AQAP leaders “are well aware they are the next target” for Houthis in Yemen AQAP recently bought so many guns, the prices rose. (Specific purchases arms and autos listed.)
AQAP receives funding via deposits in Qater Islamic Bank transfered to local branches, Saudi Arabia & cash carried in diplomatic pouches, small amounts are laundered by young people so it is indistinguishable from normal remittances.
AQAP’s Nabil al Dahab & Abu Khaled are training 163 foreign explosives experts in Yemen (Specific AQAP locations listed.)
Update: This article (which I did not write) is reprinted from the Hadramout Tribal Coalition website and can be found at http://www.alhelf.com/?p=1368.
The following article asserts that significant parts of the Yemeni military in Hadramout simultaneously operate as an organized crime syndicate and an incubator for al Qaeda. The configuration is not unusual in Yemen where military fiefdoms spawn local tyrants, loyal jihaddis and unchecked smuggling networks. While some vital security sector reforms have been instituted, like biometric identity cards, dislodging these nodes of criminality is essential to integrating the entire military within an overt command and control structure focused on the security of Yemeni citizens.
Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout
Hadramout has not experienced any kind of smuggling such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and human trafficking in its history like it has now. Unfortunately, Hadramout became unable to maintain its well known a safe and a security place and great values anymore, and it became the home of all kinds of smugglings. Due to Hadramout’s position and to its wide borders, it was and still used to be the station of smuggling into neighboring countries. With time expansion, another task was added to Hadramout which is converting it into an incubator for armed groups (Al-Qaeda) to serve the main purpose of the Big Mafia in the Republic of Yemen (RoY).
The beginning of this story goes back to the 1994 war and the arrival of the armed groups of Mujahedeen to Hadramout coast, who took part against the war on communism (Southern Forces). This decision was taken by the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, his brother from a different father, through recruiting those Mujahedeen and they were officially numbered and turn them into a brigade called Brigade 27 Mika ( Mika means Mechanical). Staff Gen. of this brigade since its start is Abdulaziz Makaleh Al Zindani(عبدالعزيز المقالح الزنداني ), one of Al-Qaeda militants and a cousin of Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani(عبد المجيد الزنداني). With the establishment of this brigade, smuggling and terrorism were strongly started. Its network was strongly developed since then, and is threaded from the coast of Hadramout all the way to the neighboring countries, and even inside some of neighboring territory.
The Brigade 27 Mika site is not in one place, but it spreads gradually from the coast and all the way to the neighboring countries to secure the borders for mainly smuggling and terrorism!! The Brigade 27 Mika consists of five battalions, and they are located in strategic positions with functions as follows:
1- Coast Guard Battalion: It is the one that insures all landings of contraband materials from outside RoY, and it secures all the smuggling of fuel and crude oil from Hadramout by ships to the international black market.
2- Battalion 4: a battalion stationed in the Al Dabah area(الضبه), the official crude oil export port. This battalion led by Mujahid Alkotaiba (مجاهد القطيبي) and it is the smuggling and terrorism operation room. It coordinates with local smugglers, some Local Fish Associations, and international smugglers; and it also protect trafficking along the pipeline into the valley.
3- Oil Companies Protection Battalion: This battalion has 2 tasks: the first one is to protect the collection of illegal dues from the oil companies which is amounted about a quarter of a billion dollars a year; and this amount goes directly to the Oil Mafia as cost of protection, as many press and government reports mentioned this many times, without being remitted to the state treasury. The second task is to secure the lines of smuggling in the middle of the valley and make sure they are not exposed to the obstacles. The person in charged of this battalion is Mohammad Qahm (محمد القحم) regardless of the change of the well know and the highly corrupted battalion commander in a year or so, i.e. Ahmed Al Tharab( احمد الضراب).
4. TOTAL Protection Battalion: TOTAL contributes part of strengthening this network, intentionally or unintentionally, through forming alliance with the traditional power and Oil Mafia to protect them and thus protect the smuggling network.
5. Al Suwairi (السويري) Battalion: This battalion was initially created as a training camp for the Mujahedeen and for the returnees from Afghanistan which follows Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar commands directly. Later on, this Mujahedeen camp was turned into a Mujahedeen battalion which follows Brigade 27 Mika.
The elimination of the smuggling and terrorism threats to Hadramout and to neighboring countries starts with the removing of Brigade 27 Mika away from Hadramout and the dismissal of the battalion’s effective leaders of Brigade 27 and other effective members and Mujahedeen.
Report on the outcome of the tribal gathering in response to the killing of Sheik Harish demands a reckoning and addresses long standing issues of contention including security checkpoints and the distribution of oil jobs and revenue.
Huge crowds of Hadrami head of tribes, tribes, representative of
political Hadrami groups, Hadrami social figures, and others have
gathered on 10/12/2013 at “Wadi Nahib” in “Gail Ben Yamin” directorate
in Hadramout governorate to discuss actions to be taken after the
assassination of Sheikh Sa’ad Ben Habreesh of Al Homoom tribe. The
crowd agreed on the following:
1- The killing of Sheikh Sa’ad Bin Ahmed Bin Habreeh Al Homoomi is
considered a crime within several crimes committed by the Yemeni
regime in the governorate of Hadramout, demanding the local
authorities to hand over the killers of the Sheikh Al Homoomi and
those who supported them to get their fair punishment.
2- The cancellation of all military points from all over the
governorate of Hadramout in the coast and in the valley; and handover
all security issues of the governorate, i.e. Hadramout, to the people
3- Handover the Oil Companies Protection Forces in the governorate of
Hadramout to the Hadrami people.
4- The gathering have called for an endless escalation and popular
movement starting from 20/12/2013, if the regime doesn’t respond to
the above requests, until a full control of the governorate of
Hadramout by Hadrami people.
5- The funeral of the martyr Sa’ad Bin Habreeh is on the coming Friday
after the Aser prayer at directorate of “Gail Ben Yamin”.
Many ways to go on this depending on where you start from:
1- Necessity of training security forces, establishing command and control, localization
2- Importance of establishing accountability and conflict resolution mechanisms (Whoops, everybody still has immunity.)
3- Demonstrates the difficulty of carrying out ground CT ops in Yemen
4- Demonstrates Defense Ministry’s continuing knee jerk propensity toward calling all opposition, especially dead opposition, “AQAP”. (See YT below.) The Defense Ministry retracted the accusation, not because it was untrue and it was untrue, but because the errant label would have further inflamed the tribesmen; however the entire western media and half of US intel would have bought it hook, link and sinker. And to be fair, it is the US’s formal policy to classify all Yemeni men 16 or older killed in drone strikes as “suspected AQ” and count it as a win.
5- Importance of tribal ties and identity when the state (and its basic services) are absent
6- In the absence of a trusted, or even a rudimentary, judicial system, the importance of tribal negotiations and their ability to defuse volatile situations
7- The nearness of Yemeni tribal norms to democratic norms of self rule, consensus as demonstrated by the meeting itself
8- In the absence of democracy, the ability of the citizen to pressure the state to remedy injustices through the tribe
9- Continuing sense of deep injustice over natural resources (stemming from vast corruption) and a sense of arbitrary punitive state interventions
10- Jobs, everybody needs jobs
11- This is how Yemeni movements are made, a spark in the tinder of burning resentment
Background: Yemen Times: INSTABILITY IN HADRAMOUT CONTINUES UNABATED
SANA’A, Dec. 4—New reports of armed clashes between state forces and alleged Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) emerged Wednesday morning in the Ghail Bawzeer district in Hadramout, according to officials. There were no reported deaths or injuries.
There are security personnel stationed all over the governorate, the Interior Ministry previously told the Yemen Times.
In Ghail Bawzeer, residents have been warned not to go out at night, said Mohammed Bawzeer, the editor-in-chief of the local Shibam Public Newspaper.
“Residents are dissatisfied with the presence of armed men and security forces. There is panic because of repetitive clashes and shootings,” he said.
“The entirety of Hadramout is tense,” said Colonel Hussein Hashim, the security manager of Sayoun in Hadramout.
A security analyst, Mohammed Al-Khalid, said efforts toward an ongoing security campaign in Hadramout will not be successful because it’s not comprehensive. He says those targeted by it—mostly AQAP affiliates—will continue to jump from one area to the next.
Elsewhere in the governorate, in the aftermath of a security campaign in Al-Shehr city that began two weeks ago, dozens of houses were destroyed. The city remains under a 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew.
Markets close at 7:00 p.m., Mohammed Al-Qahoom, a local resident said. Everyone is doing their shopping in the morning, he added.
On Monday in Sayoun, another believed AQAP stronghold in Hadramout (ed- Sayoun as AQAP stronghold hotly disputed by some), Sheikh Sad Bin Harish, the head of Hadramout’s tribal federation in Sayoun, was killed by state forces at a checkpoint right outside the city.
According to local officials, Harish, who was travelling with bodyguards refused to hand over weapons his convoy was carrying at the checkpoint. Officials say Harish’s men fired first and a gun battle ensued. Seven, including Harish, were killed in the clashes and four injured, according to Hashim.
The Defense Ministry’s website published a statement immediately following the incident, saying that Habrish was a member of Al-Qaeda. Later, the ministry retracted the statement and apologized to tribes in Hadramout.
But as many predicted it seems Habrish’s fellow tribesmen may seek revenge against the state for his death.
Hashim said the situation in the city remains tense and that security forces are expecting armed men in the area to mobilize.
Sabri Masoud, the head of Haq Organization for Human Rights in Seyon, said security forces have withdrawn from four security checkpoints to avoid clashes. Hashim did not confirm this. But, Masoud says tribesmen are coming from districts outside of Sayoun to avenge the sheikh’s death.
“They are coming to Seyon to agree on how to respond to Habrish’s murder,” he said.
More here SadaAden and here AdenLife (Ar). Some southerners are characterizing the statement as pro-secessionist, however some Hadramoutis want their own state as in country. The federal option still seems viable in theory but the transitional central government has not engendered broad trust despite some intermittent gestures of reconciliation and is still viewed as an occupation. Nothing can be achieved without financial transparency and elite accountability, otherwise its just a better dressed mafia that’s stealing the money.
The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.
The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.
When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.
Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.
This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.
On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised
They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.
Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.
“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.
The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.
Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.
A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.
This is a thorough summary of the March 18, 2011 massacre in Yemen including the literal firewall that kept protesters in the square after the snipers opened fire and the role of Yahya Saleh, head of one of the US supported CT units. The US desire to retain Yahya and Ahmed Ali in their roles as heads of the CT forces is one of the main obstacles to a peaceful transition of power so maybe Obama should sanction himself.
The March 18 massacre was so egregious and barbaric that half the corrupted regime defected to the side of the protesters. The US however withheld from calling for Saleh’s removal. In fact, US Def Sec Gates announced days later that the US had done no post-Saleh planning and, “We’ve had a good working relationship with President Saleh. He’s been an important ally in the counter-terrorism arena.”
And yes, the US/SA/UN granted immunity for the Saleh regime does tend to complicate matters.
Yemen: Massacre Investigation Badly Flawed
Conduct New Probe Into 2011 Killings of 45 Protesters
(Sanaa, September 27, 2012) – The previous Yemeni government’s investigation into the so-called Friday of Dignity massacre on March 18, 2011, in Yemen’s capital is marred throughout by flaws and political interference, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Yemeni authorities should order a new inquiry into the attack, the deadliest by pro-government gunmen on protesters during the 2011 uprising, Human Rights Watch said. The attack in Sanaa killed 45 people and wounded up to 200 others, and became a symbol of resistance to then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The criminal trial of 78 defendants in the case is scheduled to begin on September 29, 2012.
“The previous government’s investigation of the Friday of Dignity killings was deeply flawed and may have been a brazen attempt to shield government officials from prosecution,” said Letta Tayler, senior Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Yemen’s new government should demonstrate its commitment to justice for serious rights abuses by carrying out a new inquiry.” (Read on …)
That would be Ahmed Ali, the former president’s son, head of the CT forces and the US’s main liaison for a decade. I for one, as a taxpayer, would like a public accounting of the $ 436 million the US supplied in CT support to Yemen over the last several years. Under US law, the US Embassy was responsible for monitoring the weapons. The End Use Monitoring Agreement and the Blue Lantern program appear total failures in Yemen.
A US Congressional inquiry found US trained units were diverted to the Saada War in earlier years. Much of the weapons are currently missing. The US public is owed an accounting before we pour millions in new funding and equipment into Yemen, as it is likely much were sold, and diverted into the black market and private stocks. Not to mention new commercial sales allowed since the State Dept lifted the arms embargo on Yemen. For certain, these weapons will be used against civilians or wind up in the hands of al Qaeda without stringent controls.
Currently Ahmed Ali is refusing to transfer several units and equipment to a new Presidential Guard designed to end the fracture within the Yemeni military.
Trend: Yemen’s defence minister is to call on the son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over troops and material he has retained against orders, the Defence Ministry said Thursday.
Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmad, during an inspection of the first brigade of the newly formed presidential guard, observed that it was at only 10 per cent of its official strength, dpa reported according to the ministry website. (Read on …)
The National Security was created in 2002 at the prompting of the US because the PSO was so corrupt and subverted. Ali al Ansi was the head of Saleh’s presidential office since the 1980’s. Today is Al Ansi’s last day, AlMasdar reports. Its great news.
The new head of the Natl Sec is Dr. Hassan Al Ahmedi who was the governor of Shabwa and has a background in economics. Maybe since he is not connected to the security establishment, he’s do a good job. Or at least look at allocating resources in a rational way that addresses the intended function of the National Security. No one could do worse than al Ansi who controlled the airport and had a habit of pulling journos and activists off the plane on their way to international conferences but let the terrorists board.
More good news: Hadi to appoint 29 new ambassadors and refuses to split the posts between the GPC and JMP. Woot. Hyper-politicalization in Yemen is one root of fractures, stalemate and corruption.
ChiTrib:SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen will investigate alleged human rights violations that occurred during an uprising last year, officials said on Wednesday, possibly opening the way to prosecution of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his relatives.
Saleh and his immediate family obtained immunity from prosecution under Yemeni law under a U.S.-backed deal sponsored by Yemen’s Gulf neighbors last year in return for the veteran president’s departure from office. He stepped down in February.
Thousands of protesters have demanded that the immunity be scrapped. The cabinet decision to set up a committee of inquiry followed months of wrangling within the government.
“The committee is responsible for probing the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that occurred in 2011, impartially and independently,” state news agency Saba said.
A government official, who asked not to be named, said the decision emerged from an intense, five-month-long debate in the cabinet, which is divided between members of Saleh’s party and his opponents as stipulated by the power transfer deal.
“It was a fight in the cabinet,” he said, adding that the outcome was partly due to a “big push” by the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar.
The official said the inquiry would investigate whether criminal charges over deaths and injuries could be pressed. It would be complemented by a transitional justice law which parliament could pass this month.
Saleh’s successor, Abd-Rabbu Hadi, was expected to issue a decree setting up the inquiry this month, the official said.
Link dump: CNN: In Yemen, protests mask diverse views on anti-Islam video
Wharton: Interview w/ Taiz governor formerly of of Hayel Saed Anam Inc, In Yemen, a Different Kind of Battle: Getting People Trained and Finding Good Bureaucrats
Feierstein says US will not grant visa to Saleh during current period, and he should be exiled or remain out of politics at least. Since when? I can pull up interview after interview where Feierstein he says (rather defensively or dismissively if I recall) the dictator can Saleh can stay in Yemen and is certainly welcome remain active in politics like any citizen. Mareb Press: the Embassy that the U.S. government had informed the former president Ali Saleh that it can not grant a visa to enter the U.S. territory during the current period. Gerald considered that the colossal mistake committed by the drafters of the Gulf initiative not demanding former President Saleh to leave political life.
Saba: Hadi to DC NY September 27, I am happy to welcome a Yemeni president to the United States in my lifetime. If he was going to be at the embassy, I’d send flowers.
RE the following: There’s a term used to describe diplomats who lose objectivity, “going native”. It describes Former Ambassador Barbara Bodine and her bias in favor of the Saleh regime during her term, and after, and perhaps Ambassador Feierstein as well. In their case though it could be called “going tribal”. The following is written by Iona Craige:
Foreign Policy Mag: Then, without so much as a raised hand from the soldiers, protesters walked straight though the gaps between the yellow and black striped blocks. Like a gentleman holding a door open for a lady, the soldiers, with their AK-47s slung over their shoulders, stepped back, letting the chanting mob through. And as the angry mob marched further towards the embassy building itself the soldiers walked with them, some even smiling.
Yemen’s Central Security Forces, created by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, remain under the command of his nephew Brig. Gen. Yahya Saleh, who enjoyed a warm relationship with the U.S. embassy here in Sanaa for years. The U.S.-trained and funded counterterrorism troops also fell under his command. The relationship had been a necessary close one in America’s strategy to combat the country’s notorious al Qaeda network.
On the day this February when his uncle handed over power to the country’s new president, Abdu Rabu Mansu Hadi, at the presidential palace, Yahya and U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein greeted each other like old friends. With laughter and a firm, lingering handshake, they clasped each other’s elbows in the midst of a packed room of dignitaries and a throng of domestic and international media. (Read on …)
Large explosion at BWASH TOW at Mukalla Hadramot, and ongoing fighting around the Central Security camp. Locals say it started in the morning and is still ongoing: Update, English:
Yemen Post: Three Yemeni soldiers of the Central Security were killed and several others were wounded in a blast that targeted a commander of the Central Security in Al-Mukala of Hadhramout governorate on Sunday, local sources affirmed.
The sources said that violent clashes between soldiers of the Central Security and unknown armed men followed the explosion, pointing out that the situations are still intense, particularly around a military of the Central Security inAl-Mukla. (Read on …)
Yemen Observer: 8/11/12: The Central Bank of Yemen issued a warning on Sunday to banks and exchange offices after it was established that counterfeit high-resolution currency had entered the market.
The alert came after the Interior Ministry revealed that criminals broke into its evidence room and stolen a large stash of counterfeited money last week when armed clashes erupted in between tribesmen, the Central Security Forces and men attached to the 1st Armored Brigade, led by renegade General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.
The Interior Ministry said it was now working at arresting the culprits.
SANAA // Yemeni authorities have accused military officers of sabotaging one of the country’s key oil pipelines during last year’s uprising, as the country battles to repair its energy infrastructure. (Read on …)
Hows that going to work? Clearly the Yemeni forces are not up to the challenge without support considering yesterday’s bloodbath. But how to offset the AQAP subversion, root out the corrupt and purge the murderers while training is ongoing, (it didn’t work so well in the past), al Qaeda is attacking and restructure the Yemeni military simultaneously. Southerners, Houthis and other excluded groups have to be integrated into the new military for balance. Meanwhile its been AQAP’s goal to draw in US military forces.
US officials’ statements alienating southerners en masse (al Qaeda’s unwilling captive and nearby communities) isn’t helping overall efforts.
US and Yemeni officials have agreed to restart a controversial military-training program to help the new president tackle Al Qaeda militants as part of planned enhanced counter-terrorism relationship.
While President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has openly turned to Washington as he attempts to get the upper hand over the terrorist group, his policy may have a key drawback — upsetting the delicate political balance of power in the country and complicating the sensitive task of overhauling the nation’s fractured security forces.
Dozens of US special operations forces already on the ground are set to resume training of counterterrorism forces after a lull last year amid a wave of new sophisticated assaults by the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group and loosely linked jihadi groups. FOX
Reuters: – A gunman opened fire on a U.S. security team as it trained Yemeni soldiers in the south of the country, the Pentagon and a security official said on Friday, both denying reports from an Islamist group that a CIA officer was killed in the assault.
In the north of the country, a bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the region said. (Read on …)
This is about a week out of date but indicative of what’s going on in terms of smears, slander and threats, from the victims’ view:
Dear Sir or Madam,
We would like to inform you that the a leader of the islamist Al-Islah party, head of the department of information in Aden branch, threatened the publishing team of the blog and Newsletter blog “Aden Alghad” because of their coverage of the violence in Almualla-Aden between members and sympathizers of the Alharak Aljanoubi Assilmi on one side and members of the Islamist Isalh party on the other side on February 3rd 2012. This happened when the Islah leader, Khalid Haidan, with the publishing editor, Fathi Bin lazraq, at the same day. The Islamist leader said that his party will prosecute the team of “Aden Alghad” and that his party might tolerate everything but not the blood of his members. When asked if this was a threat, the Islamist leader replied “consider it as you like”.
This is not the first time that Mr. Lazraq and his team are exposed to threat from leaders of the Islah party. On December 02nd 2011, another leader of the Islah party in Aden, Nabeel Assanii, threatened Mr.Lazraq because of republishing an article written by Assanii in which he describes participants of a demonstration organized by Alharak Aljanoubi Assilmi as drunk and drug-addicted.
We consider such activities by leaders of the Islah Party as a radical threat of the press freedom and the civilian life especially in such a peaceful city like Aden. We condemn the aggressive behavior of the leaders of the Islah which considers itself as one of the changing powers in Yemen and is participating in the current government and of its leader is a Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2011. We would like herewith to ask you to solidarise with Mr. Lazraq and the team of “Aden Alghad” against these threats and to support them in their struggle for freedom of expression. We warn from any aggression against the team members of “Aden Alghad” and bear the Islah party the full responsibility for the health and wellbeing of Mr. Lazraq and his team members.
The al Qaeda operatives that occupied Raada have all departed, to the great jubilation of the town. Tribal mediation resulted in the immediate release of three al Qaeda detainees, including Nabil al Dhahab, a promise to install more conservative leaders that implement Sharia law and a promise to release the rest of the listed al Qaeda detainees (12 more) later, when the media spotlight fades. The town celebrated the fanatics departure with gunfire in the air and gathering on the streets. The agreement followed heavy clashes between tribal fighters and the violent al Qaeda cult known as “Ansar al Sharia.” The seven tribes surrounding al Baydah joined together against al Qaeda and the tribal delegation was comprised of 35 notable dignitaries.
Sheikh Khalid al Dhahab said in a later newspaper interview: “the remnants of the Saleh regime facilitated the gunmen to enter the city Radaa and the idea of formation and the establishment of the “solution and the contract” and the requirement by the “supporters of sharia law” to change the heads of districts and directors of offices services in the city of Radaa is to legitimize the rule of al-Qaeda through the establishment of Islamic emirate in Radaa, and remnants of the Saleh regime seek to make Radaa Islamic emirate.”
Its like the Twilight Zone. If it was Russia and Turkmenistan, or China and North Korea, instead of the United States of America that granted immunity to Yemeni military commanders while they are on a continuous murder spree, it would be more comprehensible.
alSahwa: Alsahwah.net- Forces of the Republican Guard bombarded on Saturday villages of Nihm, outskirt of Sana’a, using medium and heavy weapons, indicating that bombardment was arbitrary and intensive.
Local sources told Alsahwah.net that the forces used gun machines from mountains nearby to the villages, pointing out that no casualties fell.
Forces of the Republican Guard headed by Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the outgoing Yemeni president shelled on Tuesday killed four civilians including child in Bani Dihrah, a village of Arhab district, some 30 kilometers north of Sana’a.
For its part, Hood Organization for Human Rights and Freedoms affirmed that it received on Tuesday the corpses of the four killed civilians.
Hood said that forces of the Republican Guard rejected to allow human rights organizations to take the bodies of five civilians who were killed five months ago.
On Sunday, the Republican Guards bombarded villages of Bani Jarmooz and Bait Dihrah, using mortars and machine guns against civilians wounding several and damaging many properties.
Related: The international community leveled no sanctions on the Saleh regime whatsoever, no ban on weapons sales, no freezing of funds. Russia is still providing weapons, likely via a deniable proxy. Yemen owes Russia, its largest bilateral creditor, about six billion from prior weapons sales.
Alsahwah.net- A Russian-made ship loaded with heavy weapons including air-fighters, tanks and ammunition arrived in Hodeidah port on Thursday, sources of the port revealed.
The sources said the weapons are to be distributed to those military camps that are still loyal to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Hundreds of protesters headed the port, demanding the port officials to uncover the sorts of these weapons and its producing country.
They affirmed that they would provide a notification for the Attorney General, demanding all local and international organizations to work to uncover those states that are involved in providing the regime with weapons to kill protesters.
Everybody is wondering where the new arms shipment came from; if missiles, I was thinking North Korea; otherwise eastern Europe. Most Yemenis think Saudi Arabia, probably the only country willing to extend credit to the Sanaa regime at the moment. (But then with the earlier infusion of funds from Gadaffi, maybe Saleh can handle COD.)
9/23/11 HRF: Cables released by Wikileaks reveal that Slobodan Tesic, a Serbian arms dealer, contracted in 2009 to sell $95 million worth of sniper rifles, antiaircraft guns, and other arms and ammunition to the Yemen Ministry of Defense. As scores of unarmed protestors continue to be killed by the Yemeni government in renewed violence this week, possibly by these same weapons, Human Rights First renews its call for the United States to actively pressure the networks that enable brutal violence against civilians and grave human rights abuses. (Read on …)
Another military official, who also requested anonymity, said the blast on Sunday night inside the military base could be a signal of division in the air force led by Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmar, the half brother of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Read on …)
uh, yeah. Then Yemen needs a transitional council to guide the way to a parliamentary system, not a new strongman, as the very sophisticated Yemeni protesters have been calling for from day one, to the anguish of the naive and disorganized international community.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville, Location: Geneva, Subject: Yemen
We condemn in the strongest terms the reported killing of a number of largely peaceful protestors in Sana’a and Taiz as a result of the indiscriminate use of force by Yemeni security forces since Saturday (15 October). Hundreds were reportedly injured by this disproportionate use of force against unarmed protestors.
We are extremely concerned that security forces continue to use excessive force in a climate of complete impunity for crimes resulting in heavy loss of life and injury, despite repeated pledges by the Government to the contrary. We reiterate our call for an international, independent, transparent investigation, for accountability and for justice. Those responsible for the hundreds of killings since the protest movement began in Yemen more than 8 months ago must be prosecuted, regardless of rank or title. (Read on …)
This article does a very good job at untangling the relationships between the regime, the terrorists in Abyan, Ali Mohsen’s jihaddist allies including Nabi, and it names three regime loyalists who were killed fighting alongside the al Qaeda in Abyan.
Yemen Times SANA’A, Oct 12 — In his major speech, Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, on Saturday, accused defected major general Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar of aiding armed Islamists. It is believed that these Islamists are of the same consortium that took control of Abyan late last May. (Read on …)
Photo from scene; you don’t want to see the close-ups:
Its just doesn’t add up as actual AQAP somehow. Maybe a splinter faction from the amorphous group in Abyan, but its too early to tell. Maybe another one of those last seen arrested in Abyan or one of the 16 AQ prison escapees sheltering in one of the presidential palaces. The 26 Sep says two policemen were injured in the suicide bombing. In addition, a car bomb was planted in an officials car and exploded, killing him, as he left the air base in Lahj; it seems obvious it was planted while he was at the base:
TASS: On Tuesday, an explosion in Yemen killed a high-ranking military commander: Amin al Shami’s car exploded after he left a military aircraft base in the province of Lahej. Two people, who accompanied him, survived. The explosion was set by the same terrorist group which set an explosion at a police station on Saturday, and attempted on the life of Yemen’s defense minister in Aden last month. (ed- the driver of the Def Min’s car said there was slumped body in the car which exploded as they drove by and the bomber was last seen when arrested in Abyan.)
AFP: ADEN — A colonel in the Yemeni air force and a police officer were killed in separate attacks in south Yemen on Tuesday, military and police officials said. (Read on …)
Ah yes, the National Security is the branch of the security forces that has always been most active in targeting journalists (kidnapping, beating, defamation) and is the one the US is most tied to on counter-terror. He is exactly right about the financial aspect, and most of the Yemeni leadership not only has stolen and embezzled state funds, but most lead mega-corporations that are rife with corruption and bribery.
