Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

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 …)

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.”

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 …)

MEPC lists US’s drone policy in Yemen blowback potential

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:44 am on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In a seven page article, the Middle East Policy Council questions whether signature strikes in particular result in creating a population more prone to accepting an Emirate. I have some quibbles, for example state authority didn’t disappear- it never existed- and much of the local population in Abyan saw Ansar al Sharia as an occupation not a welcome vehicle of lawfulness. But its an interesting report in that the authors extrapolate six distinct negative patters of drone blowback as indicated by earlier events in the FATA region:

Executive Executions and Signature Strikes

Currently, the United States engages in two types of drone strikes, and neither is the surgical excision of HVTs on which the American public’s enthusiasm for drones depends. Until early 2012, the United States only conducted “personality strikes,” in Yemen. These are authorized by the president in a form of executive execution. The targets have not been indicted for a crime, let alone convicted, and have been identified as enemy combatants through an opaque process. A significant percentage of the targets and victims of this type of strike in Yemen have been U.S. citizens (Ahmed Hijazi, Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan and Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki). Their families have recently brought a civil suit in U.S. courts that will help clarify the obscure de facto parameters for executive executions.18

While there have been successful HVT strikes on non-U.S. citizens in Yemen, they probably follow the Pakistani pattern, alienating parts of the local population and increasing the insecurity that often fosters organizational recruitment. In fact, Yemen may provide a more significant example of this effect than FATA because of its complex internal situation, noted above. According to our calculations, only four HVTs have been killed out of 230-270 total deaths. This is roughly a 1:60 ratio of HVT to total deaths, comparable to the ratio in FATA under the Bush administration (before the proliferation of signature strikes).

In early 2012, the White House authorized the use of “signature strikes” in Yemen. This type of targeting allows for wider parameters, quicker response and authorization at a lower command level. Signature strikes have also been used in FATA. They are based on categories of possible target groups and patterns of movement rather than on identified individuals. For example, a group of militant-age men carrying weapons and moving towards a known militant area can be targeted under this practice. As some reports from Yemen note, the populace is not opposed to the use of drones when they target and hit known AQAP members.19 However, the introduction of signature strikes will likely change this dynamic, as it has in FATA. With signature strikes, accuracy in targeting will likely decrease, and more Yemenis unconnected to AQAP will be killed. (Read on …)

Obama claims drone targets are on list

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:30 am on Monday, June 18, 2012

Maybe in Pakistan but in Yemen they dont know the names or have a clear idea of identity, are hitting the lower levels and apparently upped the threshold for acceptable incidental civilian casualties.

YOL, 09/07/2012 (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.

US Attorney General Holder affirms “lawful” use of drones (no attacks targeting civilians)

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, South Yemen, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Thursday, March 8, 2012

In a speech this week, the US Attorney General Eric Holder laid out the Obama administration’s legal criteria for drone use and in particular for assassinating American al Qaeda members abroad. The criteria is summarized below by the Lawfare blog. More importantly than the targeting of Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan for me, and for the residents of Abyan, Marib, Shabwa, etc., AG Holder reaffirmed the Obama administration’s firm commitment to act within the “international rules of war.”

With the recent uptick in AQAP activity and growing territorial occupation, people too poor to flee al Qaeda are terrified of both AQ and drone attacks. Hopefully this statement by AG Holder represents a real and ongoing commitment by the Obama administration to the principle of civilian immunity and US respect for the value of Yemeni lives.

AQAP does not follow the rules of war, and uses human shields, sheltering in civilian populated areas. The US has been targeting vehicle convoys, not towns. The shelling in Zinibar was from the Yemeni military, not US drones.

After grave US errors like al Mahfad (and the utterly shameful US statement that nearby Bedouins and their children were guilty of material support for selling vegetables, although the villagers had appealed to local authorities to expel the terrorists) and Saleh’s murder of his political enemy Sheik al Shabwani via US drone, visible US drones make parents very concerned. At the same time, the drones have been visible in Marib and many other locations since 2010, and I would think they are collecting surveillance photos.

I think/hope/pray the US understands that these are unwillingly occupied towns, that intel from the Saleh family is entirely unreliable, the CT units have been partially subverted by AQ and that in all cases, children under 14 cannot be terrorists.

The attitude of Yemenis is that al Qaeda should be captured, given a fair trial and imprisoned if there is actual evidence of crimes. They do not oppose counter-terror operations per se but summary execution without trial, just like many Americans who raised objections over Awlaki and Khan.

Boston Herald: Speaking at Northwestern University law school, Holder gave the most complete explanation to date of the Obama administration’s legal rationale for killing people like U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was targeted in an airstrike in Yemen last year.

Such killings can be ordered “in full accordance with the Constitution” but require “at least” an imminent threat in a situation where capture is not feasible, and when the strike is “conducted in a manner consistent” with the rules of war, Holder said.

The lawfare summary brings up another issue though, “a senior operational role,” which presupposes that the US knows who it is droning. While the criteria Holder outlined is for deliberate targeting of US citizens, it would be nice to think that the US has some clue as to the names of its Yemeni targets and doesn’t just look for random gatherings of bearded men. In Yemen, the most accurate fatality listing of US drone strikes comes from al Qaeda itself, and the Yemeni government announced Qasim al Reimi was dead four times.

While I imagine there are vast challenges to intelligence gathering on AQAP, it is this imprecision that can lead to collateral damage or more accurately, dead children. I still haven’t gotten over the photos of the crucifixion of the “spies,” but logically a modicum of respect for southerners as southerners in general would go a long way. The language of SD spox Victoria Nuland’s Press Briefing 3/5/12 blew southerners minds, and she probably had no clue how very poorly and furiously it would be received.

via Lawfare’s summary: That is, the speech asserts that Due Process permits targeting of a citizen at least when the target is:

(i) located abroad rather than in the United States,

(ii) has a senior operational role

(iii) with al Qaeda or an al Qaeda-associated force,

(iv) is involved in plotting focused on the death of Americans in particular,

(v) that threat is “imminent” in the sense that this is the last clear window of opportunity to strike,

(vi) there is no feasible option for capture without undue risk, and

(vii) the strike will comply with the IHL principles of necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity.

What is the acceptable metric of civilian causality per each suspected al Qaeda targeted? Much, much lower than Afghanistan I hope. Its a very volatile situation.

The US its own worst enemy in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

A very good article by Jeremy Scahill examines US policy in Yemen in Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires and highlights some of the contradictions (mule headedness?) that are heightening tensions and increasing risks to national security.

I agree that the “US has always gotten it wrong in Yemen.” Its not just Obama, but rather a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of Yemen that stems back through the Krajeski era. There was never a good baseline and the echo chamber effect compounded errors as uninformed or misinformed analysis led to wrong conclusions and outcomes time after time. Perhaps it was the total isolation of the embassy personnel as their reality was shaped by the Saleh propaganda machine and prior misconceptions. In an interview regarding the piece at Democracy Now:

Scahill reports that U.S. drone strikes, civilian drone casualties and deepening poverty in Yemen have all contributed to the cause of an Islamist uprising and how the U.S. has always “gotten it wrong” in Yemen.

In the interview, Scahill says that, “The arrogance of the U.S. was always thinking that whatever U.S. official was sent to Yemen was smarter than Ali Abdullah Saleh. … [Saleh] was a master chess player and he milked counter-terrorism as his cash cow. [U.S.-supplied] forces have almost never been used to actually battle anyone determined to be terrorists. They’ve existed primarily for the defense of the Saleh regime.”

He goes on to highlight the difference in perspectives between the U.S. and the actual Yemeni people, “One tribal leader who said very clearly,’al-Qaeda’s a terrorist organization. Yes these guys want to destroy America’…’you consider them terrorists. We consider the drones terrorism.’”

Watch it here:

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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

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.

Lacking intel, US drones unidentitified groups of suspected terrorists

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This article from the Air Force Times deals with the Horn of Africa and uses examples from 2004 but applies to present day Yemen as well.


Despite leading a six-person human intelligence team with responsibility for the Horn of Africa — and with Ethiopia a priority — (Marine Capt. Rye Barcott) Barcott had no idea what the man was talking about…
The conversation ended quickly, but Barcott’s interpreter wasn’t ready to let the matter lie. “Afterwards he’s like, ‘Listen, the Dergue was the communist regime that ran this place. … Everybody knows the Dergue. Come on, these are very basic things.’ ”

The exchange in Gode happened in 2004. The chastened Barcott had run head first into one of the major problems that plagued U.S. operations in the Horn of Africa in the years after 9/11: the lack of a basic understanding of the region among the personnel charged with operating there.

“At that time, DoD had f—- all in terms of HUMINT in the Horn,” said an intelligence source with long experience in the region.

“At a very fundamental level, we simply lacked that baseline that we needed,” said a military targeting official. “We didn’t understand the culture, we didn’t understand the people … in a real sense we didn’t understand the players and how they related in the various organizations inside the various cities in the Horn.” — (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.

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.

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.

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.

Two killed in drone strike in south Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Yemen, obits — by Jane Novak at 6:16 pm on Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Among the week’s dead in Abyan a Pakistani and two Chechans and two civilian anti al-Qaeda activists.

