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
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.—-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 …)
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 …)
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.
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 …)
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 …)
I would bet a dollar that this article is written by Hamoud Mounasser (at AFP) because whenever “Al Qaeda in Yemen” needs to call a journalist to issue an anonymous propaganda statement threatening the US, that’s the guy. Mounasser is reportedly close to the National Security Office and especially Ahmed Derham. Mansour works at times for AFP and al Arabya. The southern branch of al Qaeda?
ADEN, Yemen — A leader of Al-Qaeda’s branch in restive southern Yemen on Wednesday vowed revenge for the US killing of the worldwide network’s founder Osama bin Laden.
“We will take revenge for the death of our Sheikh Osama bin Laden and we will prove this to the enemies of God,” he told AFP, contacted by telephone from Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, an Al-Qaeda stronghold.
“They will see what they haven’t expected … We are preparing a plan to continue jihad in the coming period,” said the Al-Qaeda leader, requesting anonymity for “security reasons.”
“The martyrdom of Sheikh Osama does not mean that jihad (holy war) will end.”
The official said that bin Laden had “prepared a thousand lions like himself and we will follow his path until we achieve God’s promise to us — an Islamic Caliphate.”
The United States announced on Monday that US commandos had shot dead bin Laden in a raid on his sprawling villa near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
Residents in the Abyan towns of Mudia, Mahfad and Loder — all of which are controlled by Al-Qaeda — said the jihadist network’s supporters, mourning bin Laden, put up black banners at their homes and along roads.
Saleh’s Chaos Game begins in Abyan
At first glance, the FOX News headline, “al Qaeda: Yemen province now an Islamic Emirate,” is pretty disturbing. But it’s not remotely true. The US media is getting played by the King of Spin, President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his legion of Baghdad Bobs, again.
As anti-government protests calling for Saleh’s ouster engulfed Yemen and military commanders defected, the Saleh regime pulled back its remaining military and security forces and distributed weapons to proxies. In Abyan, state-jihaddists looted an ammo factory and took over the building housing a radio station. The terrorist mercenaries made an announcement on the radio that the city of Ja’ar in Abyan was deemed an Islamic Emirate and women were confined to their homes without a guardian. Later over 150 villagers, mostly women and children, scavenging the factory were killed in a horrific explosion. Yemenis claim the blast was remotely detonated.
Yemen’s state-jihaddists are al Qaeda types who work as mercenaries for the regime. The Saleh regime is very good at “cloning,” a tactic to undermine the opposition and confuse the west. The state has created look-alike newspapers, governmental non-governmental organizations (GONGO’s), and fake opposition parties. Beyond deploying security thugs in civilian clothes, as Mubarek did, the Saleh regime has a large contingent of jihaddist mercenaries on the payroll. Many of these “state-jihaddists” were released from jail after a pledge of loyalty to Saleh.
After the tragedy in Abyan, Yemenis across the nation accused Saleh of playing the Al Qaeda card to spin the western media and US, a frequent practice. They say that the state fosters and deploys al Qaeda mercenaries to elicit counter-terror funds, equipment and training, which are then used against internal opposition. As the Senate found last year, Saleh diverted US trained counter-terror units and US supplied equipment to the Saada War. (Indiscriminate bombing displaced over 300,000 residents in the northern Saada province as the state withheld food and medicine in a pattern that constituted collective punishment, Human Rights Watch found.) Beyond the 150 killed in the Abyan blast, dozens of others are suffering severe burns with little medical support.
The leaders of the raid on the ammo factory, Khaledabdul Nabi and Sami Dhayan, have worked for the state for years. Nabi, of the Abyan Aden Islamic Army, trained and led jihaddists into battle on behalf of the Saleh regime during the Saada Wars (2004-2010) against northern Shia rebels who claim religious discrimination. Nabi’s group, not AQAP, made the radio announcement. The residents in Ja’ar formed a local security committee which now has control of the area.
Yemenis are bewildered at the stance of the Obama administration in light of Saleh’s chicanery. Secretary Gates has repeatedly stated that the Saleh regime is an important partner to the US and the protests are an internal affair. At the same time, the US Ambassador in Sanaa is lobbying to keep Saleh’s sons and nephews in charge of the counter-terror units. A former Foreign Minister, long in exile, plotted the regime’s duplicity from the USS Cole bombing to the 2010 US airstrikes in Yemen. Watan, the Coalition of Women for Social Peace, appealed directly to the American people yesterday,
“Our stance depends on evidences proved that Selah is using al-Qaeda, and the American war against terrorism to receive generous financial support, and intensive training for the Special Forces, Central Security, and National Security, which all headed by his son and his nephews and use to suppress the Yemeni for more than a decade.
