Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

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?

US Embassy staff bombed on pizza run in Yemen, no injuries, Updated: CIA agents

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: Internal, USA, embassy — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Thursday, December 16, 2010

Its such a dangerous post. Update: M&C, the embassy issued another warning to US citizens in Yemen to be vigilant. Update 2: Again AQAP has an inside track. A U.S. official confirms the four Americans who narrowly escaped a attack on their vehicle in Yemen’s capital worked for the CIA…The official said there was “no indication that the perpetrators knew specifically who they were targeting.” Its important to recall that two UK convoys and one ferrying South Korean officials were previously targeted.

People’s Daily: According to the Yemeni Interior Ministry, the arrested Arab resident (ed-Jordanian according to other reports), identified as 40-year-old M. M. Alia, served as a car mechanic. He allegedly carried out the attack outside a Beirut restaurant in Hadda street in Sanaa frequented by Westerners late Wednesday.

According to reports coming out of Yemen, there was an attack last night on U.S. Embassy personnel at a restaurant frequented by foreign nationals.

There are no reports of injuries, but the vehicle they were travelling in was damaged. The police have captured a 28-year-old Jordanian suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda. (Read on …)

State Department Report on Terrorism: Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, TI: External, TI: Internal, USA, arrests, attacks, embassy — by Jane Novak at 6:54 am on Friday, May 1, 2009

State Department


The security situation in Yemen continued to deteriorate during 2008 and was marked by a series of attacks against both Western and Yemeni interests, culminating in the September 17 suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa that killed 18. This strategy of constant offense continued despite highly publicized raids on suspected terrorist cells by Yemeni security forces. Recruitment for al-Qa’ida in Yemen (AQY) remained strong, and the use of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) and suicide vests indicated a high level of training, coordination, and sophistication by Yemen’s terrorist leadership. Conversely, the government’s response to the terrorist threat was intermittent and its ability to pursue and prosecute suspected terrorists remained weak due to a number of shortcomings, including stalled draft counterterrorism legislation. The government’s focus on the al-Houthi rebellion in the Sada’a governorate in the North of the country and internal security concerns distracted its forces from focusing on counterterrorism activities.

The largest success for Yemen’s security forces in 2008 was an August raid on an AQY cell in Tarim, in the governorate of Hadramaut. Hamza al-Qaiti was killed along with four other suspected militants. Large numbers of weapons, devices to build car bombs, and explosives, including mortars that were similar to those used in the March attack on the U.S. Embassy, were uncovered.

In spite of this, the raid did little to deter or disrupt other AQY cells. One month after the August raid, at least seven assailants dressed in Yemeni security-service uniforms attacked the U.S. Embassy using two VBIEDs and suicide vests. While unable to gain access to the Embassy itself, the attack was sophisticated and well-coordinated. Final tallies brought the death toll to 18, including one American.

A formerly unknown group calling itself Islamic Jihad in Yemen immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The group stated the attack was motivated by the August 11 raid in Tarim, among other reasons. Initially the Yemeni government allowed an FBI investigative team full access to evidence from the attack, but cooperation has since waned. Both Yemeni and U.S. officials believe that Islamic Jihad is AQ affiliated. AQY later claimed responsibility for the attack in an online extremist magazine.

In addition to the September 17 assault, there were over half a dozen terrorist attacks in 2008:

In January, AQY claimed responsibility for the shooting deaths of two Belgian tourists and two Yemeni drivers in the southern governorate of Hadramaut.
On March 18, four mortars fell short of the U.S. Embassy, injuring dozens at an adjacent girls’ school.
On April 6, three mortars hit residential complex housing western workers, including several U.S. Embassy employees in Sanaa, prompting the ordered departure of non-essential U.S. Embassy staff and family members.
On April 30, two mortars hit the Customs Administration parking lot, causing a large explosion just adjacent to the Italian Embassy, believed by many to have been the intended target.
In May, an AQY-affiliated group claimed that it fired a mortar onto the grounds of the presidential palace in Sanaa, but no official statement was released acknowledging the incident.
In July, AQY claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack of a central security forces compound in Hadramaut that killed eight people.
Prosecuting terrorists remained a large hurdle for Yemeni courts, largely because current law, as applied to counterterrorism and the financing of terrorism, remained weak. A working group drafted new counterterrorism legislation that was sent to a committee for review, where it remained at year’s end.