SANAA, Yemen — A U.S. drone strike killed five al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Yemen on Wednesday, Yemeni officials said. (Read on …)

Revolutionaries are children and thieves: Yahya Saleh

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Post Saleh, Security Forces, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yahya Saleh while saying an entirely different thing in Arabic tells Reuters the ruling family is entirely committed to peace: AlertNet:

* Says cash for training and equipment cut, intelligence aid same,

* Says civil war unlikely despite “revolution of children and thieves”

* Calls potential U.N. resolution on transfer plan foreign interference

By Erika Solomon

SANAA, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The United States and other Western donors have cut counter-terrorism aid to Yemen’s army during eight months of mass protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his nephew and leader of a key paramilitary unit said on Wednesday, in effect supporting anti-Saleh groups. (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 …)

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)

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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

Potential blowback to CIA drones in Yemen: radicalizing a democratizing population

Filed under: A-analysis, Air strike, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Friday, September 9, 2011

This is a good article and Phillips has a lot of insight into Yemen:

CIA action may backfire in Yemen: A DECADE after the epochal attacks of September 11, and three months after the killing of Osama bin Laden, America’s shadow war against terrorism appears to be slowly revealing a new front. (Read on …)

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 …)

Yemen President’s son kills 17 women and children in Arhab; Russian media calls them “al Qaeda”

Filed under: Air strike, Donors, UN, Military, Protest Fatalities, Russia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Video: Yemeni children in Arhab run for the caves as the bombing starts

Yemen owes Russia hundreds of millions for the same MIGs the regime is using to murder its own citizens. Russia is Yemen’s single largest bi-lateral creditor due to huge weapons purchases; the state is thought to have at least 18 MIGs in inventory. Russia along with China opposes regime change in Yemen and thwarted strong statements in the UN Security Council. Russia is also playing the al Qaeda card, saying the protests are hampering the regime from battling the fanatics.

The Russian article is titled Yemen fights with Al Qaeda: In the early hours of Tuesday, Yemeni forces had a fight with Al Qaeda militants in the region of Arhab in the country’s northeast. Over 20 militants were killed…Yemen’s authorities would have probably fought with Al Qaeda in their country more successfully, if not for the unstable political situation.

CNN: Fighting has been virtually nonstop for the past two months in the Arhab district, 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) northeast of Sanaa, after tribal leaders went against the government claiming that it killed four tribal members in an effort to create unrest in the district.

In the most recent bloodshed on Tuesday, witnesses said civilians comprised most of the dead from air attacks by the Republican Guard. At least 17 of the dead were children and women, they said, while only nine tribal fighters were among the killed.

At least a dozen fighters were injured, witnesses said. At least 45 tanks and armored vehicles were seen entering Arhab villages during early morning Tuesday, tribal leaders in the area said.

There’s a vid on FB that I am trying to get on Youtube of little children running from the bombing to nearby caves. Obviously some didn’t make it.

“C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strikes”

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, US jihaddis, USA, USS Cole, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:48 am on Friday, August 12, 2011

God help us, Obama taught them all to lie. At best, he condones and encourages it. Apparently US foreign policy is determined only through the prism of Al Qaeda, CT ops and drones. The entire mid-term “war of ideas” kind of strategy to protect US interests is not present anywhere. And moral considerations are tertiary. Its no wonder Obama has not spoken the word “Yemen” since he called Saleh “a friend” and never once addressed the millions of Yemeni protesters; thirty murderous religious fanatics outweigh all other US concerns. The GCC plan and the earlier US re-branding of Saleh as a good partner in the WOT are efforts to retain as much of the existing US created CT structure as possible. Its a policy doomed to fail and fail big in both countries. Here’s a good article about the Yemeni Air Force bombing the tribes fighting al Qaeda and other developments in Abyan.

Here Brennan lies about civilian casualties in Pakistan but also in Yemen: TN: C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strikes, “Fortunately, for more than a year, due to our discretion and precision, the U.S. government has not found credible evidence of collateral deaths resulting from U.S. counterterrorism operations outside of Afghanistan or Iraq, and we will continue to do our best to keep it that way,” Mr. Brennan said.

Its the same type of bold mis-characterization as when General Patraeus, now the head of the CIA, said with a straight face there were no civilians casualties in the ‘09 airstrike in Abyan, because the women and children were related to the terrorists or had sold them vegetables, making them guilty of providing material support. The fact that the poor dead villagers had appealed to local authorities for help in expelling al Qaeda weeks before has no impact on their “lawful enemy” status.

Now certainly these fanatics should be thoroughly condemned for bringing their children to training camps and sheltering among civilians. But no six year old is a terrorist.

And this repugnant spin is similar to US Department of Defense statements that the US found no irrefutable evidence that the US trained counter-terror forces have committed any atrocities in Yemen. Its the other members of the Republican Guard and other divisions that receive US funds I guess who shot all the protesters.

Ammar Saleh, head of the National Security, just bought a three million dollar palace in Sanaa–with cash. I guess he found the money on the street or in a taxi. Your tax dollars at work, worse yet, beyond the scope of congressional oversight.

As an aside and to save the link, some lefty site is carrying Richard Clark’s uncorroborated accusation that the top level of the CIA withheld info on al Midhar and al Hamzi’s presence in the US from the rest of the gov’t. The CIA insists it was only a few low level analysts who knew they were here. The article fails to address the issue of the Yemen Hub, a phone line monitored by the NSA for the CIA since 1996, ie-prior to and after both the 1998 embassy attacks and the USS Cole bombing. The USS Cole bombers called the hub several times in planning the attack; Midhar and Hamzi called the monitored number several times from the US as well. The number was under such heavy surveillance that there was a satellite dedicated to recording visitors to the house.

HCG: As outlined in the Yemen Hub category, the number was under heavy surveillance by the US. It was al-Qaeda’s operations centre and had been integral in the embassy bombings, when it received calls from both the bombers in Africa and bin Laden in Afghanistan. Intercepts of the calls enabled the FBI to map al-Qaeda’s global network (except the 9/11 hijackers in the US, whose location the NSA failed to communicate). According to a US investigator, the hub number was used by the bombers to “put everything together” before the Cole bombing.

There are two simple questions: If the NSA was listening in on the bombers putting everything together before the Cole attack, why was it not prevented? Second, why was the hub not shut down after the Cole attack? The policy of allowing the hub to operate to map al-Qaeda was proved to be a failure by the Cole bombing, as no amount of intelligence was worth the lives of the dead sailors, so the people who ran the hub should have been arrested, as were some of the other Cole bombers in Yemen, like Fahad al-Quso.

Fahd al Quso, who was ultimately given a ten year sentence, was released by Saleh’s govt in May 2007, after three years. The release was met by weak protestations from the USG and outrage by the sailors’ families. By 2010 al Quso, had released an AQAP vid threatening the US, and was placed on the Freds MWT list. Several drone strikes have targeted al Quso since 2009.

Meanwhile the US holds Yemen’s democratic process hostage by insisting on the GCC plan, rejected by Salah, the GPC, the JMP and the demonstrators, in order to implement cosmetic changes to a deeply dysfunctional system:

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said democratic processes in Yemen shouldn’t be “held hostage” while the president weighs his options.

“Our view is that Yemen needs to move in a democratic direction along the lines of the GCC report,” she said. “How that happens is up to the Yemeni people but it’s got to happen.” Officials in Saleh’s ruling General People’s Congress maintain he is the legitimate leader until the country has presidential elections. ( UPI)

Massive protests on the streets today. Check News of the Yemen Revolution to get the Youtube URLs: and Yemen Rights Monitor for all the recent updates, military conflicts and political statements: The day is themed, “Victorious God Willing” Friday and nation-wide protests reject Saleh and GCC plan, and call for the quick announcement of a national council. The protests condemn crimes in Taiz, Arhab, and Abyan.

These vids are from yesterday: (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 …)

US trained Counter-Terror forces attack Yemen civilians, again

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Protest Fatalities, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:47 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011

This BS from DOD that there’s no proof that US trained, equipped and funded Yemeni CT units have been diverted to regime protection is just that: total BS. The Republican Guard is involved in nearly every massacre and the CT forces certainly aren’t countering al Qaeda. Current US policy of “hear no evil, see no evil” is seriously endangering the US as well as encouraging the slaughter of unarmed Yemeni citizens standing for equal rights. The US policy of giving the Saleh immunity for murder is the worst of all possible strategies in terms of US national security, and I don’t say that lightly or because I’m rooting for the protesters. When coupled with US drone strikes which frequently have “collateral damage,” the policy also demonstrates a blatant disregard for Yemeni life.

al Sahwa: Sahwa Net- A US-trained Yemeni counterterrorism unit has been dispatched to fight tribesmen in Arhab , outskirt of the Yemeni capital , Sana’a, military sources said.

Forces of the Republican Guards have killed more than 40 tribesmen, wounded dozens and displaced thousands of civilians in Arhab.

The Yemeni regime had used US-trained counter-terrorism units in fighting against the followers of a tribal leader in Sana’a which continued for two weeks lately of May.

Many Yemeni politicians raise questions about the use US-trained forces participation in combating tribesmen and not engagement in the war against Al-Qaeda terrorist in Abyan.

Update: a campaign was launched to boycott US and Saudi products, and for the first time in six month, US flags burnt in Taiz-due to the Obama administration’s weak approach to Saleh’s brutality and the US’s unwillingness to support the protesters, their goal (regime change) and their right to life.