From opposition website associated w/ AMA, Yemen Fox The resigned endowments minister judge. Hamood AL-Hetar accused officials at the National Security in Yemen of setting plans to deform the image of opposition figures who are calling for president Saleh to step aside.
He said these plans started to tarnish opposition figures images through fabricated news then accusations, ended with killing.
“I am one of the targeted figures by the National Security in Yemen, Alhatar said. (Read on …)
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 …)
Yahya Saleh also makes a range of charges against the protesters. “Accused that al-Qaeda supports the demonstrators and the opposition kills them. Yahya Saleh describes the rebels to «meanness», and the revolution as boring, and stresses that the Gulf initiative conflicts with the Constitution, and that his uncle would not sign it as long as the sit-ins continues.” The realization is dawning in the diplomatic community that Saleh will never sign it and never had any intention of signing.
Yemen Post: In a recent interview with France 24, General Yehia Mohamed Saleh, who is president’s Saleh’s nephew and Head to the Central Security Forces as well as prominent businessman opened up on Yemen’s uprising.
He made clear that as long as protesters would continue to take the streets of Yemen hostage, staging sit-ins and marches, his “uncle” would never agree to step down, let alone negotiate. (Read on …)
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.
Are we really going to continue to place the safety of Americans in Prince Ahmed Saleh’s hands when he randomly murders Yemeni civilians? There must be reliable mid-level CT commanders. The following vid shows damage in Arhab, after extensive shelling by the Republican Guard:
More activists are receiving threats over the phone by security personnel of detention if they dont stop their activism.
Traditionally the US allied National Security under Ammar Saleh has perpetrated most attacks on journalists and activists and may have the lead again in personal threats and assault against the democracy activists now.
So we all know that, in between slaughtering protesters, being chief of Yemen’s brutal National Security (this is the organization that perpetrated most attacks on journalists) and his counter-terror duties, Ammar Saleh recently bought a new palatial home in Sanaa and paid cash. As head of the National Security, he is also the recipient of 3.4 million dollars of tribal engagement funds. Did US tax payers buy the murderer a house? Its mind boggling. Since Knights and Sharp are already discussing the tribal engagement fund, I thought I’d throw that out there.
Footnote 12 of Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations prepared by the Congressional Research Service 6/8/11: According to one recent report, the NSB was established to “provide Western intelligence agencies with a more palatable local partner than the Political Security Organization (PSO). The NSB is now responsible for dispensing $3.4 million of U.S.-provided tribal engagement funds to support the campaign against AQAP. See, Michael Knights.
Ahmed Darwish was brutally tortured to death in an Aden jail after being randomly arrested. Much later when the revolution broke out, and fatalities in Aden skyrocketed because of violence against civilians, the US called for Kiran, the head of security, to be removed from his post. So the Sanaa regime transferred him to Taiz, where he continues his slaughter.
The public persecution in Aden city – sera district- issued an official letter to the chief prosecutor in the governorate to arrest the former security chief of Aden –who is now the current security chief of Taiz –General Abdullah Giran and generalized the latter to all air, sea and land outlets to arrest him and prevent him from traveling abroad and take him to the public persecution office if found.
General Giran is accused of torturing Ahmed Darwesh a young man till death In Aden city and also accused of killing peaceful protestors in taiz city.
Who bombed the camp? From al Masdar, take your pick
- the revolutionary military
- soldiers who were unpaid and began protesting last week
- the regime did it itself to blame the opposition
Yahya Saleh holds key roles in Yemen. He is head of the huge and thoroughly corrupt al Maz corp as well as a main Counter-Terror liaison to the US and commander of one of the CT units. He is also commander of the Central Security which has been killing protesters all across the country. Yahya is President Saleh’s nephew and ex-son in law and the head of several civil society organizations including one focused on tourism and the Kannan (sp?) Org, dedicated to financially and morally supporting several “resistance” movements abroad. Yahya opened a mourning tent upon the death of Saddam Hussain and is thought close to several top Baathists exiles in Sanaa who coordinated attacks on US troops from Yemen. Yahya openly praised the Iraqi resistance for causing the deaths of many US troops at a seminar at Sanaa Univ which provided a platform for several of Iraq’s most wanted terrorist facilitators.
MasdarOnline: A violent explosion rocked the Central Security Camp Building on Tuesday evening, located in 70th Street near Presidential Palace, south of Sana’a.
A security source confirmed that the explosion took place inside the headquarters of the Central Security camp without causing any casualties among the soldiers. The source attributed the cause of the explosion was a missile that fell on the ground of the camp that was free of any occurrence of soldiers.
No clear circumstances or any additional information was immediately released about the incident, but sources opposing accused “the remnants of the regime” and said that they aim to say that “Central Security troops are exposed to attacks”.
Soldiers in the Central Security camp, which is led by Saleh’s nephew, Brigadier General, Yahya Mohammed Saleh has declared rebellion inside the camp last Ramadan, protesting against the lack of salary, which made them chant slogans calling to overthrow the regime.
Lightly armed tribal fighters seize 40 tanks from the “elite” RG. The protesters will throw Saleh out again if that’s what it takes, but the idea bringing him and his relatives to trial in Yemen is really starting to fill the imagination. And Saleh lied in a speech about being willing to transfer power but he literally hasn’t told the truth in a decade, so its not worth posting or even reading. (The Regime’s social media strategy: lie, liable and infiltrate
VOA Forces loyal to a Yemeni tribal leader have captured a presidential guard base north of the capital Sana’a, as forces loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh appear to be suffering a slow erosion. (Read on …)
Of course Saleh is paying al Qaeda and has been paying al Qaeda to do his dirty work for years and the payments are ongoing. Judge Al Hittar who met many of the AQ leaders through the dialog program says now what I said in 2005, not one was reformed. He also says as I have said that the main conduits between the regime and the terrorists are through the security and intelligence services. Saleh and his relatives use AQAP as an instrument of foreign policy like they use the fanatics domestically. And the US must know this if everyone else knows it and has known it. Brennan must be deliberately lying with every statement and the embassy entirely content to knowingly betray millions of Yemenis in order to protect this relationship. The question is the US afraid of Saleh, in cahoots with Saleh or just stupid?
al Hadath (google translated): Chairman of the Commission launched a dialogue with members of the former al-Qaeda in Yemen and the Minister of Endowments and Guidance outgoing Judge Hamoud al-Hattar, a scathing attack on the Yemeni regime and accused him of “supporting a number of al Qaeda members in the show to frighten the West, and the suppression of the Yemeni revolution.”
Hitar announced in a statement the “Rai”, “that he knows many members of al-Qaeda in Yemen during his dialogue with them when he was chairman of the dialogue with Islamic militants, who are now dealing with the Yemeni regime and receive financial rewards.”
Hattar said, “It interlocutors over the past years did not return one of them, and did not Ihor number of al Qaeda who is dealing with the system, and accused the regime that gives them bonuses, refusing to reveal their names.”
He pointed out that “there is a committee of the system communicate with the base made up of three officers, one in a private guards and the second in the national security and the third in the Interior.” And the contradictions of the opposition in their statements of information such as a «base» or not explained that «the media discourse of the opposition and the revolution was not successful », calling at the same time the opposition and called them« rebels »to« correct their mistakes ».
M&C: Cairo/Sana’a – Thousands of opposition protesters backed by military defectors late Monday seized a base of the elite Republican Guards who are loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh in the capital, Arab media reported.
Just hours after 32 protesters were killed by Yemeni troops, the protesters and ex-soldiers stormed the base without firing a single shot, Al Arabiya quoted witnesses as saying. The Republican guards fled the base, leaving their weapons behind, the channel said.
Ahram: Forces of Yemen’s embattled president Ali Abdullah Salih fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation.
The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base Monday without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials.
Some carried sticks and rocks. They used sandbags to erect barricades to protect their comrades from the possibility of weapons fire from inside the base, but none came and the Republican Guards eventually fled, leaving their weapons behind.
Although the base was not particularly large _ the Republican Guards have bigger ones in the capital and elsewhere in Yemen _ its capture buoyed the protesters’ spirits and signaled what could be the start of the collapse of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year-old regime.
Trend: Dozens of armed tribesmen stormed a police station and a central prison in Yemen’s southern province of Lahj early Tuesday, releasing 20 prisoners, security officials said.
Two groups of tribesmen raids the two sites, which share one buliding in Tuban district, and freed 20 prisoners following clashes with guards around the building, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
No casualties have been reported, he added.
One of the guards said they were unable to counter the heavy shootings by the armed tribesmen, who were backed by members of the separatist Southern Movement in Lahj, and finally surrendered.
Lahj, some 337 km northwest of the capital Sanaa, is a key stronghold of the Southern Movement.
Russia, Yemen’s largest bilateral creditor due to enormous weapons purchases especially the big ticket MIGs, has a vested economic state in the survival of the Saleh regime. Check my category Russia for earlier.
Tribesmen of the revolution – west of the capital Sanaa – were able to prevent the movement of a large force made up of columns of tanks, vehicles and armored trains loaded with weapons and ammunition, which was on its way to the capital Sana’a. The sources said that the convoy is from an arms deals with Russia, which arrived at the port of Hodeidah recently and includes 40 tanks and many other equipment. (Read on …)
The mutilation of tribesmens’ corpses in Arhab was one trigger for the formation of the new Alliance of Yemeni Tribes. Fourty rockets were launched against villages Friday. Operations are headed by the US allied counter-terror chief, Ahmed Saleh, head of the Republican Guard. Allegations go back and forth about al Zindani raising fighters for Arhab, his home district, from al Iman University, and Arhab was the location of the 2009 US air strike. In a statement, resident tribesmen invited international media to record the carnage and denied any affiliation with al Qaeda.
Sahwa Net- Yemeni forces launched about 40 rockets on Friday on some villages of Arhab, leaving dozens of people killed and wounded, local sources affirmed.
The sources said that many houses, framers and other properties were destroyed pointing out that the intensive bombardments provoking scare and panic among children, women and elderly men. (Read on …)
MoKhtar Al-Obaydi was abducted by the the national security while he was returning from the Change Square to his village in Arhab, north of Sanaaa, on the first of Ramadan. He teaches the religious studies at the Zaidi Sheikh Abo Nashdan’s Centere in Arhab.
The Republican Guard had been preparing and repositioning for the offensive over the last days. The tribesmen fortified their positions. A spokesman for the al Ahmars said they are sticking to the ceasefire agreement. Update: Defense Ministry denies the short lived clashes even occurred in Sanaa. Six protesting lack of electricity were shot dead in Hodiedah. Two killed in Aden after military accidentally opens fire.
Yemen Post: Two huge explosions were heard and clashes started in Hasaba zone of the capital Sana’a between tribes and republican guards, numerous eyewitnesses said. Residents in Hasabah said that hundreds of gunshots were heard starting at 5pm in the area and have been spreading to the neighborhoods of Mazda, Giraf, and Airport road of the capital. (Read on …)
The conflict in Arhab, Sanaa began after the Taiz massacre in May when the tribesmen locked down the Republican Guard base near Nehm to prevent further civilian slaughter. The Salehs responded by shelling villages and its been ongoing ever since. The state’s bombing of villages in Arhab is occurring at the same time as long term, near continual bombing in Radfan, ongoing clashes in al Jawf between the Houthis and Islahis, a long stretch of violence in Zinjibar, Abyan and increasing violence in Taiz including indiscriminate bombing. Violence against protesters in the squares is common, and ten were injured in Hodeidah yesterday.
These escalating cycles of violence across the country bear the same characteristics as the Saada War and the targeting of the Southern Movement: indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, blatant propaganda along with increased attacks on journalists, and collective punishment including denial of medical treatment. For more on the earlier conflicts, and how the state’s random violence bolstered the insurgencies, see my Sept.2010 article at Gloria.
SANA, Yemen (AP) — Fighting between Yemeni soldiers and armed tribesmen in a mountainous region north of Sana, the capital, killed at least 40 people on Thursday, a military official said.
The clashes in the Arhab region were part of a wider collapse in security across Yemen since the outbreak of an uprising six months ago that seeks to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Armed tribesmen are battling security forces in Arhab, the southern city of Taiz and elsewhere, while militants believed to be linked to Al Qaeda have overrun towns in the country’s south.
The fighting on Thursday began when tribesmen attacked a base belonging to the Republican Guard, said Sheik Hamid Assem of the Arhab tribe. The military responded by shelling and bombing tribal positions, Mr. Assem said. A military official in Arhab said 17 soldiers had been killed in the fighting and that troops had seen the bodies of at least 23 dead tribesmen.
This poor guy has been surrounded for some time with no reinforcements or resupply, and he said in another interview that twice he refused orders to surrender to al Qaeda. There’s no way the US doesn’t know that Saleh et al are playing the al Qaeda card. Despite the total absence of US public diplomacy in Yemen, the message to 22 million Yemenis is loud and clear.
Sahwa Net- Commander of the 25th Mechanized Brigade in the Zinjibar city of Abyan governorate has said that Yemen security forces withdrew from Zinjbar and left behind large quantities of arms which al-Qaeda militants gained. (Read on …)
This all began months ago when the villagers locked down the RG camp as forces were deploying to attack some protesters. The villagers also captured and burned three helicopters in Nehm. The Saleh forces began randomly bombing residential areas and infrastructure in retaliation, a standard tactic. Arhab was also the site of the December 2009 US air strike and al Zindani is around there somewhere.
Yemen Post: A citizen was killed and three others injured when the republican guard continued shelling the district of Arhab on the outskirts of Yemen’s capital Sana’a on Saturday.
Local sources said the republican guard brigade 61 heavily shelled the village of Al-Obowa with artilleries and Katyusha rockets leading to the casualties and destroying homes and properties. (Read on …)
Lets predict the future, shall we? The 60 al Qaeda “escapees” who were released with government assistance from the Hadramout prison enter Aden, now that the security is gone, and start shooting in the air, terrifying residents. They take over a recently abandoned radio station and announce an Islamic Emirate. Western media reports a third town has fallen to AQAP.
A few soldiers get sent in to be slaughtered and then the military pulls back. Yemeni government officials announce their deaths in battle against “al Qaeda.” The US trained, funded and equipped counter-terror forces are busy attacking the protesters.
The defected military and/or locals attempting to guard their houses engage the state jihaddists, the so called AQAP. The Yemeni military then bombs those who are fighting the al Qaeda uprising that was fully orchestrated by the state.
Western media runs with the Yemeni government report that the dead were AQAP. Maybe Yemen announces Qasim al Reimi was killed for the fifth time. Some residents flee the state’s bombing and violence on the streets, including the 60,000 displaced from Zinjibar, and are left without food or shelter. Others protest against al Qaeda and demand law and order.
The US lobs some drones, misses and kills civilians, but denies they were civilians because they fit the US’s newly designated “pattern of life” criteria that qualifies them for death. There’s yet another narrow miss on Awlaki. Also killed Saleh’s enemies and/or maybe some actual al Qaeda with inside knowledge of the regime’s dirty deals. When Spain calls for a transition of political power, some Spanish aid workers are mysteriously kidnapped and never heard from again.
The DOD praises Yemen’s efforts against AQAP, continuing the US’s re-branding of the duplicitous, double dealing Saleh regime as a “consistently good partner” in the WOT. The lobotomized media reprints the phrase. There’s some mysterious construction on Perim Island. And the State Department continues its intense lobbying efforts for immunity for Saleh and retention of as much of the US trained CT forces as possible while belittling the protesters as not politically savvy. The protesters however see through all the schemes and continue to demand all Saleh’s relatives go and a restructuring of the security forces.
And that’s roughly what happened in Zinjibar and Loder, except in Loder some extremists from Sanaa were recruited to go command the state financed groups of militants in Lahj as well as recruit brainwashed youths who don’t realize they are dying for Saleh.
Update, and so it begins: Suicide car bomb kills three soldiers in Aden. DNA results on the bomber should be along any minute. Update: Wow that was fast even by Yemeni standards: the regime asserts the bomber was an AQAP member from Abyan, on the list of most wanted. “The sources confirmed that a number of leaders of al-Qaeda were present now in the province of Abyan, led by Fahd al Quso, and Nasser Wahishi, and Qasim al-Rimi, and al-Shihri, and wanted Saudis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Somalis, and believes that they are they planning for the operation.”
The National: US drone attacks in Yemen ignore Al Qaeda for local militants
Yaf3: Popular committees are being formed in Aden because the regime’s forces are contributing to the lawlessness and assassinations. Having the unit physically walk over the mutinous soldiers at Anad military base is a common practice of military discipline.
Arhab: Republican Guard shelling kills 17 including a woman, 35 injured, 86 houses and eight wells destroyed, over 1000 homeless.
In Jaar, Abyan Yemeni war planes bomb house of the former Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party. Military fails to make progress against the militants.
Brigade 119, deployed as reinforcements to brigade 22 Mika, withdraws more then 10 km outside Zinjibar.
In Lahj, Southern Movement activists are surrounding army forces on outskirts of city. al Habylean shelled for second consecutive day (6/26)
Hodeidah citizens are holding diesel tankers in Beit al-Faqih and Almaraoeah protesting against the lack of fuel in their province.
The Republican Guard in Al-Samaa renew bombing Nahm, Sanaa with Katyusha rockets
The Chinese news agency is reporting clashes in Aden as spun by government officials.
YOL At least five Al Qaeda militants and one Yemeni soldier were killed in fierce battles between extremists and security forces in south of Yemen Thursday, a military official said.
Heavy clashes broke out at night at the main entrance of port city of Aden, Xinhua reported. Three groups of Al Qaeda militants carried out attacks targeting the main entrance of Aden and led to violent clashes between the two sides.
Heavy machine guns and artilleries were used during the clashes, said the official, who requested anonymity. Local residents said heavy gunshots and rockets could be heard near the Al-Alam entrance.
Al Qaeda militants of its Yemen-based wing have stationed on the eastern outskirts of the country’s Aden city for two days to prepare to forcibly enter the city.
Beaumont Enterprise: Residents of Aden say military forces loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently removed checkpoints at the city’s entrances and withdrew, raising fears that Islamic militants who seized two nearby towns after government forces carried out a similar pullback could attempt a takeover of the strategic port city… (Read on …)
Yemen Post: Republican guards killed a 14-year old boy in Yemen’s Taiz province on Wednesday, where a massive demonstration was held coinciding with protests in other cities to urge the youth-led protesters to finish their revolution and to refuse external mandate or interventions.
Locals at Street 60th at the city’s entrance said republican guards fired at passengers inside a bus killing the teen and injuring others. The incident took place amid insecurity in Taiz, which saw deadly clashes between the army and armed tribesmen in the past weeks.
In other Taiz related news, Haykel Saed Corp is negotiating between the families of the protesters killed by forces under the supervision of lunatic security chief (transferred from Aden after several bloodbaths) Abdullah Qiran. There’s no resolution yet as the families are demanding a trial. Qiran was also charged with the murder of Ahmed Darwish tortured to death in Aden jail. One major outstanding protesters’ demand is the purge and reformation of the security forces.
The escape is one part of the state’s plan of generating al Qaeda chaos. There is a high likelihood that the escape was arranged by the head of the security forces like Ahmed, Saleh’s son or one of the nephews. These officials are also the US’s important partners in counter-terror efforts and have been the recipients of millions in counter-terror funding.
The Saleh regime has repeatedly released al Qaeda prisoners over the years often in exchange for support as mercenaries. Individual jihaddis were released to go fight in Saada, but larger scale escapes and releases (like the 109 released in 2009 or the escape in 2006) are a habitual characteristic of the Saleh regime and generally part of a much larger deal. . The international media is uniformly reporting idiotic statements like this from Fox: Wednesday’s escape was the latest sign that Yemen’s months-long upheaval has emboldened Al Qaeda militants to challenge authorities in the country’s nearly lawless south. No, they are not challenging the authorities but working in concert with them.
Yemen Post: 62 Al-Qaeda Prisoners Escape Yemen Prison
At least 62 suspected al-Qaeda prisoners escaped from the central security prison in the southern city of Mukalla Wednesday morning.
One security personnel was killed as well as a prisoner. The security official said that a number of the escaped prisoners were arrested after coming back from Iraq, where they were fighting American forces. This is considered the biggest prison breakout for suspected al-Qaeda suspects.
Opposition forces are blaming senior military officials with close links to President Saleh for allowing and easing the escape of al-Qaeda prisoners to cause chaos in the south and get more US support and prolong the Saleh regime.
This comes at the time where the assistant secretary of state is visiting Yemen. He said the the majority of the escapees had court sentences of over five years in prison on terror charges.
More to come
Sahwa Net- Well-informed sources have accused a high-ranking military commander close to President Ali Abdullah Saleh of plotting to release Al-Qaeda suspects in Hadhramout governorate. (Read on …)
Dozens of alleged al-Qaeda gunmen attacked security and government buildings in the southern town of Huta, killing two policeman and wounding five others, Yemeni medics and residents said.
Fierce clashes broke out at dawn on Wednesday between the armed men and police around the local branches of intelligence and central bank, and the courts in the Lahij province town of Huta, before dispersing toward nearby farms, residents said. (Read on …)
To my recollection, a search here on Ammar al Waeli will likely lead to the following history. Al Waeli was the subject of a 2002 FBI seeking info alert generated by an associate of Fawaz al Rabie, killed in 2006. Al Waeli was seen by eyewitnesses on a rooftop in Saada City exhorting residents against the Houthis during the sixth war (2010) while Ali Mohsen’s troops chewed qat. Al Waeli was also involved in the 2009 plot against Saudi CT chief Prince Naif along with Naif al Qatahani. Al Waeli, along with Hamza al Dyanai was allegedly instrumental in the 2007 murder of eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in Marib in a suicide bombing by the (also deceased) Hamza al Qaiti group.
Al Waeli was convicted on terror charges in March. My assumption at the time was he was tried in absentia although the Saleh regime didn’t mention that part. Now in theory he is killed exiting Zinjibar, echoing some southerners reports of the RG attacking fleeing residents. Just keep in mind, Qasim al Reimi was reported dead three times by the Saleh regime. Al Waeli was also reported as killed in Jan 2010. Its important to note that different aspects of the Yemeni regime have relations with different groups of jihaddist mercenaries or state jihaddists as I call them, like al Nabi.
The Jaber al Shabwanis are possibly relatives but certainly tribesmen of the tribal sheik/assistant governor of Marib Jaber al Shabwani who was killed in an errant air strike (by who is still a question, in Marib some insist it was a Yemeni plane) as he was en route to negotiate al Qaeda surrenders. Ali Mohsen said recently Saleh orchestrated the hit on Sheik Shabwani. The sheik was the brother of Ayyed al Shabwani, a know al Qaeda operative.
The source made clear that a number of the organisation leaderships and its dangerous elements have been killed in qualitative operations by army men from brigade 201 and mechanized brigade 35 while those elements were fleeing Zanjibar city.
The source added that the operations led to the killing of terrorist Amar Abada al-Waeli, one of the most dangerous leaders of al-Qaeda organisation and with him seven other elements in addition to killing the terrorist Abu Ali al-Harithi , a leading element in Shabwa province , terrorist Abu Ayman al-Masri , media official in the organisation , terrorist Ali Saleh Farhan ‘amir of the organisation in Mareb province an a number of terrorist elements that came from Mareb province , among them the terrorist Mabkhout Ali Jaber al-Shuwani and wounding his brother Fahad Ali Jaber al-Shuwani .
MOHAMMED ABDULMALIK ALTAIYEB was arrested 5/5/11 in Maryland and charged with possession of illegal drugs (prescription pills without a prescription), marijuana, some other non-marijuana drugs and a concealed weapon (update: not a gun, could be anything from a knife to numchucks ). He is the son of the head of Yemeni Central Security Abdulmalik al Taiyeb who is in charge of anti terror activity, receives millions of dollars from US and in theory is Yahya Saleh’s boss, but its a technicality. However I lost interest in this story entirely when I discovered it wasn’t a gun in his possession. Case documents(Read on …)
Attacking citizens Intra-brigade clashes in Taiz despite the cease fire. Battle in al Habylean, Lahj. RG reinforcements en route to Taiz halted on Ibb road by locals. Snipers kill 3 of al Ahmar’s men in Sanaa. Nine soldiers killed in the south by “gunmen.” Prince Ahmed and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have to stand down, as well as Mohsen’s men and the defected military. Sadiq al Ahmar pledged to honor the cease fire as long as the Saleh forces do. GCC, EU, US all urge restraint. The enmity and rivalry between Ahmed and Ali Mohsen has deep roots. Ahmed moved into the palace, not Hadi, and more from Comment Middle East:
The position of state television remains the same, indicating that the regime is still in tact, even if it has been decapitated. More worrying for the protesters is Hadi’s reported statement that Saleh will return in the next few days. Even if this is not feasible due to Saleh’s apparent condition, it is clear that those who back him are still clinging on, and still maintain some sort of influence over Hadi.
This should not take away from the sense of joy and achievement being felt in Sana’a and the rest of the country. Although there are still sporadic bouts of violence, especially in the second city Taiz, the sound of explosions has been replaced by that of fireworks, and people have been flocking to the protest squares around the country to celebrate. If anything, a large presence in the protest squares would indicate to those still unsure that the regime is done for.
The protesters have also indicated that, although they welcome the departure of Saleh, it is only the first of their demands, and that they will not leave their tent cities until all their demands are met. In the focus on the al-Ahmar – Saleh rivalry many analysts have overlooked the power of the youth movement, which is huge in a country where the average age is 17.
As per usual in Yemen things are being done unusually….
Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani has an optimistic view that Saleh is not returning, the political process will take hold and describes lingering skirmishes as expected and diminishing.
This is a statement by Mr. Abdullah Alasnag, Ex – Minister of Foreign Affairs in Yemen who is roving several Arabian Gulf States to discuss the crisis in Yemen.
Yemen in Despair
It has become readily apparent that the Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh is losing the battle for the capital Sana’a, in a culmination of events over the past 4 months which have witnessed continuous protests calling for his removal.
Multiple reports by eye witnesses on Wednesday 1st of June 2011 confirmed that the beleaguered president is using the American trained and equipped Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) in the ongoing street fighting currently taking place in Sana’a between the dictator’s forces and armed tribesmen loyal to tribal sheikh Sadeq Al-Ahmer.
Back in 1999, former American Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine refused Saleh’s requests for American military aid to establish a “counter terror unit/elite strike force” on fears that it would be used to crush political opponents, a fear that has since been proven correct time and time again.
Witnesses and media reports confirmed that the CTU was used by Saleh in an attempt to regain control over government buildings his forces lost to the tribesmen and were unable to regain them by force. In this connection, witnesses specifically recounted street battles in which the CTU was involved during attempts to regain both the Local Governments’ Ministry building as well as the Hasaba District Police station. The CTU lost both battles and suffered heavy losses in terms of both lives and equipment.
These reports confirm earlier reports that Saleh used the CTU to carry out criminal activities and gross human rights violations including the March 18th massacre he committed against peaceful protestors in Sana’a during which 57 demonstrators were killed and hundreds were injured. Following the incident, protestors found ID cards belonging to members of the CTU at a location used by snipers in their targeting of the protesters.
Moreover, Saleh has routinely used the CTU to target his political opponents including the 5th of January 2010 attack on Al-Ayyam Newspaper headquarters in Aden where snipers and night vision goggles were used in the attack. In a similar occurrence in 2010, the American administration was furious when it was made aware that the CTU was used in the Government’s local war with the Houthi rebellion in the northern governorate of Saada.
