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High risk US embassy in Yemen gets Marine reinforcements as protests continue

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

High risk US embassy in Yemen gets Marine reinforcements as protests continue
by Jane Novak

An elite Marine rapid response team arrived in Yemen’s capital to protect the US embassy there which remains vulnerable and in disrepair following a mob attack this week.

Protests against a video clip deeply insulting to Muslims turned violent Wednesday when several hundred protesters in Sana’a breached the US embassy’s exterior parameter, burned 61 cars, looted computers and destroyed other property including the gate surrounding the compound.

View slideshow: Mob attacks US Embassy, Sanaa

The 14 minute video clip was uploaded to Youtube by a man in California two months ago. Its existence became public knowledge in Yemen following the murder of US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and prompted the attack on the embassy, wide spread US flag burning and chants of “Death to America” as protests continued this week across Yemen.

News of the Marine’s deployment “enraged” Yemenis already in a heightened state of emotionalism, the Yemen Observer reported. About 50 Marines are reported to have been deployed.

Many Yemenis are unaware that the US Constitution specifically prohibits governmental infringement on religious speech and are hoping the US will arrest the film maker as could occur in a dictatorship. A substantial majority however consider the mob violence more insulting to Islam than the video.

President Abdu Mansour Hadi said in a statement that he “extends his sincere apologies to President Obama and to the people of the United States of America” for the attack.

US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, a highly controversial figure, said in a statement today that the deployment would be short lived and limited to the embassy grounds. Ambassador Feierstein said, “The only task of these individuals to provide assistance in our diplomatic facilities and protect American diplomats from violence, and is a temporary assignment…”

High Risk Embassy

The United States Embassy in Yemen is at especially high risk for a terrorist attack.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) previously attacked the US Embassy in Sana’a in September 2008 in a complex attack that killed four innocent bystanders including one Yemeni-American, as well as 10 Yemeni security personnel. AQAP is the most dangerous and active offshoot of al Qaeda.

The fanatical AQAP group was later responsible for the attempted murder of Saudi Prince Naif with the high explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) in August 2009, and the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit in December 2009, also with PETN. In October 2010, AQAP shipped toner cartridges rigged with PETN on a cargo plane headed for the US.

In Yemen, AQAP derailed the 2011 Youth Revolution and seized territory—facilitated by military commanders loyal to the former dictator, Ali Saleh. The city of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, was looted, and destroyed. It became a ghost town as residents fled the al Qaeda occupation for the relative safety of Aden. Al Qaeda was driven underground in June of this year, reappearing in cells in the capital as well as other governorates. The group left behind hundreds of land mines in Zinjibar.

The al Qaeda group in Yemen is engaged in a long running assassination campaign targeting a wide variety of Yemenis, most frequently members of the security forces and intelligence and high profile members of the Yemeni Transitional Government.

On Saturday, AQAP praised the 9/11 murder of US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, as al Qaeda retribution for the June death of terrorist leader Abu Yahya al Libi in a US drone strike in Pakistan. “The killing of Sheikh Abu Yahya only increased the enthusiasm and determination of the sons of (Libyan independence hero) Omar al-Mokhtar to take revenge upon those who attack our Prophet,” Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said as quoted by the US-based monitoring group, SITE.

President Abdu Mansour Hadi said the attack on the US embassy in Sana’a was an attempt to derail his visit to Washington DC later this month. He also pointed to divisions within the security forces; loyalists and relatives of the former dictator remain in their government posts. A Youtube video shows Yemeni security officers waved protesters past a checkpoint leading to the US embassy Wednesday.

The interim president, Mr. Hadi is facing substantial challenges seven months into his term. The US sponsored transition plan for Yemen grants the former oligarchy including Ali Saleh immunity from prosecution for its decades of war crimes prior to and during Yemen’s year-long uprising demanding regime change.

Rewriting international law

The protests across Yemen may point to a deeper frustration as many of the Youth Revolutionaries believe their path to democracy was highjacked by political leaders, AQAP and the international community.

Mr. Hadi was Mr. Saleh’s Vice President and was elected in a single candidate election on February 24, 2012 as part of the transition plan endorsed by the US, Saudi Arabia and the UN Security Council and brokered by UN envoy Jamal Omar. The immunity clause represents a significant departure from established international law on crimes against humanity.

The US has rejected the revolutionaries’ continuous appeals to freeze Saleh’s US assets, and Ambassador Feierstein supports Ali Saleh’s continued political activities as head of the ruling party. Youth protesters have called for Saleh’s exile or arrest since the transition plan was announced. Protests against Mr. Feierstein’s role in the Yemeni transition garnered hundreds of thousands since the revolution began. Other protests against the US use of drones to target al Qaeda have erupted after civilian loses. An errant air strike earlier this month killed 14 civilians in a minibus, including three women and three children, the Yemeni government said.