Yemen updates July 6, 2011

- Republican Guard shells a public mini-bus in Taiz, driver killed, 13 wounded including three children, attack occurred in front of a hospital, several other parts of the neighborhoods shelled by tanks and artillery: al Masdar Also Taiz, clashes after security tries to impede a mass rally demanding an immediate formation of a transitional council: al Masdar (Read on …)

UN “peace” proposal reinstates Saleh

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:52 am on Monday, July 4, 2011

Its just ridiculous. The international community should start with the protesters plan and move outward from there. We are not talking about a transition of power between the ruling party and the opposition (although that’s what the international community is pushing for) but a revolution, an overthrow of the entire regime. If the political party system worked, there wouldn’t be a revolution in the first place. The JMP was unable to institute a dialog on electoral reforms with the GPC for three years, leading to the two year delay in parliament elections in 2009. Immediate elections are unworkable; the protesters plan has been the only viable solution from day one.

6/30 CNN Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — The Yemeni government has lost control over five provinces, and security in the country is deteriorating, the nation’s acting president told CNN in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

In his first interview with a Western TV network, Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi detailed how U.S. drones are using voice recognition to target al Qaeda leaders and help the government win back control. (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.

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 …)

SEYAJ appeals for urgently needed aid for displaced people from Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Lahj, Refugees, South Yemen, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:52 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

The humanitarian crisis is deepening and SEYAJ urges relief convoys to the starving people displaced to Aden and Lahj

An appeal call No(2) to save the people in Abyan

Issued by the Emergency Cell in Seyaj
Yemen- Sana’a- June 22nd -2011

The Emergency Cell in Seyaj organization for childhood protection calls to declare Abyan governorate as a disastrous area by all the standards.

Seyaj directs its second humanitarian appeal to all the Yemeni people to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to the victims in Abyan of the dirty security political game that displaced , killed and violated the lives, humanity and dignity of at least more than forty thousand families.

Moreover, Seyaj calls the Arabic, Islamic and international associations and humanitarian relief organizations to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to Abyan victims in Aden and Lahj governorates.

Seyaj also calls the acting president to take concrete actions to save the lives of his people and clan in Abyan.
Seyaj confirms that the areas of war against Al-Qaeda as called are free of country’s institutions that are capable of performing its duty to displaced people in Abyan, Aden and Lahj ,as the first responsibility lies on the Yemeni people in all its political& social activities, humanitarian organizations, religious men , youth , politicians and others of the society components. (Read on …)

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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

Anwar Awlaki spews more lies

Filed under: Air strike, Judicial, Media, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:17 pm on Sunday, February 13, 2011

This is total crap, everyone including me the same day exposed that it was the US that carried out the December airstrikes.

News Yemen: Described as a model for journalism in principle and that he was the voice of truth in a choppy sea with waves of falsehood and deception
Anwar al-Awlaki calls for media to continue the march of Haider and expose the practices of the Yemeni government and the U.S.
13/02/2011 (Read on …)

AQAP leader Wahishi killed in Pakistan?

Filed under: AfPak, Air strike, USA, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:49 am on Monday, January 3, 2011

Color me skeptical. PK officials previously said Fahd al Quso was killed in September, a statement he denied in his recent interview in Yemen.

Islamabad:: Nasir al-Wahishi, a top al-Qaeda commander, who reportedly served as an aide of Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US drone attack in northwestern Pakistan on December 28.

Al-Wahishi, 32, a Yemeni national, who presided over the January 2009 merger of Saudi Arabian and Yemeni splinters of al-Qaeda, was killed in the year end.

Wahishi was killed when two missiles were fired on a militant camp at the Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan, Kyodo reported quoting Pakistani officials…The officials claimed Wahishi had served as secretary of bin Laden until 2003. He was arrested in Iran and extradited to Yemen in 2003. The al-Qaeda commander was among 23 Yemeni captives who made a dramatic escape from maximum security prison in Sana’a, in 2006 and was at large since then.

The undead Fahd al Quso speaks: I’m better off in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, TI: Internal, aq statements, fahd — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Thursday, December 16, 2010


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.

Asharq Alawasat article below:
(Read on …)

Yemeni Deputy PM Rashid al Alimi blows off Parliamentary summons on Wikileaks for HR meeting

Filed under: Air strike, GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Yemen, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010

I really should start making bets for money. Al Alimi was summoned to Parliament earlier in the week to discuss the revelation that he joked about lying to Parliament. (At the time of the December airstrike, the JMP opposition parties withdrew but the uber-majority GPC dutifully pretended to believe the lie.) Al Alimi rescheduled for today, Saturday, and was again a no-show. Yemen’s rubber stamp parliament, dominated by President Saleh’s ruling GPC, doesn’t have the capacity to hold al Alimi or any of the ministers to account.

The last time he was summoned I believe was after the second al Qaeda attack on the South Koreans in 2008. A pedestrian suicide bomber bounced off the convoy of SK officials in Yemen to investigate the earlier suicide attack that killed three SK tourists in Hadramout. It was apparent that AQAP had information on the route of the convoy in advance. When he finally showed up, al Alimi admitted that the security services are infiltrated by al Qaeda, but he diagnosed it as low level and a function of corruption. Then he denied saying it. And in case you are interested, the headline coming out of the Human Rights conference was, “Alimi calls for civil society organizations to expose human rights violations and document them.” (Read on …)

Where’s Fahd al Quso?

Filed under: AfPak, Air strike, USA, USS Cole, aq statements, fahd, photos, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:40 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010


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?

Senior Yemeni AQAP killed near Af-Pak border: Kohlmann

Filed under: AfPak, Air strike, TI: External, arrests — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Friday, December 10, 2010

via Evan Kohlmann: A senior Yemeni Al-Qaida commander, Abu Abdelrahman al-Qahtani, has reportedly been killed in a U.S. airstrike on the Pak-Afghan border. Abu Abdelrahman al-Qahtani has been linked to Camp Chapman bomber Humam al-Balawi (aka Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani). Al-Qahtani was also closely tied to 2 Yemeni Al-Qaida bombmakers, “Ghazwan al-Yemeni” and “Abu Dujanah as-Sanaani”, killed in the past year. Even from the frontline in AFPAK, al-Qahtani was a regular contributor to the now-defunct “Al-Fallujah” jihadi social networking web forum. According to a published biography, Abu Abdelrahman al-Qahtani “was 45 years of age, half of which he spent in the fields of jihad.

On the 5th it was reported that a Yemeni al Shabab senior commander, named Rajah Abu Khalid was killed following a battle in Mogadishu, Somalia.

a) thats what they said about Fahd al Quso, killed in Pakistan
b) better odds of getting them outside Yemen than in?
c) Yemenis increasingly moving into leadership positions, consolidating the reach of AQAP?
d) not to be confused with the dead/undead Naif al Qatani, a Saudi financier
(Read on …)

Wikileaks snooze alert: Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, USA, enviornmental 2, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 1:45 pm on Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wow, more stuff we all knew already:
- The drone downed in March 2007 was US not Iranian.
- President Saleh met and released escaped USS Cole bomber Jamal al Badawi shortly before Frances Townsend’s Oct 2007 visit.
- Saleh haggled on the Gitmo detainees, bargaining for money.
(Read on …)

No big surprises from Wikileaks on Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Monday, November 29, 2010

Another non-surprise, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry denies the cables are accurate:

Yemen’s stances obvious, WikiLeaks memos do not concern it-Yemen FM
Wednesday, 01-December-2010 – An official source at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry has commented on the documents leaked by WikiLeaks site and what it publishes in a number of newspapers about Yemen by saying that what came in those documents on what was discussed between Yemeni officials and the American side was not considered accurate and true reporting of what had actually been exchanged in those meetings. (Read on …)

(Retaliatory?) Airstrike in Bani Dhabyan, no casualties

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:36 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

The article below postulates the Yemeni military launched an airstrike on a village after the Sheik of the area gave an interview that reflected poorly on Saleh, which actually is more likely than the official story, based on prior history.

YO: Yemen – A number of officials and tribal leaders of Bani Thabian district, Sana’a, denied that the district is a home for al-Qaeda group following reports by foreign media that Bani Thabian tribe is home for al-Qaeda. (Read on …)

Difficulty in gaining intel in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:25 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beware the triple agent, that’s all I have to say.

WSJ: Limited U.S. intelligence experience in Yemen has created “a window of vulnerability” that the U.S. government is “working fast to address,” a senior Obama administration official said. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda planned Saudi attack during Saada War, undead Naif Qatani along with Ammar al Waeli

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Hadramout, Sa'ada, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, abu jubarah, personalities, prince, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:11 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ammar Al Waeli is apparently multi-tasking in Saada, plotting with Qatani on Saudi while fighting the Houthis for Saleh. Naif al Qatani was reported dead in May by Abdulelah Shaea, normally a credible source on AQAP. The US sanctioned Qatani the same week. The attack was planned for 12/09, about the same time that the US resumed air strikes after a seven year lull.

Al Qaeda Planned to Attack Saudi Arabia during Saudi – Huthi Conflict – Report 21/10/2010
Awasat: Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Documents obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat reveal that Saudi Arabian national, Ahmed Abdel Aziz al-Jasser – who Yemen yesterday offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest – was planning to carry out a terrorist operation on Saudi soil during the conflict that took place between the Saudi military and the Huthi insurgents in late 2009. These documents also reveal that al-Jasser was working with 4 other Saudi nationals whose names are included on the Saudi Arabian list of 85 suspected militants wanted around the world. (Read on …)

Airstrikes in Modya Abyan

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Local gov, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

News Yemen: The air forces have carried out new raids on suspected al-Qaeda sites in Thaobah in Modiya of the southern province of Abyan on Tuesday.