The disappearance and likely exit of the untrustworthy tyrant following last night’s rebel rocket attack on the Presidential palace in which it was reported that he had suffered minor injuries, presents a small window of opportunity to enable any replacing authority to lead Yemen on the path of stability and into a phase of sound economic development.
In this regard, a return to sole tribal control over the nation’s fate can no longer be considered as the best possible alternative. It is equally uncertain that a youth movement may constitute a better solution in view of failing political parties which also do not propose themselves as a trustworthy replacement.
Regional government follow-up of events in Yemen should therefore work out a comprehensive solution which accommodates Yemeni parties including prominent political leaders in exile. Such awareness could help in avoiding a total collapse of the state structure and fragmentation thereof.
Post script by Jane: In light of yesterdays statement by the Pentagon, perhaps Col. Lapan should contact Mr. al Asnag for the copies of the ID cards, contact with the witnesses and other proof.
Reuters: We’re watching closely the violence that’s occurring in Yemen,” Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said as violence raged in the Yemeni capital, where protesters are demanding an end to Saleh’s nearly 33 years in power.
“Right now we have no evidence that any of the counter-terrorism forces that we have trained are being used against protesters. We have seen reports that they have been engaged with armed forces and are looking for more information on that,” Lapan told reporters.”
US investment in Yemen’s CTUs have yielded little results. AQAP’s leadership is entirely intact and ever more well entrenched. This failure is due in large part to the double dealing of the bifurcated Saleh regime itself. Saleh’s re-deployment of US trained forces against its domestic opposition and as assassins, as al Asnag notes, was predictable, repetitive and is ongoing. The facts cannot be erased by Pentagon and State Department double talk.
Is it a turf war between the Pentagon and the CIA over the UAV’s and the CT budget on Yemen or knowledge of complicity in prior atrocities that is prompting cover for Saleh? Both the opposition parties and the protesters issued multiple statements that the new regime will allow and enable US CT ops to continue. There has to be a line somewhere that the US doesn’t cross as a matter of principle, and I thought we should have hit it in 2005 but we certainly have today. (Unless of course we did lob the bomb to the palace, but that’s just ridiculous as off-Toner said.)
51, the deaths so far are tallied at 51, but many corpses and injured were kidnapped by the security forces. The water cannons shot petrol or gas on the protesters tents at 3 am while they were still inside, many burned. Charred bodies of children and the disabled were discovered this morning. Details and sniper videos below the fold.
Summary from the YT:Taiz, May 30 – A group of security force soldiers have raided the protest camp in the heart of Taiz city, known as the “Freedom Square”, at 3:00 AM on Sunday, 30 May, killing dozens of people and injuring others.
The loyalist soldiers attacked the square from all directions and gunmen in police and plain clothes shoot at protesters from the roofs of surrounding buildings. (Read on …)
Another Republican Guard base falls-ie, voluntarily joins the rev, so maybe stands is a better word. The RG and Central Security in Dhamar, central Yemen, joined in celebrations today. The primary supports of the regime and the butcher, Ali Abdullah Saleh are crumbling. The RG, headed by Saleh’s son, Ahmed, was thought to be the inseparable from Saleh, but officers, commanders and posts are peeling away, some voluntarily and some by force. Update: 26 Sept denies and says, “Commander of the brigade, Brigadier Ibrahim al-Gaefi said on Saturday that the personnel of the 9 th Republican Guards Brigade will remain loyal and faithful to the homeland and the political and military leadership led by His Excellency President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.” Wish I had that vid of the RG celebrating handy, they looked so happy. Faithful to the homeland is different from faithful to Saleh. Update 2: its new officers and personnel quickly tasked to the 9th Infantry Brigade of the RG that pledged loyalty according to local reports.
Early reports indicate the three helicopters (one crashed and two captured) taken in Nehm are a Russian type (could be Ukrainian) not US. Update; this is the vid from Nehm, looks Russian to those who know these things.
Fighting resumes in al Hasaba, Sanaa. A short lived cease fire indeed. Five explosions near Sheikh alAhmar’s compound, artillery toward the airport. Earlier in Rawda near Yahya Saleh’s home. Gunfire and shelling now, 2 am Sanaa time. Several reports say its an attack on the 1st Armored (Ali Mohsen) and the al Ahmar home.
The state media lies about Nehm, nothing new there, broadcasting from the presidential palace.
Massive march in Saada “confirms the meaning of national cohesion”
Yemen Revolution edges closer to victory as tribes overrun major military compound, Saleh plays al Qaeda card in Abyan
These are your headlines today folks.
Tribal loyalties over ride GPC and military identities.The defection yesterday of the Republican Guard commander was significant, as was the tribes disowning any loyalty to Saleh. There wasn’t even a pro-Saleh protest today. The Nehm tribe is Bakil, the al Ahmars are Hashid- ie, Saleh unified all the tribes against him. The protesters are dedicated to non-violence and closer to winning. That’s what is happening. Not an impending civil war, despite all the fear mongering.
In Abyan, the state abandoned Zanzibar government buildings and state militants are driving around chanting. The residents are furious. The JMP said Saleh handed over the city to the militants to put more pressure on the international community to accept him staying longer in power. There are some clashes, but it is not like Ja’ar was in 2009. It might get there, especially in the vacuum created by prolonged US support of Saleh.
A clear statement from Def Sec Gates might help end things a little quicker, with less civilian casualties, by demoralizing the remaining Saleh forces. Something like, “The US now has done post-Saleh planning,” and hopefully we have. If not, they can borrow mine. Certainly it must be distressing to watch millions of dollars and months of effort in standing up the Yemeni CT forces go down the drain or worse yet be used against unarmed civilians. But it is time to cut losses and move on to the next step.
Colonel Ali Ali Shaddadi Ahdillat commander in the Republican Guard issues an important message to his brothers and his colleagues, Republican Guard officers and members of the Republican Guard units, and says Saleh is a butcher and a killer and not to follow his orders anymore. Link
This may be the straw that broke the camels back. Its quite significant. The Republican Guards are the unit headed by Saleh’s son Prince Ahmed. Coupled with the earlier tribal excommunication, I’m nearly optimistic for a quick resolution. Tick tock.
What is that noise? The creaking groaning dying throes of the Saleh regime. The military sent out a text message; tomorrow’s pro-Saleh demonstration in Sanaa should be rather quiet. Update: tomorrows pro-Saleh demo canceled.
Last update: Tribal mediation succeeded in ending the clashes. Saleh’s mediators were Sanhan Sheikh, Ahmad abu Horia and the Ghalib Al-Qamish, the head of the Political Security.
al Sahwa reports that heavy clashes using a variety of weapons have been raging in the vicinity of Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar’s house in Hasaba, Sana’a between Saleh’s militia, Republican Guards, Central Security and Sadeq’s guards for at least 2 hours as of 9:30am EST. Sadiq is paramount sheik of the Hasid tribal confederation, and in theory is Saleh’s sheik since Abdullah al Ahmar died. Update: the sides were CF and RG vs. Sadiq guards (Hashid tribesmen) and some military forces from Ali Mohsen al Ahmar.
Yemen Post reports 18 dead: Clashes started at 1pm local time when armed gunmen backed by central security forces attacked the residence of Yemen’s powerful Hashid tribe leader, Sheikh Sadeq Abdullah Ahmar eyewitnesses said. At least 100 gunmen have been shooting directly at the residence for hours now…
Headquarters for Yemenia airways in Sana’a caught on fire after tens of armed gunmen shot directly at the building, eyewitnesses said. In addition, tens of live bullets are being shot at Saba News Agency and dozens of employees are surrounded inside the building…Eyewitnesses and confirmed sources said that Ahmar tribes have seized the Commerce and trade Ministry building in Sana’a.
I believe the SABA building and likely Yemenia are being used by the CS to shoot from, which is why they are being shot at; its not an attack on the state media per se. Its going on for more than four hours already.
Updates: -Saleh attacked with the Najda (Emergency Police) as well as elements of Central Security and Republican Guards and hired mercenaries. – RPGs fired at Interior Ministry. -Salehs forces withdrew but its not fully over. -Injured includes a child - Video here -YPost: Hashed tribes seize the ruling GPC headquarters in Sana’a and Ministry of Trade and Commerce & 600 armed Ahmar tribesmen -road to the US embassy still blocked by armed GPC members
Timeline from a friend:
Republican Guard(RG) & CSF units attacked sh.Sadeq’s house at 1:12pm local time at the time leaders from the JMP were inside the house, sh. Sadeq was not.
at 3:00 pm the entire area was secured by sh.Sadeq’s men
the Al-Saeeda Airlines building fifth floor was in flames.
the RG are sending reinforcements to secure the ministry of interior which is now in flames.
At 5:00pm the Sh’s men have secured the building of the GPC head quarters, Ministry of trade, Saba news agency and were advancing towards the ministry of telecommunication.
at 5:30pm bombardment using Doshka, Tanks, and cannons are heard in the area.
sh. Hameed Al-Ahmer moved the past couple of days from his house in Hadda to the same house.
Sh. Sadeq issued the “Tribal Call” which in effect calls every tribesmen to join him in defending his honor, attacking one’s house is a great dishonor in tribal law.
at 6:30pm new clashed erupted at the entrance to Sanaa at the Azreqaen point as thousands of tribesmen are answering the tribal call are flooding towards Sanaa.
Both sides are a mix of military/security, tribesmen and militia. As long as the state does not attack in Saada, maybe this can wind itself down. There are thousands of troops on the Marib/ al Jawf border, last estimate was over 10,000, eight brigades if that makes sense, maybe divisions. Update: the troops are still in the same locations along the border and road to Sanaa where they have been for more than two months. Fierce clashes are continuing in al Jawf though
Saleh has been storing weapons in schools and government buildings for a week supposedly (including possibly the Ramah girls school). Beyond the military stocks, the state has confiscated a quarter of a million weapons over the last two years in furtherance of the weapons ban. It was never likely he destroyed all of them. I figured he’s resell them; I hope he doesn’t have them stockpiled. The reports of distributing weapons to thugs and GPC members have been consistent and are further augmented by many leaked documents that indicate a nationwide strategy under the direction of the interior ministry.
I’m hoping this is another false story planted to discredit the opposition media. Update: I am increasingly skeptical as no one saw it and after 24 hours the family hasn’t come forward. There was another fake two months ago where a female student leader was supposedly arrested in Hodiedah. HOOD announced and retracted a notice about a boy raped to death in Sanaa. False stories planted by the regime are designed to undermine the opposition media. The photo accompanying the story is of a Saudi women and a different news story.
SOS: Human Rights Activists seek the International Community’s support
A statement issued by Sister Arab Forum
Today, a female protest activists in Yemen , Ghania Alaraaj was burned to death by the pro-regime tugs in Sana’a, who were spread in the southern part of the capital Sana’a , and cut roads in the morning in Sana’a.
We call upon the International Community to help activist from such brutal acts by Saleh regime.
There’s so many leaks coming out of Yemen lately, documents and verbal. The following published by Marib Press is another. I wasn’t there so I can’t say its true, only that it’s less likely to be propaganda than the lies that come out of SABA on a daily basis. The only other people who will know absolutely if its true are the US officials, if they indeed called Saleh several times last night.
Saleh agreeing to the transition with the US while planning for a street uprising to derail it is entirely in character, as we saw from the ease of his lies as revealed in Wikileaks and from the years and years of lies before. This is the way he operates, these are the types of schemes he comes up with to juggle expectations and perceptions and blame. So I’m tired, I’m cranky, he besieged my ambassador and went back on his promise, so I’m publishing an unverified leak that has no document.
Mareb Press: On Saturday evening in Sana’a, the General Committee of the General People’s Congress (GPC) and parties of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Yemen held a meeting chaired by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Chairman of the GPC. Below is some leaks from this meeting’s conversations between Saleh and GPC members loyal to him.
· About the GCC brokered initiative , Saleh said that he had received yesterday evening seven calls from the U.S. administration to urge him to sign the GCC initiative, saying “I will sign the initiative, I do not want to be a stumbling block before the international community, but I’m going to sign, and you guys, you have to fail it, take into the streets. (Read on …)
Sahwa Net – Forces of the Central Security stormed on Saturday Hodeidah University using live ammunition and toxic gases on protesting students, leaving dozens of students wounded and suffocated.
The Central Security also attacked the correspondent of Sahwa Net, Abdul-Hafeez Al-Hatami who was seriously wounded and taken into hospital. Al-Hatami said he was assaulted while he was covering the attacks against students, pointing out that he was enforcedly taken into a military vehicle following the attack.
Eye witnesses affirmed that forces of Central Security arrested dozens of students and they have been taken into unknown places.
Republican Guard entered the Central Security camp in Sana’a, the soldiers confiscated weapons Nashwan News Saturday 21/5/2011 2:09 According to various sources that the Republican Guard forces in Yemen, led by President Saleh’s son, moved into the Central Security Forces camp in Sana’a, while “Nashwan News” was informed by local sources that there is an intense tension between the two forces in the province of al-Baydha The sources said that Republican Guard forces raided the Central Security camp in Sana’a, has stripped some of the soldiers from their personal weapons, because of the distribution of a statement within the camp calling to join the revolution and demands Saleh to leave (Read on …)
Its just so complicated and so dangerous. Apparently the tribesmen closed the road after the Republican Guard failed to retake a military camp occupied by the First Armored a/k/a Ali Mohsen’s forces
Yemen Times: A source in the area explained to the Yemen Times on Wednesday that the pro-Saleh tribesmen closed the road on Wednesday after another group of pro-Saleh tribesmen have failed to take control of a military base in the Bani Mater district, 35 km west of the capital Sana’a belongs to the First Armored Division last Friday. (Read on …)
A follow up to our earlier story Nehm tribes take tanks from army, when the tribe prevented the RG from deploying to Hadramout to crack down on the protesters there. The term “heavy weapons” here likely means Kastushka type rockets, mortars etc and represents an escalation of tactics.
Sahwa Net- The Republican Guard bombed on Saturday night Nihm and al-Haima districts of Sana’a governorate as a retaliation of their support to the Yemeni revolution, local sources told Sahwa Net.
The sources said the Republican Guard used heavy weapons wounding two children, an elderly man, and damaging a number of houses.
They said that residents of Al-Haimah and Nihm refused to allow forces of the Republican Guard to enter their areas due to their involvement in killing peaceful protesters in Sana’a.
Meanwhile, major cities witnessed near-daily civil disobedience as shops, schools, private companies and banks were shut down at the request of the protest organizers to force Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.
The same story as reported by the YT, notes dozens of homes destroyed by shelling, the RG deployed 200 soldiers in the area.
The Yemen Times: SANA’A, May 15 — For the fourth day in a row, Republican Guard soldiers under the command of Ahmed Saleh have been engaged in ongoing attacks against villages surrounding the Al-Manar military base in the Al-Haima area, 60 KM outside of the capital Sana’a, local sources told the Yemen Times. (Read on …)
I’m reposting my article from March 3 on this topic below the fold because I couldn’t remember where the first mass grave was: on the eastern edge of the Salahu Deen military camp near little Aden. Apparently the government of Yemen is repeating the practice in Sanaa, stealing corpses in an effort to reduce the known number of fatalities. The following is an article published today at al Sahwa:
Sahwa Net, Sana’a – Medical sources at the Military Hospital in Sana’a have revealed that dozens of corpses of protesters who were killed by security forces were hidden by the Yemeni authorities in unknown places in an attempt to conceal evidence of crimes committed against peaceful demonstrators.
The sources affirmed that the Central Security and the Republican Guard kidnapped dozens of the killed and wounded persons and escaped them. (Read on …)
Yemen has its own wikileaks type of thing going on with numerous documents from the interior ministry and other officials published recently. This is another that outlines a shipment of weapons for CT when its known to the US government that Yemen has repeatedly and systematically diverted weapons and US trained units to use against its domestic enemies, whether in Saada or the south. In February, the US suspended the first installment of new mil aid after the state began murdering its own citizens.
Hood’s website is hoodonline.org
al Masdar And distributed the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms “HOOD” documents reveal the existence of a modern security cooperation relationship between the U.S. and Yemeni security is believed to be linked to the suppression of protests, which calls for ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
جاء ذلك في مؤتمر صحفي عقدته صباح اليوم الأحد في ساحة التغيير بصنعاء. This came at a press conference Sunday morning in the courtyard of the change in Sanaa. ونصت إحدى الوثائق المنسوبة إلى ويليام موني (عقيد في الجيش الأمريكي، وأعلى مسئول عسكري أمريكي في اليمن، والملحق الأمريكي بالسفارة في صنعاء) بتاريخ 17يناير 2011م، وتحمل رقم 252 موجهة إلى وزير الداخلية اليمني مطهر رشاد المصري “بأن طائرة عسكرية أمريكية سوف تصل إلى اليمن حيث ستنقل هذه الطائرة معدات لقوات العمليات الخاصة اليمنية وقوات الأمن المركزي – وحدة مكافحة الإرهاب”. And provided one of the documents attributed to William Mooney (a colonel in the U.S. Army, and the top U.S. military official in Yemen, and supplement the U.S. embassy in Sanaa) on January 17, 2011, carrying 252 addressed to the Yemeni Interior Minister Mutahar Rashad al-Masri, “that a U.S. military plane will arrive to Yemen where the plane will carry the equipment for special operations forces of Yemen and the Central Security Forces – and counter-terrorism unit. ” ومن المفترض أنها وصلت إلى مطار صنعاء الدولي في 19يناير 2011م It is assumed that they arrived at Sana’a International Airport in January 19, 2011
وتتألف الشحنة من آر بي جي7 وقاذفات لقوات العمليات الخاصة ومؤشرات الخطر وذخائر دخانية وحزم أسلحة خفيفة وصمام أمان لقوات الأمن المركزي – وحدات مكافحة الإرهاب. The shipment consists of RPG-7 launchers and special operations forces and indicators of risk and ammunition, smoke and light weapons and packs a safety valve for the Central Security Forces – and anti-terrorism units. بحسبما جاء في رسالة الضابط الأمريكي. As they have stated in the message the American officer.
ويقول العقيد ويليام في رسالته للواء المصري إن “كل هذا المعدات سيتم شحنها جوا مباشرة إلى مطار صنعاء الدولي وعلى ممثلي قوات الأمن المركزي وقوات العمليات الخاصة استلام تلك المعدات”. According to Colonel William in his letter to the Egyptian brigade “All this equipment will be shipped by air directly to the Sana’a International Airport and to the representatives of the Central Security Forces and Special Operations Forces to receive such equipment.”
ah a translation
Office of Military Cooperation
Sana’a – Yemen
January 17, 2011 (Read on …)
Isn’t the 101st the brigade the state denied creating for Saleh’s son when the reports first came out some months ago? This is how the Houthis got a bulk of their weapons during the Saada Wars, from the Yemeni army.
5/10 News Yemen: Yemeni tribal gunmen from the tribes of Nehm, 40 km east of the capital Sana’a, prevented on Tuesday the army from passing to Hadramout province, southeastern Yemen, to repress anti-regime protests.
Local sources said that clashes broke out between forces of the 101 Infantry Brigade and the tribal gunmen who rejected to allow any military force to pass through their territory to crackdown protesters in Hadramout.
The sources added that the army used heavy weapons and warplanes to bomb the tribal men who blocked the main road in Nehm against the 101 Infantry Brigade’s forces, headed by son of President Saleh, but could not unblock the road.
There have been previous reports on casualties among tribesmen and soldiers, but local sources said that only one tribesman was wounded. Sources said that soldiers had surrendered and handed over personal weapons, armored military vehicles and tanks and returned to the capital.
Human rights first: House Armed Services Committee Authorizes Costly New Wars in Yemen and Nations in Africa to Expand Fight Against Terrorism
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2011
Bill would continue suspension of other counterterrorism tools
Washington, D.C. — New legislation–approved by the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee early this morning– raises a number of red flags which should be thoroughly considered by Congress, a leading rights group said today. Human Rights First criticizes several provisions included in the bill, which aim to expand the use of military force to fight terrorism in Yemen, nations in Africa and beyond. (Read on …)
The elite Republican Guard are the same units that previously received US training, funding and intel as part of efforts to stand up a credible counter-terror force. Thats so bad. As Wikileaks revealed, they had previously been diverted to fight in the Saada Wars against the Houthi rebels and citizens in Saddah. Update: Two in Taiz. Local sources indicate they were teachers and the wounded were students.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemeni opposition activist says security forces backed by army units opened fire on some of tens of thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of Yemen’s longtime president, killing two.
One protester was killed in the western port of Hodeida, and a second was killed in the southern city of Taiz when elite Republican Guard forces tried to disperse the protests by opening fire in the air, according to Nouh al-Wafi, a young Yemeni activist.
In the southern city of Aden, thousands marched against President Ali Abdullah Saleh and demanded the release of detained protesters.
US Hueys over Yemen
By Nick Turse Asia Times In recent weeks, Yemeni protesters calling for an immediate end to the 32-year reign of United States-backed President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been met with increasing violence at the hands of state security forces. A recent pledge by Saleh to step down, one of many that has not met demonstrators’ demands, has yet to halt the protests or violence by the troops backing his regime. (Read on …)
This statement links the doctors’ kidnapping with President Saleh’s address trashing female political participation as immoral because it encourages mixing. (From the same man who promised and reneged on female quotas in the 2006 election and promised and reneged on a minimum marriage age of 15.)
This statement also notes that the units of the security forces that are slaughtering the protesters are the same that have received increased US support, funding and training over the last year in an effort to stand up viable counter-terror units, the Central Security and the Republican Guard. While Saleh’s agreement to let western CT teams roam the country side was considered a success in itself, predictably the US efforts did not produce significant results in dismantling the AQAP network.
Its remarkable that Saleh, a pathological liar, has even a shred of credibility left with the international community. Everything he is doing now is a stall tactic. Saleh has no intention of resigning. Its disappointing the US military pinned US national security on a documented war criminal who openly murdered his own citizens in cold blood for a decade. Equally disappointing is the US failure to understand who and what they are dealing with even at this late stage.
Today, the Saleh’s Central Security Forces and troops of thugs Kidnapped four female doctors from the ambulances trucks where they were providing humanitarian relief for wounded young protesters Sana’a. The doctors with other young protesters were led to National Security detention which is technically and financially supported by U.S.A, and managed by Saleh’s nephew, Ammar Saleh.
The central security forces and thugs attacked the peaceful demonstrators with heavy stacks, poison gas and live bullets. Three young protesters killed and hundreds injured
According to eyewitnesses, security forces were shooting gas bombs directly to the bodies of the protesters. Also the security forces shielded the thugs and enabled them to shoot protesters with live bullets.
The demonstration of today came after Sale’s statement of last Friday which he criticized the participation of women side by side with men in the protest squares and described it as “haram”. That statement encouraged Saleh’s thugs to gather today and to call women protesters as dishonored. They also called others to break into the square where women are sit-in.
It is worth mentioning that the series of killings, abductions, crimes against humanity and crimes of mass murder carried out by Saleh’s against the peaceful protesters demanding Saleh to step down from power are continuing for 3 months now killed more than 200, thousands wounded and hundreds are kidnapped.
Peoples of the world especially women and humanitarian organizations please help Yemen and demand your governments to make Saleh’s step down from power immediate.
Its been two days and there’s no independent confirmation that this even happened. Its such a murky country due to the censorship. But if true, the incident also shows that AQAP is continuing its violence in Yemen.
4/7/11 ADEN — Two soldiers kidnapped by tribesmen in southern Yemen were found with their throats slit on Tuesday in the restive province of Abyan, an Al-Qaeda stronghold, a security official said.
The two soldiers were murdered in an Al-Qaeda-style execution, the official said, requesting anonymity.
He said the execution of hostages went against the norms of Yemeni tribes, which often resort to kidnapping as a means of exerting pressure on local authorities, implying Al-Qaeda militants could have been behind the killings.
Local residents told AFP the corpses were found with gunshot and knife wounds on the side of a road outside the unrest-strewn town of Loder.
The two soldiers were kidnapped last Thursday in Loder by tribesmen in retaliation for the Yemeni military’s killing of six suspected Al-Qaeda militants last month.
A security official said on March 26 that army troops killed the six as they attacked an army post in Loder.
This is a bad guy for Adenis, extremely corrupt and brutal, and I’m happy to see him go, but moving him to Taiz isn’t really an improvement. New heads: Aden, Brgdr Ghazi Ahmad Ali mohsn; Taiz, Abdullah Kairan and Dhalie, Lt.col.Ali Alamri From what I can gather these are all bad guys just shifted around: General Al Omarai who is moving to Dahlie was the deputy head in Taiz where he is “famous for immoral behavior”, I’m quoting. And the head in al Dhalie is going to Aden. All are well known for arbitrary violence against citizens but Gen Qiran is the worst. Update: The new ambassador, Feierstein, said in his interview Sunday, Yemen Observer: “We think that it would be useful to remove some of the senior security officials who have been involved in some of these violent or forced confrontations with demonstrators, particularly in Aden.” So what happened was Saleh shifted him to Taiz, which answers another of the ambassador’s points- give him a task and see if he completes it. And in this case and all cases the answer will be no. The US is asserting that Saleh changed, just as they did after the 2006 prison break and numerous other incidents, and he gets a fresh slate. Well he failed this test and will fail all the rest.
: News Yemen: Interior Ministry issued a resolution to transfer security chief Ghazi Dali Ahmad Ali Mohsen Director of Aden Security, (Read on …)
The head of security in Aden is a major criminal kingpin and smuggling facilitator for high ranking officials. Abdullah Queran is also the head of the regime’s smuggling operations in Aden, see here.) Queran is prohibiting some wounded from entering hospitals.
Protesters demand government to sack director of security in Aden south of Yemen threatening to turn the city to another Benghazi Yemen Online:
Protestors in Aden province south of Yemen demanded Yemen government to sack director of security in Aden south of Yemen threatening to turn the city to another Benghazi. People have the right to defend ourself against oppression and violence the director of security in Aden and his soldiers .. We will be armed resistance because security attacks and kills the orders of the Director of Security .. We are not animals’ demonstrators said to YemenOnline.
The siuation in Aden city is very serious and sensitive, People feel aggrieved that their right to peaceful resistance is violated daily by the security forces’ Ahmed Hobieshi editor in chife of 14 October daily newspaper .Meanwhile, A group of protestors attacked and burned a police station in Al-Mansoura city in Aden south of Yemen. They used Molotov cocktails and weapons while the soldiers fled, allowing the protesters ransacked a number of weapons inside the police building .
Who is the brain surgeon who couldn’t predict that Saleh would use US counter-terror equipment on civilians well before he used it against al Qaeda? Its really very simple. How often has Saleh attacked and killed civilians over the last five years? Hundreds if not thousands of times. How many times did he attack al Qaeda with the same authentic gusto? Never.
Look at all this lovely stuff shot at the protesters this morning. Photos at al Madsar shows all US made canisters. Security source says some are specially made gasses for CT raids meant to immediately and thoroughly disable and incapacitate during a dangerous raid on a “terrorists nest” and arrived last year in a large shipment meant for the counter-terror forces.
Did somebody peer into Saleh’s eyes and really believe he had reformed from a war criminal into a partner against al Qaeda? Wikileaks is very clear that the US knew that US trained forces were sent to Saada to fight the Houthis well before the decision was made to bump military aid. US military equipment has been diverted all along, and the US knows it, and Congress knows it. Shipping this type of military aid is entirely irresponsible. The statements from the Ambassador, the Embassy and Johan Brennan just inflamed sentiments and hostility by trying to pressure the JMP and others to negotiate with Saleh when everyone knows he won’t keep any promises and he just gassed them. Its a total disaster.
