October 28, 2007

Other Scary Terrorists Yemen Freed

Yemen has released many terrorists in addition to Jamal al-Badawi. They defend this practice as a valid counter-terror strategy. This handly list from Jamestown demonstrates my point:

Abdullah Ahmad Salih al-Raymi (b. 1977): Al-Raymi is originally from the city of Taiz. He spent time fighting in Afghanistan, before returning to Qatar where he was arrested. Qatar later extradited him to Yemen in May 2005. Yemeni authorities charged him with forging documents for travel to Afghanistan. He was sentenced to four years in prison. Following his escape from prison, al-Raymi was re-captured in a joint raid by Yemeni security forces and a local counter-terrorism unit in the governorate of Marib on May 5, 2006 (News Yemen, May 11, 2006). He was later released.

More below the fold:

Zakariya Nasir Awadh al-Bayhani (b. circa 1977): Like his brother Mansur, Zakariya was born in the northern Saudi city of Tabuk to Yemeni parents. Both his older and younger brothers, Tawfiq and Ghalib, are currently in U.S. custody in Guantanamo. Following his return to Saudi Arabia from Afghanistan, he was arrested and subsequently extradited to Yemen. In Yemen, he remained in prison although no charges were ever brought against him. Along with his brother Mansur, he turned himself in to Yemeni authorities in late 2006. Both were later released in accordance with a security guarantee.

Zakariya 'Ubadi Qasim al-Yafa'i (b. 1973): Al-Yafa'i was born in Saudi Arabia, and his family is from the village of Yaf'a in the southern Yemeni government of Lahj. Saudi Arabia extradited him to Yemen along with two other men in 2003. He was never charged with any crime, although he was kept in prison until he escaped in February 2006. He was re-captured by security forces in a raid on a house in the Shumayla neighborhood of Sanaa on April 17, 2006 (al-Wasat, April 19, 2006). According to reports, he did not resist arrest. Al-Yafa'i was later released on a security guarantee. Following his release from prison, he was involved in the death of Faris al-Raymi, the younger brother of Qasim al-Raymi, who is still at large. According to a report in the Yemeni newspaper al-Ghad, Zakariya agreed to take Faris to see his brother in early June 2007. The two left al-Raymi's house in Sanaa at 7:30 in the morning. Four hours later, Faris' father, Nasir, received a call from a surgical team at the German hospital in Sanaa saying they had removed seven bullets from Faris' head, chest and hands. Faris remained alive for another week, but never regained consciousness. The reason for his killing remains a mystery.

Jabir Ahmad Salih al-Banna (b. 1966): Al-Banna, who holds dual U.S.-Yemeni citizenship, is also known as Abu Ahmad. His family is from the village of Yahir in the governorate of Dhall'a. Al-Banna was linked to the Lackawana Six, and is still wanted by the United States, which has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. According to the United States, al-Banna was an admirer of Kamal Darwish, a veteran fighter who was killed along with Abu Ali al-Harithi in missile attack by a CIA-operated drone in November 2002. Al-Banna traveled to Afghanistan on May 14, 2001 to participate in an al-Qaeda training camp along with Mukhtar al-Bakri, Sahim Alwan, and Yahya Goba. Before crossing the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan, al-Banna took up residence for a short time at a guesthouse in Kandahar, which was visited by Osama bin Laden. Later, along with his friends, he received military training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. Unlike the others, al-Banna never returned to the United States. One of his former companions, Sahim Alwan, described him as very eager to fight the Northern Alliance and as someone who was actively seeking to become a martyr (PBS, July 24, 2003). He eventually made his way to Yemen, and surrendered himself in Taiz in late 2003, following a lengthy mediation effort headed by a "high-ranking member" of the ruling GPC party (al-Ghad, June 25). Among the guarantees that al-Banna was given was a promise that he would not be extradited to the United States. Al-Banna received a similar pledge from the Yemeni government in May 2007 when he once again turned himself into Yemeni forces along with Abd al-Rahman al-Basurah. He is currently under loose house arrest.

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

Arif Salih Ali Mujali (b. 1984): Arif is the younger brother of Hizam Mujali, and is also known by the kunya Abu al-Layth al-San'ani. As his kunya indicates, he is from Sanaa. Another brother, Yahya, is also active in jihadi circles, and had agreed to marry his daughter to Fawaz al-Rabay'i. He was part of the 15-man cell and was charged with involvement in the November 2002 attack on the Hunt Oil helicopter, planning to attack five embassies, and for planning to assassinate then U.S. Ambassador Edmund Hull. He suffered from an injured leg, which he claimed was the result of torture, during his 2004 trial (Yemen Times, August 19-22, 2004). In the weeks following his escape from prison in February 2006, security forces managed to corner Arif and three companions in a building in the Musayk neighborhood of Sanaa, which has become known over the past few years as a haven for Islamic militants. The four men were able to escape, and eventually made their way to Marib. Sheikh Dalqim eventually persuaded both Arif and Hizam to surrender themselves to the government in August 2006 (al-Wasat, August 30, 2006). Arif is free as part of this arrangement.

Abd al-Rahman Ahmad Hasan Basurah (b. 1981): Like his companion al-Batati, al-Basurah was also born in Saudi Arabia to a Sanaani family. Basurah, who is also known by the kunya, Abu Ghrayb, was also extradited to Yemen from Saudi Arabia and was also charged with being part of the cell formed by Anwar Jaylani in 2005. Basurah's role was apparently collecting information on the French Cultural Center, which was one of the targets in the plot (Yemen Times, March 31-April 3, 2005). He also confessed to making a sketch of the British Embassy (Yemen Times, June 9-12, 2005). During the trial, Basurah admitted that one of the military uniforms seized by security forces was his, but that he had bought it in order to impersonate Saddam Hussein in a student play (Yemen Times, June 2-5, 2005). Later during the trial, Basurah claimed he had been duped by al-Jaylani, and that the leader had exploited his feelings and absconded with his money (Yemen Times, June 9-12, 2005). He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. He later turned himself in alongside Jamal al-Badawi on May 15, 2007. He is currently free on a security guarantee.

By Jane at 06:32 PM | Comments |