Local source told News Yemen that at least four missiles were fired at the area and led to the demolition of a number of houses. The strikes did not result in casualties, said the source. Thaobah is a mountainous area, 20 km from the city of Lawdar.

Journalist Ahmed al-Qane, in Thaobah, told News Yemen that the targeted elements have suddenly gathered in the area after they were expelled earlier by sheikhs and social figures to Al-Majala. The government increased campaign against suspected al-Qaeda militants in Abyan after militants ambushed and killed a security official, brother of Abyan’s governor and tried to assassinate the governor himself.

al Motamar: He added that confrontations by security forces and a number of al-Qaeda elements resulted in killing more than 6 of them in the past days and the capture of the main wanted the terrorist Hani al-Thurayah and found in his possession dangerous documents for al-Qaeda revealing plots on targeting security personalities in Abyan province.

Airstrikes on Modya, Abyan displace citizens, draw reinforcements

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror — by Jane Novak at 7:17 am on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New estimates today are 300 more families are displaced from this latest round of fighting, about 3000 people, as always mostly women, children and the elderly. Its hard to say that the fighters arriving for the battle are all currently al Qaeda, but they may be by the time its over. The resumption of air strikes against mountainous hideouts may be effective, but they are counter-productive in residential areas.

WT: Security sources said the Yemen Air Force has renewed operations against Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). They said the Air Force has employed the MiG-29 fighter-jet and helicopters to attack Al Qaida strongholds in southern Yemen. “The Air Force has been assisted by Western trainers to identify and track terrorist targets,” a security source said. On Oct. 16-17, MiG-29 aircraft struck suspected AQAP strongholds in the mountains near Lawder, reportedly killing five operatives. The sources said more than 100 Al Qaida fighters were believed to have fled Lawder for the mountains of the Abyan province.

Army Retiree Killed, Civilians Injured as Planes Strike Al-Qaeda Positions in Abyan

Yemen Post Staff: An army retiree was killed and two women and a child were injured when planes struck a village in Modya district, Abyan, where the army is fighting and hunting murderous Al-Qaeda militants, the Alsahwa website reported on Sunday.

Five homes were destroyed, livestock were killed and many families fled Thauba village heading to nearby areas, it said.

In what seems a retaliatory attack against the escalating large-scale operations against its members, Al-Qaeda attacked today a military vehicle in the Thra Mountain in the district, but the fate of its crew was nuclear. The vehicle, carrying food supplies for the forces, was completely destroyed. (Read on …)

Sunday, bloody Sunday: fighting in Abyan continues, documents

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Air strike, TI: Internal, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:49 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

Just to clarify, there is no Aden Abyan Islamic Army at the moment, and certainly not 12,000 fighters. Its just a dream in al Reimi’s head. There’s several dozens of actual AQAP in Yemen. A total of 300 is still a pretty solid number, scattered around Shabwa, Abyan, Sana’a, Saada and Marib. The jihaddi paparazzi just ran off with that statement of his without reading the part where it said, “we are in the initial stages,” meaning they are dreaming of it.

CRI: At least 11 suspected al-Qaida fighters were killed and dozens including civilians were wounded on Sunday in Yemen’s air raids in the country’s southern troubled province of Abyan, provincial security official and local sources said.

“Initial statistics showed that 11 al-Qaida suspects were killed and perhaps more than 20 others including civilians were injured in Modiya district of Abyan in continuing aerial attacks by the Yemeni fighter jets since Saturday,” the official said.

He told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the air raids are continuing with intelligence coordination with the U.S. unmanned aircraft.

A source from a hospital in Zinjibar, the provincial capital city of Abyan, told Xinhua that “fierce battles are taking place now between the Yemeni army and al-Qaida fighters in Dahma Mountain close to the highway linking Zinjibar and Modiya town.”

The hospital found foreign nationals among the dead, added the source.

The air strikes against al-Qaida camps began on Saturday after gunmen affiliated to the group ambushed a military patrol en route to Modiya, killing one soldier and wounding two others, according to state media.

The aerial attacks came seven days after the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) declared the establishment of an army of 12,000 fighters in south Yemen to wage a “holy war” against the country’s security services and foreign interests.

Yemeni security seizes al-Qaeda significant documents, SANA’A, Oct. 16 (Saba) – The security services in Abyan province have seized significant documents regarding terrorist plots were prepared by al-Qaeda members to carry out them in the province. (Read on …)

AQAP announces death of member in December raid

Filed under: Air strike, TI: Internal, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 11:12 am on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

But nothing on Fahd. Update: One in Afghanistan. Gulf News: Sa’ad Mohammad Al Shahri, a suspected terrorist and associate of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was killed in a US air strike a few days ago in Afghanistan, security sources have said. Gulf News has learnt that Al Shahri was an active Al Qaida militant who featured on a list of wanted terrorists that was issued by the Saudi Interior Ministry on June 28, 2006. Its not AQAP’s Saed al Shehri. Update 2: And apparently they tried to down Saudi Prince Naif’s plane when it was landing in Sana’a in 2009.

al Ghad: Fought battles of the “Tora Bora” and returned from the “Guantanamo” and was killed in a U.S. raid
الإثنين , 4 أكتوبر 2010 م Monday, October 4, 2010

الغد: محمد الأحمدي Tomorrow: Mohammed al-Ahmadi
في سياق إصداراته الإعلامية المتوالية، كشف ما بات يعرف بـ”تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد في In the context of successive publications media, reveal what has become known as “Al Qaeda in جزيرة العرب”، أخيراً، عن تفاصيل جديدة لأحد عناصره العائدين من “جوانتانامو”، يدعى “هاني عبده مصلح شعلان”، قتل في غارة يعتقد أنها أميركية يمنية مشتركة استهدفت مواقع للتنظيم بمنطقة أرحب شمال العاصمة صنعاء في ديسمبر الماضي. The Arabian Peninsula, “Finally, new details of one of its elements returning from the” Guantanamo “, named” Hani Abdu Musleh Shaalan, “was killed in the raid are believed to be a joint Yemeni-American targeted sites of the organization welcome area north of the capital Sana’a last December. (Read on …)

Yemen Suspends US Airstrike Authority

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:48 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Everything the Yemeni government is a lie to some degree or another, so who knows where the shred of truth is in this story.

Zawya/AFP: Yemen’s foreign minister acknowledged the United States has launched attacks on Al-Qaeda in his country in an interview published on Thursday, the first confirmation from Sanaa of a US military role. (They’ve been denying it since December.) (Read on …)

Saudi Intel Led to Lauder Air Strikes on Saudi Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Air strike, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:59 pm on Monday, September 6, 2010

Al Qaeda using civilians as human shields would only make sense if the Yemeni government or al Qaeda had any respect for civilian immunity, which neither does. How did they “escape” Lauder? Supposedly the Saudi, Battarfi, ordered the attacks on Yemeni security forces in Abyan. All these Saudis should go home and fight their war on Saudi soil not in Yemen.

Saudi named new leader of Al-Qaeda in Arab Peninsula
Saudi Gazette
RIYADH – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen and using it as a launching pad for targeting the Kingdom, has appointed a Saudi of Yemeni origin, Khaled Battarfi, as the leader of the organization in Abyan Governorate, a Yemeni government official disclosed to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The move follows the killing of the former leader Jameel Al-Anbari in an air strike on March 14 that targeted the organization’s members in Moudiah city, said Ahmad Ali Al-Qufaishi, director general of Lodar Province, which is located in southern Yemen. Speaking by telephone, he said Battarfi, 35, who is also known as Abu Miqdad Al-Kindi, is the “Shariah-in-charge” in the terrorist organization in Yemen. (Read on …)

US officials propose more than billion dollars to support Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Security Forces, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:28 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

The short term packages make much more sense but the strategy overall is flawed because Saleh is the source of nation-wide, legitimate grievances and is a war criminal. The US alliance with Saleh is akin to the alliance with Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds. Furthermore, aspects of the state itself have been co-opted by al Qaeda. Strengthening Saleh strengthens al Qaeda, its that simple.

US officials propose more than billion dollars to support Yemen
Source : Wall Street Journal VIA Nasir al Arrabyee: By ADAM ENTOUS, SIOBHAN GORMAN and JULIAN E. BARNES
WASHINGTON—The U.S. military’s Central Command has proposed pumping as much as $1.2 billion over five years into building up Yemen’s security forces, a major investment in a shaky government, in a sign of Washington’s fears of al Qaeda’s growing foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

The timing and the final funding amount will depend on how supporters of the effort overcome resistance from some officials at the State Department and the Pentagon, who have doubts about Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the ability of his government, seen by many as corrupt, to effectively use a flood of American-taxpayer money.

The threat to the U.S. from al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has become a priority concern for the Obama administration, fueling a robust internal debate over how to calibrate assistance to address what many officials see as the biggest counterterrorism challenge outside Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Read on …)

Another Miss

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Friday, August 20, 2010

Al Masdar Online

Local sources said the “online source” The flight carried out midnight on Thursday, an air strike targeted a gathering of al-Qaeda in a mountain Department Lauder Abyan governorate (South Yemen).
لكن المصادر أشارت إلى إن القصف لم يخلف أي ضحايا بشرية، ما يرجح أن الضربة أخطأت الهدف. However, the sources pointed out that the bombing did not leave any human victims, what is likely to strike missed the target.
يأتي ذلك في الوقت الذي ارتفع عدد ضحايا الهجوم الذي نفذه مسلحون يشتبه بصلتهم بتنظيم القاعدة ضد دورية عسكرية تابعة لقوات الجيش المرابطة في مديريـة لودر مساء الخميس ليصل إلى 4 قتلى في صفوف قوات الأمن.

