April 05, 2007

Yemen Supporting Terrorists in Iraq

Jawa Report co-blogger Jane Novak has written an article for The Weekly Standard on Yemen's at best "inconsistent" assistance in the GWOT and its consistent support and training for terrorists and foreign fighters in Iraq.

Jane Novak Via The Weekly Standard: YEMEN OPERATES LARGELY under the radar as a supporter of the global jihad. Both Yemeni and U.S. officials publicly tout Yemen's partnership with the United States in the war on terror. The U.S. embassy in Sana'a described the February 2006 escape of 23 al Qaeda operatives from a maximum security jail as "understandable in a way," considering Yemen's rampant corruption, weak institutions, and bureaucratic incompetence. (The escapees included several Cole bombers and an American associated with the Lackawanna, New York terror cell.) Presidential assistant Frances Townsend has described the Yemeni regime as an "inconsistent" partner in the war on terror, but Yemen has been quite consistent in its appeasement and facilitation of al Qaeda and related jihadi groups, and, as a result, has played a significant role in the destabilization of Iraq.

…In May 2005, a Yemeni government official stated that elements of the Yemeni secret services had established training camps for exiled Iraqi Ba'athists who wished to fight U.S. forces in Iraq. A number of sources reported that Yemen was using chlorine gas against the Shiite rebels in 2005, a full year before foreign fighters in Iraq adopted the same tactic…

…The courts in Yemen have also gone to great lengths to appease jihadists. A Yemeni court ruled in July that Yemeni law does not criminalize fighting with terrorists forces in Iraq. Nineteen suspects were tried on charges of belonging to the al Qaeda linked "Zarqawi Cell." Six of the nineteen were convicted on a lesser charge of forging official documents, though the defendants admitted fighting with the Iraqi resistance. A Yemeni court found that joining the Iraqi insurgency did not violate Yemeni law as "Islamic Shari'a law permits jihad against occupiers."

You may comment on Jane’s story at her home blog, Armies of Liberation.

By Howie at 07:35 AM | Comments |