Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Houthis dish on Al Qaeda in Yemen

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

finally after 10 years

Highlights:

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

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

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

(Read on …)

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

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

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

By Mohammed Al Haddar

Hadramout tribes issue statement upon the killing of Sheikh Harish

Filed under: Hadramout, Local gov, Security Forces, Tribes, statements — by Jane Novak at 8:23 am on Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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
of Hadramout.

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.

Yemen Defense Min targeted for assassination for 7th time, AQAP raid

Filed under: Ministries, Post Saleh, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.

The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.

When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.

Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.

This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.

On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised

They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.

Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.

“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.

The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.

Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.

A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

HRW: “The (Yemeni) Central Security Forces’ failure to stop the shooting suggests either gross negligence or complicity with the gunmen”

Filed under: Mahweet, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, September 27, 2012

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.”

BTW the son of the governor of Mahweet from post, Yemen: Son of governor escapes justice after massacre:

mahweetgovson.jpg

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 …)

Rouge commander in Yemen refuses to relinquish US supplied CT weapons equipment, Updated: Yemeni Min says Saleh undermining transition

Filed under: Military, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 7:13 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

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 …)

Next Page »
 

Bad Behavior has blocked 10463 access attempts in the last 7 days.