Yemen Captures Previously Surrendered al Qaeda Hizam Majali

Filed under: Air strike, USS Cole, Yemen, arrests, surrenders — by Jane Novak at 9:47 am on Thursday, August 19, 2010

Limburg defendant survives hellfire attack

Bombs a ship and tried to down a helicopter, sentenced to death in 2004, escapes Feb 2006, surrenders Aug 2006 and released, survives Arhab airstrike and captured again August 2010

Original post: In 2006, 23 high value al Qaeda prisoners escaped the Political Security jail in the capital Sana’a, aided by some government officials. Supposedly they used a spoon to dig the tunnel but actually used a drill according to other prisoners in the jail at the time. Some escapees were later killed by security forces. All the rest surrendered and were then released on loose house arrest. The only two who remain on the lam are Nasir al Wahishi and al Qasim al Reimi, currently the leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

At the time, the releases were condoned by some as the way things are done in Yemen. Now the state is labeling them as dangerous al Qaeda (and any convicted murder and friend of Fawaz al Reibi certainly is) which the security forces managed to catch to the glee of the US. Its a total crock. Either they called him up and asked nicely to go to jail for a few weeks or worse yet, the previously surrendered, convicted al Qaeda murderer was actually plotting attacks. Today’s news from AFP :

SANAA — Yemeni security forces have arrested a suspected Al-Qaeda militant who was sentenced to death for attacking a French ship and was among 23 prison escapees in 2006, a security official said on Thursday. Huzam Majali, who is considered a leading figure of Al-Qaeda in the area of Arhab, north of the capital, was arrested on Wednesday. “He surrendered after a successful raid by the anti-terrorism forces on a house he was hiding in,” the official said.

Hiding, why is he hiding when he made a deal with Yemen’s president for his release? The background:

Jamestown: Hizam Salih Ali Mujali (b. 1980): Hizam is the older brother of Arif Mujali. He is from the governorate of Sanaa. Yemeni forces arrested him along with Fawaz al-Rabay’i in late 2003. The two resisted arrested, and fired at the security forces, killing one soldier, Hamid Khasruf. Hizam, like his younger brother, Arif, was part of the 15-man cell that went on trial in 2004. Hizam was charged with attacking a Hunt Oil helicopter and for participating in the attack on the Limburg. On August 30, 2004, he was sentenced to death for killing Khasruf. This sentence was upheld by a higher court in February 2005. Both Hizam and Arif turned themselves into the government in August 2006 (al-Wasat, August 30, 2006). Their surrender was orchestrated by Sheikh Hadi Dalqim, a tribal leader from Marib, who served as a mediator between the government and the brothers. It is unclear whether Mujali’s sentence was commuted as a result of the negotiations.

Its certainly clear now.

Update: SABA the state propaganda agency:

SANA’A, Aug. 19 (Saba) – Al-Qaeda suspect Hizam Mujali has surrendered himself to the security authorities, the Defense Ministry-run reported on Thursday…He was also part of the infamous 2006 prison break. However, he eventually turned himself back in to the security authorities, striking a deal that would allow him to keep his freedom on the condition that he did not rejoin al Qaeda.

That condition appears to have recently been broken. The government targeted him in a raid launched in Arhab area December 2009. Although his brother Arif was captured, Hizam managed to escape.

The Defense Ministry said that security forces in Apian (Abyan) Province have captured after a manhunt operation a senior al-Qaeda suspect called Anis al-Oli. Security sources told the website arresting such suspects and many others came as a result of information have been taken from al-Qaeda leaders and elements have been arrested recently.

Veil lifts on covert action in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:27 pm on Sunday, August 15, 2010

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — At first, the news from Yemen on May 25 sounded like a modest victory in the campaign against terrorists: An airstrike had hit a group of suspected al-Qaida operatives in the remote desert of Marib province, birthplace of the legendary queen of Sheba. (Read on …)

ACLU Sues in order to Represent Anwar Al-Awlaki

Filed under: Air strike, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 10:53 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010


MSNBC: Two civil rights groups today sued the US government, seeking the legal authority to challenge the Obama administration’s targeting of a radical cleric in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki — who may now be America’s most wanted terrorist.

The government says al-Awlaki has become one of the dominant recruiters of Americans for violent attacks on the homeland. He’s said to have communicated with Major Nidal Hasan before last year’s shootings at Ft. Hood and with Faisal Shahzad, who planted a car bomb in Times Square earlier this year. In addition, the FBI says he played a key role in the Christmas Day airline bomb plot. Intelligence sources say he has been the target of several unmanned drone attacks.

Now, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights say they’ve been asked by al-Awlaki’s father to challenge the government’s targeting of al-Awlaki, who is a U.S. citizen, born in New Mexico. The groups say the government has improperly “asserted authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens located far from any battlefield without charge, trial, or judicial process of any kind.” (Read on …)

Strange supposed al Qaeda statement takes credit for death of al Shabwani

Filed under: Air strike, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Saturday, June 5, 2010

The implication being that al Qaeda used US drones to kill their enemy al Shabwani. Naba News has it. It was first posted to a political forum, and the members objected to a terrorist in their midst. So it could be propaganda, if not by al Qaeda then by someone trying to discredit the intelligence and discourage people from talking about where the al Qaeda are.

Mairb Tribe Accepts Guns and Money in Settlement for Death of al Shabwani

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:54 pm on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Following an air strike that killed a tribal sheik Jaber al Shabwani who was also the head of the local council, along with five others, the tribes in Marib cut some electrical lines and bombed oil pipelines. They gave the government 48 hours to produce the perpetrators. After mediation, they accepted guns and money, which is quite a normal tribal mechanism that prevents violence from spiraling out of control. They lifted the checkpints and the region is calm.

Yemen Observer: Sheikh Ali al-Shabwani – the father of the Secretary-General of the local council in Marib province, Jaber al-Shabwani, who was killed in an air strike last Monday – accepted a compromise provided by the presidential mediation committee that provided him with 200 Kalashnikovs and YR5 million, according to local sources in the tribal province of Marib. (Read on …)

Tribe Attacks Power Lines in Retaliation for Errant Air Strike

Filed under: Air strike — by Jane Novak at 7:46 am on Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blackouts in Sanaa are occurring several times daily.

Yemen Observer: Power transmission lines linked to Sana’a were fired upon by the Abeeda tribes in Marib province on Tuesday, May 25, leading to the break down of the Gas Power Station. (Read on …)

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

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

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

Another version from the YP:

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

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

The state is calling it (another) misdirected airstrike.

(Read on …)

Airstrike on al Qaeda camp in Abyan, Updated

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:58 pm on Sunday, March 14, 2010

After a bit of a lull following the December air strikes, the campaign may be resuming. Lets hope the intel is spot on, after the 43 civilian deaths in the December 17 strike.

Update: There was the one on Sunday that reportedly killed two and three more strikes Monday in Abyan. Jamil Nasser Abdullah al-Ambari, 25, believed to be the leader of Al-Qaeda in southern Abyan province, was one of two militants killed in the overnight raid, the security official told AFP, requesting anonymity. – Security and local sources in Abyan province told Monday that Yemeni air force dealt an air strike more than an hour ago to a hideout for the Qaeda organization in Yemen, in the district of Modia…in an area called Al-Hamra Thiraa Mountain Jeezat Al Ghanam in the district of Modia, province of Abyan, pointing out that the area has lately witnessed noticeable activity of elements from the Qaeda organisation and was monitored by security authorities.

AQIY announces death of fundraiser:

Al-Malahim Media Foundation, the media arm of the Yemen-based AQAP, identified the militant as Ibrahim Saleh Mujahid al-Khalifa (alias Abi Jandal al-Qisaimy), saying the militant is a Saudi national.

“Al-Qisaimy was responsible for collecting and raising money from inside Saudi Arabia and transferring them into al-Qaida wing in Yemen,” al-Malahim said in a statement posted on the Internet. It added that “al-Qisaimy was also the coordinator behind smuggling groups of wanted Saudi militants to Yemen through the Saudi-Yemeni joint border.”

Yemeni al Qaeda investigated in in Jordan:

Amman – A Yemeni was on Sunday interrogated by the public prosecutor of Jordan’s State Security Court on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaeda and plotting acts of terrorism inside the kingdom, judicial sources said. The Yemeni national, Ammar Barouti, is believed to be one of al- Qaeda’s leaders in Yemen, tasked with recruiting fighters before sending them to Iraq for fighting US forces there, the sources added.

Barouti was arrested at Jordan’s Queen Ali International Airport five months ago during a flight from an Arab country on his way home. “He was suffering from wounds during battles he fought against US forces in Iraq,” the judicial sources said, without giving into further details.

HRW urges Yemen/US: Take Steps to Avoid Airstrike Tragedies

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 9:02 am on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No US response yet to the official finding that the December 17 air strike killed scores of civilians. The US issued many congratulatory statements on the raid, including by top military leaders and President Obama. However HRW urges the US and Yemen to be more careful and notes the risk of poor intel and “the potential for manipulation because of Yemen’s inconsistent approach to confronting al Qaeda,” meaning of course that Yemen will target its opposition and call them al Qaeda.