Less well publicized than the protest at the embassy were protests last week against terrorism, assassinations and the former president’s continued disruption of the political transition. Protesters called for President Hadi to “sack the rest” of the former president’s relatives who remain in their posts.

The protest against terrorism and Saleh, which is Yemen is often the same thing, followed a spate of assassination attempts on members of the transitional government. A car bomb in Sanaa targeted Yemen’s defense minister last Tuesday killing 12, The minister was unharmed.

Across the great divide

Many Yemenis who heard about an offensive video erroneously thought it was a movie being shown in theaters, when it is a low budget 14 minute Youtube clip. A second URL on Youtube that purports to be the entire movie is the 14 minute clip looped four times.

The video was posted to Youtube two months ago and had garnered 4000 views. In the week since riots began across the Middle East, the videos received over 10 million views from across the globe.

In discussions, many Yemenis are unaware that the United States was founded by religious dissidents and minorities seeking to ensure, above all, religious freedom. Many believe Germany’s law criminalizing Holocaust denial is actually a US law.

While acknowledging the importance of a free speech in countering government corruption and in areas of art and science, others argue for an exemption in US law for insults against Islam and other “people of the book”, ignorant of the vast multiplicity of religions in America and of the US constitutional requirement of equal rights for citizens.

Some prominent religious leaders are using the offensive video and the Marines’ deployment to Sanaa to stoke fears of a US military occupation, including religious leaders who regularly engage in Taqfirism- ie, the practice of labeling other Muslims as apostates and those who call Shia Muslims “Rawafidh” or rejectionists of the true Islam.

Others like former Endowments Minster Hamoud al Hittar rejected the attack on the US embassy in Sana’s in religious terms saying, “Personnel of these missions are covenanters, whose bloods and money are forbidden and should not be attacked, and those who live in our country have nothing to do with this film.”

Suggested by the author:

US lifts Yemen arms embargo before military restructuring
Yemeni security forces open fire on The Life March
Yemen, the long march toward justice
Yemen’s counter-terror chief accused of atrocities
US, Saudi meddling drives Yemen protesters to boycott

Jane @ Examiner.com

Categories: News Articles

Yemenis protest against al Qaeda

August 6, 2011 1 comment

In a direct rebuke to the terror group, residents of Taiz held a major protest against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Thursday evening after prayers. Protesters held signs denouncing AQAP that said, “Your racism will do nothing but make us stronger.”

taiz8411vsaqap.JPG

Taiz is the largest city in Yemen, often setting the tone for the six month revolution seeking to overthrow the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh. The goal of the revolution is the establishment of a civil (non-military) democracy with equal rights and opportunities for citizens.

Protesters also denounced al Qaeda’s media statements, including the “Inspire” magazine, which they say distorts western perceptions of Yemen.

Regime change has been opposed by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Both states seek minor cosmetic changes in Yemen’s leadership on the pretext of counter-terror concerns.

Hundreds of thousands on the streets also condemned AQAP’s takeover of Zinjibar in Abyan. In chants, they expressed solidarity with the 90,000 Yemeni citizens who fled from the violence and al Qaeda’s attempted imposition of a Taliban style culture in the city.

Ray News reported that the protesters rejected the state’s slander and use of the al Qaeda “bogeyman” to garner western support and affirmed that Taiz is known as a “city of science and always stands against terrorists and terrorism.”

Protesters also reiterated their demand for a civil state and a transitional council.

Most Yemenis believe that the state colludes with AQAP, a premised based on a decade of state facilitation and leniency with the group. Current events in Abyan also give rise to concerns that al Qaeda is working with the ruling family to ensure its longevity.

In May, security forces attacked the protest camp in Taiz City. Commanded by Yemen’s counter-terror chief, Ahmed Saleh, the president’s son, security forces shot protesters point blank and set fire to the tent city in the early morning hours. Several children and disabled persons were unable to escape the flames and burned to death. The death toll of the massacre was 57 and over 1000 were injured from burns and bullet wounds, Bloomberg reported.

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–Jane @ Examiner.com

Categories: News Articles, Terrorism

Yemen’s CT chief accused of war crimes

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

After Yemen’s Republican Guard killed and dismembered tribal prisoners Thursday, Arhab tribesmen issued a statement Friday demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of General Ahmed Saleh as a war criminal.

Ahmed Saleh heads the Republican Guard containing US funded counter-terror units and is the son of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president for 33 years. Ahmed Saleh is the primary liaison in Yemen for the United States’ counter-terror efforts and among the main recipients of US counter-terror funds for nearly a decade.

Republican Guard forces under Ahmed Saleh’s command have committed grievous war crimes in Yemen since the outbreak of popular protests in February, Yemeni opposition parties allege, including the recent corpse mutiliations. The parties called for an immediate ban on weapons sales to Yemen in a statement on Sunday.

