August 29, 2009

Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber Who Targeted Saudi Prince Came from Yemen

JEDDAH The suicide bomber who targeted Saudi Arabia’s deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed Bin Naif on Thursday had been based in an area of Yemen (Marib) known to be a base for many al Qa’eda militants, Yemen’s foreign ministry said yesterday.

The fact that a militant was able to get into Saudi Arabia so easily and target a high-ranking politician and prince has added to fears in Riyadh that the current unrest in Yemen could pose problems in the conservative Gulf kingdom.

Its not the unrest that is posing problems but the lack of the Yemeni government's committment to battling al Qaeda. Of all the insurgencies the Yemeni regime is facing, including the southern separatists and northern rebellion, al Qaeda is the most manageable and the most beneficial.

With the Yemeni government is deploying terrorists in its war against Shiite rebels, as it has before, there is a little motivation to crackdown on the group. Note the Yemeni FM says Yemen knows that al Qaeda is based in Marib, but the government doesn't attempt to engage them.

The Al Qaeda threat brings foreign aid from Saudi Arabia and the US to Yemeni President Saleh's regime that other anti-government groups do not. Thus the southern protesters get shot on the street and the Yemeni military is currently bombing cities in the north, but al Qaeda gets a pass.

The Saudi/Yemeni border is difficult to control because much of the smuggling is accomplished by Yemen's security forces.

By Jane at 08:54 PM | Comments |