May 01, 2013
Saudi Arabia Reported Tamerlan Tsarnaev Connection to Yemeni Terrorists in 2012
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.There are conflicting confirmations and denials from various American officials.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev's plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
So it appears that not only was Tsarnaev inspired by al-Qaeda's Inspire online magazine, much like Nidal Hassan and Farouk Abdulmutallab he may have also been in contact with terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Anwar_al-Awlaki and Samir Khan themselves.
If this is confirmed its a major failure. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was all over the radar and lights were flashing but nothing was done.
April 21, 2013
Droned Again: 2 AQAP Mujahid Killed In Central Yemen
The US launched a drone strike against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula today in central Yemen, killing two AQAP operatives. The strike is the third recorded in the country in the past six days.Next?
The remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers launched several missiles at a compound in the Wadi Abida area of Marib province, Yemeni officials told AFP.
Tribal officials then said that two Yemeni troops and another AQAP fighter were killed during clashes that followed. "A cache of weapons was found at the site" of the strike, according to Reuters.
March 26, 2013
Video: The Art Scene of Yemen Flourishes in a Basement
Take that AQAP!
Thanks to @WomanFromYemen
January 24, 2013
Lest Anyone Forget: JihadTweet Against "The Jewish" U.S. Ambassador to #Yemen
Via hearter of a dead guy, "Nasser Al-Qaeda" [Analyst and champion of the causes of the Muslim Ummah and the oppressed everywhere] aka @nsir200011:
Carry on Twitter and ignore your TOS violations.
January 21, 2013
Droned: 3 More AQAP Mujahid Eliminated In Marib, Yemen
Nice! Three days ago 8 of 'em were droned!
[Bill Roggio]US drones struck again in Marib province in central Yemen, killing three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives. The strike is the second in the central province in three days.Next?
The CIA-operated, remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers launched two missiles today at a car as it traveled outside the city of Marib in the province of the same name, according to The Associated Press. Three AQAP members, identified as Ali Saleh Toaiman, Qassim Nasser Toaiman, and Ahmed al Ziadi, a local commander in the province, were killed in the attack, and two more were wounded.[More...]
Yemen: Allahu Handjobbar!!
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemen security official says an explosion in the province of Bayda has killed at least 13 suspected al-Qaida militants.Next?
The official in Bayda's capital city of Radda says the explosion went off in a house owned by a known al-Qaida operative, Ahmed Abdullah Deif-Allah Al-Zahab. It appeared to be an accident.
Residents were barred Sunday from approaching the scene of the incident by militants with links to al-Qaida, the official said
January 20, 2013
#Yemen: US Drone Strike Eliminates 2 Saudi AQAP
[Bill Roggio]The US killed eight people, including two Saudi al Qaeda fighters, in a drone strike yesterday in Marib province in central Yemen. The strike is the first recorded in Yemen in 16 days.
The CIA-operated, remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers launched two missiles at a car as it traveled in the Abieda Valley in Marib province, according to The Associated Press and Reuters.
December 28, 2012
Yemen: Al Qaeda's (AQAP) Media Arm Screws Up
Omits Bounty On US Ambassador to Yemen & US Soldiers (Updated)
A jihadist forum user stated on December 27 that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) recently released video “Jihad of the Ummah” is missing a section. AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Foundation, released the video on jihadist forums on December 23. According to the unidentified jihadist forum user, the original video released on December 23 is missing a section offering a bounty for the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein and U.S. soldiers. A reward of 3,000 grams of gold was offered for the killing of Ambassador Feierstein and five million Yemeni Riyals was offered for the killing of a U.S. soldier serving in Yemen. The rewards would reportedly be paid within six months of the announcement.This is the video that sucked and now it really sucks! Stupid mujahidiots.
() جــهاد أمـــــة () by taimour_abdulwahab1
[h/t for video: al-Qaeda supporter, former troll and Jawaa Bitch: Censored31]
He/she/it should get "I will cut your neck" fatwa for screwing up the video, just sayin..
Update: The missing parts are below. The jihadi claim the parts were deleted by the US. Or, All Your Videos R Belong To Us Akhis:
On Twitter, jihad supporters are currently disseminating what they are calling a segment deleted by the U.S. from the most recent video released by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The segment that is being disseminated, an audio file, includes AQAP's announcement of a reward of 3,000 grams of gold to anyone who assassinates "the Jewish" U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald M. Feierstein, as well as a reward of five million Yemeni riyals (about $23,000) to anyone who kills a U.S. soldier in Yemen.[More...]
December 05, 2012
Meanwhile in Yemen
Jawa contributor and Yemen expert Jane is too depressed to post about Yemen lately.
This is what the New Egypt will look like, should the Islamists win out over, you know, decent folk.
October 12, 2012
12 Years Ago Today: The Bombing Of The USS Cole
The USS Cole bombing was a suicide attack against the United States Navy destroyer USS Cole on October 12, 2000, while it was harbored and refueled in the Yemen port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured. This event was the deadliest attack against a United States Naval vessel since 1987.Heroes gone, but not forgotten.
Image h/t Michelle Malkin, who has an excellent piece and a must read: The Deadly Disgrace of Obama’s Pro-Terrorist Lawyers
Related, from our Yemeni expert Sweet Jane:
Reprinting of her USS Cole article from 2007
October 11, 2012
Yemen Security Chief At US Embassy Killed In Sanaa
Nothing to see here, Osama bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is on its heels
SANAA, Yemen – A masked gunman assassinated a Yemeni security official at the U.S. Embassy in a drive-by shooting in the capital Sanaa on Thursday, officials said.Maybe he was killed because of the video or maybe this tweet. ten hours ago, from Ambassador Rice in support of LGBT community.
The Yemeni officials said the killing bore the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda attack, but it was too early to determine if the group was behind it. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Wait, she tweeted that after the House Oversight Committee were investigating the Benghazi attack? The St Dept account RT'd it as well as Barack Obama.
Look, Big Bird!
September 13, 2012
Mob at US Embassy in Yemen
Hakim from Yemen Post on phone at CNN:
3000 unarmed protesters outside
1000 security forces patrolling
Interior Minister announced anyone seen carrying weapons will be shot
Yemen embassy in US statement: perimeter breached and order restored
Update 6:30 am EST: most people left after the tear gas
Video from inside the compound
more photos below
Photos via Taiz City FB page:
September 12, 2012
AQAP #2 al Shihri may not be dead
Dagnabbit. In an interview in the Saudi Okaz, the Yemeni Interior Minister says he has no info on whether AQAP #2 al Shihiri was killed in an air strike, and he says to ask the Defense Ministry which originally reported the story through an anonymous official. Meanwhile AQAP denies he's dead, and they are usually the most accurate in this situation, unfortunately.