The last American stance, which was expressed by Robert Gates, reinforces our belief that the U.S. government is not serious in fighting terrorism and promoting democracy. The money is used in the name of the American people and the fight against terrorism to support dictatorial regimes and Al-Qaeda, against nations’ choices and demands for democracy. Yemen comes at the forefront of these nations.
American people, the hands of Yemeni people who have been in the streets in a peaceful revolution since two months, still rose demanding the elimination of the dictatorial regime and establish a modern civil state. However these hands are facing your weapons, your money, and the shameful attitude of your government, which we know that they do not reflect the spirit of the American nation which based on principles of freedom and human dignity.
Lift up your hands against your government that on your behalf and via your money is supporting the repression of peoples, democracy and peace.
Yesterday in Hajjah, 230 were wounded when Saleh’s thugs opened fire from rooftops on the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, echoing last Friday’s massacre when snipers killed 53 during a protest in Sanaa, largely by head shots.
Yesterday protesters issued a video statement to US Ambassador Feierstein along with a draft list of demands that represents a consensus among all the protesters around the county. Unlike in Egpyt where protests were centered in Cairo, Yemen is witnessing large sustained anti-government protests in nearly every province and even on the island of Socotra.
AQAP’s Inspire Mag #5: Al Qaeda in Yemen in favor of freedom unless you are a woman in Jaar, Awlaki: OK to kill obvious apostates
The wackos al Qaeda in Abyan’s Jaar restricted women to their homes, via WAQAP radio, so no demonstrations or freedom for them! In this issue, Awlaki says that its fine to kill obvious apostates. A write up at Intelwire:
Ibrahim’s piece makes two more very important points related to the uprisings, which represent a significant shift in AQ rhetoric and even its philosophy. First, he argues that Al Qaeda is entirely in favor of “freedom” in the Middle East, because that gives people the freedom to learn about and understand AQ’s goals…Even more significantly, Ibrahim writes that Al Qaeda is not opposed to regime change through peaceful means. While Ibrahim’s status as an Islamic authority figure in the movement is unclear at best, this represents a pretty significant shift away from a long argument that military jihad is the only acceptable means to achieve Al Qaeda’s long term political goals.
Awlaki: We don’t just assume someone is an apostate without clear evidence. The other thing is who can implement the ruling once one is determined to be an apostate…In brief, if the individual has apostatized publicly, and his apostasy is clear, then this person’s blood and wealth is not protected from the Muslims due to the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”
Intelwire’s J.M. Berger notes: AQAP Inspire #5 finished production March 18, so that’s an 11-day wait from production to posting.
Normally I cant tell what the heck the US statements mean or what the real message is, but this seems pretty clear: don’t open fire on the protesters tomorrow and the promise to reform is nothing without action.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 03, 2011
Readout of President’s Call with President Saleh of Yemen
President Obama called President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen on February 2 to welcome the significant reform measures that President Saleh had announced earlier that day, and to stress that President Saleh now needs to follow-up his pledge with concrete actions. President Obama asked that Yemeni security forces show restraint and refrain from violence against Yemeni demonstrators who are exercising their right to free association, assembly, and speech. The President also told President Saleh that it is imperative that Yemen take forceful action against Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to protect innocent lives in Yemen as well as abroad. Finally, President Obama expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP. President Saleh thanked the President for U.S. support and committed to continuing and strengthening relations with the United States.
Saleh’s version from DOD website
That is really disgusting, and a sad ending to a complicated story. Col Hossam was kidnapped after the Houthis captured Hussain al Tais in Saada and turned him over to the state. Why didn’t the security forces launch some kind of raid on Abu Jubarah? There were pretty good odds that’s were a lQaeda was holding him, as I wrote at the time. Full details, click here. Update: Now in English:
Yemen Online The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing executed a top intelligence official after Sanaa government refused to swap two al-Qaida detainees for the senior official, a video tape posted by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the internet on Tuesday said.
“Deputy Director of the Yemeni Political Security Service, Colonel Ali Mohammed Salah al-Husam, was executed, with bullets fired at the back of his head, after he admitted that he had spied on Mujahedeen in the previous years,” they said in the 17-minute videotape. The group said al-Husam was running a network of espionage in Saada for 20 years and had snatched many of al-Qaida-related ideology students and held them incommunicado in prisons.
“The execution of this officer is also a message to those intelligence officers who still work for Sanaa government and the U.S. intelligence agencies,” the group added. Last September, the AQAP set 48 hours for Sanaa government to swap two al-Qaida detainees for al-Husam.