Yemen/US: Take Steps to Avoid Airstrike Tragedies
Civilian Deaths in US-Assisted Raid Underscore Risks of Military Force in Counterterror Measures

(New York, March 8, 2010) – The Yemeni government’s acknowledgment that an airstrike killed more than 42 civilians in December 2009 is a stark reminder of the need for careful targeting when using such counterterrorism measures, Human Rights Watch said today. (Read on …)

Yemen Admits al Qaeda Raid was a Mistake

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Yemen, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A senior Yemeni defense official admitted on Wednesday that a December 17 air strike against al Qaeda in southern Yemen killed scores of civilians and not 30 al Qaeda operatives as the government previously insisted.

The strike has been touted by both US and Yemeni officials as evidence of Yemen’s newly found commitment to battling an increasingly active Yemeni al Qaeda affiliate. Within hours of the bombing, U.S. President Barack Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, saying the operation “confirms Yemen’s resolve in confronting the danger of terrorism represented by al Qaeda for Yemen and the world,” Yemen’s state media reported.

Witness testimony and photographic evidence disputing the Yemeni government’s claims surfaced within a day of the air strike. A parliamentary fact finding committee documented that 42 civilians, mainly women and children, were killed. Seventy were hospitalized with injuries.

After months of delays, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Rashad al-Alimi appeared for Parliament’s debate on the air strike. “We work, and anyone who works makes mistakes,” he said.

“We apologize to those innocent citizens killed in the operation against al-Qaeda organization in Abyan,” al-Alimi said. He also said the government would pay compensation.

State Jihaddist or Al Qaeda?

Only two al-Qaeda members were killed in the raid including Mohammed Saleh al-Kazemi, a Saudi living in Yemen since his return from fighting in Afghanistan. Al Kazemi was imprisoned in Yemen for two years before his release in 2005 without a trial. He was on a most wanted list of 154 al Qaeda-linked militants, a Yemeni official told the New York Times. Al Kazemi helped plan a July 2007 suicide attack that killed seven Spanish tourists and two Yemeni guides in Marib and also provided safe haven to foreign al Qaeda militants operating in Yemen, the official said.

However a Member of Parliament for the opposition Islah party said the al Kazemi had close ties to Yemeni security forces. In a February interview with al Sahwa, Abdul Karim Shiban said that the two alleged al Qaeda operatives traveled back and forth from Shabwa to Abyan openly since their release from prison. The men were digging a well at the time of the raid, and could have been easily captured he said. Mr. Shiban also said the men used to chew khat with security officials and received an allowance from the state.

The enmeshment of al Qaeda and Yemen’s security forces complicates counter-terror operations. Yemen’s Political Security Organization was not informed of the air raid until it was over, the Washington Post reported.

At a Parliamentary session in March 2009, MPs from both the ruling party and opposition said that the Yemeni government had provided aid to terrorists, the Yemen Post reported. MP Sakhr Al-Wajih said the government was involved in many terrorist acts in the past years. The session followed a suicide attack on South Korean investigators who were in Yemen to aid authorities in the investigation of the murder of four South Korean tourists.

The US is increasing military funding to Yemen from the $67 million spent in 2009 to $150 million for fiscal year 2010. The funds are to be used to repair and service 10 Mi-17 helicopters, and to provide four Huey IIs and train Yemeni crews to operate and maintain them.

More on the Abyan Airstrike: killed “al Qaeda” chewed qat with officials and were on state payroll

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Islah, Parliament, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:17 pm on Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Islah MP gave an interview to al Sahwa following the delay in the parliamentary session meant to discuss the airstrike in Abyan that killed dozens of civilians. Abdul Karim Shiban said that the “al Qaeda” killed in the strike were released from a PSO prison two years earlier. Since then, they moved back and forth from Shabwa to Abyan openly and freely. It was known by the security forces who would have been able to capture them easily. In fact, the men used to chew khat with security officials and received an allowance from the state.

al Sahwa Those targeted in the strike were closely linked to power (Read on …)

Maybe 146 Civilians

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:04 pm on Friday, February 12, 2010

A quick note on the post below: casualty number 87 through 135 were killed in the December 17th air raid in Abyan on the Qaeda camp next to the Bedouin village. There’s at least one al Qaeda terrorist in there, maybe more. By the same token, there are also several children among the 48 causalities listed by name. The villagers complained to local authorities about the al Qaeda presence in the weeks before they were bombed.

This was the raid that prompted President Obama to call President Saleh with congratulations, even before the full details had emerged. There was never any mention of the civilians by the US, and western media outlets still refer to 30 terrorists killed. The air strike was widely perceived at the time in the south as the beginning of an air war against the southerners, similar to the carpet bombing of Sa’ada and the earlier bombing of civilians in Lahj. There was a great deal of insecurity, and little has been done since to alleviate that sense of deliberate targeting of political opposition.

However since that time, as I mentioned before, the US flag has been raised (not burned) at southern protests. Its quite an unusual occurrence in the Middle East and worth a second look. I wish I could think of a better analogy than Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who (We are here! We are here!) but that’s what’s coming to mind after a week of being snowed in with my kids. Then there’s al Fadhli and the Star Spangled Banner. That was funky. Yes, I realize the stripes are going the wrong way on the photo below, but they get points for effort.


General David Petraeus: interview with The Times Online UK

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Security Forces, TI: External, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:06 am on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How worried are you that it could become the next Afghanistan in terms of providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda to launch global attacks.

A number of us have been focused on Yemen for well over two years.
From the time when we were examining how foreign fighters were being trained and then how foreign fighter facilitators were operating who enabled foreign fighters to come into Iraq through Syria and many different roads lead to what was then termed al-Qaeda in Yemen and this past year was franchised by the al-Qaeda senior leadership as al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsular. (Read on …)

Yemen Bombs Undead al Shabwani’s Oranges

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:51 am on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Starting to look like another stike when no one was home… One set of local reports indicate an orange grove was destroyed and no injuries or casualties, government sources say Faiz Bin Mo’aili, an Al Qaeda member, was killed, another reports say five civilians were injured.

SANAA — A Yemeni tribal source confirmed the air strikes in Erq Al-Shabwan village, in Maarib province, and said a number of people had been killed. Local forces were responding with anti-aircraft fire.

The wave of air strikes, which began in the morning, blasted the house of Ayed al-Shabwani, one of six Al-Qaeda leaders the government said were killed in an air strike last week, the tribal source said.

A military official, who would not be named, said there had been three strikes on the house and one on an orange grove near the village where the authorities think Shabwani had built a safe haven for dozens of Al-Qaeda members.

Adios al Reimi? Air strike in Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Security Forces, USA, al Jawf, personalities — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Friday, January 15, 2010

That’s some good targeting right there, if it turns out to be true. Two cars, no civilians, direct hit. Ammar Al Waeli? Fascinating. Update: They are “almost certain” al Reimi was killed. Also: Mr. Ayman was an Egyptian jihadist who had arranged many suicide bombings in Afghanistan, the official said. He had moved in and out of Yemen recently, and has been on Yemen’s most-wanted list for years… Another man targeted in the raid was known to have escaped, the official said: Ammar al-Waeli, an important arms dealer for Al Qaeda.

Update 2: The ministry said the killed terrorists are Qassim al-Raimy, Ammar Abadah al-Waili, Saleh al-Tais, Ayedh Jaber al-Shabwani and Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh al-Banaa.
(Read on …)

Al Shabab to Set Sail for Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Somalia, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:25 pm on Friday, January 1, 2010

Al Shabab’s announcement yesterday that it is coming to the defense of its Yemeni counterparts overshadows the fact that the intial airstrikes in Yemen on al Qaeda did very little actual damage to the organization. All the targeted leaders survived. The sucess of the strikes were repeatedly over-stated by the Saleh regime in its typical pattern of blatant propaganda for the western audience. Yemen’s subsequent “storming” and “hunting” operations are more of the same. The AFP article notes the Yemeni government claims that 60 Islamist militants were killed. Its not true. Its not even close to being true.

AFP however does note the widely overlooked November arrest and later release of an individual at a Mogadishu airport with chemicals and a syringe.

Jihaddists have been going back and forth between Yemen and Somalia for some time. When the TFG was battling the Islamic Courts Union, there was a marked increase in terrorist traffic from Yemen to Somalia. Subsequently, the US noted somewhat of an exodus of Islamist fighters from Somalia to Yemen. Substantial amounts of weapons move from Yemen to Somalia, as the UN’s monitoring committee found, and is perhaps the most destabilizing factor in Somalia’s continuing chaos. Tens of thousands of Somali refugees cross the Bab al Mendab annually into Yemen. Somali pirates obtain logistical and intelligence support from sources in Yemen.

The overlapping infrastructure of refugee smugglers, arms smuggling and piracy was also noted by the UN, and of course, overlaps with al Qaeda’s footprint as well. To the extent that Somali terror recruits are joining Yemeni terrorists, its the Americans among them who pose an enhanced risk to the US homeland. The Yemeni jidaddist fanatics have historical relationships with Al Qaeda Central, which remains intent on a catastrophic attack on the United States. AFP article below the fold.

(Read on …)

US Convinced of President Saleh’s New Found Sincerity

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do we really have to do this over and over and over again? It has been going on since 2000 and President Saleh has never been sincere, he just comes up with better BS. To go forward on the premise that Saleh achieved any level of rehabilitation after a good talking to is ludicrous.