Its quite possible the US media was spun by the Yemeni DOD for the 9/11 anniversary. I thought it was way too quick for all the al Shihri obits, because the Yemeni Defense Ministry has released total disinformation time and time and time again, see my earlier post. I don't know if hes dead or not, but I wouldn't count on it. Its the fifth time he's been announced as killed or captured.
See al Masdar (ar) Yemeni Interior Minister skeptical of information killed Qaeda's second-in-Said al-Shihri
September 10, 2012
Sweeeet! AQAP #2 Killed in Yemen
This hasn't been confirmed by the US yet, and Yemen has announced al-Shihri's death before, so we'll keep M.C. Hammer on ice. But until that time, one can hope:
Said al-Shihri, described as the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been killed in an operation in southern Yemen, government officials say.Keep your fingers crossed.
Al-Shihri was reportedly killed with six others in the Hadramawt area.
Some reports say Yemeni troops were involved, others that it was an air strike, possibly a US drone attack.
Thanks to Laura.
PS -- I almost forgot, he was a former Gitmo inmate.
August 08, 2012
SBD™: US kills AQAP bombmaker, 9 fighters in pair of strikes in Yemen
I love it when terrorists are sploded by drone (SBD™)
The US launched two drone strikes against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen today[yesterday...ed], killing a senior bombmaker and nine other fighters. The US has now conducted three strikes in Yemen in the past four days. Meanwhile, jihadists named one of the AQAP fighters killed in Saturday's drone strike.More please.
In the first strike, the unmanned Predators or Reapers fired several missiles at two vehicles traveling in the town of Rawdah in Baydah province, The Associated Press reported. Yemeni officials said that Abdullah Awad al Masri, a wanted bombmaker who is also known as Abou Osama al Maribi, was killed in the strike. It is unclear if he is a Yemeni, however, as his surname, al Masri, indicates he is an Egyptian.
Two Egyptians, a Tunisian, a Saudi, and a Bahraini were among the seven AQAP fighters killed in the strike. Their identities have not been disclosed.
July 22, 2012
Fast and Furious, the Yemen version
Without much fanfare or explanation, the US State Department revised its defense export policy on Yemen and will now consider applications for licenses to export lethal defense articles to Yemen.
The July 3, 2012 Federal Register notice updates the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and lifts the “presumption of denial” that had been in place since 1992.
In an earlier opening to US-based military contractors and suppliers, the ITAR was revised in August 2011 to allow the export of non-lethal defense articles and services to Yemen.
In the latest ITAR update, the State Department asserted that lifting the arms embargo would enhance US national security and that, “Yemen has taken important steps to stabilize the country, including holding successful presidential elections in February 2012.”
Post revolution Yemen
The 33-year dictatorship of Field Marshall Ali Abdullah Saleh came to an end following a year of nationwide, massive street demonstrations demanding complete regime change. Hundreds of unarmed citizens were killed and over ten thousand wounded as Yemen’s armed forces, headed by Saleh’s relatives, tried to shoot, bomb and burn the protesters into submission.
Saleh and his regime, notorious for brutality and grand corruption, received immunity under a US and Saudi sponsored deal in exchange for Saleh’s resignation. Despite ample evidence of war crimes and financial malfeasance prior to and during the Yemeni revolution, Saleh was neither exiled nor sanctioned. There has been no accounting for the billions stolen from the Yemeni treasury. The US maintains that Saleh is an esteemed leader, welcomed on the political scene.
With 10 million registered voters in Yemen, 6.6 million voted in February’s single candidate election for Saleh’s vice president, Abdu Mansour Hadi. As president, Hadi has achieved significant gains against al Qaeda following decades of Saleh’s appeasement and manipulation of the fanatical group.
However Saleh loyalists continue to thwart progress in Yemen administratively and through covert acts like bombing oil pipelines and a new round of al Qaeda "jailbreaks. Saleh’s paid pens launched a smear campaign against the newly appointed and quite effective Human Rights minister, Hooria Mansour, prompted her boycott of cabinet meetings.
Among the many challenges Hadi faces, the most urgent is child starvation. More than one million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished and 60% suffer from chronic malnutrition, UNICEF said this week. Yemen is also facing a devastating water shortage and 70% of Yemenis have no access to healthcare.
Following the revolution, Yemenis remain largely fragmented and at odds, with many groups and individuals jostling to achieve narrow interests and goals. The lack of communications infrastructure and political experience means that rival groups and former opponents have yet to form a clear national consensus that the rescue of the starving children is the nation’s top priority. Saleh's overthrow has not yet shifted the balance of power between the citizenry and the elite, but instead instead resulted in a partial and ongoing re-shuffle of elites.
As a result, protests across the nation continued following the election, demanding the removal of Saleh’s son Ahmed Saleh, commander of the Special Forces, and Saleh’s nephew Yahya Saleh, commander of the Central Security. The pair are the primary conduits of US counter-terror efforts and recipients of US CT funds and equipment. Ahmed Saleh is reported to own four condos in Washington, D.C. for which he paid 5.5 million dollars in cash.
Continuing US loyalty to Saleh’s relatives baffles and frustrates Yemenis. Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman said, “I cannot believe the US didn’t know of Saleh’s relationship to al Qaeda.” Karman also described ousted president Ali Saleh as "the real hand" behind al Qaeda.
Judge Hamoud al Hittar was Minister of Endowments and spearheaded Yemen's earlier efforts to reform imprisoned al Qaeda operatives through dialog and Koranic debate. He resigned the Ministry in 2011 following regime excesses during the revolution. Al Hittar recently described Ansar al Sharia, the extremist group that occupied several southern towns until Hadi's election, as a blend of al Qaeda operatives, Saleh loyalists and those with local grievances.
Al Hittar also said, "some relatives of Saleh personally contacted with Al-Qaeda operatives and hampered the completion of investigation on the case of USS Cole." Many others have warned of the nexus between the Saleh's mafia and al Qaeda.
In June 2012, President Obama notified Congress of direct US military actions in Yemen, as required by the 1973 War Powers Resolution, stating “The U.S. military has also been working closely with the Yemeni government to operationally dismantle and ultimately eliminate the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most active and dangerous affiliate of al-Qa’ida today. Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP operatives and senior leaders in that country who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests.”
In addition to the State Department’s July 3 move to open the floodgates for arms and contractors, the Pentagon announced that it will resume shipping about $112 million in weapons and equipment for counter-terrorism operations, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote to congressional defense committees on July 5.