“There will be no way to know the fate of this agent unless the government releases the two brothers, Hussain al-Tais and Mashhour al-Ahdal, within 48 hours,” according to their statement which posted on Sept. 21 website. (Read on …)
Wow, Saleh is really scrambling to appease everybody. Shaea was kidnapped in August and arrested in September, tried and sentenced to five years for supporting al Qaeda after releasing several interviews and statements from Anwar al Awlaki. The YJS and international media advocates have been lobbying for his release. Update: Yemen Post reports he’s out.
AQAP declares war on Yemen’s Houthi movement over Sunni displacement when 300,000 Zaidis fled state bombing
There’s over 300,000 displaced in Sa’ada by the Yemeni military’s (and Saudi) attacks and bombing, and AQAP is declaring war because the Houthis forced people to move??? Is al Qaeda’s Saed Shihri trying to be stupid or does it just come naturally? Like many, AQAP is out of touch with the moment.
Well thats convenient timing for Saleh. a) The Yemeni military cant re-start the war at the moment but the terrorists can, b) It certainly shows the international community that they neeeeeeeeed Saleh, c) Nothing like a good crisis to distract the people’s hostility toward the state, d) With the Houthis in control of large swaths of those areas, the officially facilitated smuggling operations into Saudi are impacted and profits diminished, e) How can you buy weapons (and resell them on the black market) for a war that’s over? f) Saudi funds rise and fall in relation to perceived threats.
SANAA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Leader of al-Qaida militants in Yemen declared “holy war” against the Houthi-led northern Shiite rebels, in an audio message posted on the internet by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday.
“To our Sunni fellows in northern Yemeni provinces of Saada, Al- Jouf and Amran, we (AQAP) announced jihad (holy war) against Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite advocates,” Saeed Ali al-Shihri, deputy leader of the Yemen-based AQAP.
“The jihad against northern Shiites has been declared since the implementation of the AQAP’s twin martyred car bombing attacks against convoys of the Shiite rebels’ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26 of the last year,” he said.
In the 17-minute audiotape, the Saudi fugitive al-Shihri justified his group’s war against the Shiite rebels by claiming that the sectarian-motivated Houthi rebels attacked and displaced many Sunni families in the north.
Last December, the Sunni-devoted AQAP claimed responsibility for twin suicide car bombings against convoys of the Shiite rebels ‘ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, 2010, which left over than 90 Shiite followers dead, including the group’s Shiite spiritual leader Bader al-Deen al- Houthi.
OK maybe they are just idiots:
Opinions: An Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader warned Sunni Muslims of a rising “Christian-Shiite alliance” against them in an audio message released on jihadist forums late on Friday.
Abu Sufyan al-Azdi called the participation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iran’s former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki at a conference on terrorism in Yemen “is the biggest proof of the Christian-Shiite alliance.”
“America and Iran became one alliance against the Sunni people in the area,” added the Saudi AQAP leader, who was formerly imprisoned for six years at the US detention centre inGuantanamo, in a 16-minute audio message.
Azdi was referring to the annual Manama Dialogue, held in December by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies and billed as the “most important regional security meeting in the Middle East.”
The AQAP chief also warned Sunnis in Yemen that they risked being massacred at the hands of northern Shiite Zaidi rebels, also known as Huthis, and urged them not to be caught unprepared.
“Sunnis, be careful from the massacres… that happened in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen to happen to you while you are unarmed… prepare yourselves before it is too late… buy weapons… protect your religion, your lives and your honour.”
Amnesty International is off on the wrong track accusing the US of orchestrating the arrest as retaliation because Abdulelah broke the story of the civilian deaths in the December 2009 US airstrike in Abyan. Its an absurd allegation because he wasn’t the one who broke the story. Everybody knew within hours. Below the fold is a DPA article describing the evidence against Shaea, which seems a little thin from the story.
Yemeni journalist sentenced to five years for terror links By Nasser Arrabyee/18/01/2011:
A Yemeni journalist was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prisons for links with the Yemen-based Al Qaeda.
The journalist Abdul Elah Haidar Shaea, was sentenced to five years and his colleague Abdul Kareem Al Shami was sentenced to two years in prison. The two men were convicted of forming an armed gang to work with the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch, Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). (Read on …)
GAN: Yemen (Sanaa) – Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arab Peninsula said Saturday it was responsible for some 50 operations carried out in different parts of Yemen in the last five months of last year. (Read on …)
Convicted USS Cole bomber, Fahd al Quso, who is on the FBIs MWT list as well as the UNs 1267 listing, dispels reports of his death with an interview with a Yemeni journalist, Arafat Mudabish, for Asharq al-Awsat in Yemen’s Shabwa province. Al Quso was previously reported killed in Pakistan in September 2010. Al Quso, wearing the brown scarf, expressed surprise at reports of his death, noting he is better off in Yemen than Pakistan. A write up here at Nasher News:
He was surprised by “rumors” of his death, and also surprised by the reports of its presence in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. He added “On the contrary I was in Yemen better under crisis situations with the Yemeni government.”
