeda, who believe bin Laden’s successor should come from the Arabian Peninsula, a region that is holy to all Muslims.

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 …)

Yemen frees convicted terrorists after two years in jail for murdering Spanish tourists

Filed under: Counter-terror, UK, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, arrests, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 8:19 am on Saturday, May 14, 2011

Its unbelievable. These are the guys who were initially repeatedly proclaimed to be going on trial for the pedestrian suicide attack on then UK ambassador Tim Torlott’s convoy. (The attack was widely thought to be a false flag attack by the Yemeni government using its terrorist connections and some clueless teenager to send a message to the UK regarding support for the south.) But the defendants were eventually charged with a hodgepodge of crimes in Marib (which may or may not include the July 2007 car bomb that killed eight Spanish tourists). They were tried in a group that included Badr al Hassani who stated that he was paid by the PSO to train terrorists in Marib in hand to hand combat. The court ordered the Marib Deputy Chief of the PSO to appear in court and then the whole thing just faded away, as it often does in Yemen. Earlier reporting here .

SANA’A, May 13 (Saba) – The Specialized Criminal Division in the capital Sana’a is to start on Sunday its first hearing to consider the appeal of two al-Qaeda suspects convicted of carrying out terrorist acts.

On March 15, the Specialized Penal Court in the capital Sana’a sentenced each of Saddam Hussein al-Rimi and Rami Hermel Hans (German nationality) two years from the date of their arrest.

The court ordered them to be put under police surveillance and prevented them from traveling to any province after their release for two years, after they were convicted of committing terrorist attacks on foreign tourists, facilities and interests in Marib province during (2008-2010).

So they got a two year sentence for murdering foreign tourists, which included time served. Now they are free but not allowed to leave the country.

For more see, Yemeni al Qaeda leader: State conducts terror attacks dtd 12/3/08:

Officials earlier announced Dhayani was the recruiter and driving instructor for the suicide car bomber who murdered eight elderly Spanish tourists in Mareb in July 2007. Dhayani is Mareb under the protection of Jahm tribe and granted the interview to Mareb Press after taking several security precautions.

“I am ready to prove the reality that some attacks were planned in co-ordination and agreement of the Political Security and its agents to gain foreign support and to confirm to America that they (the Yemeni state) launch war against terrorism,” Dhayani said in the explosive interview.

Fast forward to today and we have the US government fighting tooth and nail to keep this lying, double dealing, murderous dirtbag in his post despite the fact that the US trained Yemeni counter terror forces are shooting unarmed teenagers in the head because they are demanding democracy. It is thought a more representative Yemeni government would be less liberal in granting CT permissions to the US.

AQAP’s Wahishi threatens US

Filed under: US jihaddis, Yemen, personalities — by Jane Novak at 1:53 pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ABC: A leader of the al Qaeda offshoot that U.S. officials have called the greatest threat to the U.S. vowed in a message posted on Islamist websites Wednesday to take revenge against the U.S. for the death of Osama bin Laden, saying that jihad would only intensify and that Americans would come to “wish for the days of Osama.” (Read on …)

Several attempts to target Awlaki Thursday

Filed under: Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 7:10 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saleh has a sudden change of heart:

WSJ: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been more forthcoming with information on Mr. Awlaki since the president has faced major protests in his country, a U.S. official said. Mr. Saleh has sought to use that information in an effort to gain more U.S. support, the official added. The White House has backed an Arab proposal that would ease Mr. Saleh from office…The attempt to kill Mr. Awlaki was the first known U.S. military strike inside Yemen since May 2010, when U.S. missiles mistakenly killed one of Mr. Saleh’s envoys and an unknown number of other people. That soured relations and prompted the administration to pull back.
(Read on …)

UBL provided strategic direction to AQAP, documents show

Filed under: Al-Qaeda — by Jane Novak at 11:38 am on Saturday, May 7, 2011

No surprise there. The idea that AQAP was a largely autonomous network never added up for me. The capture of the massive amount of information may have more of an impact in diminishing, disrupting and destroying the terror network than the death of UBL.

ZeeNews: The image coming out of Washington based on information seized from bin Laden’s compound was far different.