Yemen received $252 million in counter-terrorism funding through mid 2010. Shipments were later suspended after state forces, including the Air Force and units commanded by Ahmed and Yahya Saleh, turned their weapons against protesters.
US humanitarian and development aid to Yemen is expected to top $175 million this year.
The faulty Blue Lantern
Yemeni protesters and elites and US officials all consider the restructuring of the Yemeni military and security forces as a top priority. However the phrase has differing meanings to each group. For Yemenis "restructuring" means decommissioning Saleh's relatives; to the US it means arming them.
Additionally, many in Yemen and the US have valid concerns about the US ability to effectively monitor US military shipments to Yemen. US embassy personnel have had difficulty in conducting “Blue Lantern” spot checks on US supplied weapons as far back as 2004, according to one Wikileaks cable.
As a result, in July 2008, the first-ever bilateral agreement between the Yemeni and American armed forces was concluded. In a press release posted to the website of the US embassy in Sana’a, then Ambassador Seche said the End Use Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) for U.S-sponsored military and security assistance would prevent “the misuse or illicit transfer of these items and service.” The press release and all references to the 2008 EUMA have since been scrubbed from the US embassy’s website.
Despite the EUMA, in 2009 US trained counter-terror units and US supplied equipment were routinely diverted to internal armed conflicts in northern Yemen, according to diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. "In the cables, US diplomats complain that their requests for Yemen to halt such diversions were having little effect," Human Rights Watch remarked in calling for an investigation into US counter-terrorism assistance to Yemen.
A January 2010 report issued by Senate Committee on Foreign Relations found that some of the weapons the US government had shipped to the Yemeni military could not be accounted for and that the Yemeni military was “likely” diverting US counter-terror assistance to wage war against their own citizens in the north. The Foreign Relations Committee's fact finding mission further expressed uncertainty that US Embassy personnel fully understood what the EUMA required, and that diversion was prohibited. The report noted,
This potential misuse of security assistance underscores the importance of enhancing the current (2008) end-use monitoring regime for U.S.-provided equipment. Indeed, the existing end-use monitoring protocols in place have revealed discrepancies between U.S. records of security assistance and those that are in the possession of Yemeni defense forces.
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on Yemen a month later, Member Ron Klein (D-FL) noted, “The worst thing we can have for our country, and our troops, and our interests over there is to find that U.S. weapons are being used against us.”
In response, Jeffery Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State assured the committee that, “We're very aware of the human -- of a poor human rights record in Yemen. We're very aware of the fact that the country is awash in a black -- in a black market on weapons. So these factors very much play into how we do the monitoring.”
In December 2010, Human Rights Watch urged the US to “investigate Yemen's apparent diversion of US counterterrorism assistance to an abusive military campaign unrelated to terrorist threats and suspend such aid unless the misuse has stopped.” However, US support was only curtailed in mid-2011 when such abuses occurred in the full glare of the western media attending the popular uprising against Saleh's regime.
Fanning the fire
The impending influx of private contractors and new gun sales to a variety of end users in Yemen permitted under the ITAR revision magnify these concerns about the diversion of US supplied weapons onto the Yemeni black market and their use against civilians and for political ends.
With the loyalty of some units in the military and security services, and vast chunks of the state bureaucracies, lying with former President Saleh and competing commanders, President Hadi’s task of wresting control of the state from al Qaeda and private militias is daunting.
The ITAR’s revision in its policy on Yemen may arise from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vision for a State Department that actively prevents low intensity conflicts. In a speech at a military trade show, Ms Clinton cited US intervention in Yemen as an example of her vision of a more integrated and effective nexus between foreign partners, US diplomats and Special Forces, the Danger Room reports,
The State Department has stood up a new bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, which Clinton said “is working to put into practice lessons learned over the past decade and institutionalize a civilian surge capacity to deal with crises and hotspots.” Together, Special Operations Forces and State’s new Conflict Bureau are the twin arms of an expanding institution for waging small, low-intensity shadow wars all over the world.
But rumor has it Clinton’s vision has its detractors — and that its implementation in hotspots such as Yemen and Congo has made some Special Operations Forces officers very unhappy. In Yemen, in particular, some commando officers look upon the State Department’s expanding shadow-war powers as a bureaucratic intrusion on what should be military territory. A source tells Danger Room that in Yemen State has effectively hijacked all U.S. counter-terrorism funding, requiring a labyrinthine approval process for even small expenditures. According to detractors, the funding control is a way of cementing State’s expansion into the Special Operations Forces traditional remit.
The introduction of private defense contractors and commercial weapons vendors to Yemen in an effort to stabilize the state, enhance its reach and thwart al Qaeda carries both potential risk and reward. With the US’s proven inability to keep track of its prior military shipments, the revision of the ITAR has the potential to inflame low intensity conflicts already underway. Many of these internal disputes have deep roots and long histories; others are a result of the reconfigurations that occurred during and after the 2011 Yemen Revolution.
At the same time, the Yemeni military and security services are sorely in need of re-organization, training, standardized methods and modern equipment. A strong legal framework including respect for civil and human rights, and the rights of the soldiers themselves, needs be introduced from the top down and the bottom up. An impartial body in Yemen should also provide oversight and limitations on imports allowed under the revised US ITAR.
Yemeni service men and women, police and security officers, are in the cross hairs of al Qaeda with assassinations and suicide bombers targeting them nearly daily. And like other sectors of the ravaged and dysfunctional Yemen state, the military and security services could benefit greatly from international aid and support. But the focus of the US State Department must remain on creating an effective and cohesive national force that serves all the Yemeni people and not only urgent US counter-terror interests.
June 29, 2012
Vietnamese Immigrant Charged With Aiding AQAPMet With Awlaki & Samir Khan
A Vietnamese immigrant has been charged in New York over an alleged role in helping al-Qaida in Yemen.The article further states he met with Anwar al Awlaki and Samir Khan. As regular readers know, both were droned. Too bad this assmaggot wasn't with them at the time.
Minh Quang Pham was arrested in Britain. He is accused of traveling to Yemen to train with members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
Pham is also accused of helping the group with its online propaganda efforts. Investigators said he was in Yemen from December 2010 through July 2011.
Update: Alternative title: Samir Khan's assistant arrested in Britain, soon to be shipped to USA
From the indictment, Pham appears to have been actively participating with AQAP just months before the United States killed senior American al-Qaida propagandists Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. The drone strike effectively halted AQAP's reach in the English-speaking world, although the group released two additional issues of the Inspire magazine produced by al-Awlaki and Khan.
June 25, 2012
Drones Kill 2 al Qaeda Bosses in Yemen
Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor!
May 15, 2012
More Drone Strikes Against AQAP in Yemen
This is getting interesting.