Al Quso did not deny or confirm the existence of the camps of Al Qaeda in the mountains of Shabwa which is protected by the tribes there, but he said that the shelling of his ranch in the area in December of last year, killing five people and destroying farm. (ed-This is was a US air strike, per Wikileaks.)
He criticized the Yemeni government Bowl, and said that it inflated the size of an al Qaeda presence in Yemen in order to “justify the killing of innocent people in the bombing, which occurs in some areas.”
Fahd al Quo stressed that he had received offers from the Yemeni government which invited him to surrender himself in exchange for guarantees and promises did not talk about details.
Maybe he’s in Aden at his mum’s house building a bomb in the kitchen, (just random speculation). Fahd was convicted in the USS Cole bombing and granted early release in 2007.
Yemen Observer: Al-Quso is believed to be hiding in the al-Said district of Shabwa, close to the Abyan province border according to Major Mansoor Hadi, security director of the Mayfa district of Shabwa. However, the major was unsure if this location was accurate.
Ahmed Salim abdul Salam, one of ‘Al al-Abdullah bin Dahah Sheikhs in Wadi Rafadh, al-Quso’s hometown, was unaware of his whereabouts.
“He’s not here. They released news about his death and we’re not sure whether he is alive or dead,” said the Sheikh. He also stated that al-Quso, along with Qasim al-Raymi, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, and Said al-Shihri lived in Wadi Rafadh for a period of time following al-Quso’s release in 2007.
“American drones flew over us yesterday and earlier today,” said the Sheikh when asked if he believed that US forces were actively engaged in searching for al-Quso.
Break my heart. He was supposed to be dead in Pakistan. What was that all about?
After the first car bombing, Abdelmalik made a strong statement that they would not be dragged into a sectarian conflict that artificially pits Zaidis against Sunnis in Yemen. And it makes no sense to frame it that way. AQAP vs. the Houthis, yes. Sunni vs. Shia, no. At Al Mempar Yahya al Houthis criticizes (the IRIN news site of) the United Nations for framing the conflict in Saada as sectarian. He explains
1) the commonality between the Zaids and the four Sunni Schools of Yemen but Wahabbis working for Saudi Arabian intelligence and interests are another story. 2) the checkpoints (as I noted) were there from the inception of the Saada Wars and are not a sign of sectarian strife. Everybody has checkpoints through out Yemen including various tribes as well as bandits. 3) he calls for an apology from the UN although IRIN newsite is a news site not an UN press releases. The offending article at IRIN is here.
On any day, the Houthis are more credible than al Qaeda. But if al Qaeda killed Badr al Din al Houthi, a widely respected scholar by many Yemenis, then Abdelmalik al Houthi–who already defeated two national armies–is going to decimate AQAP or at least entirely expel them from Saada and the surrounding regions under his control. Regardless of what anyone thinks of their goals or ideology, there is no denying the Houthis have already won (by not losing) against two national armies and well stocked air forces. They held out for six years and six wars and Operation Scorched Earth. The Houthis inflicted substantial defeats against the military forces of Ali Mohsen al Ahmar including capturing important territory, large amounts of weapons and numbers of soldiers. Why AQAP would think its strategically a good move now to declare war on the Houthis is a mystery. One explanation is somebody is trying to reignite the war, and AQAP is the last card in the deck. The twist is now both groups are calling each other American agents. But as is very clear by now, the Houthis are not beholden to any foreign power and are not mercenaries-for-hire like AQAP.
Hindustan Times: Al-Qaeda said on Friday the aging spiritual guide of northern Yemen’s Shiite rebels was among those killed in a suicide bombing in November, dismissing accounts that Badreddin al-Huthi died of natural causes. Huthi was among the dead on November 24 when Al-Qaeda bomber Abu Aisha al-Sanaani al-Hashemi struck a Shiite procession in Al-Jawf, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said in a statement on an Islamist website.
The rebels, observing an uneasy truce with Sanaa since February, said a suicide car bombing killed 23 fighters or backers at the religious procession, but that Huthi, an asthma sufferer, died a natural death a day later. (Read on …)