It shows that bin Laden was a lot more involved in directing al Qaeda personnel and operations than sometimes thought over the last decade, officials said. And it suggests bin Laden was “giving strategic direction” to al Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, one defence official said. (Read on …)

Drone strike in Abyan 4/24 missed, 5/5 drone targeted Awlaki

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 9:55 am on Friday, May 6, 2011

Update: The drone strike in Shabwa around midnight was launched by the US military and targeted Anwar al Awlaki, CNN is reporting. The two killed were Awlaki associates and the intel was not from the several computers seized at UBL compound.

Original: I really did mean to post this at the time. The drone strike yesterday in Shabwa that killed two AQ siblings was preceded by miss in Abyan on 4/24. One predator didn’t explode and the other hit a road. The April strike occured near Amfryad in Mudiyah where in December 2010 US missiles killed 49 civilians along with a few al Qaeda (as a parliamentary inquiry found). The last use of armed unmanned drones was in 2002 and resulted in the killing of al Harithy and US citizen Kamal Darwish, Lackawanna recruiter.

Yemen Times: ABYAN, Apr. 26th – US airstrikes in Abyan governorate are still threatening the lives of citizens. The Al-Ma’jala strike – which took place on 17 December 2009 and killed 55 people, including 14 women, 21 children and 14 alleged Al-Qaeda members – still looms large in the region’s collective memory.

According to Abyan’s security chief, Colonel Abdullah Ali Saeed, a new airstrike hit the small village of Amfryad in Mudiyah district on 24 April 2011. The attack involved two cruise missiles being launched by a US Predator drone.

The Predator was pursuing a pickup truck allegedly belonging to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) jihadists. (Read on …)

Abu al Fida discusses UBL death and AQAP, Update: drone attack in Shabwa?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:14 am on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Al Fida was a negotiator on behalf of al Qaeda in Yemen directly with Saleh and al Qamish in 2006, this was pre-AQAP. He was quite pleased with the deal and praised Saleh profusely. Al Fida is currently on the state payroll, a presidential adviser. Several years ago, Al Fida announced on behalf of al Qaeda Central that Saed bin Laden would lead AQ after UBL. There is a high probability Saed was later killed, 2009, but no firm confirmation. Al Fida says here that Zawahiri will likely lead the death cult, following bin Laden’s disposal.

Al Fida’s brother returned to Yemen from Gitmo amid great fanfare. While a very close associate of bin Laden (and the Taliban) in Afghanistan, Al Fida himself (al Feida) is now supposedly reformed; deactivated might be a better word. This article calling him AQAP is misleading. He’s more of an interlocutor. The joke is he says in this interview that the regime is still playing the same games, as demonstrated by Yemen’s announcement last week of a major AQAP kill in Aden. The guy had just been released from prison, al Fida says. As expected, al Fida says that AQAP will not be weakened by the loss of their leader. He’s going to be sadly disappointed.

Update: Also below the air strike that killed two “midlevel” AQAP: A US drone attacked a Saudi Al-Qaeda leader in southern Yemen on Thursday, but missed and killed two local Al-Qaeda members. There was another drone a few weeks ago that may signal an end to the lull after the fiasco in Marib when al Shabwani was killed. Update: Khaled al Qatani surrenders from Yemen it seems to SA where he is MWT #13. Unclear if he is a relative of Mohammed al Qatani. Update: Terror cell captured in Hodeidah with explosive belts 26 Sept says:K.M.M. al-Markadi, N.A.K. al-Nameiri, Kh. M.A. al-Sofi and H.G.A. Mubarak, adding they had confessed to belonging to al Qaeda.

Yemen Times exclusive: AQAP responds to death of bin Laden

Moneer Al-Omari interviewed Al-Qaeda leader Rashad Mohammad Ismail, known widely as Abu Al-Fida, over the phone to discuss several topics including his views about Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s death and the future of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)….

Why has President Saleh threatened that Al-Qaeda will gain influence over Yemen if he is forced out?

Al-Qaeda is a card which Saleh plays when he needs to. It is always a card for weak-minded people. Let me tell you a story in this regard. A person named Waleed Al-Kain’ai has been in jail since 2004. Al-Kain’ai, who was arrested and detained by political security, was never tried or indicted for any crime. Two weeks ago, he was released. While he was in Aden to visit some relatives a few days ago, he was shot dead in the Crater neighborhood. Later, the official authorities announced that their security forces managed to kill the most dangerous Al-Qaeda element in Yemen, though he is not so. How can a person who has been in prison for the last seven years be a dangerous element? (Read on …)

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