The US launched two drone strikes today in a city in southern Yemen that is currently under the control of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Seven AQAP fighters and eight civilians are reported to have been killed in the airstrikes.This follows airstrikes and Yemeni military activity against AQAP over the weekend.
The first strike targeted "a militant hideout" in Jaar, a city in Abyan province that is currently under al Qaeda control, CNN reported. The eight civilians were killed after they attempted to recover the bodies of AQAP fighters, apparently after the unmanned US Predators or Reapers launched a second salvo of missiles into the hideout.
Read "civilians" as "people who just happen to hang with al-Qaeda on a Tuesday afternoon."
Come to think of it even the al-Qaeda are "civilians", they are unlawful belligerents.
May 08, 2012
Update on Underwear Bomb Plot & Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso (Related)
Apparently the "underwear" bomb plot was "thwarted" because it involved a Saudi double agent. He/she infiltrated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (aka AQAP) and agreed to become a suicide bomber. He/she left Yemen for Saudi Arabia for the "planned suicide mission". When landing in Saudi Arabia the double agent contacted both Saudis and CIA agents.
The double agent had the "new and improved" underwear bomb plus coordinates of where, in Yemen, was one of America's most wanted for the USS Cole bombing, Fahd al-Quso. He was droned Sunday.
WASHINGTON — The suicide bomber dispatched by the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda last month to blow up a United States-bound airliner was actually an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who infiltrated the terrorist group and volunteered for the mission, American and foreign officials said Tuesday.Awesome...
In an extraordinary intelligence coup, the double agent left Yemen last month, traveling by way of the United Arab Emirates, and delivered both the innovative bomb designed for his aviation attack and inside information on the group’s leaders, locations, methods and plans to the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi intelligence and allied foreign intelligence agencies[...]
After spending weeks at the center of Al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, the intelligence agent provided critical information that permitted the C.I.A. to direct the drone strike on Sunday that killed Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso, the group’s external operations director and a suspect in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, an American destroyer, in Yemen in 2000. [More..]
May 07, 2012
Developing: CIA thwarts Al Qaeda underwear bomb plot on anniversary of bin Laden's death, US officials sayUpdate: FBI Statement on Seizure of IED Overseas
Will update when more info comes available.
Update: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula[AQAP] is alive and well.
Snippet via ABC Global
U.S. officials say the plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also built to be used in a passenger's underwear but contained a more refined detonation system.Obama: "The war on terrorism is over"
h/t Someone who is fighting against terror in Kenya.
Update II: Via FNC:
The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It's not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.Apparently, there are many disconnects on who exactly was briefed on this terror plot.
The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no Al Qaeda plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden's death. The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday[...]
U.S. officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss the case.
It's not clear who built the bomb, but, because of its sophistication and its similarity to the Christmas bomb, authorities suspected it was the work of master bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two others that Al Qaeda built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010.
Update III: FBI Statement
As a result of close cooperation with our security and intelligence partners overseas, an improvised explosive device (IED) designed to carry out a terrorist attack has been seized abroad. The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it. Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations. The device never presented a threat to public safety, and the U.S. government is working closely with international partners to address associated concerns with the device. We refer you to the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration, regarding ongoing security measures to safeguard the American people and the traveling public.BTW I failed to mention the awesome job our counter terror community did on thwarting this attack. Thank you!
Top al-Qaida bomb maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, resurfaces
May 06, 2012
Yemen: Top al-Qaeda Leader Wanted In USS Cole Bombing, Fahd al-Quso, Killed in Airstrike?
This will be like the umpteenth time or something he has been reportedly killed. Nothing from US officials yet, color me skeptical
SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike today killed a top al-Qaeda leader on the FBI's most wanted list for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship, Yemeni officials said. The airstrike resembled earlier U.S. drone attacks, but the U.S. did not immediately confirm it.Will update when more info becomes available.
Fahd al-Quso was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle, along with another al-Qaida operative in the southern Shabwa province, Yemeni military officials said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with military regulations.
Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI's most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the U.S. for his role in the 2000 bombing in the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured[...]
A telephone text message claiming to be from al-Qaeda media arm confirmed al-Quso was killed in the strike.
Update: Getting a bit warmer (or dead cold as in sploded), via Roggio
Today, an airstrike killed Fahd al Quso (Alias: Abu Huthayfa) in Rafth, Shabwa," according to a statement by the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, D.C., that was received by The Long War Journal.
While the Yemeni Embassy did not say that Quso was killed in a US airstrike, a US intelligence official involved in operations on the Arabian Peninsula confirmed that Quso was indeed the target of a drone strike today. The official would not comment on the Yemeni Embassy's claim of Quso's death.
Quso was traveling in a car with at least two other AQAP operatives when the unmanned Predators or Reapers fired missiles at his car, an intelligence official told The Long War Journal. Three AQAP operates are believed to have been killed in the strike, which occurred at nighttime.[More..]
April 27, 2012
Top al-Qaida bomb maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, resurfaces
WASHINGTON (AP) - When a drone strike killed one of the leaders of al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen[AQAP,,ed] last year, U.S. intelligence officials thought they also had wiped out the terrorist group's top bomb maker.There is a hellfire out there somewhere with his name on it.
Soon it became apparent that Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the brains behind sophisticated bombs that have been used in attempts to attack the U.S., was still alive. A hunted al-Asiri went underground, knowing the U.S. was after him, particularly after the U.S. killed Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the Yemen group's top leaders.
But U.S. counterterrorism officials say he has resurfaced. They worry he might be at work doing what he does best: building bombs that could defeat airline security, The Associated Press has learned.
April 14, 2012
Press Conference of Cole Bombing Defendant At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
More importantly, the victims and families:
USS Cole bombing victims and victim family members' press conference following a series of motion hearings in the case of U.S. vs. Al Nashiri, held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Carol Rosenberg, reporter from the Miami Herald, has covered all things GITMO:
April 11, 2012
al-Qaeda Beheads Woman in Yemen
Al Qaeda beheaded a woman for not being a good Muslim in the south eastern town of Rada'a, said local sources on Wednesday.I would like to say this is a rare public murder by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but its not especially of late.
Al Qaeda fighters stormed the house of Mrs AlSharifa Amer, in Bani Zeyad, Rada'a, and slaughtered her and took the head and hang it in front of the house of Mohammed Mohammed Al Awbali. Mrs Amer is locally known as a popular doctor who treats sick people by herbs .
The sources said that Al Qaeda considered the woman as an enemy of Allah for being a "trickster".