The US believes Saleh rehabilitated in July when presented with evidence the Al Qaeda fanatics were planning assassinations against top officials. Al Alimi, perhaps? Its a huge mistake to trust Saleh on any level at any time. It is a threat to US security to under-estimate the level of enmeshment between the Yemeni state and al Qaeda, from al Qaeda local to al Qaeda central, from mid level security officials up to the President of Yemen.

Washington (CNN) — “Solid intelligence” from U.S. and Yemen services finally persuaded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last summer to accept increased help in fighting al Qaeda in his country, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

After years of pressure from the United States to crack down on al Qaeda in Yemen, Saleh was persuaded to accept help after he was presented with intelligence that al Qaeda “was targeting inner-circle Yemeni leaders,” and that there was a growing number of terrorist training camps in Yemen, the official said… (Read on …)

Yemeni Terror Fanatics Claim Terror Plot on Airline

Filed under: Air strike, TI: External, airliner, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Monday, December 28, 2009

Fox News: CAIRO — Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack on a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day, saying it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen. (Read on …)

US Intel on Location of al Qaeda

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:28 pm on Monday, December 28, 2009

The Yemeni government knows EXACTLY where they are.

Washington (CNN) — U.S. officials are privately acknowledging they have provided secret intelligence on several al Qaeda targets to Yemen’s government, but they won’t say if U.S. fighter jets or armed drones are involved.
(Read on …)

Two al Qaeda Indentified in Shabwa Air Strike

Filed under: Air strike, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:56 am on Monday, December 28, 2009

SABA: SHABWA, Dec. 27 (Saba) – Yemen has said that Abdul al-Monim Salim Al-Qahtani and Muhammad Aldjadni Aldgari were among the dead in last Thursday’ attack on al-Qaeda in the southern province of Shawba.

The two were al-Qaeda suspects and wanted by authorities in connection with terrorist acts.

The preemptive operation carried out by Yemeni counterterrorism forces with support from the Air Force targeted the terrorists while meeting on their plans to attack several domestic and foreign interests in the country.

About 30 terrorists were killed.

Abdullah not Qasim al Raimi (Raymi)

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:04 pm on Sunday, December 27, 2009

This one totally went by me the first time I read it. Abdullah al Raimi is thought complicit in a major terror attack in Saudi Arabia in 2003. According to the Yemen Times, Abdullah al Raimi was in the crowd when al Qaeda showed up at the protests in Abyan. Having escaped prison in the 2006 big al Qaeda escape, he was recaptured and released. He was thought cooperating with Yemeni authorities. (Another individual with the same name spent a year in jail and was recently released although it was immediately clear that it was a case of mistaken identity.)

Yemen Times: Al-Jazeera Channel showed part of the protests, Abdullah Ahmad Al-Raimi, Al-Qaeda leader who is currently on the Yemeni government wanted list, was recognized in the crowd. Al-Raimi had escaped from Yemeni security after serving three of the four year sentence he was given by a Yemeni court after he was handed over from Qatar.

from Global Jihad website, a refresher on Abdullah al Raimi:

On 01/09/2004, the Swiss police arrested 10 suspects related to the financing of the Riyadh Suicide Attacks in Saudi Arabia, on 05/12/2003. (Read on …)

Awlaki has a group in Shabwa, Al Quso attracting followers

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reports are that 350 al Qaeda are in an inaccessible area of Shabwa, Yemen.

A reliable source, al Tagheer: According to the sources, Aulaqi returned to the area and began practicing refusal to live a normal life with his family which is still up to this moment with him and then started preaching to people in the mosque every Friday and began to recognize a group of young people and meet them.

Also in the area, convicted USS Cole bomber Fahd al Quso. That’s really the news here. The guy already blew up a warship, what’s his follow up going to be? This is the last man standing from the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the USS Cole bombing and 9/11 were planned. Al Quso is on bin Laden’s short list of trusted lieutenants. Al Quso was convicted and sentenced to ten years in jail, escaped, returned and then was granted an early release in 2007 by our ally, the war criminal President Ali Abduallah Saleh. Al Quso was listed as one of the FBI’s most wanted last month.

Just out of pure curiousity, where’s al Badawi and Elbaneh these days? And when oh when will the MSM realize the Yemeni dictatorship is not a reliable source. Its a lying al-Qaeda infiltrated, mafia government that spins the western media time after time with out and out BS.

al Tagheer:

Mohammad Amir change – special – forbid evangelized: denied private sources for “change” is Mohammed Amir Ahmed Saleh, who recently appeared on Al Jazeera Festival in South Yemen as one of the public elements of the al-Qaeda cadres and handled news of his death in a raid yesterday (Thursday) it belonged to al-Qaeda, noting that, only, one of the Wajahat region that has appeared. (Read on …)

Shabwa Events Unclear

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Friday, December 25, 2009

OK one thing is clear, Anwar Awlaki is fine, just fine, despite that crazy media frenzy yesterday reporting his death..

So far seven is the number. Marib Press reports the air strike was on al Quso’s farm and Anwar Alwaki was not killed or injured, neither was Wahishi or al Quso.

al Jazeera: Abdullah al-Faqih, a professor of political science at Sanaa University, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that he was sceptical of the claims being made about al-Awlaki.

“He is the son of a colleague of mine at Sanaa University. His father is an adviser to the president of Yemen. If they really wanted him, they could phone him and tell him to come back to the capital and arrest him. (Read on …)

Updated: Airstrike in Shabwa Kills 6 or 34 al Qaeda, One Awlaki or another, Maybe Wahishi

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Yemen, anwar, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 7:40 am on Thursday, December 24, 2009

Update 2: Abdulelah Shayer, who conducted both interviews, confirmed on al Jazeera that Anwar Awlaki is alive.

Update; Nasser Arrabyee reports the five killed were all of the Awlaki tribe and associates of Fahd al Quso, convicted in Yemen as a conspirator in the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole. Al Quso escaped in 2004 and was indicted in NY federal court for 50 counts of terrorism. Al Quso was re-jailed and given an early release in 2007.

From the site, the tribal sheikh Lahmar bin Salfooh, said that the five men were comrades of Fahd Al Kusa and that all of them are from Al Awlaki tribe in Shabwah province.

Al Kusa, who was released after being convicted of participating in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, was not among the dead bodies, said Bin Salfooh.

“Fahd Al Kusa is still alive, maybe he was in other place at the time of strike,” he said

“I saw only five dead bodies, three of them from Nesab district including Mohammed Ahmed Omair, and one from Al Saeed district, and the fifth from Ausailan, and all of them are Awlakis,” said bin Salfooh an interview over phone from the site.

Orignal Post: Sources on the ground confirm six al Qaeda were killed in an airstrike in Sahbwa and one random guy driving a tractor. Better. Maybe there were more strikes later that account for the Yemeni government’s figure of 34 killed. AQAP’s head Nasir al Wahishi has been sheltering in Shabwa for some time according to the Yemen government. The Iranian is interesting if true. Mohammad Ahmed Saleh al-Oumir referenced below is the same Mohammmed Saleh Awlaki who rallied the crowd in Abyan, and is (was) known to be an agent of the regime. He is a relative of Fahd al Quso, convicted in the USS Cole bombing. Of course, last we heard of Fahd al Quso was when the Yemen Post reported last year that he was living with his family in Shabwa and receiving money transfers. The The WaPo says the airstrike targeted Anwar Awlaki’s home, where Wahishi and al Shiri were meeting.

AFP: SANAA — Thirty-four suspected Al-Qaeda members were killed Thursday in a dawn air raid by the Yemeni army on an area used by the militant group, a security source said.

“The raid was carried out as dozens of members of Al-Qaeda were meeting in Wadi Rafadh,” a remote mountainous region some 650 kilometres (400 miles) east of the Yemeni capital, the source said, asking not to be named.

The head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula, Nasser al-Whaychi, was present at the meeting, the source said, adding that “members of the group including Saad al-Fathani and Mohammad Ahmed Saleh al-Oumir were among those killed.”

The source was unable to say what had happened to Whaychi, but he indicated that Oumir was the person who had recently made a public appearance at a meeting in Abyane of which Al-Jazeera television showed a video.

“Saudis and Iranians at the Wadi Rafadh meeting were also among the dead,” said the source, without going into detail.

The operation came a week after a first army raid that killed 30 Al-Qaeda activists in the southeastern Abyane province and which led to the arrest of more than 30 others.

Reuters: Among those believed killed was Anwar al Awlaki, whom U.S. officials linked to the gunman who killed 13 people at the Fort Hood army base in Texas on November 5. (Read on …)

Fahd al Quso’s Relative, Mohammed Saleh Al Awlaki, al Qaeda motivational speaker

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Civil Unrest, Counter-terror, Yemen, aq statements, security timeline, shabwa, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:52 am on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yemen got a total pass for releasing Fahd al Quso from jail early. Al Quso spent about three years of a ten year sentence after his conviction in a Yemeni court as a conspirator in the USS Cole bombing which killed 17 US service members.

Al Qaeda under fire in Yemen

The Thursday’s operations, which targeted an Al Qaeda training camp in the south, and a group of 8 would-be suicide bombers in the north, have gained a regional and international support. (Read on …)

Airstrike Blowback

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:15 am on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blowback 1: Vid: al Qaeda rallies the crowd, that’s so bad, especially in the absence of a competing narrative.

Blowback 2: Conflating air strikes on al Qaeda with air strikes on the Houthis.

CSM: The strikes comes just three days after The New York Times reported that the United States has provided weapons and logistical support to Yemeni government strikes against “suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda within its borders.” That involvement has raised questions over whether the US has been active in Yemen – and Saudi Arabia’s – fight against the Houthis as well.