Update: You have got to be kidding me. They need a fully formed, pre-approved functioning government before the US can shift any support from Saleh. And he just dodging the question on the gas by saying the US doesnt have the expertise to determine what was used. If we can make it, and give it to them, we can figure out which one it was and give some advice to the doctors.
The US ambassador to Yemen said Saturday unrest in the Arabian Peninsula country had reached a “dangerous” phase and called for dialogue, as three more people died in anti-regime protests. (Read on …)
Yemen entered the fourth week of anti-regime protests with a late night onslaught of state violence against protesters at Sanaa University who were demanding the resignation of long-ruling president Field Marshall Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The attack began two hours ago when security forces opened fire on the protesters. Early conflicting reports indicate three have head wounds and died or are in very critical condition. Over 30 were wounded by gunfire and another 40 were injured after being beaten with clubs or choking on tear gas.
Several witnesses reported the medical professionals rushing to the scene were stopped by police. At the same time, the protesters appealed for blood donations and medical supplies via twitter stating several people are bleeding out near the gates of the university. Two medics were beaten by state security.
The crowd that gathered today, international Woman’s Day, had a larger number of women and girls than on prior days.
Witnesses said members of the Republican Guard opened fired along with Central Security forces. The Republican Guard is headed by President Saleh’s son Ahmed, and has received US counter-terror training, .The Central Security forces are under the command of President Saleh’s nephew.
The assault began late in the evening, about 11:00 as protesters were mostly hunkered down for the night or trying to set up new tents. Central Security officers were spotted removing their uniforms before entering the university square. The officers had arrived in government vehicles, witnesses report. The situation remains tense as it nears 1:00 am in Sanaa and the wounded have yet to receive treatment.
The deaths in Sanaa were preceded by fatalities among protesters on Monday in outlying the provinces of Ibb, Aden, Dhamar when state forces opened fire on protesters. In Ibb over 70 were reported injured with bullet wounds at a protest that drew several hundred thousand. Protests have spread as far as Socotra Island. Sanhan, President Saleh’s home village was marked with anti-regime graffiti.
The war torn Saada province saw the resignation of Faris Manna from the ruling GPC party, the latest of over a dozen high profile allies to desert President Saleh. Manna, a long time regime ally, was the state’s mediator to the Houthi rebels. A major weapons dealer, Manaa was sanctioned by the UN in 2010 for smuggling arms to Somalia. Along with Manna, an estimated 300 ruling party officials also resigned leading to what a partisan site called “the emancipation of Saada from the corrupt regime.”
Military deploys in cities
The violence came after a meeting between Saleh and his relative, General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, perhaps the most powerful man in the military. After the meeting last night, military units were deployed in Sanaa, Taiz and Aden today. Large scale protest were held in 12 provinces.
In Sanna, Al Masdar Online reported the “widespread and unprecedented presence of armored vehicles.” The day’s violence marked the first time soldiers had shot at the protesters in Sanaa. Previously the Saleh regime used paid thugs as deniable proxies as well as members of the security forces including the National Security.
A riot at Sanaa Central Prison left at least three dead and four injured. Prisoners were chanting anti-government slogans, which led to an assault by guards. Authorities say they shot tear gas and fired over the inmates’ heads and acknowledge one prisoner was killed, but the prisoners report three fatalities and several serious injuries. The prison guards withdrew from the prison and are massed outside the gates along with security forces.
The prisoners have indicated they wished to make a peaceful surrender in a statement that read in part, “Prisoners of the Central Prison in Sana’a appeal to international organizations to intervene and save them from a real massacre which might take place today after guards retake control of the prison.”
The Yemeni state-owned ISP blocked al Masdar Online last week, the latest among dozens of independent Yemeni news websites to be blocked within Yemen. Internet access is strictly controlled by the state. Yemen Online was hacked by pro-regime operatives. Dozens of what appear to be government operatives have flooded pro-revolutionary Facebook groups. The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate detailed 53 cases of attacks on journalists including assaults, threats against their children, expulsion and in one case, arson.
“Beating up journalists is a blatant attempt by the authorities to prevent the Yemeni people and the world from witnessing a critical moment in Yemen,” Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said in a statement.
A Reuters report today quoting an individual in Sanaa who “heard” that in Aden southern protesters threatened to burn schools in Mallah and al Mansoura was hotly denied by dozens of residents in those neighborhood when contacted. The residents also pointed out that the state has forced school children to participate in pro-regime rallies for years without parental approval. It is well documented that students who refused were denied sitting for their exams along with other punitive measures.
Yemen’s history of crimes against civilians
The atrocities against protesters that have garnered global attention are a continuation of the pattern of Yemen’s inhumane treatment of its citizens since at least 2005. In 2009, human rights organizations began calling for an investigation into the Sana’a regime’s potential war crimes and crimes against humanity. The military actions during the Sa’ada Wars and with regard to the southern protest movement are well documented but did not draw condemnation from the Obama administration or the EU. Some of these habitual patterns include:
- Punitive denial of medical services to injured civilians
- Arbitrary arrests
- Incommunicado detention
- Shooting unarmed protesters
- Use of deniable proxies including tribesmen to harm citizens
- Shelling residential areas
- Denial of food as policy
- Denial of access by international humanitarian groups to internal refugees
AJE Up to three people are reported dead in a jail riot in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, as police clashed with prisoners backing anti-government protesters demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Prisoners of the Central Prison in Sana’a appealed to international organizations to intervene and save them from a real massacre which might take place today after taking control of the prison.
Prisoners managed to take control of (parts of) the prison following tensions between the prisoners and prison’s officials which have resulted in causalities some of which are in critical conditions. Prisoners who have been injured due to prison’s officials using fire were even denied medical treatment.
This at a time, security forces intend to break in the Central Prison which means a deadly massacre.
From what I understand, the prisoners where chanting anti-Saleh slogans, which led to clashes with the guards who shot them. The prisoners have control of some parts of the prison but are afraid the security forces will storm the prison, shooting, leading to mass fatalities. Some are critically injured from gunshots and denied medical treatment. I’m assuming they want to negotiate a peaceful surrender but they are not answering the phone.
Update: this is what happens when I check my mail before my news alerts. I thought is was dozens not thousands of prisoners.
Update: Official: Inmates revolt in Yemen prison, take guards hostage and calls for president’s ouster, By Ahmed Al-Haj (CP)
SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni security official says about 2,000 inmates have staged a revolt at a prison in the capital, taken a dozen guards hostage and joined calls by anti-government protesters for the country’s president to step down. (Read on …)
Its absolutely unbelievable, even for Yemen. This is the cell originally billed as responsible for the attack on the UK ambassador, but that later faded into charges of forming an armed gang. Badr al Hassani, who accused the PSO in Marib of supporting and funding Al Qaeda, was acquitted although the court had previously summoned the PSO deputy to testify. Old timer Ammar al Waeli sentenced for the 2007 attack on Spanish tourists in Marib. Al Waeli is currently in Sa’ada alongside the state forces, or he was last time I checked. Not the mention the whole slew of analysis on AQAP that dismisses the fatal but well timed attacks on tourists in 2007 as the work of the disenfranchised al Jund al Yemen (the Yemen Soldiers Brigade) when al Waeli is an associate of Fahd al Quso as well as an employee of the state, two groups that are most definitely not mutually exclusive. The two convicted were sentenced to jail time of two and three years, although the Marib attacks killed people, to run from date of arrest, basically a walk. The trials were yet another show with no substance, and this is the system that the US is so desperate to maintain.
26 Sept: Specialized Penal Court in the capital Sana’a sentenced on Saturday three al-Qaeda elements from two to 15 years in prison. The three defendants were convicted of committing terrorist acts targeted tourists, foreign and military facilities in Marib province during 2008-2010.
At the hearings presided over by Judge Ridwan al-Nemr, the court sentenced the convicts Sadam Huessin al-Raymi to three years and Rami Hans Hermel (German nationality) for two years from the date of their arrest and put them under police surveillance and forbid them to travel to any province after their release for a period of two years.
The verdict also included the contentment of the jail period for Abdullah Mosaad Abdul-Aziz al-Rawi (Iraqi nationality) and to deport him to his country, while the court upheld the release of Badr al-Husseini for lack of evidence and the confiscation of seizures related to the case.
In addition, the court issued a sentence of 15 years imprisonment against Ammar Abad Saeed al-Waeli, an al-Qaeda element, for his involvement in an armed gang targeting foreign tourists, which resulted in the death of a number of Spanish tourists and their Yemeni guides, by a bomb car in July 2007 in Marib province.
Note 2/24: report of possible fatality at this protest is revised to head shot and unconscious, one student was shot in the leg among other injuries.
An eye witness report collected by a reliable source, working on secondary confirmation. Update: second report below describing widespread protests in Hadramout with serious injuries, and third report of security firing on medical workers in southern provinces. al Masdar also reporting protests and live fire with injuries in Mukallah, Hadramout. Update: Kenda, the female activist in Hodeidah whose arrest I wrote about here remains in jail. Also, many resignations from the ruling GPC, seven MP’s and others.
Many major city in south are protesting. Today in Mukalla (Hadramout) high school students protested in morning. It was peaceful. Later Central Security forces attacked the students and were shooting live bullets. An eye witness reported that more than 20 were arrested and 5 injured. Two students are in serious condition. Later Central Security forces along with thugs of the regime were breaking shops and cars and stoning peaceful protesters in Mukalla.
Yesterday woman was knocked over by police car. One teenage died in Mukalla from gunshot wounds. The eye witness also reported injuries and live bullets were shot towards protesters. The teenagers burnt a police car and blocked roads after news of the fatality spread.
These protesters were not south movement. Please be informed that the students were protesting against regime and asking for it to step down.
Update: Also Hodeidah via al Masdar Online paraphrase Dozens of security men in civilian clothing attacked dozens of protestors in front of People’s Park in Hodeidah Governorate. Protesters were in favor of dropping the system (the Saleh government) on Wednesday. More than 10 protesters were wounded in the attack of the “bullies”, and they used batons to disperse the protestors who refused to leave the place.
Hadramout email update: Students of primary and secondary schools came out today in demonstrations and rallies demanding to bring down the system in the whole city of Hadramout and other cities in the south. The Central Security Forces used live bullets and batons to disperse them and until now cars of the security and police including armored vehicles are deployed in the streets and neighborhoods. The security forces have opened fire on ambulance crews to prevent them from doing their humanitarian duty particularly in Aden and Hadramout and the whole southern provinces. .
That’s a new, interesting and on-point demand. President Saleh’s relatives have mass land holdings, own much of the nation’s businesses and also head the military and security forces. There’s not much chance of the military taking the side of the people in Yemen.
Yemen opposition calls president to sack his son and relatives from high security and military positions
Leaders of the Joint Meeting Parties JMP (Opposition) have called Yemeni president Saleh to sack his son Ahmed Ali from the leadership of the republican guards and other relatives that occupied high positions in security and military forces in Yemen. President Saleh must take these step to confirm the credibility for reform” Opposition leader Zaid Al-Shami says.
With the known diversion of US equipment and US trained units to counter domestic unrest, the odds of the helicopters being used against “uprisings” or, worse yet, civilians is high. Yemen strafed civilians from helicopter gunships during the Saada Wars (2004-2010). Yemen has a rough terrain, and the Al Qaeda cowards hide in the inaccessible areas, but there has to be close monitoring which has been sorely lacking up to this point.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) — The U.S. military has delivered four Bell Helicopter utility aircraft to the Yemeni air force under its 1206 program…The Defense Department said delivery of this package happened exactly 110 days after the U.S. government signed a $27 million contract with Yemen for four helicopters, training, spare parts, tools, support and transportation.
Short version: somebody took some shots at an army patrol in Radfan, al Dhalie, and the state randomly shelled the town, probably with mortars. In essence, the state is assigning guilt and punishing to the whole town for the actions of individuals, heightening unrest. The Saleh regime’s tribal norms are an underpinning in its dealings with citizens. Tribalism isn’t bad, in fact a sense of shared identity and duty is probably whats keeping a lot of people from starving to death today. But when the state assigns collective guilt and other tribal tenets here in 2011, it runs counter to the modern sense of justice.
During the Saada Wars, the motivation for cutting food supplies to Bani Hushaish and other towns was to encourage people to hand in Houthi rebels, one official stated openly, but it had the opposite effect. Throughout Yemen, family members are taken hostage in lieu of a person wanted by security forces and can remain in prison for months or years. The northern Yemeni Arab Republic evolved from the Immamate, a theocracy that depended on the tribes as enforcers. The British colonized Aden in the 19th century and, although the concept of protectorates reinforced tribal authority and paternalism, the PDRY to a degree replaced tribal norms with individualism. One constant refrain of southerners is that the unified state dragged the south back into tribalism and after unification, the state appointed tribal sheiks based on their loyalty to Saleh himself.
Yemen Post: At least three civilians were injured, one seriously, when the army shelled Radfan town, Lahj, on Wednesday.
A medical source at the Radfan Hospital was quoted by the News Yemen as saying that the three pedestrians were injured and taken to hospital after the forces randomly shelled the town following firing on a military vehicle by unknown armed people.
One of the victims had his hand cut off and another was wounded by shrapnel in different parts of his body, the website said.
Also, tens of houses were damaged and families are continuing to flee the town due to the deteriorating situation amid an acute fuel shortage and lack of phone services.
Military reinforcements have been deployed to Radfan in recent months to fight separatist militants who have stepped up their attacks, targeting military posts and public properties.
Lahj is one of the southern cities hit by violence where the separatist movement, Al-Harak, continues the anti-government protests that usually turn violent.
One day in November 2010, a man was robbed of his daughters dowrey and beaten unconscious by security forces as he was sleeping in al Dhalie, where he had come to buy items for his daughter’s wedding. Then he was jailed and tortured for three months, and his family appeals for his release.
One day, specifically in the history of the fourteenth of November of last year 2010 was a citizen Ali Naji Almqra living in a region Osmad Juhav Baldhala, a remote area where their people are very much in poverty and destitution. He was sitting in a room of one of his relatives in the city of Dali, where he arrived to find work and buy some needs for the wedding party to humble his daughter. (Read on …)
A Bakersfield man accused of transporting U.S. military equipment to Yemen has been found not guilty four years after he was indicted.
Ibrahim A. Omer had faced 15 years in prison if found guilty. Defense attorney Michael Evan Mitchell said Omer just wants to get on with his life and put this ordeal behind him.
“Oh man, we’re just so excited about (the verdict),” Mitchell said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley Boone said he respects the jury’s verdict, which was delivered Monday.
“It’s the best system we have,” Boone said.
Omer and others were indicted in 2006 for allegedly sending secret defense documents obtained from an undercover agent to an individual in Yemen and also trying to sell stolen items such as night-vision goggles, satellite phones and chemical protective suits.
Omer, who owned a shipping business, was accused of transporting the items. Mitchell said Omer was just shipping containers on behalf of a customer.
“I think the big thing was that the jury saw there was no knowledge on his part that he knew what was in the containers he was shipping,” Mitchell said.
Omer is a Sudanese-born, naturalized citizen.
Another defendant in the case, Amen Ahmed Ali, was sentenced in January to five years in prison after pleading no contest to charges including acting as a foreign agent.
An investigation was launched in 2003 after a U.S. Customs officer discovered boxes addressed to Yemen containing bulletproof vests, chemical protective suits and night-vision technology, according to prosecutors. The boxes were being shipped from Long Beach to Yemen.
Ali, a Yemen-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, had lived in Bakersfield for more than 30 years.
That is really disgusting, and a sad ending to a complicated story. Col Hossam was kidnapped after the Houthis captured Hussain al Tais in Saada and turned him over to the state. Why didn’t the security forces launch some kind of raid on Abu Jubarah? There were pretty good odds that’s were a lQaeda was holding him, as I wrote at the time. Full details, click here. Update: Now in English:
Yemen Online The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing executed a top intelligence official after Sanaa government refused to swap two al-Qaida detainees for the senior official, a video tape posted by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the internet on Tuesday said.
“Deputy Director of the Yemeni Political Security Service, Colonel Ali Mohammed Salah al-Husam, was executed, with bullets fired at the back of his head, after he admitted that he had spied on Mujahedeen in the previous years,” they said in the 17-minute videotape. The group said al-Husam was running a network of espionage in Saada for 20 years and had snatched many of al-Qaida-related ideology students and held them incommunicado in prisons.
“The execution of this officer is also a message to those intelligence officers who still work for Sanaa government and the U.S. intelligence agencies,” the group added. Last September, the AQAP set 48 hours for Sanaa government to swap two al-Qaida detainees for al-Husam.
“There will be no way to know the fate of this agent unless the government releases the two brothers, Hussain al-Tais and Mashhour al-Ahdal, within 48 hours,” according to their statement which posted on Sept. 21 website. (Read on …)
Update: Very tacky to pull your jamiba on a woman. That’s Tawakkol Karaman.
Emerates247: Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed on Saturday with the regime’s supporters in Sanaa, an AFP journalist reported.
Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa chanting “Ali, leave leave” and “Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in the coming future.” — A female activist, Tawakel Karman, who has led several protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her with a dagger and a shoe but was held by other protestors.
Condemns the Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms savage attack on Saturday 1/29/2011 at the demonstrators heading for the Egyptian embassy in a peaceful demonstration of solidarity with the Egyptian people against what the Egyptian authorities of the killings outside the law against Egyptian citizens defenseless. (Read on …)
No one actually knows how many people are on the military payroll. Some estimates go as high as one million. It is one of the few regular jobs in Yemen and the size of the military is a major source of stability–working men don’t protest. Often Sheiks award military commissions as patronage. Many on the military payroll (including both al Qaeda operatives and members of Parliament) don’t actually do any work or even report in. Southern youth have rioted because they were excluded wholesale during recruitment drives. Military expenditures are 6.6% of GDP, one of the highest globally, but as funds dry up, more incidents of rioting military have been reported. A good report from the Yemen Times that also breaks down the intelligence services:
Most Yemeni families in Sana’a have a relative who serves in the army. While there are no official numbers, the total strength of the army is estimated at about 600,000 soldiers, who all have military IDs and uniforms. (Read on …)
1030 Yemeni Security Force Members Killed, Wounded in 2010 Yemen Post: Yemen’s Interior Ministry said that at least 1030 members of Yemeni security forces were killed or wounded in clashes against terrorists, separatists, criminals, and outlaws in Yemeni provinces during 2010. (Read on …)
Police in the Directorate of bad in Hadramout Governorate on 21 Katyusha rockets IBM buried in the sand.
وقالت الشرطة لمركز الإعلام الأمني أن الصاروخ عثر عليه مدفونا في الرمل بمنطقة عمد ، إحدى مديريات وادي وصحراء حضرموت ، موضحة بأن طوله 3 أمتار ، وقد مضى على وجوده في المنطقة التي عثر عليه فيها فترة طويلة ، مشيرة أن فريقا من الأدلة الجنائية وخبراء المتفجرات قاموا بالنزول إلى مكان وجود الصاروخ ونقله إلى إدارة أمن عمد للإجراءات القانونية . Police said the Center for Information Security said the rocket was found buried in the sand area mayors, one of the directorates of the valley and desert, Hadramout, indicating that the length of 3 meters, has been in existence in the region that was found in a long time, noting that a team of forensic and explosives experts have to get off to the whereabouts of the rocket and move it to the Security Department baptized in legal proceedings.
Abyan official: No coordination between military and security forces Yemen Observer:
Qasim M. Hadi, General Director of Local Council of Zinjubar district, Abyan province capital, said the leadership of the province lacks the qualifications required to carry out its work. He also said he was disappointed in the different security organizations for their lack of communication and coordination. (Read on …)
GAN: Yemen (Sanaa) – Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arab Peninsula said Saturday it was responsible for some 50 operations carried out in different parts of Yemen in the last five months of last year. (Read on …)
Women Journalists Without Chains also tallies HR violations against journalists by perpetrator, finding the National Security at the top of the list.
Yemen security services ranked first as human rights violators 9/12/2010 – Sahwa Net: National Forum of Human Rights has said that human rights violations sharply increased in last month, November, pointing out that Security services were at the top of the human rights violators list after al-Qaeda organization and other armed groups. (Read on …)
Why would people protest the imposition of the death penalty when five people were killed in the bombing? Generally the prevailing sentiment is that it is a politicized, unjust verdict:
1- Previously the Governor of Aden, Adnan al Jifri, held a news conference during which he accused the Director of Aden Security, General Abdullah Abdo Kiran, of being behind the bombing. The two are in competition for the title King of Graft. Then the head of Aden Security retaliated by organizing a protest against the governor.
2- Allegations of torture to gain a confession, as usual
3- Irregular trial proceedings, as usual
Update: News Yemen reports that southern gunmen kidnapped five soldiers and an officer in Dhalie and two others in Lahj. Unfortunately kidnapping is a time honored and ofter effective tactic to press demands on the government. The southern movement: still not ready for prime time. There’s much more modern and effective methods they could have used to counter and discredit the verdict. Update 2: HOOD condemns everything: the bombing, the unfair verdict, the suppression of the protests and the kidnappings. Dittos.
Death sentence against Aden sporting club bomber By Nasser Arrabyee/11/12/2010:
A Yemeni young man was sentenced to death on Saturday after being convicted of bombing a football club in the southern city of Aden where five people were killed and 17 others injured last October. (Read on …)
Five women were taken into custody after a spot check of passing traffic uncovered narcotics and TNT in the vehicle. Its unclear if the components were assembled. The story highlights both the effectiveness of random vehicle searches and the AQAP push to recruit women. Update: we have the story today in English and learn the drugs are pills. Keptagon is a pill smuggled in large quantities.
EPD: Yemeni police have captured a highly explosive TNT device in a car in Sanaa, the country’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The explosive device were found along with drug pills concealed inside a handbag of a 40-year-old woman, who was driving a car carrying another four women aging between 20 to 60 years old, who are Yemeni nationals, the ministry said in a statement on its website. The car was caught during a routine search in a main street in the old city of Sanaa, the statement said without giving the date. The five women were under investigation to probe links behind them and the TNT bomb, the ministry added. However, the ministry didn’t label the women to any terrorist group.
Intelligence officers take the youth to remote areas to train for suicide attacks. The use of al Qaeda mercenaries in false flag attacks and for political ends is a concept familiar in Yemen. Accused terrorist Badr al Hassani said in court that the PSO paid him to train jihaddists in Marib. Ah, maybe al Awfi’s debriefing is why the Saudis suddenly took a hard line against al Qamish. This interview was published by the Saudi media, so it has its own spin but other terrorists in Yemen have made the same charge.
Saudi ex-Qaeda militant urges group to renounce violence RIYADH, Dec 01, 2010 (AFP) – A Saudi ex-Guantanamo detainee has urged Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen to renounce violence, saying they are tools of intelligence services of unnamed regional countries, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.
“I have seen things which others present now in Yemen have not seen,” former militant Mohammed al-Awfi told Saudi television Tuesday, according to a transcript on the Sabq.org news website.
“I have found there are those who … use the mujahid (holy fighter) as a political tool. We are, without doubt, targetted by countries in the region,” said Awfi. (Read on …)
This is not a statement from Abdelmalik al Houthi directly but the analysis does give a good overview of the Houthis world view regarding al Qaeda in Yemen verses the real al Qaeda, and its relation to Saudi Arabia, the Saleh regime and the bombings last week. The thinking is much more sophisticated than “Al Qaeda is an American creation.” What they say is that the al Qaeda in Yemen is distinct from the al Qaeda of bin Laden because the genesis of the organization in Yemen was guided and exploited by both the Saleh regime and the Saudis. The continued presence of al Qaeda operatives and Afghan Arabs in the Yemeni military, intelligence, security forces and mosques and their participation in the Saada War demonstrates that it is a distinct and artificial organism. Other operatives, mercenaries, receive salaries from the state and even health insurance, the author states, and this cloned al Qaeda has carried out numerous plots (from the assassinations of the socialist leaders in the 1990’s to the 2009 kidnapping of the Germans) designed to relieve pressure from Saleh and bolster Saudi Arabia, and it paves the way for US intervention in Yemen. Much of this is historically correct and not a view unique to the Houthis, it overlaps in many places with the southerners and other Yemeni observers’ conceptualization of AQAP in what I call the Anti al-Qaeda narrative. Unfortunately I got the article in Arabic, and the following is a google translation, the original below:
Some still believe the existence of the so-called al-Qaeda in Yemen, as an organization sub-base I’m not den that is hostile to the intervention of the Americans and their allies in the region, and this is an illusion refuted by the reality of this organization and the reality of its operations, and ratings of his enemies, and the source of funding, and the goals established in Yemen for it,
That there is no confusion in Afghanistan organization called al Qaeda linked to bin Laden and Zawahiri, regardless of connections and its role and functions assigned to it hidden a lot of observers, including the relationship between the Americans and older since the wars in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union,
In Yemen, Al-Qaida real it can not be established here, (Read on …)
A journalist for the state news agency, SABA, Shaea had interviewed Anwar al Awlaki, who is his good friend according to Shaea’s statements at the time. Earlier Shaea had interviewed Nasir al Wahishi and later interviewed Fahd al Quso for al Jazeera. He is being charged with promoting AQAP, but interviews are not a crime. Abdulelah was reportedly scouting targets for al Qaeda attacks and encouraging the assassination of President Saleh and his son, Prince Ahmed. His arrest comes amid an ongoing and worsening crackdown on the media in Yemen and after appearances on al Jazeera that displeased the regime.
RSF press release via Bikyamasr: When the fourth hearing in imprisoned journalist Abdul Ilah Haydar Shae’s trial was held before a special state security court in Sanaa today, prosecutors submitted the contents of his computer as evidence but his lawyer accused them of deception, pointing out that they had produced the computer seized when he was briefly arrested on 11 July, not the one seized when he was arrested a second time on 16 August. (Read on …)
People’s Daily: Al-Qaida militants on Tuesday gunned down a security colonel working at the Yemen LNG company in southern Shabwa province, local official said.
“Gunmen of al-Qaida in Shabwa’s provincial capital city of Ataq intercepted the car of Colonel Ali Thwaba, who is also the security director of foreign oil and gas companies in Yemen LNG company in Balhaf city port, and shot him dead,” the official told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.
Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security Affairs and Minister of Local Administration Rashad al-Alimi met on Thursday with the European coordinator for counterterrorism M. Gilles de Kerchove. (Read on …)
The article catches the essential element that most of the Afghan Arab returnees were absorbed into the Yemeni military and security forces and the AQAP of today is firmly rooted in that global, regional and local network.
Sanaa, 6 November – Giving in to US pressure, a Yemeni court ordered the arrest of a US-born citizen, Anwar al-Awlaqi, allegedly linked to al-Qaeda. The court order to seize al-Awlaqi “dead or alive” comes after the US administration authorized the CIA to arrest or kill the Yemeni cleric, whom it believes to be involved for a failed bomb attack on 25 December 2009 on an air plane heading to a US. Since then Anwar al-Awlaqi, who had been born and raised in the US, became a priority US target as the alleged ideological head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The several hundreds of people now classified as AQAP are mostly veterans of the old guerilla war against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, for which in the eighties tens of thousands of Saudi and Yemeni youths had been recruited with the help of their own country’s security services, cooperating with the CIA and the Pakistani intelligence. After their return to Yemen the greater part of the veteran fighters were absorbed into the Yemeni armed forces, security services and the police. They were very much welcome as long as the specific religious training they received in Pakistani camps helped Sanaa root out the Marxist views inspiring southern separatist ambitions during the civil war 1994 and in its aftermath.
But today the US and its Western allies need a government in Yemen capable of rooting out anti-American and anti-Western threats. When it became apparent in 2006, that high-ranking Yemeni officials in Sanaa had helped a group of 23 men – some of them convicted for their participation in an attack on a US warship in 2000 and others returned from US special prisons – escape from a high-security prison in Sanaa, the Yemeni government came under increasing pressure from the US to crack down on the AQAP. What is classified today as AQAP are the remnants of what was formerly known throughout the Middle East as the “Afghan Arabs”, as well as the younger generation raised in their midst and inspired by them.