April 02, 2012
Things That Make Me Feel Better: Volume I Issue I
Yemen's army shelled Al-Qaeda hideouts in the southern city of Zinjibar, one of the jihadists' major strongholds, killing six militants, a local official told AFP on Monday.Hmmmm, Somalia? Wonder if Omar Shafik Hammami was there or close by.
The official, speaking from the nearby town of Jaar where wounded militants and dead bodies from Zinjibar are usually taken, said that "a Somali group leader named Abu Bilal" was among those killed in the late Sunday assault.
One can only hope so.
There was chatter about disillusioned al-Shabaab members feeing to Yemen in small boats shortly after Hammami, AKA Abu Mansour al-Amriki, expressed his displeasure with al-Shabaab. So far as I know he's not been heard from since that can be confirmed.
Hat Tip: J.M. Berger.
March 30, 2012
Airstrikes Against al Qaeda in Yemen
You know my motto: kill every member of al Qaeda, big or small.
March 12, 2012
Yemen: AQAP hides hostages in US CT liaison's warehouse
Seriously, if you are looking for AQAP hostages in Yemen, its always a good idea to start with the land owned by deposed dictator Ali Saleh & his relatives including the US's Counter Terror liaison, Yahya Saleh, nephew of Ali, and specifically the al Maz warehouse in Jaar, Abyan:
Yemen Times: Dozens of soldiers are held inside the Al-Maz Company, owned by Yahya Saleh, nephew of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The soldiers were captured during armed confrontations in Dofas on March 4.
Sources close to Ansar Al-Sharia stated that no soldiers were wounded or killed during the recent (ed- US drone) raids.
The militants have demanded that 300 Al-Qaeda militants be released in return for the release of 72 captured soldiers.
With multiple news sites reporting, its likely true. Since the drones didn't hit the warehouse, the US probably also knows it as well. Collusion between al Qaeda and the top levels of the Saleh regime goes back decades and is undeniable.
The mystery is why the Obama administration is pushing, bullying and threatening the Yemeni opposition in order to keep Saleh's relatives as heads of the CT units and in other military and security posts.
There were public protests Friday across Yemen demanding Saleh's relatives be deposed from the military and security forces. Air Force pilots have been protesting for weeks to replace Saleh's corrupt brother as AF commander. The US ambassador told them to go back to work, repeatedly.
US Ambassador Feierstein also affirmed repeatedly that the Obama administration believes former dictator Ali Saleh has the right to remain in Yemen active in politics. Saleh was granted immunity for all his crimes as part of the US, UN transition plan. None of "his" assets have been frozen, although they are all ill gotten--stolen, embezzled or the result of black market smuggling.
Meanwhile Saleh's son and head of another CT unit, Ahmed Saleh, has a $5M condo in DC. That's your taxpayer dollars right there people.
US officials highlight the very real and growing threat of AQAP. Yet contrary to national security concerns, the Obama admin is continuing its efforts to maintain and restore the Saleh regime, which has a long history of colluding with al Qaeda and diverting CT aid.
In 2007, an end use monitoring agreement was signed by the US and Yemen to prevent diversion of US CT funds and military equipment. A 2010 report by the Foreign Relations committee revealed many lapses in US monitoring, ie- missing equipment, US trained CT forces fighting the Houthis and not al Qaeda. The responsible US officials made few if any reforms as a result of the report, and the CT forces were involved in slaughtering hundreds of Yemeni protesters in 2011.
Yemen Post: An investigation commission found that the former commander of Southern Region Mahdi Maqwala was involved in supporting Al-Qaeda militants, an Emirate newspaper, Al-Bayan, has quoted Yemeni military sources as saying.
The sources told Al-Bayan on Sunday that Maqwala supported the militants with weapons and helped them to capture military positions in the southern governorate of Abyan....Yemeni politicians (ed- with formal statements) and analysts accused the ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of using Al-Qaeda to intimidate some Western countries with the aim of keeping his relatives in their military positions.
Governor of Abyan Saleh Al-Zawari has accused military and political services of surrendering Abyan to Al-Qaeda.
In remarks to a local Aden radio, the governor also revealed that tanks, cannons and other military equipments were surrendered to Al-Qaeda militants without any resistance, pointing out that those behaviors were clear evidence of the collusion of some military services with Al-Qaeda.
March 10, 2012
Impending AQAP attack on US Embassy Sanna, Yemen: report
***Sticky until noonish, scroll down for newer posts***
The plan appears to be a diversionary attack in Mukallah Hadramout, then a vehicular swarm in the capital Sanaa with many targets including the US Embassy.
The Yemeni security has been making official statements about an impending attack in Hadramout and exactly which cars they are looking for, but this (in my view, reliable) report takes it the next step.
For earlier news reports on Ibrahim al Banna, see my post yesterday and then just keep clicking back through the earlier links and later trackbacks.
The short story is Ibrahim al Banna (Egyptian) was arrested in Hadramout in 2008 after a lethal January ambush on a Belgium tourist convoy in Shibam. He was tried and convicted in 2010, and reported killed in a 2011 drone strike. But then AQAP said he wasn’t dead after all, and it turned out that many of the 21 charged with the terrorist attack were convicted in absentia.
Yemen Observer: Reliable sources have said that al-Qaeda has been preparing for its largest operations yet in the capital city of Sana’a, operations aimed at strategic sites including military and security installments and embassies.
Sources said that al-Qaeda cells in the areas of Zindan and Arhab have trained for operations involving the storming of fortified sites, attacking fixed and mobile targets while aboard vehicles and motorbikes, and that al-Qaeda militants have entered Sana’a in preparation for carrying out their attacks in the coming few days.
The sources expect that al-Qaeda’s potential targets include the Airbase in Sana’a, the Interior Ministry, Republican Guard units and a number of embassies, including the American embassy.
Related: US drones strikes kill 25 AQ in Yemen overnight: "Moreover recent news that al-Shaba’a, the Ethiopian al-Qaeda wing had sent hundreds of Jihadists over to Abyan to join in Ansar al-Sharia, has been the cause of great concerns for both the government and the civilian population, as they feel their land could become the ground of a mighty war."
Ethiopians? al Shaba'a? 1) Maybe these are the nine mystery ships that everyone is talking about arriving before last Sunday's attack on the military base in Abyan that killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers. 2) How weak is AQAP that they need to import fighters?
There's also reports of drone strikes in Jaar, Abyan that destroyed the military equipment AQAP captured from the army last week-end. The Yemeni soldiers captured (who weren't beheaded or otherwise mutilated) were paraded around Jaar, forced to train the terrorists on how to operate the tanks, and now are threatened with execution if the govt doesn't release AQ prisoners.
Update: I fixed the Yemen Observer link, its quite a lengthy article and bumped the post from 730 to noon. Scroll down for new.