Al Qaeda Familes Live in Training Camps

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda — by Jane Novak at 9:12 am on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Al Qaeda operatives place their families at great risk by bringing them to the training camps and hide-outs. Whereas the global human instinct is to protect one’s family at all costs, in the al Qaeda philosophy, women and children have no inherent value. Women were created and exist only to serve the patriarch of the family. Sacrificing the company of their families in order to insure the family’s safely is beyond the moral capacity of these selfish fanatics. Normal men would sacrifice themselves for their families. Al Qaeda sacrifice their families for themselves. And they have no hesistation in killing other people’s women and children to make their political statement and intimidate society.

al Jazeera:

Abbas al-Assal, a local human rights activist, said at the time that 64 people were killed, including 23 children and 17 women.

Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a political analyst based in Yemen, said that the air raids meant civilian casualties were unavoidable, but that the government could take steps to lessen public anger.

“Unfortunately collateral damage cannot be avoided in operations like this [as] al-Qaeda live with their families in their bases and training camps, so there’s no way of avoiding it,” he told Al Jazeera.

Al-Iryani said the government should announce the names of the al-Qaeda operatives killed in the raid.

“There’s nothing that the government can do in regards to dealing with al-Qaeda per se, but addressing people’s grievances in other issues could increase the credibility of the state,” he said.

Also Al Qaeda spokesmen speak at rally. This is funky: (Read on …)

Sana’a Regime Provides Training, Passports and Facilitates Travel to Theaters of Jihad

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:51 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Yeah, yeah, yeah, its old news, the quid pro quo. The Yemeni regime utilizes al Qaeda on the one hand and facilitates it on the other, while gaining western funding because of its existance. al Teef:

كل هذه الجرائم تمت بعلم السلطة وفي رعايتها عندما كان النظام في حاجة اليهم ،وقد اشرف جهاز الامن
السياسي على معسكرات تدريب لتنظيم القاعدة وشارك في تزوير جوازات سفر لمتطرفين متعددي الجنسيات بدعوى تسفيرهم للجهاد في افغانستان ،وكانت صنعاء اهم محطة لتصدير “المجاهدين الافغان العرب” ولما انتهت المهمة وفرغ النظام من تحقيق اهدافه راح ينقلب على الاصوليين ويستخدم حجة تنظيم القاعدة كفزاعة للعواصم العربية والغربية لكنه في واقع الامر يلعب لعبة الاحتواء المزدوج فهو يسمح لبعضهم بالهرب من السجن ويحرض على اخرين لقتلهم في الصحراء بطائرة اميركية من دون طيار. All of these crimes has been sponsored by the knowledge of power and when the system is in need of them, has overseen the PSO training camps for al Qaeda and participated in the falsification of passports to extremists multinational enter Iraq under the pretext of jihad in Afghanistan, Sanaa had the most important station on the export of “Mujahideen Afghan Arabs” and the The mission ended and completed the system to achieve its objectives claimed would turn on the fundamentalists and al-Qaeda uses the argument of the scarecrow from Arab and Western capitals, but in fact playing a game of dual containment, it allows them to escape from prison and to incite others to kill American aircraft in the desert without a pilot. (Read on …)

Six Yemenis from Gitmo

Filed under: Air strike, Presidency, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:42 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

SABA WASHINGTON, Dec.20 (Saba) – The U.S. authorities has sent six Yemeni detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay to Yemen.
(Read on …)

Mullen Applaudes Air Strike, MPs Demand Inquiry

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:40 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

In an effort to diminish the blowback, would it have been so difficult for Mullen to mention something about the importance of distinguishing between combatants and civilians? He must have heard the reports of the women and children killed. I understand the onus is on the spree-killer al Qaeda fanatics who do not wear uniforms and who shelter among the local populations. Nonetheless, its an honor based society, the kids are dead and its possible that Saleh will be gone soon.

AP, ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — Adm. Mike Mullen is applauding a military strike in Yemen against suspected members of the al-Qaida terrorist group. (Read on …)

US Continues Failed Policy in Yemen with Airstrikes

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:41 am on Sunday, December 20, 2009

When a counter-terror air strike kills more civilians than an average suicide bombing, can it be called a success? Discounting the dead kids for just a minute and using even the coldest pragmatic standards, the US air strikes in Yemen did much more harm than good to the US on multiple levels and will negatively impact security for a decade. Despite the broad pro-democracy sentiment in Yemen, and increasingly vocal popular frustration with Yemen’s brutal and incompetent dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the only allies the US has in Yemen now are the genocidal Saleh and his corrupt cronies. (Read on …)

10,000 Protest “Heinous Crime” In Taiz , 3,000 in Dhalie, More Tomorrow

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Taiz, al Dhalie — by Jane Novak at 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

The issue is not that the Yemeni military targeted al Qaeda, but that they missed and hit civilians. There’s some erroneous impression that strong counter-terror efforts would create a backlash among the general citizenry, not so. Not that President Saleh has very much respect for public opinion anyway, but this explanation is often advanced by Saleh apologists.

Whither Marib? As one person in the article says, “Everybody knows the cozy relationship between the regime and those militants,” which makes the bad target selection all the more egregious.

The National // Thousands of people took to the streets of southern Yemen yesterday to denounce a recent military operation against suspected al Qa’eda militants which locals said claimed the lives of dozens of innocent civilians.

According to local sources, about 3,000 people in Dhal’e province and hundreds in Lahj and Abyan provinces condemned the military operation. Angry protesters shouted anti-government slogans and demanded an investigation into the attack.
(Read on …)

Yemeni Opposition Parties Denounce “Massacre” and False Hunt for al Qaeda

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 4:09 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sahwa Net – Main Yemeni opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties, in Abyan governorate has denounced assaults launched by Yemeni forces on alleged al-Qaeda sites on Thursday in Abyan, describing the strikes as a “brutal massacre”. (Read on …)

“They targeted shepards not al Qaeda”

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:58 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Spin from the Yemeni Govt: The dead supported al Qaeda with financing and shelter

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Five unidentified foreign “al Qaeda” killed in the preemptive airstrikes were buried already. I guess we’ll just have to take Saleh’s word on the fact that they were indeed terrorists. Did they take DNA? The official story now is these persons provided logistical support to al Qaeda. Shared the cloth houses I guess. And thats bad if its true, dont get me wrong, but it begs the question of why the US air raid and not just go arrest them? Because al Reimi was supposed to be in Arhab? Too bad, yet entirely predictable, that al Reimi slipped away at the last moment. (Read on …)

“The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support”

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, USA, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Al Qaeda in Yemen has a recruiting tool for a decade now, locally and internationally.

Gulf News: The leader of Al Qaida in Abyan, Mohammad Saleh Al Kazimi, was confirmed to be among those killed. The second man in Al Qaida in Yemen, Qasim Al Raimi, reportedly survived the attack. Ten of the Al Qaida members killed in Thursday’s attacks were not Yemenis, according to the report. Between 24-34 Al Qaida members were reportedly killed in the attack, but independent sources and eyewitnesses say that nearly 50 were killed and 60 injured including women and children.

So 25 innocent people were killed and 60 wounded preventing a possible terror attack in Yemen. What is the calculus? The value of 25 unidentified dead possible al Qaeda outweighs the loss the 14 dead dirt poor Bedouin kids? That seems a bit racist. Would the equation be acceptable if they were European kids? What is the ratio of the death value of Yemeni kids to foreign tourists? The celebratory call that followed the air strikes was premature.

WaPo: The United States provided intelligence and other assistance to Yemeni forces in attacks Thursday against suspected al-Qaeda targets, according to officials from both countries…U.S. officials refused to comment Friday on a report by ABC News that U.S. air-launched cruise missiles had been used in two of the attacks. The network said that the launches had been approved by the White House and that President Obama had called President Ali Abdullah Saleh to congratulate him on Yemen’s efforts against al-Qaeda.

Maybe its hard to get good intell from under the bus…

NYTimes: U.S. Aids Yemeni Raids on Al Qaeda, Officials Say

WASHINGTON — The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support to the government of Yemen as it carried out raids this week to strike at suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda within its borders, according to officials familiar with the operations. The officials said that the American support was approved by President Obama and came at the request of the Yemeni government.

The American contributions were intended to help Yemen to prevent Al Qaeda from mounting attacks against American and other foreign targets inside its borders. Officials declined to say whether those targets were embassies, businesses, schools or other sites. (Read on …)

US Launched the Missiles in Abyan?

Filed under: Air strike, USA, War Crimes, statements — by Jane Novak at 9:02 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

What a disaster!!! What a stupid and reckless move in such a volatile place. Did they rely on Yemeni intel sources? Could they be that stupid? Well you got duped President Obama, 14 kids are dead and Qasim al Reimi “escaped,” which in itself was entirely predictable. Saleh is brilliant tactician. He is wedded to the US now, despite the fact that he is a war criminal. (Read on …)

Four Wounded “al Qaeda” Captured in Hospital, Dead al Qaeda Unidentified

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:32 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

At the risk of stating the obvious, if they are unidentified, how does the Yemeni government know they are al Qaeda? Because they’re dead and the right age? The four listed as arrested in Abyan were found in hospitals.

Al Motamar: The Interior Ministry said the elements of al-Qaeda organisation who were arrested were wounded on Thursday in the raid that targeted al-Qaeda training camp, three kilometers from Al-Maajala area. (Read on …)


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