Nationwide protests that began in February demand the immediate ouster of the entire Saleh regime, and a transitional council with the ultimate goal of fair elections and a civil state. Nearly 1000 protesters have been killed by security forces.

The Arhab tribesmen said the brutal killing and desecration of bodies was “a criminal act that have exceeded all the heavenly religions, international laws and tribal customs” and went beyond aggression to vengeance. Arhab tribesmen overtook al Samaa, one of the largest Republican Guard bases, triggering airstrikes on villages, wells, mosques and other civilian infrastructure. Arhab is on the outskirts of the capital, Sanaa.

Additional airstrikes took place in Taiz, killing two civilians when bombers attacked the residences of pro-revolution sheikhs. At least 45 were killed in Taiz in July as a result of clashes between the Republican Guard and pro-revolution tribesmen seeking to protect the thousands of protesters in the citiy center.

In response to the aggression in Arhab and threats against protesters, a new tribal confederation was declared Firday by Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar comprising the Hasid and Bakil and other previously distinct groupings. The declaration by 750 tribes stated any aggression against the protesters will be considered an attack on the tribes and asked the international community to stand by the Yemeni people’s right of self determination.

President Saleh is recuperating in Saudi Arabia from injuries sustained in a June bombing. He reneged three times on an offer proffered by the international community of immunity for his substantial war crimes prior to and since the revolution in exchange for his resignation in 30 days. Saleh endorsed the deal again on Sunday.

The Saleh regime has a substantial history of internal war crimes. Events in Arhab echo the six year Saada War when the state’s habitual barbarism and collective punishment triggered a widening cycle of violence which ultimately created over 300,000 internal refugees. In his father’s absence, Ahmed Saleh has proven himself to be a capable mass murderer, unleashing a campaign of collective punishment in every province.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Yemen’s counter-terror chief accused of atrocities – National Yemen Headlines | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/yemen-headlines-in-national/yemen-s-counter-terror-chief-accused-of-atrocities#ixzz1UDIlMz7M

Categories: News Articles

Yemen protesters announce boycott of US, Saudi products

July 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Protesters in Yemen announced a boycott today of US and Saudi products, a largely symbolic move in light of Yemen’s grave humanitarian crisis. Protesters allege that the Obama administration has thwarted their efforts for regime change.

Millions across Yemen have demanded the end to the 33 year reign of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family in six months of protests. State forces slaughtered nearly 1000 protesters, often by firing directly into crowds of the unarmed protesters.

US intransigence is thought to be linked to efforts to salvage hundreds of millions of dollars spent to train and equip Yemeni counter terror forces under the direction of Saleh’s relatives, known as The Four Thugs. Protesters charge the US trained counter-terror forces have perpetrated many of the fatal attacks on civilians. US military officials that said there was no direct evidence. The US has reaped little return on its investment in Yemen as the security forces are riddled with al Qaeda supporters.

The protesters platform calls for a transitional council to replace President Saleh who is in Saudi Arabia recovering from injuries suffered in a bombing. Another top demand is the restructuring of the security forces which have a long history of torture, corruption and al Qaeda facilitation. The Obama administration vetoed the idea and instead has imposed a transition plan that leaves most of the Saleh regime in place.

The Yemeni public has very little support for al Qaeda and is demanding a modern civil state that affords equal rights to all sects in Yemen’s religiously pluralistic landscape.

Continue reading on Examiner.com US, Saudi meddling drives Yemen protesters to boycott – National Yemen Headlines | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/yemen-headlines-in-national/us-saudi-meddling-drives-yemen-protesters-to-boycott#ixzz1UDJIPXPf

Categories: News Articles

Obama fumbles Yemen

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

“By thwarting regime change in Yemen, the United States risks empowering al-Qaeda and alienating a nation,” my article at PJM:

Yemen is a complex country that has been under considerable turbulence. Yet understanding Yemen tells us a great deal about the contemporary Middle East, Obama administration foreign policy, and the direction of the “Arab Spring.”

While Americans may think that their government’s recent policies and leadership have made the United States more popular in the region, the truth — as polls show — is generally the opposite. Obama administration policy is to support the existing dictatorship or at most to back a relatively cosmetic change in the regime. Thus, the Yemeni opposition weekly al Sahwa asked, “Why is America silent about the use of `counter-terror’ forces against the Yemeni people?”

It’s a good question. Since February, youth protests in Yemen morphed into a nationwide and intergenerational revolution to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh and all his relatives, after 33 years in office. Protesters said they wanted a civilian interim council to oversee a new constitution and fair elections, with the ultimate goal of achieving a civil democratic state. In response, state security forces have murdered nearly 1,000 citizens around the country.