Update 2: The al Baydah airstrikes hit the AQAP training camp and targeted local al-Qaeda leader Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani, the BBC reports. Its always good when there are no immediate reports of civilian casualties, I would have heard by now.
March 08, 2012
Obama admin scrubs End Use Monitoring Agreement from Yemen embassy website?
Speaking of inventorying the Yemeni military, in June 2008, the US and Yemen signed an end use monitoring agreement on military hardware which the US embassy said, will allow for the verification of articles and services provided to Yemen under U.S.-sponsored military and security assistance, thus preventing the misuse or illicit transfer of these items and services.
So who's going to take the fall for the failure to monitor millions in US CT aid to Yemen? Or for their use against civilians, including the 2011 youth protesters and thousands in the South and Saada before the protests began, over the last four years? President Saleh's immunity deal doesn't extend to US officials.
Hey, lets just change the website and pretend it didn't happen!
Being the optimistic, patriotic person I am, I searched the US embassy's website assuming it was just re-indexed but no, there is no reference to the 2008 End Use Monitoring Agreement on the site anymore. I searched by date and keywords. There's lots of old stuff including the Financial Systems Assessment Team (FSAT) report from 2007.
I would love to stand corrected on this; somebody show me where it is on the site and that the US is not doing stupid crap like deleting the notice (like they often revise the White House website when something gets uncomfortable.)
But much more importantly, back to my original question, who in the USG was responsible for end use monitoring for the last four years anyway, or more correctly who was derelict or knowingly passive, the only two options, as millions in US tax payer money was used against Saleh's political enemies (and thousands of civilians) as Al Qaeda got stronger?
Saleh's diversion of US granted aid and US trained counter-terror units was well known and openly discussed, as demonstrated by Wikileaks. More importantly, a Congressional fact finding survey entitled FOLLOWING THE MONEY IN YEMEN AND LEBANON: MAXIMIZING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF U.S. SECURITY ASSISTANCE AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTION LENDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE dated Jan 5, 2010 clearly documents diversion of US military aid. There was either collusion or cluelessness in the US Embassy and State Department.
The Foreign Relations Committee's report expresses uncertainty that US Embassy personnel fully understood what the end use agreement required, and that diversion was prohibited.
This is a link to the 2011 US Congressional Service report on US mil aid to Yemen and a small part of the overall report:
1206 Defense Department Assistance In recent years, the Defense Department’s 1206 train and equip fund has become the major source of overt U.S. military aid to Yemen. Section 1206 Authority is a Department of Defense account designed to provide equipment, supplies, or training to foreign national military forces engaged in counter terrorist operations. Between FY2006 and FY2007, Yemen received approximately $30.3million in 1206 funding. In the last two fiscal years, it has received $221.8 million. As of mid-FY2010, Yemen is the largest global 1206 recipient, receiving $252.6 million. Pakistan is the second-largest recipient with $203.4 million.This is only one section of total US military aid to Yemen. And as part of the transitional government's military restructuring, they are going to take an inventory. I hope the Foreign Relations Committee issues a follow on report.
March 07, 2012
Shaffer: Awlaki a US agent before 9/11
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, former DIA analyst in the Able Danger data mining operation, says in a current interview that Anwar Al Awlaki was a US double or triple agent before 9/11.
That may account for the US closing its investigation of Anwar's connections to the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman in 1999. Once Awlaki's many ties to the 9/11 highjackers became clear, a JTTF San Diego investigation was reopened. But in 2002, US Attorney Gaouette rescinded an arrest warrant against Anwar for passport fraud, a day before he re-entered the US.
Anwar as a double agent for and a triple agent against the US might explain the utter communication breakdown between JTTF's DC and San Diego offices on Awlaki's email correspondence with the soon to be jihaddist murderer Nidal Hassan.
It might also explain why Awlaki was never charged with anything--not incitement, not conspiracy to murder, even after the Nigerian Abdumutallab said he met with Awlaki regarding the Dec 2009 airplane bombing plot hatched in Yemen. On the other hand, it could all be a string of incompetence and bad luck. I don't know which would be worse.
News Rescue In video, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer describes how Anwar al-Awlaki Was a triple agent, and an FBI Asset Before 9/11 on infowars. Anthony Shaffer is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who gained fame for his claims about mishandled intelligence before the September 11 attacks and for the censoring of his book, Operation Dark Heart.
Shaffer and the Able Danger team also uncovered intelligence of an impending al Qaeda terror plot in the Gulf of Aden in the weeks immediately prior to the bombing of the USS Cole on Oct 12, 2000 in Yemen. Able Danger tried strenuously to issue a warning that, like DIA analyst Kye Fallis' was thwarted.
Despite the NSA's constant and years long monitoring of the Yemen hub and the CIA's surveillance of the 2000 Malaysia meeting where both the Cole attack and 9/11 were planned, no intelligence warning on the Cole bombing was generated or forwarded from those agencies either. (The CIA later withheld info on the Malaysia meeting from the FBI as it was investigating the Cole, leaving connections to the impending 9/11 attack unexplored.)
Lt. Shaffer was black balled by DIA after he went public with the 9/11 Commission's failure to include his testimony regarding the presence of Atta in the US. Commander Lippold was essentially forced to retire by DOD. Fallis quit DIA on the day of the Cole bombing.
The Malaysia meeting was attended by current AQAP leader Fahd al Quso and top AQ operatives from several nations. As I've been saying for nearly a decade, al Quso's unique threat level comes from his operational experience (blowing up a warship) coupled with his international connections and credibility.
Al Quso was indicted on over 50 counts of terrorism in NY's Southern District in 2003 following his 2002 escape from Aden jail. The Sanaa regime secretly released al Quso in May 2007 despite a ten year sentence handed down after his 2004 "recapture," the Washington Post reported. Al Quso finally made it to the MWT list in Nov 2009 and was designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department in Dec 2010.
The US began its drone campaign in Yemen with strikes in Dec 2009, where Awlaki and other AQAP leaders were supposedly meeting at Fahd al Quso's farm. Al Quso gave several media interviews recently, noting how lovely things are in the AQ occupied towns in Yemen, when they are not crucifying spies, beheading soldiers, looting banks and dehanding teen-agers.
February 26, 2012
The butcher Saleh back in Yemen
Barak Obama's friend, the war criminal Ali Saleh departed the US and is back in Yemen. Saleh's immunity is a central part of the US sponsored "transition" plan that included a 48 million dollar, single candidate (sham) "election."
Yemen's first new president in 33 years, Abdo Mansour Hadi, previously Saleh's Vice, was sworn in on Saturday. Hadi received 6.6 million votes of 10 million registered and two million eligible new voters. On election day, the electoral commission said 13 million votes were printed and they had run out of ballots during the day.