The absence of effective counterterrorism legislation that criminalized the activities of those engaged in planning, facilitating, or carrying out acts of terrorism, both in Yemen and abroad, contributed to Yemen’s appeal as safe haven and potential base of offensive operations for terrorists. For this reason, the government was forced to apply other available laws, including fraudulent document charges, to thwart foreign fighters going to Iraq.

The Government of Yemen continued to run its surrender program for wanted terrorists that it believes it cannot apprehend. The program provides lenient requirements for completion of convictions to those who surrender. In 2008, however, 17 prior program participants were returned to custody for recidivism. In March, convicted terrorist and February 2006 prison escapee Jaber al-Banna walked into a Yemeni security court and posted bond. His sentence was later reduced from 10 to five years, supposedly for handing himself in to the authorities. The decision will need to be ratified by the Yemeni Supreme Court before it is implemented, and it remained unclear whether the time al-Banna had already served, including time he spent outside prison once he escaped, will count against the five-year sentence. Jaber al-Banna is wanted by the United States for providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to provide support to AQ. Al-Banna is on the FBI’s most wanted list, but the Yemeni constitution precludes extradition of Yemeni citizens, even though he also has American citizenship.

Shots Near US Embassy in Yemen

Filed under: Security Forces, USA, embassy, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:27 am on Monday, January 26, 2009

Update: now its three people tried to pass the embassy checkpoint and no shots fired at the embassy. The police fired in the air to stop the car from fleeing.

Update 2: US version, Yemeni security forces “exchanged gunfire with an unknown group of individuals in the vicinity of the U.S. embassy,” State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said in Washington.

“The exact circumstances and motivations behind this incident are unclear, and an investigation is ongoing,” he said, adding that no U.S. personnel were harmed and the embassy was not damaged.

Update 3: Three arrested. OK so let review, they send an email and also call to say there will be an attack. Yemeni security sets up an extra parimeter. Three guys drive up and try to get past the check point. The Yemeni guards shoot in the air and the three surrender with no injuries to anyone. gee…

Original Post:

AP reports that the US embassy received a threat of an attack today, by both phone and email. Several hours later, a gunman shoots at a police checkpoint. The car fled. Does that make sense? Since when does al Qaeda email notice of an impending assualt?

SAN’A, Yemen – Gunmen in a car fired on a police checkpoint near the U.S. Embassy in Yemen’s capital on Monday, an Interior Ministry official said, hours after the embassy received threats of a possible attack.
Police returned fire at two gunmen in the car, which fled the scene, the official said. It was unclear if anyone was injured. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press. He said three men in the area were detained.

An attack on the embassy in September involving gunmen and explosives-packed vehicles killed 17 people, including six militants. Al-Qaida later claimed responsibility for that attack…Earlier, a Yemeni security official said the U.S. Embassy received a telephone call and an e-mail early Monday saying the U.S. and Russian embassies would be targeted by al-Qaida within a few hours.

Investigation of 16 al Qaeda Begins in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, arrests, embassy — by Jane Novak at 11:33 am on Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mortar attacks in Sana’a, Sayoun suicde bombing last summer and the ambush on the Belguin tourists. How long have these guys been in custody?, Saba – Yemen’s security authorities have begun investigating with 16 al-Qaeda suspects, 11 Yemenis and 5 Arab nationals, a judicial source said on Saturday.

The judicial source was quoted by the state-run as saying that the suspected terrorists have been being investigated into charges relating to carrying out a number of terrorist operations which targeted oil and foreign facilities and foreign tourists in the provinces of Hadramout, Aden and Sana’a.