I have little confidence in President Saleh’s alleged reformation. Yemen Observer
The hunt for 28-year-old Ibrahim al-Asiri was launched in the provinces of Marib and Shabwa on Tuesday, a security official told the Reuters news agency.
“Asiri is believed to be hiding and moving with senior al-Qaeda elements such as Nasser al-Wahayshi [the Yemen al-Qaeda leader]. Security intelligence forces are still tracking them down to exactly identify their whereabouts,” the official said to Reuters.
However, Ahmed al-Magdash, the security director of Shabwa, Ahmed Sheikh, the security director of Attaq city, Mohammad al-Gadrab, the security director of Marib, and Nati al-Bogaish, the security director of Hareeb city all denied that there were any new operations being carried out against AQAP currently in an effort to track down Ibrahim al-Asiri. Citizens in Marib and Shabwa also stated that they were unaware of any new military operations in the area.
Fareed Abu Bakr, Sheikh of the al-Saeda district of Shabwa, said to the Yemen observer that there have been no new efforts to track down al-Qaeda but the campaign of tribal cooperation with Yemeni troops to hunt down AQAP affiliates is still ongoing.
This is true, and I’m happy to see it in print in the Wall Street Journal: the US trained counter-terror special forces contain al Qaeda members and sympathizers.
Its not that one al Qaeda operative recently infiltrated, its several and they were part of the unit long before the US stepped up its efforts this year. The PSO, the National Security and the Yemeni military all contain substantial elements of al Qaeda, some at the highest positions. And its hard to call them covert or double agents when they are known, protected and facilitated. The challenge in Yemen is elite support of al Qaeda. From the WSJ, via Youweb, an article that explains the very complex events in Mudiyah and the surrender of the 16.
On Oct. 16, al Mai’aser members (the governor’s tribe) surrounded the home of a man they suspected was a key operative in the ambush (on the governor of Abyan). The Yemeni security official says the man is a known al Qaeda sympathizer who also works as an officer in a U.S.-trained counterterrorism special-forces unit deployed in Mudiyah. The military didn’t return calls seeking comment.
When the suspect refused to surrender, a gunfight broke out; one of al Mai’aser’s rivals was killed and at least six others injured, although not the suspect himself, according to local residents.
A day later, tribal elders intervened to mediate a truce, a discussion that involved local government officials and military personnel who were also members of the two tribes. By Oct. 28, in a deal brokered by the tribal mediation, 14 men had surrendered to the governor for their alleged role in the attack on his convoy. The men were taken into tribal custody, to be dealt with under the rules of tribal justice.
Late Monday, the governor announced the 14 men would be handed over to Yemen’s security agency—apparently breaking the tribal guarantees given to the men to surrender.
Update: Those with good will are to be released…
Yemen Post: Abyan Governor Ahmed Al-Maisari said on Monday that 14 Al-Qaeda members handed themselves in to the authorities after they had been convinced by the local government and sheikhs. 5 Al-Qaeda leaders were among the 14 including Jamal Nuairan, said the governor, adding: “We also arrested 3 other terrorists.” — They would be sent to the political security prison in Aden and their investigations would be completed, he said, pointing out that anyone of them would be found guilty of committing illegal acts would be turned over to justice. But those with good-will will be released and rehabilitated, he added, as he said the authorities are continuing a hunt for other terrorist elements.
This must mean that Hussain al Taiz is still in custody. Earlier reporting here. If Ammar al Waeli is in Abu Jabarah, along with other top level terrorists, why doesn’t the military launch a raid on the training camp? Oh wait, the military subcontracts their services on a regular basis.
Al Tagheer: قال مصدر أمني بمحافظة صعدة اليمنية ، فضل عدم ذكر اسمه لـ ” التغيير ” ، اليوم الاثنين ، إنه قلق بشان تردد أنباء عن اعتزام عناصر القاعدة تنفيذ حكم الإعدام بحق العقيد علي محمد الحسام نائب مدير الأمن السياسي الذي يعاني من وضع صحي حرج ، خلال الـ 24 ساعة القادمة . A security source said the Yemeni province of Saada, who preferred anonymity for “change”, on Monday, he was concerned about the reports about Al-Qaeda’s intention to implement the death sentence against Colonel Ali Hussam Mohammed, deputy director of political security, who is suffering from critical health status, during the 24 the next hour. (Read on …)
The black market is one of the most robust elements of the Yemeni economy, and the drug trade is well established. Yemen has become like Syria in this regard. In addition to Keptagon from Eastern Europe, there’s oodles of hashish from Pakistan. It is encouraging that the US embassy is setting up a section to focus on the issue of drug smuggling, which is often closely tied to counterfeit currency and a range of criminal activity.
Yemen Arrests Notorious Interpol-Hunted Drug Dealer Yemen Post Staff Police in Amran Province have arrested a drug dealer wanted by Yemen and Saudi Arabia, who was being hunted by the Interpol, the News Yemen reported on Saturday. The website quoted the province security director, Abdullah Dabwan, as saying that the dealer had been arrested in Amran and would remain in custody as a prelude to handing him to the specialized authorities.
The dealer’s name was circulated by the criminal police four years ago on charges of smuggling drugs to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, it said. He was a notorious dealer and his arrest represented a blow to the trade and trafficking of drugs that have flourished in Yemen in the last years.
SAN’A, Yemen – Suspected al-Qaida gunmen killed a senior intelligence officer in an eastern Yemeni province on Friday, apparently the latest in a campaign of assassinations by the militant group, security officials said. (Read on …)
Yemen deployed 30,000 troops to south Yemen in advance of the Gulf 20, scheduled for Nov. 22-Dec. 4 in Aden and Abyan. Since May, al-Qaida has been blamed for the deaths of more than 55 officers, mostly in the PSO and exclusively in the south. Southerners see the military build-up as an effort to quell the independence movement in advance of the Parliamentary elections schedule for early next year.
In 1993 through May of 1994, over 150 Yemeni Socialist Party officials were assassinated. The attacks were thought organized by Yemen’s Central Security forces, then headed by President Saleh’s brother, Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, who is now deceased. The president’s son Ahmed now heads the CSF. The 1993 assassinations were the work of the Afghan Arabs who had returned to Yemen following the Soviet defeat. In return for the attacks, the Saleh regime had promised the al Qaeda leadership to install a more fundamentalist, neo-Salafi doctrine on the nation. The deal went from General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar to Usama bin Laden. This is well documented history. Likely not all of the assassins knew the terms of the deal or even that there was a deal. The rationale of the supposed apostasy of socialists was enough for their leaders to motivate the hit men. The string of murders then looks very similar to what is going on now in the south of Yemen, where dozens of security officers have been killed, primarily from the Political Security Organization.
The policy of diversion through crisis generation has worked well for Saleh for a long time. The failure of the state to achieve any noticeable progress against AQAP since December may be due to its fragmentation, incompetence and corruption. Often when the Yemeni government fails at implementing even the most basic policy, it is because competing intra-governmental interests are threatened. In Yemen, generally, different militant factions liaise and negotiate with different government intermediaries and presidential relatives. The 2009 battle of Ja’ar was largely a red on red confrontation where the state’s jihaddists including al Nabi fought other jihaddists to return control to the state’s designated proxy. The string of current assassinations targets largely the PSO. Some southerners suggest its a purge. Most people though interpret the bloodbath as hostilities between AQAP and the state, specifically al Qamish, head of the PSO. The last news article about direct state facilitation of AQAP (al-Wahishi) was last year when he was helped out by members of the National Security. (If I have time, I’ll try to find the link to the article. Its posted here somewhere.) The external landscape evolved significantly since then. Currently some element of the state is at war with some element of AQAP. Its the status of the other elements that is unclear.
CNN: Al Qaeda in Yemen is suspected of being behind three separate attacks that have targeted Yemeni security officials, according to a government official.
“In the past 72 hours, there have been three attacks in the south of the country,” the Yemeni official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said Thursday. “The attacks are getting worse and the scene is getting bloodier.” (Read on …)
Yemen security forces clash with protesters from separatist Southern Movement in Lahaj. MEO ADEN, Yemen – Clashes in south Yemen on Sunday between troops and protesters from the separatist Southern Movement left one person dead and five wounded, a security official said.
Three soldiers were injured, one seriously, when they came under fire as they tried to open a road in the Kersh district of southern Lahaj province blocked by the protesters, who were demanding the release from jail of one of their leaders, the official said. One protester was killed and two wounded in the exchange of fire, he added.
An official in the Southern Movement, whose members want either increased autonomy or independence for Yemen’s south, confirmed one protester was killed — the brother of the detained tribal chief — and two wounded.
I’m just curious if the new ambassador is aware that the drug smuggling business is controlled from the top by one of the president’s close relatives, as I noted in 2005 when I pointed out the private docks. Focus on the issue is very good, regionally and for Yemen. There is also a lot of cross over of the AQ footprint and the criminal enterprises, but we need to be clear on what it is and who it is.
U.S. embassy in Sanaa develop a section of the security aid to combat drug
[10/أكتوبر/2010] صنعاء ـ سبـأنت: [10 / October 2010] Sana Saba:
أعلن السفير الامريكي الجديد بصنعاء جيرالد فيرستين اليوم الاحد ان السفارة الامريكية استحدثت قسما لتقديم المساعدات لاجهزة الامن اليمنية في مجال مكافحة المخدرات . Announced the new U.S. ambassador in Sana’a Gerald Verstin Sunday that the U.S. embassy introduced a section to provide assistance to the Yemeni security services in the fight against drugs. (Read on …)
We’re going to be seeing more of this as the budget crunch hits. There are hundreds of thousands of tribesmen who have military ranks and paychecks but never perform service. These protesters though were state employees in the literal sense. Also the YP confirms two were wounded (not killed) yesterday.
Yemen Post: Tens of the public security personnel closed on Monday the international transport link in Yemen’s Southern Province of Abyan in protest against salary cuts, informed sources said.
Central security forces could not break up the protest and convince them to leave reopen the route because the personnel were armed, the sources said.
Separately, two people were injured in the clashes that erupted when police dispersed rallies organized by the secessionist movement in the cities of Dhale and Lahj.
The rallies coincided with a large-scale strike paralyzing the life in a number of the districts in both cities. Stores were closed down in response to the strike call by the movement.
There are many, many al-Qaeda on the payroll of the Political Security Organization. Earlier reporting on this trial can be found here. Today’s trial update comes from al Sahwa, also see Yemen Post. Apparently they wanted him to take the fall for the botched suicide attack on the British Ambassador but forgot to tell him. These defendants were touted as the gang that organized the plot on Torlot but the court didn’t charge them with the attack, only with the vague charge of plotting.
Yemen court asks intelligence official witness on al-Qaeda, 3/10/2010 – Sahwa Net
Sahwa Net- The Specialized Penal Court has asked an intelligence official to attend the court on the upcoming Sunday to witness whether an al-Qaeda suspect, Badr al-Hassani was an intelligence informant.
Al-Hasani said his work as an agent would be verified by an intelligence officer named Abdullah al-Ashul, who was summoned to witness before the court.
Al-Hassani along with other three al-Qaeda suspects, including a German and an Iraqi, are being tried on charges of involving in plotting to carry out terrorist acts against tourists, foreign installations, Yemen’s security and military.
Update: Regime blames General Nassir al Nuba, after he refused a wedding invitation… Otay. So the al Qaeda spree is over or never was and now its the southerners who are making the attacks? Tomorrow it will be al Qaeda again.
The Interior Ministry said that the Yemeni military campaign of twenty armed men surrounded the shipsets elements of al Qaeda in Icbm Shabwa province (south-east Yemen) against the background of the attack, which targeted the convoy of governor of the province on Wednesday ..
According to the information center security that among the items that targeted the convoy of the governor, Brigadier Nasser Al-Nuba and Ahmed Atef, and that they were among the who fired on a convoy of cars carrying the governor of the province Shabwah and Major General Mohammed Salem Cotton Deputy Reese of Staff for Manpower and a number of military figures and government in the province, which led to the martyrdom of one of the soldiers and wounding 8 others injured in different .. (Read on …)
We need to know which intel agency they were working for, and which division of the royal family, in order to understand the dynamics of this. Its really pathetic though that these fanatics are going around assualting people at will. The tactic follows that of the assault on the Belgian tourists in 2007, when they just opened fire on the car at a speed bump.
Update: ah, its the Political Security. It appears there is some kind of dispute going on between some section of AQAP and al Qamish, head of the political security. However, the good relations between AQAP and other factions within the Saleh government, for example the military and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, continues unabated. At the same time, this state which has no qualms about the wholesale slaughter of its citizens presumably little hesitation in sacrificing a few low level agents for the greater good. AQAP takes the same position. Update 2: Bill notes the attack was near al Iman University.
al Babwa: Security sources said that 10 Yemeni intelligence agents were wounded Saturday when gunmen opened fire on their bus in the center of Sanaa. A Yemeni security source said that “Unidentified gunmen attacked at about 06:00 (3.00 GMT) a bus for the political security (intelligence in the center of Sanaa. This attack resulted in the wounding of ten elements of the security apparatus.
It was the first such attack inside the capital of Yemen since the attempted attack on the British ambassador in April.
Update: Yemen Observer (quasi-governmental) says the two al Qaeda members, al Tais and al Ahdal, were “studying” at Dammaj: The men of whom al-Qaeda is demanding the release are Hussein al-Tais and Mash-Hoor al-Ahdal. These men were studying at Dar al-Hadith, the Wahabi religious center known for having a number of students with al-Qaeda sympathies, in Damaj area of Sa’ada province. Then the part of the AQAP statement referencing Dammaj makes more sense. But its quite odd for al Qaeda to publicly tie themselves to Dammaj. So then Hussain al Tais is a link between Dammaj, abu Jubarah, AQAP and General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar. All I need is al Zindani for a full house.
Original Post: I agree with the following article that concerns about incarcerated al Qaeda operative Hussain al Tais’s health are groundless because he is so close to the authority. At the same time the fate of Officer Ali Hosam Mohammed Saleh is worrisome because al Qaeda previously released an execution vid (sick dogs they are) of another security officer. Also its fascinating the AQAP is now claiming the right to retaliate for harassment of Dar al Hadieth (Dammaj) students. And the media previously reported that Ammar al Waeli is in Saada. But what does al Waeli have to do with this case? I think the article is saying that al Waeli and al Tais were accused in the media after the kidnapping of the Germans. And al Waeli belongs to the al Tais al Qaeda gang, which as the article notes, is often given tasks by the authorities. Maybe Ammar has Deputy Hosam at abu Jabarah. Ammar is pretty high ranking and an old timer. Its good the Mawheet tribes issued their threat/request to AQAP, because the state isn’t doing anything for Hosam. Earlier posts on this topic were updated here and here. SITE translation below the fold.
Al Eshteraki, website of the Yemeni Socialist Party: وقال البلاغ أن الحسام كان “يدير شبكات تجسس منذ 20 عاماً، وقام بترويع الناس ومداهمة بيوت الآمنين وخطف بعض طلبة العلم من دار الحديث بدماج وتغييبهم في سجون الأمن السياسي ظلما وعدوانا”.، وهو ما يجعل التهديد بإعدامه تهديد جدي كما عملت القاعدة مع رجال امن اخرين وقامت بتصوير ذلك بشرائط فديو وبطريقة اجرامية بشعة The authors (of the al Qaeda statement) state that Hussam had been “running spy networks 20 years ago, and has intimidated the people and raid homes of innocent people and the kidnapping of some students from Dar Al-Hadith Bdmaj and Ngyibhm in political security prisons unjustly and aggressively.”, Which makes the threat of being executed a serious threat as al Qaeda has worked with security men others, and has filmed bands Video heinous crime and in a manner…وقال المصدر ان الخبر لااساس له من الصحة “وان التيس وأمثاله معروفين لدى السلطة والمهام التي يكلفون بها بين الفترة والأخرى ” The source said that the news of his health groundless “and that the goat (al Tais) and his ilk are known to the Authority and the tasks assigned to them from time to time”
وكان اسم حسين التيس وعمار الوائلي قد تم تبادلهما في وسائل الإعلام لأول مرة بعد اختطاف الأطباء الألمان بصعدة قبل أن تعلن السلطة ان التيس سلم نفسه مع آخرين لأجهزة الأمن في سياق الحوار الذي تجريه الدولة مع من تسميهم بالمغرر بهم من عناصر القاعدة The goat’s (al Tais) name was Hussein, Ammar Waili were exchanged in the media for the first time after the abduction of German doctors Saada before announcing the power to ram him with others to the same security in the context of its dialogue with the State of Bamorr designated by their al-Qaeda members
Update: Sahwa Net- Qawkban tribes of al-Mahweet province said it would retaliate al-Qaeda in case its fellow member Ali al-Hostam, the deputy head of intelligence in Saada is harmed by al-Qaeda, appealing President Ali Abdullah Saleh to save his life. (text below) Also, the German ambassador met yesterday with President Saleh. The state media reported the meeting was to praise Yemeni unity. Also see my earlier article on an interview with Hassan Zaid about the training camp in Abu Jubara dtd 3/29/10.
Original: The Chinese do very well reporting on Yemen, oddly enough. Al Ahdel, is this a relative of Mohammed Hamdi al Ahdel, the financier of the USS Cole bombing? Or his lesser cousins, Mohammed bin Mohammed al Ahdel and Mohammed Ahmed al Ahdel who, along with Cole bombers Fahd al Quso and Jamal al Badawi, escaped Aden jail in 2003? I think AQAP hung themselves with this one just by claiming Hussain al Tais, a long time known affiliate of General al Ahmar. Its funny the only actual al Qaeda in jail in Yemen was captured by the Houthis, except for the issue of the remaining German hostages.
People’s Daily: The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing set 48 hours for Sanaa government to swap two al-Qaida detainees for a senior intelligence official it captured late last month in the northern troubled province of Saada. (Read on …)
Update: And they weren’t even charged with the attack on Torlot.”Four alleged Al-Qaeda militants, including a German and an Iraqi, appeared before a Sanaa court on Monday charged with planning attacks on foreign, government and military targets. No mention was made in the charge sheet however of the defendants’ alleged involvement in a suicide attack targeting the British ambassador’s convoy in Sanaa in April.”
I have to say it: I have been reporting this for five years. And there’s some who acknowledge corruption in the security but think it doesn’t go as high as Ghalib al Qamish, head of the Yemeni political intelligence organization (PSO). Yes it does. And it has for a decade, longer. And it does today. A billion dollars in funding will enhance not diminish al Qaeda. Anyway I added the News Yemen article below, apparently Badr al Hassani wants Ghalib al Qamish to testify on his behalf that he was working for the state when he was training al Qaeda. Oh and John Brennan is in town. Someone should read him a newspaper.
Aden Press: In the first public admission and an official accused of belonging to al-Qaeda and the indoor court specializes in Sana’a the role played by the Yemeni regime of helping Al Qaeda for logistical support to keep this terrorist organization at the disposal of the Sanaa regime to exercise through which the policy of blackmail destructive to obtain international support or threaten these seducer their security and regional and global peace at risk, as the transfer site, “News Yemen” Badr Al-Hassani, admitted his role before the Court in words attributed to him, but he said, explaining rationale for coming to Marib to train young people at martial arts: “Before coming, coordination with Ghalib hay – Chairman of the PSO Yemeni “intelligence” – which gave him the amount of 50 thousand riyals to go, and returned two days later, he was well in touch with the political security officer Abdullah Alocwal. (Read on …)
Inquirer ADEN – Protesters from the separatist Southern Movement shot and wounded two Yemeni soldiers in Abyan province in south Yemen on Sunday, a security source said. He said the soldiers were wounded while trying to disperse a protest in Al-Ain, eight kilometers (about five miles) south of Loder.
Loder was the scene of late-August clashes between Al-Qaeda militants and security forces, in which 33 people were killed, according to an AFP tally. An official in the Southern Movement, whose members want either increased autonomy or independence for Yemen’s south, accused security forces of having fired on the protesters first.
He said the protest was against the ongoing “siege” of Loder, adding there are currently no Al-Qaeda members there and that security forces are in the area to oppress the Southern Movement. The official also said that the Southern Movement has called for demonstrations across Abyan province next Thursday, and for the protesters to march to Loder.
He revealed: “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” in a publication distributed by the city of Zanzibar Thursday in Abyan for a list of 52 security personnel belonging to what he described as “a black-Ansi” deemed “legitimate target” for murder.
وأرفق المنشور الذي وزع في مدينة زنجبار – وتحصلت «وكالة أنباء عدن» على نسخة منه – بقائمة اسمية لأفراد الأمن المستهدفين الذين ينتسبون لأجهزة الأمن السياسي والبحث الجنائي وجهاز الاستخبارات العكسرية ، والذي قال تنظيم القاعدة انهم باتوا “هدفا مشروعا لنا ابتداء من 1 شوال 1431 هجري” أي اليوم الجمعة الموافق أول ايام عيد الفطر. Attached to the publication that was distributed in the city of Zanzibar – and obtained «news agency Eden» a copy of it – a list of nominal members of the security target those who belong to the organs of political security and criminal investigation and intelligence-military, which al Qaeda said they have become “a legitimate target for us, starting from 1 Shawwal 1431 AH “Any day Friday, the first day of Eid al-Fitr. (Read on …)
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 …)
On September 20, AQAP issued a demand for the release of Hussain al Tais in exchange for Ali Hosam. details here. The spraying in the face is similar to an incident several years ago against a southern journalist.
Original: We all remember abu Jabarah in Saada, where the al Qaeda training camp is, under the direction and protection of Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, who was also seeking to negotiate in Lauder. The al Tais family pop up regularly as hard core jihaddists with close connections to Ali Mohsen. The Yemen Observer notes: The Sa’dah Deputy security director (Ali Abdulhusam) was kidnapped by armed gunmen after being spraying him with an anesthetic and taken to an unknown place..This case is similar to that of the kidnapping of the German doctors who were found dead in one of the Governorate’s directorates.
Saada Online – Special
Friday, August 27th, 2010 م
Revealed local sources in Saada province for “Saada Online” for important information about the kidnapping of Deputy Director of Political Security in Sa’ada, “Ali Hussam,” saying that the armed elements had abducted Thursday from his home in the neighborhood of “officers” in the center of Sa’ada, and signs that fingers point to the family of “Al-Tais” known by their affiliations to the extreme and of being officers in the Northern Command Bank and living in the valley of “The Abu Jabara,” said a local resident that the kidnapping may have been due to demand, “Al-Tais,” the release of a relative with detainees at the political security.
It is noteworthy that the abduction “Ali Hussam,” is very similar to the details of the abduction of German doctors and indications are that and also their views of “The Abu Jabara,” especially since the kidnapping was the center of the city of Saada, where there are military units, military and security services intensively , reported media sources confirmed that two men stood in a jeep, Morocco, on Thursday in front of the home of Colonel Hussam, and roads door and when he went out to them they fired on his face spray anesthesia and he fainted and they carried him to the back of the jeep, which was brought down the curtain on the rear to block the vision of her own Customs . Sadah Online
Full text of the YO story below:
The Sa’dah Deputy security director was kidnapped by armed gunmen after being spraying him with an anesthetic and taken to an unknown place.
The kidnapping story of Sa’dah deputy security director is still mysterious.
As the security authorities decline to give any information, the local council’s General Secretary Mohammed al-Emad showed reservation when speaking to News Yemen.
This case is similar to that of the kidnapping of the German doctors who were found dead in one of the Governorate’s directorates.
The deputy security director Ali Abdulhusam was kidnapped by unknown gunmen while he was leaving his house for afternoon prayer in the officers’ area in the middle of Sa’dah city last Thursday.
Sources say that gunmen in a jeep intercepted him and took him to an unknown place.
The sources also said that two men standing in front of Abdulhusam’s house sprayed
an anesthetic on his face and took him unconscious into the jeep’s box, covering the rear of the car to conceal the plates.
The source said that the Jeep was seen crossing al-Gablat road south east of Sa’dah and that is it took Atwah road heading to Nashor area.
A security official said the regional wing of al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an attack on a checkpoint in southern Yemen on Saturday that killed eight soldiers.
وأنحت وسائل الاعلام الحكومية باللائمة في القتال في الجنوب والذي قتل فيه عشرات الاشخاص على مدى الاشهر الثلاثة الماضية على جناح تنظيم القاعدة في المنطقة ومتشددين انفصاليين مسلحين. Sculpture and state media blamed the fighting in the south, which killed dozens of people over the past three months on the wing of al Qaeda militants in the region and separatist militants. (Read on …)
The Australian wonders what the heck is going on in Lauder and its a good question. How can we know when all the journalists are in jail? There’s difficulty even identifying the sides in the conflict, as there was in Ja’ar in 09 when the state’s jihaddists including al Nabi and Sami Dayhan were fighting another group intent on establishing an Islamic emirate in the city. Things went so far that several suspected homosexuals were killed and other Taliban style gross brutality occurred.
via al SahwaFAR from Afghanistan, Iraq and the flood plains of Pakistan, a bitter siege played out this week between al-Qa’ida and an American ally. Or did it?
The first reports from the siege of Lodar, in southern Yemen, told of 80,000 people fleeing as government forces encircled the town, dropping leaflets instructing residents to flee before a big offensive against al-Qa’ida militants hunkered there.
The next report revised the number of residents fleeing down to 3000, with 200 al-Qa’ida militants and 200 fighters from the secessionist Southern Movement holding the town. Yesterday the Yemeni government hailed its conquest of Lodar, having “stormed the dens of the terrorists”. Its count of al-Qa’ida fighters killed came in at 12. (Read on …)
Several international correspondents were also assaulted. The cartoonist Kamal and the SABA news “al Qaeda expert” Haider are still imprisoned without charges. Amnesty International noted: Under pressure from the United States and others to confront threats from al-Qaeda, along with Zaidi Shi’a rebels in the north and growing demands for secession in the South, the Yemini government is using national security as a pretext to stifle criticism and reject human rights in a campaign of unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials.
Yemen Times SANA’A, August 25 — Yemen Times journalist Khaled Al-Hilaly was assaulted by two men from political security wearing civilian clothes after he covered a sit-in organized by the Journalists Without Chains organization condemning the abduction of journalists Abdulelah Shae’ and Kamal Sharaf.
Al-Hilaly was cornered as he was returning home after the event by two security men with wireless walkie-talkies. They demanded that he hand over his camera, which is worth more than USD 600, or else he would be arrested. When the journalist tried to verify their identity or give them the memory card instead of the camera the security men hit him on the head and violently snatched the camera. (Read on …)
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies strongly condemns the Yemeni army’s shelling in the Lawdar district in the Abyan province, Southern Yemen, which has severely harmed the civilian population located there.
It is with deep concern, that CIHRS observes the nearly week-long shelling campaign, supported by heavy artillery and tanks, which has prompted hundreds of Yemeni families to flee the Lawdar district and take refuge in the mountains as the authorities continue their military siege of the area, sealing off all entrances and exits. According to information received from Yemeni human rights organizations and other sources, at least three civilians have been killed and dozens more injured, among them at least two children, while the artillery fire hit a local market and severely damaged homes, agricultural land, and a nursery.
The assault was launched after several Yemeni troops were killed in an ambush by either al-Qaeda operatives, as the Yemeni authorities claim, or elements involved with the Southern Movement. Exiled Southern Yemeni officials and leaders of the Southern Movement state that the attack was launched in an attempt to turn the international community against the peaceful Southern Movement by associating it with terrorism. It should be noted that the Yemeni regime used Yemeni fighters returning from Afghanistan to quell the rebellion in the South in 1994. Consequently, al-Qaeda began to establish a base in the area, which later became the largest in the Arab world.