The Obama administration has said it will actively supervise the restructuring of the Yemeni military and other political and economic reforms.
Previous: We broke it, we own it: Yemen
February 21, 2012
We broke it, we own it: Yemen
Yemen’s presidential “election” Tuesday was a single candidate affair designed by the United States. Abdu Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s Vice President since 1994, was elected to the presidency in a poll that saw broad turnout among men, women and children.
Yemenis embraced the opportunity to partake in dethroning Saleh. The ballot only contained a yes option although some voters scribbled the names of murdered protesters on the ballot before they voted.
The Obama administration is framing the election as a success and furthermore a model for other transitions, although the power transfer agreement designed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was imposed over broad public objections. One difficulty is Saleh’s immediate family remains in control of most of the security forces and military, as well as major economic concerns and vast swaths of land. This gif at Critical Threats.org shows the incestuous nature of power in Yemen.
Mr. Hadi was selected as a consensus candidate by UN envoy Jamal ben Omar under the terms of the GCC deal, and strongly backed by the US and Saudi Arabia. The GCC transition plan supersedes the Yemeni constitution and laws. In the event the unity government is unable to reach consensus on any issue, President Hadi makes the final decision. The plan effectively re-establishes a dictatorship although some have called it more akin to an international trusteeship.
In November, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement to resign in return for prosecutorial immunity for 33 years of major corruption, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UN Security Council endorsement of the immunity deal for Saleh was unprecedented and likely violates international law and certainly UN principles, the UNHCHR said in a statement at the time.
Hundreds of protesters were killed during the Yemeni Revolution and thousands wounded. In addition, well over a thousand southern protesters were killed 2007-2011 in pro-independence protests. A five year war in the northern province of Saada was characterized by collective punishment including bombing villages, refugee camps, mosques and hospitals. The Saleh regime also deliberately denied food and medical supplies and international aid during the Saada War in a pattern that constituted collective punishment, Human Rights Watch found. Saleh got off scott-free for all of it.
The GCC deal was overt rejected by millions of protesters since its proposal in April 2011. Saleh agreed and reneged on the deal several times, once besieging western diplomats gathered for the signing with a mob of pro-regime gun-toting thugs.
Following Saleh’s November resignation, the GCC deal created a unity government between Saleh’s ruling party and the compromised and ineffectual opposition party coalition led by Islah, the Islamic Reform Party. The protests were triggered by the failure of the political party system, and the protests were neither led by nor endorsed by the opposition parties until they were well underway.
The unity government designed in Washington raised most regressive elements in society, Islah and the GPC, well above the levels of their popular legitimacy and re-establishes the political statement that existed for years in Yemen. A strong contingent of protesters clinging to the demand for a “civil’ government, non-military and non-theocratic, was sidelined by the Obama administration. Also frozen out are the protesters themselves, the southerners, the northern rebels in Saada. In one ironic twist, ruling party members who resigned the party in protest of Saleh’s barbarism toward the protesters are also excluded from the unity government.
Phase one of the GCC deal was completed with today’s poll. Next the unity government is required to ask for and accept international assistance. Russia (to whom Yemen owes $6 billion for MIGs and other weapons) will help reconcile the ruling party with the opposition parties. The US is going to take charge on restructuring the Yemeni military, quite an overdue and necessary task. The EU appears to have focused on necessary political reforms including electoral reform. A national reconciliation conference will designate a committee to draft a new constitution in three months.
The counter-revolution, a Saudi-US effort, derailed the protests by supporting Saleh months past any logical or moral threshold, and failing to hold him to account for any of his crimes. The US still has not frozen any of the funds or assets (reported to be in the billions) that Saleh stole from the Yemeni treasury.
While the US may frame the political intervention into the Yemeni revolution as good counter-terror policy, many have questioned that premise including Jeremy Scahill, see Washington's War in Yemen Backfires and Katie Zimmerman in Recipe for Failure at Critical Threats.org
Areas of violence during the vote included Aden in south Yemen where an announced boycott degenerated as mobs attacked polling centers and absconded with ballot boxes. Some southerners view the south as "occupied" by the (Northern) Saleh regime since 1994 when they claim, Saleh imposed the unity of north and south Yemen by force. Although mass marches broke out in 2007, southerners never developed representative mechanisms or an overarching organizational structure even as their numbers grew, accounting for the nihilistic approach to the election. The latest tally has eight killed, including both soldiers and separatist protesters.
The inglorious butcher Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in the United States since January 28. He may return to Yemen for Mr. Hadi's inauguration and to lead the General People's Congress party, according to the US ambassador to Yemen.
February 16, 2012
When Honor Killings Go Terribly Right: AQAP Leader Killed by His Brother
This should be a Lifetime movie of the week:
Hazam al-Thahb, Yemeni tribal chief from the southeastern Yemeni town of Rada, which was briefly taken over by al-Qaeda militants, killed his younger brother, Tariq al-Thahb, a high-profile leader in AQAP....Bwahahahaaaa!
"He has killed his younger brother after he repeatedly warned him not to align himself with the islamists, however his brother was obstinate and did not pay heed to his warnings and advice. That's why he had to kill him before he is killed by the authorities, said the tribal dignitary....
Tribal Yemeni customs and traditions make it obligatory for a brother to stand by his brother even if he was on the wrong, and that it's very shameful not to avenge your brother murder regardless of what he was killed for.
Realizing one day his brother Tariq would be killed by either Yemeni government or by US drone, Hazam tried to make his brother disassociate himself with al-Qaeda. When Tariq refused to listen to his elder and wiser brother, Hazem preferred to kill his brother by his own in order not to have to take revenge against any one involved in his murder, according to tribal sources close to al-Thahb.
H/T: Jane Novak
February 13, 2012
3 Beheaded as U.S. "Spies" in Yemen
Spies, right. I don't doubt we have sources all over Yemen feeding us information. I just doubt that the al Qaeda types are smart enough to figure out who is and who isn't working for the kuffar.
When al Qaeda took over Fallujah they would routinely execute "spies". You know, guys who didn't wear baggy pants and women who died their hair blond. You know, spies!
But maybe their methods have become more sophisticated in the past five years? Maybe, they throw the accused in the water. If they float, spies!
Islamist militants in southern Yemen said they executed three men on Sunday for giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes in the area.Remember that time Jesus beheaded those Sadducees for working with the Crusader Romans? Good times.
Residents of the towns of Jaar and Azzan said two Saudis and one Yemeni were beheaded at dawn by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.