The source pointed out that the suspected terrorists were involved in the attacks against a school adjacent the US embassy in Sana’a, a residential complex in Haddah area, the terrorist attack which targeted Belgian tourists in Hadramout, the suicide attack which targeted a camp of the Central Security Forces in Hadramout and attacks on security checkpoints in Hadramout.

Zawahiri Pledges New Fighters to Yemen’s Sa’ada War

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Iran, Janes Articles, Military, Saada War, embassy — by Jane Novak at 7:21 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009

The US Treasury Department placed financial sanctions on Saad bin Laden, thought to be in Pakistan, and three alleged al Qaeda operatives in Iran including a Yemeni. The terrorist designation Friday froze their assets within US jurisdictions and prohibits Americans from financial dealings with the four.

Saad bin Laden, son of radical figurehead Osama bin Laden, facilitated communications between al Qaeda’s number two, Ayman Zawahiri, and the Iranian Qods Force after an al Qaeda attack on the US embassy in Sana’a last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Zawahiri contacted the Qods Force after his agreement to supply more fighters to Yemen to battle Shiite rebels, a US military source was quoted as saying. Zawahiri spoke to Qods Force commander Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, the senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal, confirming the account in The Wall Street Journal.

“Zawahiri was concerned that the al Qaeda-manned militia fighting on the side of the government against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels might threaten Iran’s interests in Yemen,” the official said.

The Yemeni government incorporated thousands of extremists and tribesmen into its military ranks to battle the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s northern Sa’ada province. The editor of Al-Share newspaper and two journalists are on trial in the State Security and Terrorism Court for publishing reports of the Aden Abyan Islamic Army’s role training tribal militias for the government. The journalists are charged with “threatening national security, demoralizing the military and divulging state secrets.”

After the US Embassy bombing in September that killed 16 including an American, “(Yemeni President) Saleh feared his government would be the next target, but Zawahiri wanted al Qaeda prisoners released from Yemeni jails and committed al Qaeda foot soldiers to fight the Houthi rebels,” the senior US military official said.

Zawahiri was concerned about relations between al Qaeda and Iran, “so he took great care by reaching out to the Iranians” after committing more fighters to the Yemeni government.

Sana’a has struck numerous bargains with al Qaeda leadership and operatives. The 9/11 Commission reported the Tawfiq bin Attash was released from Yemeni custody in 1999 after Osama bin Laden contacted Yemeni authorities. Bin Attash later went on to have a role in the USS Cole bombing and train some of the 9/11 highjackers. In 2007, Yemen’s Foreign Minister defended the early release of al Qaeda operatives convicted in the USS Cole bombing as “normal” saying, “Everybody makes deals with anybody who cooperates, not just in Yemen, but in the United States.”

Among those in Iran the US Treasury Department designated as terrorists last week is Yemeni Ali Saleh Husain. A senior al Qaeda operative close to Osama bin Laden, Husain goes by the alias Abu Dhahak al Yemeni. He reportedly is the intermediary between al Qaeda and its affiliates Fatah al Islam in Lebanon and Jund al Islam in Gaza.

Saad bin Laden fled to Iran after September 11, 2001. He may no longer be in Iran as of September 2008, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Telegraph reported in November that an intercepted letter signed by Zawahiri thanked Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for “monetary and infrastructure assistance” after the deadly attack on the US embassy and commended their “vision” in helping al Qaeda establish new bases in Yemen after the group faced increasing pressure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Although tensions rose at the peak of the Sa’ada War, Yemen and Iran have good relations overall, as does Yemen and Syria. The Houthi rebellion was triggered by localized grievances. In a November report, Invisible Civilians, Human Rights Watch (HRW) charged that Yemen contravened international humanitarian law during the war and “severely restricted humanitarian access to tens of thousands of civilians in need”. An estimated 70,000 Zaidi civilians who fled the bombing and fighting remain out of the reach of international aid groups. HRW also found that hundreds of Hashimites were arbitrarily arrested. Imprisoned clerics were often replaced by fundamentalist preachers at mosques throughout Yemen.

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