The Yemeni authorities have persistently sought to stigmatize the popular protest movement and its leadership in the south as terrorists, in an attempt to justify the use of excessive force and increasing repression against citizens in the Southern provinces.
CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that the Southern province of Abyan has been the target of a series of brutal attacks over the last year. One of the bloodiest attacks took place in December 2009 ; when the Yemeni army, with support from the U.S. government, launched two air strikes on alleged al-Qaeda camps. At least 42 civilians were killed in these raids, most of which were women and children.
CIHRS stresses that counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda should not be used as a pretext for the international community to turn a blind eye to the grave abuses perpetrated by the Yemeni government against individuals suspected of affiliation with al-Qaeda; or against the regime’s political opponents. A noticeably large segment of the citizenry has become the target for various types of collective punishment in light of the militarization of the country and the civil strife being stoked by the regime in the Sa’ada region, North of Yemen, and the South to secure its monopolization of power. In this context, CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that it is these very policies that created such fertile ground for al-Qaeda to grow in the Arabian Peninsula.
Additionally, These policies have created an auspicious atmosphere for the recruitment of more terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers, both from inside and outside Yemen.
CIHRS further warns that the unconditional support given to the Yemeni regime by the U.S. administration and some parties in the EU will only exacerbate the dangers of terrorism. Numerous individuals are swayed to terrorism on a daily basis, driven by their growing sense of injustice and injury, which is fed by the daily practices of extrajudicial killings; abductions; forced disappearances; torture; repression of peaceful protests; vicious attempts to silence the press and human rights defenders; the increasing political, economic, and social marginalization of broad swathes of the population; the rampant spread of corruption; in addition to the spread and ascendancy of an extremist religious discourse fostered by the Yemeni regime itself.
Thus, CIHRS believes that averting the threat of terrorism requires concerted efforts by the international community to push Yemen to construct a rule of law; prevent impunity for grave human rights abuses; adopt an enlightened religious discourse; and refuse to sacrifice human rights under the justification of combating terrorism. Yemen’s allies in the fight against terrorism must guarantee that the military, security, and financial aid given to the Yemeni government is not used to perpetrate more war crimes and crimes against humanities or violate the rights of suspected al-Qaeda members or the thousands of Yemenis civilians who are paying a catastrophic price for the policies of the Yemeni regime, which threaten to bring about the wholesale collapse of the central state.
Its really a fascinating article at Naba news about the dangers of state sponsorship of Salafism and its penetration into society, but Yahya Saleh is more a liberal or perhaps modernist than Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.
Aden Gulf: نبأ نيوز ( موقع الامن القومي اليمني ) يصف السلفيين بالفئة الضاله ويتهمهم بالإنتماء لإيدلوجية تنظيم القاعدة ويحذر من خطورة تحالف علي صالح معهم News News (site of the Yemeni National Security) describes the Salafi deviant group and accuses them of belonging to the ideology of al Qaeda, warns of the danger of a coalition in favor of them (Read on …)
I think the al-Qaeda losers took “credit” for two of the five recent attacks on security installations in the south, but they may claim them all sooner or later. The Saleh regime has so little credibility in the south that southern leaders are openly asserting that the regime instructed al-Qaeda to carry out the spate of attacks and willingly sacrificed some soldiers to achieve several goals- heighten tension, accuse the southerners of being aligned with al-Qaeda, set the stage for assassinations of southern leaders and of course, dupe the west into increasing support. This latest murder spree took place in the vicinity of Tariq al-Fadhli’s home and near the Political Security headquarters. One of the attackers threw a stun grenade or “sound bomb” before opening fire (well trained and equipped). The attackers escaped. The regime is rounding up all motorcycle drivers. The prior attacks took place in Aden, Abyan and Shabwa where, despite the emphatic southerners denials, there are some al-Qaeda hangouts. Jarr in Abyan was a hot spot for remnants of the Abyan-Aden Islamic Army who began assassinating people suspected of irreligiosity in the spring of 09 until state-sponsored blue on blue fighting brought some control to the city. Shabwa is where al-Quso and Awlaki are, and Aden is Aden.
Sana’a, Yemen – Suspected al-Qaeda militants attacked a police patrol in southern Yemen on Thursday, killing three policemen, security sources said. The attackers threw a hand grenade and opened fire at the patrol vehicle near a checkpoint in Zinjebar city, the provincial capital of Abyan province, the sources told the German Press Agency dpa. (Read on …)
One Yemeni observer notes, “The ministry of interior identified the bomber as a 36 years old Hadi Ahmed Saleh from Kohlan district province of Sanaa. He was a soldier in the 35th brigade based in the city of Dhala.Some of his colleagues suggested that he was unaware that his motorcycle was rigged with explosives. When you have a regime that uses terror to blackmail the international community , the prospect of Yemeni intelligence role in such attacks is not far fetched .”
SaadaAden: Aden news agency suggested that the soldier was a “victim of a conspiracy carried out by malicious military officials in coordination with the intelligence of Yemen, where witnesses confirmed that the soldier came out of the leadership of the camp and started down the road towards the Public Security Department and did not know the mission objective.”
And a truly gruesome video of the deceased at Youtube. A less hysterical rundown from the YT:
Yemen Times: SANA’A, August 4 — Nine soldiers were injured when a soldier blew himself up in front of the Al-Dhale’ General Security Office last Tuesday.
Of the nine injured soldiers, two are said to have been seriously injured. A 15-year-old child was also injured as he was passing near the office.
It was reported on the army website 26th September that the deputy of Al-Dhale’ governorate, Abdulla Husain Al-Haddi, had accused Al-Qaeda of organizing the attack.
According to local sources, the soldier committed this suicide bombing because his salary had been suspended for months and he had not been treated well by his commanding officer.
According to reliable sources, Al-Qaeda cannot be behind this suicide bombing because the group is not present in the governorate, and some even think that the soldier himself may have unknowingly been rigged with explosives. (Read on …)
The state reinforces tribal law at the expense of civil law.
Bikyamasr: Amnesty International has urged the Yemeni authorities to launch an immediate independent investigation into the extrajudicial execution of a man accused of murdering a tribal sheikh.
‘Ali ‘Abdullah Muhsin al-Rajhi had been accused of murdering the sheikh, but instead of being arrested and brought to trial by the authorities, he was handed over to the victim’s family and summarily killed.
He is reported to have been shot dead by a relative of the murdered sheikh on 18 July 2010 in front of a crowd outside a mosque in the village of al-Hajfa, south-east of the capital Sana’a. (Read on …)
They seem to have it out for al-Gamish, the question is why. There was some flaky back story on al-Gamish earlier retaliating for not getting his cut on some land thefts and the blow-back from that. Earth Times
Sana’a, Yemen – Yemen’s wing of al-Qaeda on Friday claimed responsibility for a pair of week-old coordinated attacks on security agencies in the south of the Arab country, saying they were meant to avenge the killing of two of its members. (Read on …)
Update: attack was from a Saudi car registered to one on the Kingdom’s most wanted list. I guess they are not comparing the list of cars entering Yemen with the most wanted list.
SANA’A, July 24 (Saba) – A pickup with a Saudi number plate was used in Thursday’s attack on a security patrol in Shabwa Province in which five soldiers were killed, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.
The white car entered Yemen 17 days ago through the Alwadiah crossing, it said.
The ministry circulated the car throughout the country and blacklisted its owner identified as Ahmed Saleh Hudeij Al-Hamami, a Saudi.
Reuters – Gunmen killed at least five Yemeni soldiers on Thursday in a suspected al Qaeda ambush of a military convoy in the south, the third assault on state targets in five weeks blamed on the group’s resurgent regional arm.
Al Qaeda in Yemen previously focussed on high-impact strikes against Western and Saudi targets, but appears now to be targeting government forces in response to enhanced Yemen-U.S. security coordination and a government crackdown.
“There was an ambush targeting the soldiers’ vehicle and five were killed and a sixth was wounded. There is suspicion that al Qaeda was behind the operation,” an official in the southern province of Shabwa told Reuters.
The attackers then seized the soldiers’ vehicle and weapons before fleeing into nearby hills, another official said. The defence ministry blamed the attack on “terrorists,” using language it typically reserves to refer to al Qaeda…Last month, gunmen raided the regional headquarters of the political security office in Aden, killing 11, an attack al Qaeda said was revenge for a state assault on a militant stronghold. Last week, more suspected al Qaeda gunmen attacked two security buildings, igniting clashes that killed four people.
Aden: 11 killed and 12 wounded
AQAP suspects set free from Political Security in Yemen
by Abdullah A. Qaid- For Armies of Liberation
Sana’a- 16 June- At least 11 were killed and 12 wounded Saturday morning in Aden, southern of Yemen, as unidentified gunmen attacked the Political Security office. Most of the dead people were soldiers.
The initial fingerprint of the operation is pointing to the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), security sources said.
About five gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed the security building in Attwahi with fired bullets and bombs that led to clashes inside the building.
During the attack, unknown numbers of prisoners suspected of being members of Al-Qaeda were set free by the operators, security source affirmed.
Although, the clash lasted for nearly half an hour, all the assailants together with the released prisoners escaped successfully.
Three women including the secretary of the director of the Political Security, along with a child was far from the Political Security, were among the dead persons.
The operation comes a day after a release by al-Qaeda threatened to ignite a fire under the earth what it called retaliation for the killing of women and children in Wadi Ubeeda of Marib.
The BBC correspondent in Sana’a quoted as a security source asked anonymity that the incident may come after collusion of security members within the political security.
The Attwahi district of Aden witnessed over the past months two explosions near the building of the Political Security and Television Broadcasting, in which the Director of the Political Security Attwahi and Al-Muala was killed.
According to Yemen News Agency (SABA), the Supreme Security Committee confirmed its intention to pursue the terrorist perpetrators and bring them to justice for their punishment and commended the cooperation of citizens in all provinces with the security services in calling upon everyone to report any presence of these misguided terrorist elements wherever they.
The Political Security building in Aden after today’s attack.
Update, AFP: They brought a bus. Witnesses also said the assailants “were seen leaving the building in a bus, taking people who had been detained there with them,” in what appeared to be a coordinated and well-planned operation.
Yemeni Political Leader exposed to drive by assassination attempt
by Abdullah A. Qaid, for Armies of Liberation
Sana’a, 14 June- Mr. Hassan Mohammed Zeid, the Secretary-General of Al-Haq, a Yemeni opposition party, said today he escaped an assassination attempt by 4 persons. The drive-by shooing occurred in the al-Jooraf quarter of Sana’a.
Zeid was targeted by a hail of bullets from two cars with official license plates. One was numbered 4760-Army and the other 212-Government, Zeid stated in a press release.
Earlier political violence against Mr. Zeid included an assault on his land in al-Jooraf. Police were forbidden from intervening in an attempt to prevent the abuse, the release added.
Zeid accused the Yemeni authorities of being responsible for the assassination attempt.
The al-Haq Party denounced the assassination attempt on its Secretary-General, confirmed the authorities’ responsibility for protecting Zeid’s life and demanded that perpetrators to be brought to the justice.
SANAA- A senior Yemeni army, Colonel Mohammed Saleh al-Chaïef, and two other soldiers were killed Saturday in an attack by Al Qaeda against their convoy in the province of Marib (east), according to Tribal sources.
* “Colonel Mohammed Saleh al-Chaïef and two of his companions were killed when their car was the target of an attack with machine guns on the part of al-Qaida militants traveling in a vehicle” said that source, who requested anonymity.
* The attack took place in Matebe Adhbane, south of Marib city. It targeted a convoy of vehicles, including that of Colonel Chaïef, visiting the region Safer oilfields to inspect military forces responsible for security of oil facilities, added the same sources.
* The Yemeni security forces have recently intensified their campaign against the extremist militants, particularly since the failed assassination attempt against the 2009 Christmas flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, claimed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Its a rouge regime, in addition to all the war crimes and systemic human rights violations. There is no way to incrementally push Saleh back to the light. What a political embarrassment it would have been for Yemen’s allies if the attempt succeeded. And the Houthis are correct, that’s the standard way Saleh deals with his opponents.
Palestinian Telegraph: Sana’a, Yemen, May 5, 2010 (Pal Telegraph, by Anwar Al-Shoaybi) – The AL-Houthi rebel group has denounced the assassinations attempts by gunmen against a prominent Yemeni opposition leader as a “serious crime”.
“The crime stresses our argument that the regime is seeking to liquidate all those opposing it even in terms of holding different opinion,” Mohammed Abdul Salam, the group’s spokesman, told reporters Wednesday.
“Broadly Speaking, we don’t rule out that a military campaign might be conducted against our brothers affiliated with the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), and that they might be assaulted, called traitors, and their rights confiscated just the way the regime used to deal with us, as it (the regime) doesn’t want anyone opposing it, even with respect to opinion,” said Abdul Salam. (Read on …)
Rand issues a 410 page report on the Sa’ada War. “Continuing the conflict makes Yemen a U.S. policy liability.” This is their full press release:
Conflict in Yemen Fueled by Tribalism, Religious Conflicts
Armed conflict between the government of Yemen and an opposition movement in the nation’s north has spilled across its borders into Saudi Arabia, posing a potential threat to U.S. interests, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation. (Read on …)
Abdul-Wahab Mahmoud got shot at in his car, last week I think it was. I think it may have been more of a message than an actual attempt to kill him; they couldn’t just send an email, they sent a guy with a gun to get the point across. The pressure on the opposition leaders is very great, and the leadership vacuum is no accident, but the country, or at least the population, is on the very brink of catastrophe.
Sahwa Net – Yemeni politicians have described the attack the Joint Meeting Parties chairman, Abdul-Wahab Mahmoud as a dangerous indication towards democracy future and bears messages of moving toward repressing of the opposition parties. (Read on …)
Random guys, wanted al Qaeda, and/or security forces
News YemenTwo wanted, allegedly al-Qaeda suspects, were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in the province of Hodeidah, west of Yemen early Sunday.
The three men refused to stop at a checkpoint in Hodeidah and started gunshot with security forces, who killed two and arrested the third one, official sources told News Yemen, but declined to identify the three men as al-Qaeda suspects. Reuters quoted a security as claming that the three men are suspected al-Qaeda members.
AlSahwa Net quoted security sources as saying that one of the three suspects, identified as Qais al-Jabobi, was carrying an ID of the National Security and the two others were carrying IDs of the Central Security.
Update: Or maybe they were random al Qaeda with ID from the National Security:
Yemen Post: Two wanted people were killed and an officer was injured on Sunday in an exchange of gunfire between three fugitives and police in western Yemen.
Security sources said that the fugitives whom the Interior Ministry alerted the security authorities about their car as wanted a week ago clashed with police at Alshamalia checkpoint in Hodeida province.
Before the incident, the three convinced other checkpoints they were national security officials using forged IDs, according to the Alsahwa website. But when the checkpoint was alerted about them, they could not pass and then started firing at police, forcing police to return fire.
As a result, two of them were killed identified as Qais Al-Jabobi, holding a national security ID, and Majed Saleh, a central security soldier. The third was arrested and is now being investigated to know the motives of the shooting.
DALEH, Yemen (AFP) – A bomb wounded two Yemeni civilians in Daleh on Thursday, as police fired warning shots to disperse protestors in the southern town hit by a series of strikes, activists said. (Read on …)
I thought I had posted this already, but I can’t find it. Its not only the PSO that is infested with jihaddis but also the military, security and National Security which is headed by President Saleh’s office manager since 1988, Ali al Ansi.
According to a report in the reliable Paris-based Intelligence Online newsletter, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, “who has traveled twice to Yemen in the last six months, has been told by his advisers that Yemen’s Political Security Organization has been infiltrated at the highest levels by jihadists active in the country.”
A Brennan spokesman declined to comment on the report, which most likely originated in the region. But it came as no surprise to a top former CIA counterterrorism official, who said with a chuckle: “that report is stating the obvious.” (Read on …)
أبين / وكالة أنباء عدن / خاص / 15 مارس آذار 2010 Show / Agency Aden / private / 15 March 2010
قال سكان محليون بمحافظة أبين شرق عدن أن طائرات حربية استأنفت صباح اليوم غارات جوية على مديريتي لودر ومودية من دون الإشارة إلى وجود ضحايا. Local residents said in Abyan governorate of Aden warplanes resumed air raids Friday morning on the departments of Lauder and claiming without reference to the presence of the victims. (Read on …)
(ed-This poor guy was just sitting in his car when the police grabbed him, tortured him brutally for three days and then shot him in the head in a bit of drunken hilarity.)
Thousands of Southern Yemenis marched in the funeral Monday of 28 year old Fares Zaid al Tamah, who died in police custody in Aden on January 30. Mr. al Tamah was allegedly tortured to death in the latest incident of escalating government violence against activists and protesters in Yemen.
Separatist sentiment is running high in southern Yemen where 70% of residents favor dissolution of the unified state. Activists claim they have been illegally occupied since 1994’s civil war while southern oil deposits and land were looted by the tribesmen and relatives of northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The deceased was arrested in Abyan in his Landcruiser, his relatives said, while he was listening to an audio of the singer Aboud Khawaga, whose material often includes political themes.
Mr. al Tamah was killed following three days of torture, activists allege. He was hung from the ceiling upside down for 12 hours, burnt with cigar butts and shocked with electricity, other prisoners in the Malla police station reported. On January 30, Mr. al Tamah was found dead on the floor in a pool of blood by visitors.
Stretching for miles, the funeral march began at Aljamohria hospital in Aden and concluded at the southern martyrs cemetery Radfan, Lahj . Mr. Al Tamah was buried alongside dozens of other southerners killed by Yemeni security forces.
Protests began in 2007 calling for equal rights and political inclusion and were met by mass arrests. Dozens of unarmed protesters have been killed by police in southern Yemen, Human Rights Watch found. A pattern of wide spread and brutal abuses characterized the state’s response to the growing protests, triggering a spiral of “repression, protests, and more repression.”
A report issued by a southern activist last week detailed 147 civilians killed by Yemeni security forces in the last year.
In November, Amnesty International issued a statement noting that “torture and other ill-treatment are widespread practices in Yemen and are committed, generally with impunity, against both detainees held in connection with politically motivated acts or protests and ordinary criminal suspects. Methods of torture and other ill-treatment are reported to include beatings all over the body with sticks, rifle butts, punching, kicking, prolonged suspension by the wrists or ankles, burning with cigarettes, being stripped naked, denial of food and prompt access to medical help, as well as threats of sexual abuse.”
HOOD, a leading Yemeni civil rights advocacy group in Yemen, disclosed this week that it had obtained video evidence of prisoner torture at the Criminal Investigation Prison in Taiz province. Ammar al-Tayar, 23 years old, was in custody of the Shar’ab al-Salam Security after a family dispute on January 16, 2010. Al-Tayar alleged he was subjected to beatings, electric shock and burning at the prison by three men while he was blindfolded. The video tape revealed scars and other indications of the torture, which were on his upper region of the shoulders, back, fingers and different parts of his body.
The UN’s Committee against Torture found the “widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment” in Yemen. Yemen failed to appear as requested at the UN Committee’s examination.
Journalist Mohammed al Maqaleh described his four months of torture to a union representative in February as including severe beatings, mock executions and starvation. Amnesty International has repeatedly issued statements warning that southern editors Hasham, Hani and Mohammed Bashraheel are at risk of severe torture since their “arrest” in January.
With renewed focus on al Qaeda threats emanating from Yemen, the US is substantially increasing support to several branches of the Yemeni military. However, Yemen’s military and security forces are often involved in for-profit ventures, on both overt and covert levels. The task of building up Yemen’s Coast Guard demonstrates such difficulties. (Read on …)
Update: He worked for the very good organization, SEYAJ for the protection of children: SEYAJ Organization Condemns the assassination of Muhammad AL-Rboey one of its staff in Hajjah governorate ” a journalist and defender volunteers jurist
SEYAJ Organization for Childhood Protecting
Yemen-Sana’a- New University Sq.
His family was attacked last Thursday by the same gang and three persons are hospitalized. They don’t do this unless they know they can get away with it. An investigative journalist killed by “a gang” that he had written about. Most criminal enterprises in Yemen are partners with state officials. Mareb Press
قتل اليوم السبت بمحافظة حجة الزميل محمد الربوعي على يد مسلحين. Was killed Saturday province argument colleague Mohamed Rabuai by gunmen. وقالت معلومات إن عصابة إجرامية أقدمت على قتل الربوعي في محافظة حجة على خلفية قضية نشر, مضيفة أن الزميل الربوعي قام بكشف الأعمال الإجرامية لتلك العصابة وتعرض لعدة تهديدات بالتصفية الجسدية. The information that a criminal gang proceeded to kill Rabuai in the province of the argument against the background of the issue of publication, adding that his colleague Rabuai reveal the criminal activities of this gang and subjected to numerous threats of physical liquidation.
وقد تلقت الأوساط الإعلامية اليمنية نبأ مقتل الزميل محمد الربوعي مراسل صحيفة القاهرة المحلية بمديرية بني قيس والذي مثل فاجعة كبيرة للأقلام الحرة بالمحافظة إثر تعرضه لاعتداء آثم من قبل عصابة فجر اليوم على خلفية قضايا نشر صحفية. Has received among the media of the killing of a fellow Yemeni Mohammad Rabuai reporter Cairo local Department Bani Qais, who represented the great tragedy of the free pens to maintain he was exposed to a vicious assault by a gang at dawn today against the background of deployment issues a press release.
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.
Local sources in Aden – one the largest cities in the south of Yemen- have declared that the political prisoner ( Faris Zeid Abullkareem Tamah ) was killed by the police of Al-Malla’a city in Aden, after being kept there for days, while the circumstances of his death still unknown until this moment. (Read on …)
More buzz on Ali Mohsen from al Wahdawi below the fold. This investigative report from “Saadaonline” is not too surprising:
Ali Mohsen coordinating with al Qaeda in Sa’ada
Salafi leaders integrated directly into the military
Tribal militias and other groups armed by the military
Zaidi mosques handed over to Salafis
Kidnappers were unable to relocate the hostages initally because of Houthi control of many areas and were forced to leave the bodies inside the military controlled Al Jbarah valley
Yemeni government behind the recent declaration of jihad if western troops enter Yemen
Hidden roles between Sanaa regime and al-Qaeda
Special News Saada
we talk about Saada previously and the hijacking of doctors in
Saada province on the role of a hidden secret and to coordinate with the secret coordination with pro Government:
Especially in the area of Wadi (Valley) Al-Abu Jebara
we talked previously about the history of this valley and where Al Qaedeh fighters training.
Funds, which pumps by Saudi princes and their relationship with Osama bin Laden through private sources, News Saada inside the corridors of military bases and political situation in Saada
During the latest sadah War mostly at Abu Ali font , we got field information that confirm that :ABADAH and TAYS group and other groups from WADY- Valley- Al JBAREH had met with local officials of Sadah and received ammunition and weapons to confront Al Hoothy from behind, and that what really happened .
Those days we got secret and confidential information when news focused on Qaeda in Yemen. The information said that there is currently coordination between military commanders/ eaders loyal to Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar through his office in Saddah, the aim of this coordination is bolstering and unify their actions against Al Hoothy. (Read on …)
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’s Minister of Information has announced that the Yemeni authorities are holding journalist Muhammad al-Maqalih. However, the authorities are still refusing to give any information about him, including his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Muhammad al-Maqalih was abducted on 17 September, by men in civilian clothes, believed to be from the security forces. Eyewitnesses told his family that he was taken by a group of men who arrived in a white minibus, which had its licence plates obscured. In December 2009, the Minister of Information officially announced that the security forces are holding him. It is not clear which security force is holding him or where he is being held, and the reason for his detention is not known. (Read on …)
Yes here we go yet again… An absolutely predictable update: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) denied that six of its leaders were killed in a Yemeni air strike last week, according to a statement published by the SITE monitoring group on Monday.
“None of the mujahedeen were killed in that unjust and insidious raid; rather, some brothers were slightly wounded,” the Qaeda group said in a statement on jihadist forums, SITE reported.
Original Post: Following Yemen’s announcement that al Qaeda head honcho Qasim al Reimi was killed in an air strike this week along with five others, news is starting to leak out that ooops, maybe not.
Al Reimi had been reported killed in two earlier air strikes but this time the announcement was based on an identification, officials said. Security sources now say that perhaps it was a “hasty” announcement. Tribal sources say another of the six dead men was recently spotted eating lunch with his family, and al Reimi was wounded in the leg and escaped.
We can call it the al Nabi syndrome, reported dead but still alive. Old habits die hard. At best, now we’re back to “maybe al Reimi is dead,” and “maybe the Yemeni government told the truth about al Qaeda for once.” Wait and see mode.
Its hard to say what’s up, really. There were six bodies recovered including al Reimi, the Yemeni officials said. Ah, even I’m doing it now, quoting them like they have a shred of credibility.
Meanwhile the Yemeni journalists are getting smashed (run-over, imprisoned, fined and kidnapped) without a word from the West and/or the hundreds of foreign journalists who recently discovered Yemen. Even for the open source intel value alone, you think someone would make a peep. I knew something was up today when several Yemeni news sites were mysteriously offline.
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: Almotamar.net 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 …)
The PSO is one of President Saleh’s main instruments of terror and intimidation of civil society, journalists and the forces of progress. Lets not forget about the Mohammed al Maqaleh disappeared since August, the closure of al Ayyam and the recent arrest of several of its editors and the continuing detention of Salah Alsagalde, Fuad Rashid, and Ahmed Alzubairi and the continuing ban on several newspapers, and the destruction of News Yemen, and the blocking of dozens of political websites in Yemen (but not the jihaddis ones).
Threats to liquidate the managing editor of Sahwa Net:
إشارة إلى الموضوع أعلاه، فإن مدير تحرير الصحوة نت الزميل محمد العلواني تلقى تهديدات هاتفية بالتصفية الجسدية من الرقم (777128007) من شخص قال بأنه يعمل في الأمن السياسي. A reference to the above subject, the managing editor of Sahwa Net colleague Mohamed al-Alwani, received telephone threats of physical liquidation of the number (777128007) from someone who said that he was working in the Political Security. (Read on …)
Yemen kills a guy no one ever heard of and maybe its legit, but everything coming out of the Yemeni state media and security needs to be taken with a grain or bucket of salt. If its true that al Midhar is a major al Qaeda figure with his own cell, then there’s a lot going on under the radar, considering Wahishi and the three stooges are thought to be the essence of Al Qaeda. Check my timeline Al Qaeda in Yemen Arrests 2002-2009.
SHABWA, Jan. 13 (Saba) – Security forces in Shabwa province have killed one of the major figures of al-Qaeda in Yemen, Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday. (Read on …)
Wow a really good article on the Sa’ada War, Saleh’s relatives commanding security forces and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s conduct of the Sa’ada War. It lays the facts out for the obvious conclusion about why the war just won’t end.
Globe and Mail: There have been tens of thousands of casualties and about 100,000 people in Yemen’s northwest triangle are now under siege – trapped by a combined force of the Yemeni regular army on one side, the Republican Guard on another, and Saudi military forces along the border between the two countries.