January 20, 2012
Yemen's counter-terror chief hands town to al Qaeda: opposition
Hundreds of "militants" waltzed into Raada, a town a few hundred miles from Yemen's capital, and took over several government buildings, emptied the jail and assumed positions at the base of the elite Republican Guard, headed by President Saleh's son, Ahmed, the point man for the US on counter-terror operations.
The Yemeni opposition, local Sheikhs and residents charge that Prince Ahmed gave up the town without a fight in order to create chaos and delay the presidential election scheduled for Feb 21. The Republican Guard is also responsible for much of the violence toward the protesters, ie- an al Qaeda facilitating murderer is the US's main contact on CT efforts.
The upcoming presidential election is an uncontested. Saleh's VP has been endorsed by the opposition and will have a two year term. The Yemeni public has refused the US endorsed, UN brokered transition plan which affords immunity to Saleh for all his crimes over the last 33 years as well as many of his aids.
Protests across Yemen continue daily against the plan which is the diametric opposite of what the protesters were trying to achieve, an entire regime change and a transitional council to guide the shift to a parliamentary system. Instead the US plan puts the fractured regime back together in a unity government.
Many in Yemen are also concerned that the US/Saudi approved transition plan elevated the Islamic Reform party, Islah, into power ministries and other leadership positions that they would not have attained otherwise.
CNN:This comes as thousands of anti-Saleh protesters marched in the streets of Radda on Wednesday, condemning what they say was an act of treachery by relatives of Saleh.In addition to the protests in Raada, the provincial capital al Bayhad held a mass protest against the al Qaeda presence on Tuesday.
"Saleh's nephew and son handed over the town to the militants. They wanted al Qaeda to take over the town to raise the tension in the country," said Sameer Ashtal, a youth protester in Radda.
He added, "Saleh is willing to destroy to the entire country for the sake of himself, and that is why he has to leave power."
Marchers in Radda chanted, "Saleh's family sold Radda. He will stand trial for this crime."
Update: fighting erupted today between al Qaeda and the local tribesmen, who had given the terrorists a two day deadline to leave the town.
January 16, 2012
Good News: Al Qaeda Claims Yemen Town
How do you solve a problem like Yemen?
Al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate has taken control of a city just 100 miles south of the capital, after militants led by the brother-in-law of the late U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki stormed the police station and the prison in Rada'a Saturday.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula now controls seven population centers in Southern Yemen, according to officials. It has so far rebuffed attempts by the Yemeni military to retake ithe provincial capital of Zinjibar, which militants overran in May.
January 09, 2012
Immunity for the Yemeni regime means immunity for al Qaeda
Read it and weep. Its the most absurd policy imaginable (immunity for a mass murderer who continues to kill), thoroughly counter-productive and it undermines US moral authority on human rights issues, al Qaeda and basic decency. Obama's Yemen policy is really that bad. My article:
Obama's strategic blunder in Yemen may shield Al Qaeda from prosecutionRead the rest, its just beyond bizarre.
A law passed by Yemen’s cabinet on Sunday provides blanket immunity to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and all those who served in his governments over the last 33 years. One unintended consequence may be to also immunize those al Qaeda operatives on the payroll of the Yemeni military and security services.
The law grants immunity to Saleh "and whoever worked with him in all the state's civil, military and security apparatus and organizations during the period of his rule." The US has pushed for the transition plan since May despite broad public rejection of the immunity clause.
Yemeni military commanders including those now in the opposition are thought be complicit in a range of terror attacks, in addition to a long standing pattern of facilitation of al Qaeda. Many al Qaeda operatives who draw a state salary would then be covered under the immunity deal.
As one example, former Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued an official travel permit to Abdel Rahman al Nashiri in 2000, covering the period of the USS Cole attack that killed 17 US service members. Not only would the law absolve Mr. Arab of any complicity in the al Qaeda attack, it may also absolve al Nashiri.
December 29, 2011
Gold Star parents urge Obama to do the right thing
As pressure builds on the Obama administration to deny a diplomatic visa to ousted Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the family of a sailor killed in the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole urged that Saleh be denied entry to the United States.
In a public plea, Gary and Deborah Swenchonis are calling on US officials to “do the right thing” in light of Saleh’s “ruthless behavior” toward both his own people and the sailors aboard the USS Cole when it was attacked.
“If Saleh was allowed to come here to America, it would be just another insult in a long line of insults to the murdered sailors, those wounded, and those sailors who fought so hard and so long to keep the Cole afloat, and to bring her back home. And not to mention all the other Americans who could never understand why our own government continued to befriend Saleh in light of how he helped the plotters of the Cole Attack in which 17 American sailors were murdered, and 39 more wounded.”
Their son Gary Swenchonis Jr. was a fireman aboard the USS Cole and among those US service members killed in October 2000 when al Qaeda operatives detonated a bomb alongside the warship as it was refueling in the Port of Aden.
The Swenchonis family notes that through several administrations, the US government has never held Saleh to account for his part in obstructing the USS Cole investigation, allowing the terrorists to repeatedly escape justice or in facilitating the attack itself.
Like other aggrieved parties including torture victims, the Swenchonis family vowed to use “every legal option at our disposal to make him stand trial in a civil court” should Saleh find refuge in the United States.
Read the rest of my article here.
December 24, 2011
New Yemeni regime slaughters protesters, ongoing
Thousands of bare foot, bare chested Yemeni youth terrify the barbaric Sana'a regime and the international community with their bleeding feet.
The 170 mile Life March from Taiz arrived in Sanaa to be attacked by Central Security forces with live fire and tear gas.
The march is meant to underscore popular rejection of a bogus transition plan devised by the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) and endorsed by the US, EU and SA and mediated by the UN.
The GCC plan grants immunity to Saleh and his administration for decades of corruption and massacres against protesters that left thousands dead and wounded since February. The unity government is the regime re-branded with the inclusion of some "opposition" party leaders.
Nine wounded marchers were transported to the field hospital in Sana'a Change Square. One fatality has been confirmed by medics but as many as nine more have been reported to be killed. Security forces are preventing ambulances from reaching other wounded marchers bleeding out on the streets, NYR
From my Examiner article today: The Obama administration's insistence in retaining elements of the Saleh administration and security forces has thwarted the regime change demanded by millions and allowed al Qaeda to flourish in southern towns. Although US counter-terror efforts have had more latitude to operate since protests began, the Saleh regime and al Qaeda have long had a symbiotic relationship.
Also read at Global Voices: “These GCC states are not at all competent to deal with popular requests for liberty and freedom, not to mention democratic government, because they themselves are mostly despotic regimes,” observed Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC). “They themselves would never welcome such requests from their own people, let alone be ready to accommodate such demands by people in neighboring states.”