“They’re trying to starve them out,” said Abdel-Ghani Iryani, a development consultant and political analyst, who says he still can’t figure out what the war against the Huthi is all about. (Read on …)
Yes, the PSO and other Yemeni security agencies are seriously compromised by al Qaeda infiltration. The Saudi intell in Sana’a are working with Prince Ahmed Saleh, who heads the Special Forces and Republican Guard. So far, in the Sa’ada War, Saudi Arabia is helping President Saleh with money, media propaganda, intell on the ground, tanks and other weaponry, fatwas, a naval blockade, arrests and deportations and air support including bombing villages. Meanwhile Saleh, with all due bluster and pomp, hotly rejects external interference or mediation. The article mentions Qamish, head of the PSO, who had the pissing match with al Qaeda cell leader Hamza al Qaiti after a trio of mortar attacks early in 2008. Al Qaiti blamed al Qamish for a double cross (or faulty equpment) when the mortars missed. Al Qaiti was killed shortly thereafter and before the September 2008 attack on the US embassy.
UPI Dec. 15 — Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service has established a station in Yemen’s capital ostensibly to help coordinate a joint campaign against northern Shiite rebels along the kingdom’s border.
But its main task is understood to be hunting down the Yemen-based operatives of a resurgent al-Qaida that threatens the Saudi monarchy, and eliminating them with extreme prejudice…The Saudi General Intelligence Presidency, the kingdom’s principal intelligence agency, set up its Sanaa operation in June following talks between King Abdallah and Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 40 years. (Read on …)
SANA’A, Dec. 16 (Saba)- The state spokesman, Minister of Information Hasan al-Lawzi condemned Wednesday the incorrect information issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) over human rights and press freedom in Yemen.
The spokesman said in remarks to Saba that these information are based on false reports on human rights and the freedom of press in the country… Al-Lawzi put responsibility on the HRW two representatives to correct the situation so as not to affect cooperation relations between Yemen and the Human Rights Watch in the future.
This poor guy, who has the misfortune of being named Abdullah al Reimi, was picked up nearly two years ago in a case of mistaken identity. The Yemeni official media made the standard announcements (big al Qaeda arrest!) and the wires picked up it, but within days it was proven that it was the wrong guy. He’s finally getting out. The whereabouts of the real Abdullah al Reimi are unknown, last we heard he was in Dhamar preaching violent jihad at a mosque but that was years ago. The original reports on all of the above are on the site somewhere.
أفرج جهاز الأمن السياسي بصنعاء أمس الثلاثاء عن عبدالله غازي الريمي بعد اعتقاله “بالخطأ” لقرابة عاميـن نتيجة تشابه اسمه مع أحد المطلوبيـن أمنياً. Released the Political Security in Sana’a on Tuesday Ghazi Abdullah al-Rimi after he was arrested “by mistake” for nearly two years as similarity of his name with one of the wanted men. (Read on …)
Several outlets and other sources are reporting the murder of former President Ali Nasser Mohammed’s nephew in a cold blooded assassination, story here at Aden Press. Clearly both retribution and a tactic of intimidation.
Corporal Fawaz Abdullah Ali Khaled Alkamali was killed on November 28th, about 70 KM south of Ataq on the road to Aden as he was en route to Taiz for Eid. The attackers stopped his taxi and searched the passengers for ID cards. When they discovered Alkamali was a northerner soldier, they dragged him out of the taxi an killed him. The killers sent a warning to the government with the passengers that the “southerners will no longer be quiet for the numerous murders committed by the government against our protesters.”
On the 29th two brothers driving to Aden from Sanaa were stopped near Al Habilain and shot dead by an unidentified group. Their car and possessions stolen.
On the 29th, a family driving from Taiz to Aden was stopped in Al-Milah, Lahj. The father was killed as his wife and his children watched. The attackers were identified as members of the pro-regime vigilant group, the Committee to Protect Unity, responsible for numerous attacks including against the delivery van of Al-Ayyam newspaper on May 1, 2009. (The head of the CPU was received by President Ali Abdullah Saleh on May 29th 2009 in Sana’a.)
On November 30th, several northern tribes set up check points on the road from Aden to Sanaa to avenge the killings of tribal members by targeting southerners destined for Sana’a from Aden. The tribes included the Al-Radama Tribe in Ibb, the Mourees Tribe in Qataba, and the Anss in Dhamar.
The last few months have seen an increase in northern soldiers’ desertions from southern postings. Soldiers may fear redeployment to Sa’ada, or targeting at their posts as instability increases. Rumors of a coup in Sana’a a few weeks ago may have added to the soldiers insecurity. Oil and gas Facilities are among the Saleh’s regimes most vital installations requiring military protection, further stretching available forces.
ADEN, Yemen, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Yemeni security forces spread out across the southern port city of Aden on Monday, clamping down on any display of secessionist sentiment on the anniversary of the south’s independence from Britain. (Read on …)
The Republican Guard is headed by President Saleh’s son, Prince Ahmed. Who could al Beidh be referring to as “a leading member of the ruling regime”, certainly not Ali al Ansi, President Saleh’s personal secretary since 1982 and former head of the National Security. The general consensus among the western secure-ocrats is the subversion by al Qaeda doesn’t go that high in the Yemeni adminstration. I really hope they are right because if they’re wrong, its a whole differant ball game. As an aside, sometimes when Yemenis say al Qaeda (real al Qaeda) are members of the security, they mean that the terrorsts receive officer’s pay from a particular branch of the security forces or military.
Some reports spoke of an increasing presence of Al Qaida in the south? How do you see this dangerous trend?
I have already spoken about this issue and said that the Sana’a regime will play this card too to distort the image of the peaceful movement in the south, which has nothing to do with Al Qaida whatsoever. I hereby stress that the south has never been a land that would tolerate an ideology such as Al Qaida’s. On the contrary, this terror network has built a strong alliance with the regime in Sana’a, engineered and supervised by a leading member of the ruling regime. This is known by regional states, Egypt and the United States. I don’t exaggerate when I say that some leaders of Al Qaida are in fact officers in the Republican Guard. (Read on …)
Expat Southern leaders can’t get it together. Al Beidh’s Iran idea didn’t go over well, I hope. Its not a good idea at all. Regime accuses al Fadhli of mobilizing his
fighters. The movement is more fractured than ever. YP reports it was “Samih Ahmed Awadh Al-Halbeh one of Sami Diyan’s group who was caught at Hardh area while he was trying to escape outside the Yemeni territories.”
The murky story of the three assassinated security chiefs continues with Hadhramout tribes holding a meeting Monday in Taribah about the killings of the 3 security officers. They are expected to demand that Sana’a bring the actual killers to justice. The families have the same demand, and the funerals have not taken place yet. One theory is its yet another false flag attack and the killers were assassins paid by powerful and well-connected drug traffickers. Before Ali Salim Al Amri (from Hadramout) was appointed in July 2009, the traffickers had a good working arrangement with the previous security bosses who were northerners. All of which begs the question of Al Qaeda’s claim of responsibility as beautifully demonstrated by the following Yemen Observer write-up: Yemen Observer(Read on …)
Hamid al Ahmar in an interview on al Jazeera made several interesting statements including that the president is guarded by 60 thousand army personnel in Sanaa, He also disclosed the name of the arms dealer (Yousef Al-Magani) that bought arms for Houthi rebels in the 4th war from Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, head of the republican guard, in a conspiracy to eliminate Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer. Hamid also dared the president to visit Abyan or Sadaa or stay for 2 months in Aden to prove that he is still the president of the country. Publicly exposing Prince Ahmed this way gives Ali Mohsen the legitimacy to move against him without instigating a vendetta from within their tribe.
While it may seem at first glance an absurd proposition, waging a war to weaken the general running it, it provides a logical explanation for many occurences over the last five years, including why the war never seems to be won. It was Ali Mohsen’s newspaper that disclosed the Chinese shipload of weapons for the rebels that was imported by the defense ministry. One should never underestimate the level of duplicity that the Sana’a regime is capable of, or its excellence at propaganda. President Saleh IS the King of Spin.
SANAA, 07 Nov – Tribal leader and business tycoon, Sheik Hamid Abdullah al-Ahmar late Friday accused the Republican Guards of supporting the Shiite rebels in previous wars. He said “the Yemeni army is no longer capable of ending the war in north Yemen militarily because it lost trust in the political leadership in Yemen which plays around with peoples’ lives.” Al-Ahmar who was speaking to the Doha-based al-Jazeera satellite TV channel said “the Republican Guards headed by the President’s son supported the Shiite rebels in north Yemen in order to hit the First Artillery military division led by Brigadier General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar and hence get rid of him,” adding “a rebel leader is a friend of the President’s son, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh.” Ali Mohsen is President Saleh’s half brother and al-Ahmar talked about “internal conflict between the various wings inside the army about the war in Sadaa,” and called on President Saleh to visit Abyan or Sadaa “in order to prove to us that he is still the President of all of Yemen,” adding “the President no longer has a state to rule.” “The state no longer exists except in the Presidential Palace and in the capital, Sanaa which is protected by 60 thousand troops,” Al-Ahmar said, adding “dialogue is the only hope to bring Yemen out of this situation,” stressing “dialogue with everyone is still possible to resolve the current crisis in Yemen.” He accused President Saleh of “wanting to turn the country into a monarchy through his pursuit to install his son in power,” and renewed his call for the President to step down, stressing “changing the head is the door to reforming the situations in Yemen.” “If President Saleh wants the people to stand by him against monarchism, then he should first get rid of his monarchy and if he wants people to stand by him to protect the nation’s unity, then he has to prove his patriotism by lifting injustice,” he said, and criticized the management of the war in north Yemen saying “the way this war is run has humiliated the army and caused it to lose its fighting moral.”
An interesting analysis at Carnegie focuses on security services reform in Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen. A good conclusion requires an apt intial assessment, such as:
Use of military recruitment to co-opt tribesmen and of appointments to
reward personal loyalty among offi cers—especially in the army and police
force—has led to the development of a security sector that is seriously bloated,
lacking in basic equipment and specialist skills, and fraught with corruption.
The sector is widely regarded as little more than disparate “stovepipes” centered
on Saleh. Yemeni government and security institutions are completely
segmented, with minimal communication and coordination between, and
within, the ministries of interior, justice, and defense. Consequently there is
extensive overlap and duplication of functions between the police, army, and
Central Security Forces in urban areas, and rivalry that result in ineffective
policing in rural areas and along land borders… (Read on …)
Yemen has released hoards of jihaddists in order to use them as informers for the state, or so they say at every mass release or high profile terrorist who walks free. And there have been many. The Yemeni government insists always that they know exactly where the wanted terrorists are, and I believe it. But the fact remains the Yemeni government is unwilling or unable to to arrest these al Qaeda individuals who insist random violence against civilians is justified and have executed terror operatons. The arrangement is like loose house arrest on steroids, loose village arrest perhaps. The US-Yemeni version of the containment policy has a few flaws for all concerned.
Yemen Tribune MARIB, 30 Oct — Security measures around oil installations and vital government institutions in the northeastern province of Marib have been tightened fearing al-Qaeda ‘imminent’ attack, the Media Centre at the Ministry of Interior said in a statement on its website on Friday, adding “security was stepped up to avert any al-Qaeda attack.” “Security agencies in the province of Marib continue to hunt down al-Qaeda operatives in the region and will bring them to justice,” said the statement, stressing “their movements are monitored round the clock and a security fence has been established around them which they cannot penetrate or escape its surveillance.” The centre said “security organizations in Marib don’t rule out the possibility that terror elements might carry out sabotage and terror operations to impel security to cease chasing them,” adding “any adventure of this kind will fail and security police have been put on high alert.”
The Committee against Torture this morning considered the second periodic report of Yemen on the efforts of that country to give effect to the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in the absence of a delegation.
Serving as Rapporteur for the report of Yemen, Committee Expert Nora Sveaass, began by noting that the initial report of Yemen had been considered in 2003, 10 years’ late; that there had never been replies to communications regarding follow-up to the Committee’s concluding observations on that report (although the report before them did undertake to respond to them); and that there had been no reply from Yemen to the Committee’s list of issues, sent to the Government six months ago, despite repeated reminders sent. They were now considering the report of Yemen without a delegation from the State party – a situation that was far from ideal.
Ms. Sveaass observed that the Committee had received reports on a lack of openness and transparency with regard to torture cases in Yemen, in particular a lack of willingness to receive information on allegations of torture, to undertake transparent investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable. According to the information before the Committee, draft laws and security laws were at the heart of that matter. In the course of the anti-terror war many persons had been detained and protests and demonstrations were very seriously met. There was also the issue of the practice of incommunicado detention, which appeared to be upheld under Yemeni law, as well as a number of reports of detentions without charges, or prolonged detentions without trials. Also alarming was that there appeared to be no mechanism to enforce the rights of detainees. A concern included hostage taking – reports that family members were abducted and held to ensure that a person sought would give themselves up.
The police commissioner, the PSO chief and the investigative department head for the Wadi in Hadramout were assassinated when their car was attacked and sprayed with bullets. Considering their substantial role in drug smuggling to Saudi Arabia, the murders could be crime related, in addition to political violence or a type of terror attack. And that’s also what we said about the kidnapping of the nine foreigners in Sa’ada in June, it could be the drug smugglers or al Qaeda. The regime of course is trying to spin it as an al Qaeda attack, and it could well be. Update: The New York Times has an excellent version of the standard analysis and lays it out well.
Yemen Today: Three security officials were killed and three soldiers Tuesday in an ambush by gunmen in Hadramout governorate, according to official said. وقال هذا المسؤول لوكالة فرانس برس رافضا كشف هويته “قتل الضابط علي سالم العامري مدير الأمن في وادي حضرموت واحمد باوزير مسؤول امن الدولة في المنطقة اضافة الى ثلاثة عناصر امنيين في مكمن”. (Read on …)
Sami Dyan is the brother of Hassan Dayyan, if I recall correctly, and Khanfar, Abyan has been a hot spot for quite some time. The murder of suspected homosexuals and loose women were symptomatic of the extreme Talabanization of areas of Abyan last last year. Jamaat at Jihad, the Jihad Group, kidnapped an official and stormed a prison, killing one policeman, attempting to release their recently arrested commrade who was earlier released from prison during Ramadan, possibly by al Fadhli, but thats just buzz and besides they are freedom fighters now (joking joking).
Yemen Observer: Extensive gun fire was exchanged between the security forces and Jihadist militants groups in Khanfar district, Abyan province in the south of Yemen, last Saturday, said a source at the local council of Khanfar district.
A soldier was killed and two other soldiers were wounded, after the security forces arrested Fikri Ammorah , a member of the Jihadist group in Ja’ar of Khanfar district, said the source.
“Following Ammorah’s arrest, the jihadist groups, lead by Amir Sami Dyan, launched an offensive at the security center in Ja’ar, in an attempt to release Ammorah.” said the source. Ammorah is being detained for committing a number of crimes including murder and looting. (Read on …)
This is President Ali Saleh’s version of dialog with the opposition.
News Yemen: The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), opposition coalition, condemned in a press statement on Sunday the kidnapping and harassment against its spokesperson Naif al-Qanis….Telling the story from the Science and Technology Hospital in the capital Sana’a, the assaulted al-Qanis told Al-Masdar: “Some gunmen kidnapped me to Hamadan district and cruelly hit me and broke my right hand and after that they threw me in the street. A taxi driver found me and took me to hospital.” Al-Qanis said the assailants were beating him and repeat “shut up the Joint Meeting Parties…You are licentious…You go beyond your limit”.
Yes Saleh’s nephew is the de facto head of the National Security. The Yemeni government switched the authority for handling the airports from the PSO to the National Security in 2006 after the planeloads of jihaddis flying out on Yemenia got a bit embarrassing. The National Security in its new role cracked down hard- on opposition politicians, journalists and activists attempting to fly out of Sana’a.
Yemeni parliament has approved to summon the deputy chief of the National Security Organization Ammar Mohammad Abdullah Saleh, nephew of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, on grounds of violations oppositionists face in the Sana’a International Airport.
Parliamentarians stressed the importance of summoning Ammar considering him the de facto official of the security organization.
The demands of summoning came following the complaints raised by the representative Abdul-Salam Zabia last week as he was interrupted at the airport and prevented from travel by security organization.
Zabia said he was prevented from traveling abroad and he was investigated and threatened by pointing weapon at him.
Abdul-Razaq al-Hajri, MP, considered what happened to his colleague as a dangerous indication of violations Yemenis face in the airport.
It is worth noticing MPs, politicians, journalists and activists are always interrupted and prevented from travel by the National Security Organization.
Update: Parliament questions al Alimi who says maybe the ship went to Somalia and the weapons will be smuggled to Yemen from there.
Original Post: Actually it makes as much sense one way or the other, whether the shipment from Faris Manna (and the Defense Ministry) ultimately goes to the rebels or al Qaeda. I wrote in 2005 that Yemen was a primary weapons supplier to jihaddi groups all over the region- from Saudi to Gaza and lots of places in Africa. Later the Yemeni government promised (!!) to stop using brokers to buy and sell weapons. It was a big announcement, warmly welcomed by the US. But like nearly every and all announcements by the Yemeni regime, it lacked substance.
Yemen Post The debate over a suspected ship carrying Chinese-made weapons anchored in the port of Hodeida province in western Yemen heated up on Wednesday, with Parliament setting a deadline of next Monday for the government to submit a comprehensive report on the ship. (Read on …)
Update: Hussein Bin Yahia is the Cheif Executive of Al-Haq Party in Aden and Abyen governerates.
Sanaa – London “Eden Press” special: 11 – 10-2009
قالت مصادر خاصة في صنعاء لـ” عدن برس ” أن المناضل حسين زيد بن يحي القيادي في الحراك الجنوبي تعرض وما يزال يتعرض للضرب داخل زنزانة الاحتلال في سجون الأمن السياسي في صنعاء لرفضه المساومة او التراجع عن موقفه الداعمة والمطالبة باستقلال الجنوب . Sources in Sanaa, particularly for “Eden Press,” that freedom fighter Hussein Zeid Ben Yahia leader in mobility, the South has been and continues to be beaten in a cell in the prisons of the occupation of the Political Security in Sana’a for refusing to compromise or back down from his support and to demand independence for the south. (Read on …)
Yemeni security forces kidnapped leading editor Mohammed al Maqaleh Thursday in apparent retribution for reporting on the Sa’ada War. Human rights groups have expressed concerns of probable torture.
Mr. Al Maqaleh is the editor for the opposition Socialist Party’s website, Al Eshteraki. On Wednesday, al Eshteraki reported on the Yemeni military’s air strikes targeting civilians that killed 87 people and injured over a hundred. The victims were internal war refugees, mostly women and children, sheltering in an open field having escaped the fighting in Sa’ada City. The military launched a second air strike as the survivors fled to a nearby bridge.
Yemen is a state that regularly kidnaps critics, activists, journalists and opposition figures. As human rights groups note, arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention are the hallmarks of the Yemeni justice system. In dozens of instances, plain clothes intelligence operatives driving vehicles with military plates have snatched journalists off the street who are then “disappeared” and often tortured.
Torture is systemic in Yemen. Tactics include severe beatings, burnings, sexual assaults, threats to family, whipping and depravation. It is likely that editor al Maqaeh is being subjected to these tactics currently.
His cell phone is off and his car found abandoned with the tires slashed. Yemeni authorities refused to take a report from his family, who were turned away at both the police station and the Criminal Investigations Division.
The Yemeni government’s targeting of journalists and suppression of newspapers and web sites is an attempt to cover-up military war crimes committed during the ongoing Sa’ada War. These war crimes include wholesale civilian slaughter, bombing of cities and villages, intentional starvation, and the withholding of medicine and water. Other collective punishment includes the discontinuance of electric and telephone service to Sa’ada. The effected region is home to 700,000 citizens, and comparisons are often made to Darfur.
The Yemeni Center for Human Rights expressed “grave concern” over the safety of the press and especially editor Mohamed al-Maqaleh. The YCHR strongly condemned the kidnapping, demanded his prompt release and the indictment of the perpetrators of this crime.
In 2007, Mohammed al Malqaleh was imprisoned for several months for “disrespecting the judiciary” after he laughed during a particularly absurd moment in the trial of award winning journalist, Abdulkarim al Khaiwani, who was charged with subversion for writing about an earlier round of the Sa’ada war.
This is quite an interesting report from the Yemen Post that focuses on the absence of state control in many areas and identifies what alternate power structures are in place. Regarding Marib, the report notes, “Al-Qaeda is strongly present in Wadi Abeedah, a wide desert district with some rugged and mountainous areas. The same holds true for Al Shabwan.” The various southern leaders are noted by their level of popular support by location.
Several areas witness resurrection against the state, tribal conflicts, mobility or violent acts and these acts are associated with complete absence of state presence. In most governorates, the state does control only the main cities.
Bani Dhabian, Sana’a
Bani Dhabian is a tribal district in Sana’a province’s Khawlan region whose tribesmen implement constant kidnapping operations. There is no presence for security or the state apparatuses there and the last kidnapping incident targeted Businessman Tawfiq Al-Khamri’s brother. Prior to this, the tribesmen released the business manager of Shahr Abdul Haq following tribal mediation efforts. The tribesmen make big sums of money, as kidnapping is a source for wealth and it is a direct result for the lack of trust in judiciary. (Read on …)
Detained an officer of the United Nations in Sana’a .. after hours of a report on the humanitarian situation
الخميس , 27 أغسطس 2009 م Thursday, August 27th, 2009 م
اعتقلت مجموعة أمنية عصر أمس وليد شرف الدين، الموظف في مكتب الأمم المتحدة بصنعاء. Security group arrested yesterday afternoon and Walid Sharaf al-Din, an employee of the United Nations Office in Sana’a. وقال مصدر قريب من أسرة شرف الدين إن ضباطاً يعتقد أنهم تابعون لجهاز الأمن القومي دهموا منزل وليد وقاموا بتفتيشه ثم اعتقاله ومصادرة كمبيوتره المحمول (اللابتوب)، وأوراقه. A source close to the family added that the officers believed to be affiliated to the National Security Service raided the house of Walid and then searched his arrest and the confiscation of his laptop (laptop), and leaves.
ولم يصدر أي تصريح عن مكتب الأمم المتحدة بشأن الاعتقال حتى مساء أمس. There was no statement from the Office of the United Nations detention until Sunday evening. وعزت مصادر خاصة الاعتقال إلى انزعاج السلطات اليمنية من تقرير نشرته الأمم المتحدة أمس. And private sources attributed the arrest to alarm the Yemeni authorities of the report published by the United Nations yesterday. أعده مكتبها في صنعاء، يتعرض إلى الأوضاع الانسانية في صعدة وعمران، ومسؤولية الأجهزة الحكومية والجيش عن معاناة النازحين في مناطق العمليات العسكرية. Prepared by the office in Sana’a, is exposed to the humanitarian situation in Sa’ada, Amran, and the responsibility of government agencies and the military for the suffering of displaced persons in the areas of military operations.
The rebels gained a lot of ground in the last week. News Yemen reports: Thirteen rebels and three soldiers were killed in clashes between the government forces and Shiite rebels in Sa’ada Monday and Tuesday. The three soldiers were killed in al-Houthis raid on a hospital in Sakain area on Monday, local sources told NewsYemen. The 13 rebels were allegedly killed on Tuesday in al-Hesama district where they controlled Tawaliq Mountain on border with Saudi Arabia. Special sources said al-Houthis are being attacked from a military camp overlooking Tawaliq Mountain.
There’s also the allegations that Saudi Arabia is allowing the Yemeni military to attack the rebels from Saudi territory.
SAN’A, Yemen — Shiite Muslim rebels in northern Yemen have seized a key control post on a strategic highway linking the capital San’a with Saudi Arabia, overcoming an army brigade after 12 hours of intense combat, local officials and the rebels said Thursday.
The latest round of fighting is a major escalation in the five-year-old rebellion in Saada province and is likely to invite a large-scale counterattack by the army to take back the post. But the rebels’ successful offensive cast renewed doubt on the government’s control over security… (Read on …)
Its quite similiar, nearly identical (timing, target, ordenance, location, damage) to the dozens of nuisance attacks in 2007/8 by the jihaddist “Yemen Soldiers Brigades” which took credit in a variety of internet statements. From al Sahwa:
A bomb exploded near a police building in south Yemen, authorities said, and security forces defused a bigger device set to go off outside a government office in the region, where secessionist feeling runs high.
A blast blew a hole in a fence outside a criminal investigation department building in Abyan province but caused no injuries, the website of the ruling party quoted security sources as saying.
A larger device, made of a mine attached to a timer, was defused after being planted and set to explode near the fence of the offices of a government watchdog in Abyan. (Read on …)
In his second call home in a matter of months, Abdulsalam al Hilah, a Yemeni detainee incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, said he survived an assassination attempt three weeks ago.
During the call to his family in Yemen last month, Mr. al Hilah received the news of the death of his mother and two young sons. The boys were killed in April 2009 just two days after Mr. al Hilah’s last call home when a grenade accidentally exploded. (Read on …)
There seems to be several carloads of weapons floating around Yemen this week.
almotamar.net – Security sources confirmed Tuesday to almotamar.net that security apparatuses in Jaar district, governorate of Abyan in Yemen on Monday captured a car loaded with weapons intended to be transported to the terrorists led by a terrorist called Tahir Tammah.
The security sources mentioned that security men at Batis checkpoint in Jaar district seized the car loaded with weapons and explosives and was carrying a group of sabotage elements that in interrogation have confessed that the weapons and explosives shipment was meant to be delivered to the terrorist who leads them Tahir Tammah, indicating that the arrested elements have been sent to concerned authorities.
Update: thanks everybody!!!! It says its Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s faction of al Qaeda…The jihaddists who killed the four soldiers were found with military cards and dead bodies in their car. Thats what the articles say.
Whether Ali Mohsen was trying to make the southerners look bad or he was making a move during an internal power struggle, the bottom line is – according to the articles- terrorists acting as agents of the Yemeni military killed other soldiers in a propaganda ploy.
They have been doing things like this all along, cloning their opponents to perpetrate various false flag attacks. The idea that al Qaeda when allied with the Yemeni regime is any less dangerous is absurd. If anything, the access to state resources increases their capacity.
Update 2: al Motamar reported the arrests (and blamed al Fadhli) and later began denying the arrests – which may mean they were released after some high level intercession: An official security sources has on Thursday denied the information reported by some newspapers and electronic papers on arresting, by security authorities in Mareb, the perpetrators of the crime of killing four security soldiers and injuring a fifth in Um Ayn the day before yesterday.
How complicated! The soldiers were killed in Abyan. And there’s fighting in Marib between al Qaeda and some security. This may take days to shake out.
Original post: I have to figure this out (or rather get someone to explain if it says what I think it says- HINT HINT.) Its a google translation of the latest scandal. It seems to say the perpetrators of the murder of the four Yemeni soldiers were state jihaddists but I need confirmation of who they belong to. There’s several groups of state jihaddists. From Aden Press (and below from Marib Press):
Control group of armed Bmorb followed involved the murder of Muhsin Red Yemeni security soldiers Babin
News مأرب_لندن “عدن برس” خاص: 29-7-2009 Marib-London, “Aden said,” special: 29-7-2009
تمكن أفراد إحدى النقاط العسكرية التابعة للجيش اليمني بمحافظة مأرب صباح اليوم من اعتقال منفذي الهجوم على إحدى نقاط الانتشار الأمنية الواقعة بمنطقة العين مديرية لودر والتي راح ضحيتها 4 جنود وأصيب خامس بإصابات بالغة . Enable members of one of the points of the military army of the Yemeni province of Marib on Monday morning from the arrest of the perpetrators of the attack on one of its proliferation in the eye of the security directorate for the generation that killed 4 soldiers and wounded a fifth was seriously injured. واكتشف الجنود تورط الجماعة الإرهابية المسلحة وذلك حينما مرت السيارة التي تقلهم بالنقطة وخضعت لعملية تفتيش روتينية عثر الجنود خلالها على جثتين لأشخاص قتلوا بالرصاص الحي . The soldiers discovered the involvement of the armed terrorist group, when the car passed the point of them underwent a routine check during which the soldiers found the bodies of people killed with live bullets.
وحينها قام الجنود بإلقاء القبض على من كان في السيارة بعد أن تم سلبهم أسلحتهم الشخصية وبتفتيش السيارة عثر بداخلها على بطائق عسكرية تخص الجماعة المسلحة حيث اتضح أنهم عسكريون يتبعون المنطقة العسكرية الشمالية التي يقودها علي محسن الأحمر احد اكبر الشخصيات المثيرة للجدل داخل صنعاء. And then the soldiers to arrest those who were in the car after it had been robbed of their personal weapons and searched the car found inside the military cards belonging to the armed group, where the military found that they follow the northern military region, which led to an improved one of the largest Red controversial figures in Sanaa. إحدى القيادات العسكرية في اللواء 315 مشاة من أبناء محافظة أبين والذي كان مشاركا في عملية توقيف السيارة واحتجازا فرادها قال في اتصال هاتفي بـ”عدن برس” طالبا عن عدم الكشف عن هويته أن عملية الإيقاف جاءت عن طريق الصدفة وعبر عملية تفتيش روتينية مؤكدا أن الجماعة المسلحة التي تم إيقافها تم العثور بحوزة أفرادها على مبالغ مالية وهواتف خليوية تعمل بنظام “الثرياء”. One of the military leadership in the 315 infantry brigade from the province of Abyan, which was involved in the process of arrest and detention car Fradha said in a telephone call to “Aden said,” students not to be named, that the suspension came about by accident and through a process of routine inspection, stressing that the armed group was stopped was found in possession of its members on the money and cell phones operating system “Althreya.” وكانت المفاجأة التي فجرها هذا القيادي هو تأكيده على أن مسئولين في العاصمة صنعاء ومسئولين عسكريين في المنطقة الشمالية قد حاولوا التدخل لأجل الإفراج الفوري عنهم وقبل ان يتم إبلاغ الجهات الرسمية في مر كز العاصمة صنعاء والتي أصدرت بدورها تعليمات فورية ومشددة بضرورة التحفظ على من تم اعتقالهم حتى وصول قوات خاصة من صنعاء لاستلامهم . It was triggered by the surprise leader, is the assertion that officials in the capital Sanaa, and military officials in the northern region had tried to intervene for the immediate release them and be informed before the official authorities in the capital Sanaa over Kz, which in turn issued instructions for immediate and heavy need a reservation to have been arrested so The arrival of special forces from Sanaa to receiving them. (Read on …)
But where are they now??? According to this report, they are alive and hidden. Please God let it be true. (The parallels to the French aid workers kidnapped in Somalia by al Qaeda are interesting if only in the timing and rationale.) Sheik Haba notes yet another specific camp where the Yemeni military is training Salafi recruits in terror tactics. I think that’s the fifth location of jihaddis traning in military camps published in the recent past. A continuation of the domestic, state sponsored jihad in Yemen naturally has regional security implications.
Yemen Times, SANA’A, July 19 — News reports said that a number of battalions from Yemeni special forces as well as other military units are being deployed in Wadi Jubarah and in other areas of the Wa’ela tribes adjacent to the Saudi borders.
A tribal source told the Yemen Times that military forces were seen moving in three fronts from Mareb, Al-Jawf and Sa’ada city and that they were heading toward Wadi Jubarah and the nearby areas belonging to Wa’ela tribes. The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the military forces told citizens that they were surrounding the house of the tribal sheikh who is accused of kidnapping the six foreigners.
“We are sure that the sheikh wasn’t directly involved in kidnapping the nine foreigners or the murder of three of them,” said the source. “The Salafia members that were involved in kidnapping and killing the foreigners persuaded the sheikh to hide the hostages until they can find a way to protect themselves from being held accountable for the murders. The sheikh himself didn’t participate in the kidnapping. He doesn’t belong to any Salafia groups. In addition, he doesn’t object to the existence of Christian missionary groups or any other religion in the governorate.” — Sources reported that the armed group that kidnapped the foreigners is affiliated with Wahabi Salafia extremists who are opposed to the existence of Christian missionaries who have been working at the Al-Jumhuri Hospital in the capital city of Sa’ada for 35 years. (Read on …)
Yemen is a land of dueling accusations, but the Houthis insist to this day that the bombing of the bin Salem mosque that precipitated the fifth war was actually perpetrated by the authority. Similarly, both sides accuse the other of the Germans’ kidnapping. Statistically, the most systematic liar in Yemen through recent history is Saleh’s regime, by far.
Al Estraki: Flag of the Socialist Net-informed sources in Saada that the local authority staff working in the government complex Wednesday morning arrested a person who was trying to plant a roadside bomb in the building
وقال المصدر أن موظفا في المجمع الحكومي لاحظ من نافذة المبنى شخصا يحمل كرتونا ويتردد على اركان وزوايا المبنى وهو يتلفت إلى الخلف فاشتبه به فقام باخبار كل من كانوا موجودين في المجمع من موظفين ومراجعين الذين سارعوا بدورهم إلى الإحاطة بالشخص المشتبه به وإلقاء القبض عليه أمام بوابة المجمع الحكومي The source said an official at the government compound observed from the window of the building and person with a Krtuna frequented corners of the building and staff, which is the successor to the Itfatt Vachtbh the back of the news were in the pool of staff and auditors, who in turn were quick to take the person and the suspect arrested in front of the gate of the compound government
وقد تبين أن الشخص المشار إليه كان يحمل عبوة ناسفة معدة للتفجير وانه جندي يتبع اللواء الخامس عشر مدرع التابع للفرقة الأولى مدرع It was found that the person referred to was carrying a bomb primed to detonate and he was a soldier follows the fifteenth armored brigade of the First Armored Division
وقال المصدر أن الأجهزة الأمنية تسلمت الرجل وبدأت في إجراءات التحقيق معه لمعرفة من هو، وما اذا كان الحادث فردي ام ان جهة ما كلفت الجندي بهذه المهمة الإجرامية الخطيرة؟ The source said that the security services took the man and started with him in the investigation to determine who is, and whether the incident was an individual or whether the soldier was assigned to the point of this task serious criminal? وما هو الهدف الذي أرادت تحقيقه من تفجير مبنى المحافظة أثناء تواجد الموظفين!؟ What is wanted to achieve the goal of maintaining a building in the presence of the staff!?
ولا يستبعد مراقبون أن تكون الجهة التي تقف خلف هذا العمل الإجرامي الخطير الذي كان يمكن أن يودي بحياة عشرات الموظفين والمراجعين قد “استهدفت تفجير الوضع في صعدة وفي عموم اليمن” Observers do not rule out that the entity behind this serious criminal act which could have claimed the lives of dozens of staff and visitors could “blow the situation in and around Saada, Yemen” (Read on …)
The sentence balances out the death sentence on the Houthi rebels quite nicely. (I am being sarcastic of course). Lets see what happens in the future, you can never tell from the sentence what the real level of punishment is going to be…
So this is the Tarim cell of al Qaiti that was found responsible for all the mortar attacks, the suicide car bombing on the Sayoun police station and the murder of the two poor Belgian women who were shot at farly close range in an ambush. Al Qaiti and al Qamish (head of the PSO) had their falling out and started slinging insults after the ambush and mortar attacks but before the Sayoun attack and subsequent raids.
They were charged with a total of 23 attacks. The Syrians were in Yemen for eight years before their arrest. some confessed to receiving funds from Saudi figures Then there’s this June 9: “I demand that the charges against me be dropped — the charges I have never heard of until I was interrogated,” said Hossam al-Amoudi, who was arrested in Syria on returning from Iraq.
Death, Imprisonment sentences to terrorists
Monday, 13-July-2009 Almotamar.net – The Yemeni First Instance Criminal Court on Monday issued death sentences against 6 defendants and imprisonment of 10 others to terms of 8 to 15 years. The convicted persons were from al-Qaeda organisation cell ‘ Tarim cell known as Jund al-Yemen’ condemned of perpetrating terrorist acts , among them the killing of the two Belgian tourists and the driver Ahmed al-Amiri in Hadramout January 2008, attacking & July School near the American embassy in march of the same year, attacking residence complex of foreigners in Sana’a and attacking a number of security checkpoints, military camps and oil and vital installations and exposing security and safety of society to danger.
In the court sitting held under chairmanship of Judge Muhsin Mohammed Alwan the court passed its judgment of death sentence against each of Rawi Ahmed al-Saiari, Haitham Saeed Mubarak, Khalid Muslim Batees, Sultan Ali Sulaiman al-Saiari, Ali Muhsin Saleh al-Akbari and saeed Naïf Saeed Sankad.
The ruling also stipulated imprisonment sentences for 15 years for each of Mohammed Saeed Ahmed Baueidan, Mohammed Attiyah Ahmed al-Wahibi, Syrian , Mahmud Ahmed Mohammed Darwish, Syrian , Mohammed Khalil Ismael al-Shatti al-Shahwani, Syrian and Abdullah Ali Saleh Bawazir, Saudi.
The indictment mentioned participation of the defendants in the period December 2007- November 2008 with an armed cell and terrorist organisation carrying out criminal acts aimed at attacking foreigners in embassies, companies and places of their living quarters and tourists.
The court also sentenced to 12 years imprisonment against 3 of the accused and one of them to 8 years in prison and one of them to 8 years in jail.
A source who asked to not reveal its identity mentioned that the special forces in Yemen has been working for the past two years on chemical components to produce a chemical weapon. The lap of these operations is located in the capital of the Arab Republic of Yemen Sana’a at the “Haziaz” area toward “Bait Boos”.
The source added that the people working on it are a non Arab Republic of Yemen citizens and not Arabs too but could not clarify them more. He added that one person, a military Yemeni national who works as security in that lap, was exposed to a wave of those chemicals due to not wearing a protective suit and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was sent to Kingdom of Jordan to be cured as by now he lost most of his facial hair!!
He added that this issue is highly confidential and it’s linked to the special forces of Ahmed Ali or the Yemeni President himself, and the idea came after a consecutive winning of Hothism in Sadaah. “It can be an option to be used on Southern Movement in future” he added.
They were found to be outside Yemeni territorial waters when captured by international forces, that seems to be it. The drug smugglers are going to be deported. This was a huge bust and Yemen has promised to destroy the drugs.
Penal court in Yemen cancels death and imprisonment verdicts against Iranians
Wednesday, 24-June-2009 Almotamar.net - Specialised Appeals Court in Yemen on Wednesday cancelled the first instance sentence against 13 Iranian national as it is not specialty of Yemeni judiciary.
The appeals verdict stipulated the destruction of drugs seized with the defendants, confiscation of their boat and deportation of the defendants. (Read on …)
Modern military aircraft and foreign wiping Saada and surrounding areas .. مؤشرات قوية على تورط القاعدة ورسائل للسلطة والحوثيين والسعودية Strong indications of the involvement of Al Qaeda and the letters of authority and Houthis Saudi Arabia
الثلاثاء , 23 يونيو 2009 م Tuesday, June 23, 2009 m
التجمع- خاص Assembly – a special
تجددت تحليقات الطائرات العسكرية والعمودية الحديثة على مدينة صعدة وضواحيها وأضيفت الى الطائرات التابعة للجيش اليمني طائرة عمودية حديثة وغريبة يعتقد بانها متصلة او مرتبطة بفريق التحقيقات الامني الالماني-البريطاني. Renewed flights of military aircraft and helicopters on the modern city of Saada and its suburbs were added to the aircraft of the Yemeni army helicopter modern and alien believed to be related to or linked to the investigation team, the security of Germany – the British. (Read on …)
AQAP are insisting robustly that they knew the route of the Korean investigators though intensive surveillance. Discounting of course the logical and widespread assumption that the terrorists were tipped off, ie- elements in the Yemeni security knew in advance of the plot and provided the route of the motorcade. t gets flakier- the youth wandered around Sana’a for months looking to hook up with Wahishi.
Also the other thing to note, tangentially, is the journalist Abdel-Elah Haidar noted in the article as one who interviewed Wahishi previously is now insisting that AQAP would not have carried out the kidnapping of the medical workers in Sa’ada because it is against their principles. (Killing women like the Belgiams tourists in Hadramout is apparently less of an offense than kidnapping them.) I dont think Haidar would be taking such a strong position in his analysis (which was published in News Yemen) without there being something behind it, one way or another. From Al Masdar:
Al Qaeda announces military intelligence security information on the preparation of new processes and the implementation of Hadramout and Sana’a
المصدر أون لاين – محمد العزكي Source Online – Mohammed Aezzki
كشف تنظيم القاعدة عن معلومات أمنية عسكرية جديدة حول منفذي العمليتين الانتحاريتين في حضرموت وصنعاء ضد السياح والمحققين الأمنيين الكوريين في مارس الماضي، مستهدفا سمعة الأجهزة الأمنية اليمنية وإفشال الحكومة اقتصاديا. Detection al-Qaeda military security of the information on the perpetrators of a new double suicide bombing in Hadramout and Sana’a against the security of tourists and Korean investigators last March, the reputation of the security target and the failure of the Yemeni government economically. (Read on …)
The Yemen Times gets specific on the timeline, details and geography of the kidnapping and the subsequent events.
Amidst false rumors of progress in releasing kidnapped foreigners, Houthis warn of a sixth war in three days
SANA’A, June 24 – Shiekh Saleh bin Shage’ deputy chief of Waela Tribes at the Yemeni Saudi borders explained that the surrendering of two of his tribes men by his brother Rashad to the Yemeni security in Sa’ada has nothing to do with the missing six foreigners kidnapped on Friday June 12.
“It is a hideous crime that we all condemn, but the two men have nothing to do with it,” he said. “In fact, being easily surrendered to the security without any resistance proves that if they had anything to hide they would have fled.”
Mushin Al-Tam and Hassan Kazman, suspected of involvement in the killing and kidnapping of foreigners were were in the remote area of Nushoor while Yemeni security forces were hunting them. When the two heard they were sought after, they reported to their sheikh’s house, proclaiming their innocence. Waela leaders asked them to surrender to the state and they obliged willingly, according to Bin Shage’.
Most of the locals in Waela belong to the Ismaili sect, which is the second largest part of the Shiite community (Read on …)
Restricting access to information can be as serious a threat to journalism as overt censorship or government persecution. The ongoing insurgency in Yemen’s northern governorate of Sa‘ada is one example of how a state’s attempt to enforce an information blackout has helped hide and sustain a conflict that has festered over four years, killing thousands and leaving a city destroyed, and continuing to stoke fears of a return to violence.
The Sa‘ada governorate, located in Yemen’s mountainous northern region on the border with Saudi Arabia and home to around 750 thousand people, has witnessed stop and go wars since 2004. Precise numbers of the dead and wounded are unknown because no organization, national or international, has been allowed full access to the area to make an independent account of the violence, although most estimates put the death toll well into the thousands. (Read on …)
Late last year, retired Yemeni Air Force pilot, Abdul-Aziz Al-Abdi., threatened the Jewish community in Amran to “convert or die”. Al-Abdi then shot a young Rabbi, Masha al-Nahari, father of nine, in broad daylight. The family’s home and the Jewish in general was threatened and pelted with stones, forcing children to withdraw from school. After a sustained effort by Yemeni civil society, especially the HOOD organization, al-Abdi was brought to trial, and sentenced to a fine. Representing the victim’s family, HOOD lawyer, Khaled al-Anesi called the verdict “a scandal”. Today upon appeal, the Yemeni court overturned the prior verdict and imposed the death penalty. Currently a crowd of armed tribesmen is besieging the court and threatening the family, lawyers and journalists.
HOOD: An armed tribal group ranging 20-25 is surrounding the court building after the announcement of the Amran Appellate court’s ruling today…HOOD has received a call from its lawyers, Masha’s defence team before court proceedings, asserting that “they are seized inside the court with some of other journalists and Masha’s family members by an armed tribesmen belong to the convicted al-Abdi. Subsequently, HOOD directs a statement to the Interior minister holding him accountable of protecting the safety of all people seized inside the court building.
Its not like the police are going to come or anything. The family, lawyers and journalists are trapped inside the courthouse.
The Yemen Times reprints a good article from al Hayatt on the murder of Doctor Derhem al Qadasi, who was stabbed to death in a hospital by a gang of tribesmen after an elderly relative died. Not much happened afterward until the doctor’s union went on strike. Recently the Yemeni government, taking a page from the Israelis, knocked down the house of one of the suspected murders. However, its six months later and no one has been brought to justice in the courts. Doctors in Yemen are in short supply and the insecurity of their profession has caused many to move abroad. The failure of the judicial system to function underlies many social ills from tribal kidnappings to the prevalence of gun ownership to the regional discontent in the South. In the case of Dr. Derhem, who was murdered while serving society, its a clear miscarriage of justice when his killers are walking free.
Yemen Times: Doctors in Yemen are subject to repeated acts of aggression, including death threats, which prompted some of them to think of leaving the country at a time when citizens’ trust in doctors has deteriorated. The murder of a Yemeni doctor by relatives of a patient created a state of concern and fear among doctors and workers in health care services. Dr. Derhem Al-Qadasi died this past January after a number of a deceased patient’s relatives stormed the hospital where Dr. Al-Qadasi worked and stabbed and kicked him to death. Sources in the Yemeni Doctors and Pharmacists Syndicate said that some Yemeni doctors have immigrated to Arab countries such as the UAE and Oman.
A state of rage spread among popular medical outlets as Dr. Al-Qadasi’s murderers haven’t been arrested yet even though roughly six months have passed since the incident took place. The family of Dr. Al-Qadasi still refuses to bury him and a number of Yemeni cities, including Sana’a, witnessed a number of sit-ins staged by doctors and civil activists. Dr. Abdul Qawi Al-Shamiri, head of the Yemeni Doctors and Pharmacists Syndicate, considered the incident “a result of the insecurity under which the country lives.” He made clear that the increase in aggressive behavior against doctors and workers in the health field aggravated the feeling of a lack of tranquility, particularly due to what he called “failure of the authorities to arrest the accused,” which encouraged the continuation of the aggressive behavior. (Read on …)
The kidnapping and murders may be the work of the group of the foreign (Arab and non-Arab) al Qaeda that began arriving in Sa’ada in April, as we reported here at the time and I think its in one of the articles. It was a substantial number and independently reported by multiple outlets.
If so, it would account for the deviation from the pattern of terror attacks established previously by the indigenous al Qaeda group, which has been to murder foreign tourists by suicide bombing or in one case, by strafing them with gunfire. Kidnapping foreign female aid workers is a standard and current tactic of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. The arrival and amassing of foreign terror operatives in Sa’ada was certainly not a haphazard occurrance, and this may be not either.
The drug dealers story also seem a reasonable explanation, and it has a lot of resonance on the ground, but it wouldn’t account for the torture and mutilation. The story is that a large shipment of drugs was confiscated by security, who refused to release the drugs back to the dealers after negotiations. The kidnapping was a method of leveraging the talks. The kidnapping of nine persons is certainly the work of a group with prepared logistics, not a temporarily insane person overcome with jihaddist fervor and armed with a jambia.
If the back story relates to negotiations over confiscated drugs, it would account for the Yemeni government’s early and conflicting announcements of the kidnappng itself and the rush to blame the Houthis. As we know, many drug smuggling rings have some association with and support of regime affiliated individuals. The concerns of the Yemeni mafia often run counter to standard governmental administration and violently conflict with other aspects of the regime (like the Coast Guard). There’s big money involved in drug smuggling in Yemen; one shipment of hashish confiscated after an external intel tip had a street value of USD 20 million.
Then of course, as with all terror attacks in Yemen, there is the false flag theory- where some element of the Yemeni security has involvement. This thinking shakes out into two forms- 1) subverted security directs and/or provides logistical assistance to al Qaeda and 2) deliberate acts by the Yemeni government under the guise of al Qaeda (or in this case the Houthi rebels) to manipulate Western sentiment and analysis. In the current scenario, the regime by blaming the rebels for the kidnapping ultimately legitimizes the resumption of the Sa’ada war and gains recognition of the rebels as “terrorists”, something the international community has not done. It also would serve, as it has, to take oxygen away from the growing southern protests and calls for dissolution of the unified Yemeni state. The “false flag” conceptualization as an overall theory of Yemeni government practice has been advanced in Yemen by persons ranging from al Qaeda operatives themselves to mainstream opposition leaders and the former president of South Yemen Ali Salem Beidh.
Independent: The bodies of three women hostages found in Yemen are believed to show signs of torture and extensive mutilation, it emerged yesterday as security officials investigated whether the reasons for the killings were religious rather than purely political.
Two of the murdered women belonged to a Bible school in Germany and had links with a Baptist charity operating in Yemen. The third victim was a Korean who worked for an aid organisation with religious affiliations.
Diplomatic sources said that the savage way the murders were committed did not conform to hostage-taking scenarios associated with a local Shia group, the Houthis, who the Yemeni authorities are blaming, or al-Qa’ida and their associates, who the Americans say have been infiltrating the country.
Comment by Jane: All the foreigners murdered in previous incidents in Yemen were killed in terror attacks by al Qaeda. The Houthis have never kidnapped any civilians, Yemenis or foreigners, since the war began in 2004.
The multiple foreigner kidnappings by tribesmen occurred in other areas, and not by rebel fighters. The very odd thing is the Yemeni government’s rush to judgement. Caution and concern for the kidnap victims would dictate the state not immediately blame the rebels, which they did in the strongest terms, even though it was a propaganda coup for day. The fate of the children and the men is uncertain at this time, as well as who kidnapped them.
The other story circulating is that drug dealers kidnapped the nine after the security refused to return a shipment of confiscated drugs. (Mareb Press) To follow is the statement of Abdel Malik al Houthi:
*ندين ونستنكر بشدة ما تعرض له أطباء المستشفى الجمهوري من عمل إجرامي بشع**
**يتنافى مع القيم والمبادئ والأخلاق الإنسانية، ويكشف أن من وراء الحادثة** **قد
تجردوا عن الضمير وتحولوا إلى ذئاب بشرية اعمي بصائرهم حقدهم الأعمى**
الخطيرة التي تستهدف البلد** **.* (Read on …)
There are conflicting reports coming out of Yemen on the status of nine foreign hostages kidnapped days earlier in Sa’ada, Yemen. One report says three hostages were killed, most say seven were murdered- shot, not beheaded, and two children were left alive. Another very new report from Yemen says six have been recovered alive.
Looking to the question of who murdered them, the least likely group is “tribesmen” who have kidnapped nearly 200 this decade. All those kidnappings were announced at once and all hostages were released unharmed after negotiations with the government. The next least likely is the Shiite rebel group, the Houthis. In four years of war, the rebels have mingled with civilians but never targeted them, and they never engaged in any kidnappings. A more possible culprit is the Yemeni Political Security Organization which has previously, it is said, created terror attacks against western tourists in order to gain counter terror funding for the regime. The most likely actor is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has claimed credit for all the prior lethal attacks on tourists. Although the Yemeni government has taken great pains to pin the kidnappings and now the murders on the Shiite rebels, it doesn’t jive with history. The victims were associated with a Baptist medical team and were found in an area where a Baptist doctor was killed by al Qaeda in 2002. They were taken from a zone well controlled by the Political Security that would inhibit access by the rebels, but allow it by terrorists. (The Yemeni government has engaged the services of al Qaeda linked terrorists as mercenaries against the Shiite rebels in the Sa’ada governorate.)
Whoever perpetrated this crime, its an incredible act of brutality, considering they chose to take and not leave the kids to start with, and the victims confirmed dead are the three women- two German nurses and a South Korean nanny. Where are the three kids?
Original post, links, updates, below the fold as well as Abdel Malik al Houthi’s statement yesterday denying the complicity of his fighters in the kidnapping and accusing the government of treachery. (Read on …)
They say it occured next the the headquarters of the Political Security in Sa’ada. However like every other group in Yemen, when news hit the western media, they are unable to put out a statement in English.
Ergo, yet more bad google translation:
Houthi deny that any of the sons of Saada relationship is accused of the kidnapping of German. Power is the power (the government) bears full responsibility for their fate.
The area where it was said that they had kidnapped them (Graz) is next to the Political Security in the heart of the city of Saada.
We emphasize that the charge for us is null and false accusation and slander is a matter of political vindictiveness, which is evidence of the bankruptcy (of the regime).
الحوثي ينفي ان يكون لابناء صعدة اي علاقة بخطف الالمان ويتهم السلطة لسلطة هي من تتحمل المسؤولية الكاملة عن مصيرهم حيث وان المنطقة التي قيل أنهم اختطفوا منها ( غراز ) هي بجوار الأمن السياسي في قلب مدينة صعده . ونؤكد أن اتهام السلطة لنا هو اتهام باطل وزور وبهتان وهو من باب الكيد السياسي، وهو دليل على إفلاسها وتخبطها ولن يكون في صالحها كما تظن وتسعى من وراء ذلك بل ستفتح باب الشر على أبناء اليمن يدخل منه من يحملون إ
Of course the Reuters report is by Mohammed Saddam, President Saleh’s personal translator, and the report that the rebels kidnapped them came from the military.
The Saada War has raged since 2004- the rebels have never kidnapped anyone or targeted civilians in that time (unlike the Yemeni government which bombed the hell out of quite a few cities and kidnapped hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians including children.)
Tribal kidnapping is common in Yemen, usually the demand is the release of relatives held as hostages by the government. And normally when tribesmen kidnap foreigners, they call it in, the hostages call home, everybody drinks tea and waits. No one gets hurt, and sooner or later, the tribal relatives are freed and so are the western hostages.
But this is the first case in years where the kidnappers have not immediately identified themselves and their demands. I’m starting to get worried they are going to wind up to be with al Wahishi (Al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula ):
Reuters Earlier on Sunday a government source said nine foreigners, including seven Germans, were kidnapped in the Saada area of north Yemen, days after 24 medical workers were taken hostage, then released within a day.
The source said one of the Germans was a doctor at a local hospital which the other Germans, including his three children, were visiting. The defense ministry said in its online newspaper “September 26″ that Saada rebels carried out the kidnapping.
The Briton is an engineer and the South Korean a female school teacher working with an aid agency. A source among the rebels of Saada’s Houthi clan, members of a Shi’ite sect, denied that they did the kidnapping.
I don’t know who has them. The Houthi rebels seem unlikely susupects. But it is a deviation in the pattern of tribal kidnappings that have occurred since 2000.
SANA’A May 24 — A number of recommendations considered a basis for national dialogue on the country’s urgent issues were outlined during the National Consultation Meeting, which concluded its activities on Thursday. (Read on …)
Committee to Protect JournalistsAccess to U.S. journalist Jane Novak’s Web site, Armiesofliberation, which is frequently critical of the Yemeni government, was repeatedly blocked inside Yemen.
Yemen Observer The security source said that the captured elements’ confessions disclosed that they used to write reports about public opinion trends and sent them together with some photographs to Abdulmalik al-Huthi and external journalists, particularly to the American journalist Jane Novak.
The New York Times Ms. Novak’s perpetual harping on these themes appears to infuriate the Yemeni authorities.
Yemen Times Jane Novak, an American researcher, interviewed Hashid, addressing issues related to human rights, freedom, prisons, and inmates in Yemen. The interview was downloaded onto many news websites, enraging a lot of people.
Aden News Agency Jane Novak is a name that has become coupled with Yemen, not Yemen that is known as it is known by those who doesn't know it, but Yemen as it known by its people.
Gary Swenchonis Sr. Jane was instrumental in helping my wife and myself in many of our successes that we have had since attempting to hold our own government responsible for the promises that they all made to the murdered sailors and the surviving crew of the USS Cole. She helped us achieve a small measure of justice.
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Original work: copyright 2012 by Jane Novak
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