Thomas Krajeski, former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, summed up the policy as follows: “Ali Abdullah Saleh is our main conduit to everything we are trying to do in Yemen.” The U.S.’s primary goal in Yemen is to vanquish al-Qaeda. And the Obama administration believes that Saleh, or at least his apparatus, is best able to do that.

This is precisely the short-sighted approach that Obama has criticized when attributing it to predecessors’ policies in the Middle East. Under Saleh’s regime, torture is systemic, political kidnapping common, and artillery fire a frequent remedy to anti-regime sentiment. Economic opportunity, political power, and local authority are available only through access to Saleh and his family. Corruption and embezzlement of oil revenues and international aid mean a near absence of basic services. Water scarcity and hunger were already at critical levels, but as the economy ground nearly to a halt, things are even worse.

After snipers killed 58 demonstrators in March, much of the Saleh administration resigned, galvanizing the revolution. The unsavory General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, a powerful military commander and Saleh’s half brother, brought the First Armored Division to Sanaa to protect the protesters and offered to leave the country alongside Saleh. In May, after dozens sleeping in tents were burned to death by security forces, Sadiq al-Ahmar, paramount sheikh of Saleh’s powerful Hasid tribe, announced his support for the opposition, calling Saleh a butcher.

The opposition Joint Meeting of Parties (JMP) initially disavowed the national uprising in fear of regime reprisal and due to Western pressure, reinforcing the schism between the formal opposition and the revolutionary youth.

In June, an explosion rocked the presidential palace leaving President Saleh severely injured. Millions rejoiced when Saleh flew to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, assuming he would never return. However neither the Saudis nor the United States want too much change. Thus, the Obama administration endorsed Vice President Mansour Hadi as interim leader although Hadi refuses to assume the presidency as required by the Yemeni constitution.

The U.S. government opposes the protesters’ demand for a transitional council and instead supports a deeply flawed plan drafted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC plan calls for Saleh to pick his successor and resign in return for immunity from prosecution. It proposes a unity government of the hegemonic ruling party and ineffective opposition parties, the JMP. This approach followed by quick elections would re-entrench the Saleh regime. Saleh agreed and reneged three times, using weeks of negotiations to empty the banks, smuggle oil, and reposition troops. The protesters were incensed.

With nearly half the government and military and most of the public calling for regime change, in March, Saleh’s pretense of legitimacy was bolstered by U.S. statements and especially the State Department’s urging dialog among political parties to resolve the “political crisis.”

In his Middle East speech in May, President Obama devoted one line to Yemen, calling on “our friend” Saleh to follow through on his commitment to transfer power. During a July visit, U.S. officials warned the JMP against escalating protests or recognizing a transitional council. Obama administration officials merely meekly urge Saleh to accept the GCC deal, which in fact signals tolerance toward the regime.

The hundreds of millions of dollars in counter-terror funding allocated to Yemen since 2006 ran through Saleh’s son and nephews (known locally as the Four Thugs) who head the security services, counter-terror units, and other forces. The aid is stolen by them and at times they even help al-Qaeda. Since February, the Four Thugs are too busy attacking the Yemeni public to take on al- Qaeda. After warning of an al-Qaeda takeover, the state withdrew forces from Abyan and al-Qaeda quickly moved in to occupy Zinjibar City. Yemenis rather uniformly assert coordination of the events, as the Saleh regime historically has had cordial relations with al-Qaeda.

Thus, American policy is aimed at defending an unpopular, corrupt, and repressive system on the grounds that it helps combat al-Qaeda. The problem is that the regime is not effective in doing so.

The Saudis, too, support the regime, seeing it as a bulwark against Shia rebels. The irony is that while al-Qaeda has very little popular support in Yemen, the U.S and Saudi policies, by destroying any political alternative and backing a government that doesn’t really fight al-Qaeda, may end by strengthening that group’s appeal and the territory it controls.

Yemen shells protesters in Taiz

The Coordinating Council of the Yemeni Youth Revolution for Change (CCYRC) issued an urgent appeal to the international community today to take action against an unfolding massacre of unarmed protesters in Taiz City. A video released earlier today shows masked roof top gunment opening fire on protesters below. Residents have confirmed the state is now using artillery to shell citizens who were protesting for the immediate departure of long time dictator, Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh. The death toll was earlier reported at four killed, 90 injured from bullet wounds and hundreds felled by tear gas. However casualty figures are likely to rise with the introduction of artillery. Protests have been ongoing for over three months and hundreds have died at the hands of the state and its proxies.

Statement no.43-B
Thursday , May 29, 2011

Urgent Call to the international community
Stop the Human Massacre in Taiz City – Yemen
——————————————–

المجلس التنسيقي لشباب ثورة التغيير: (تنّوع)
The Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change
http://www.facebook.com/CCYRC
——————————————–

As we write this statement to you, the security forces and republican guards in Taiz city in Yemen are attacking peaceful protester at protest camp for the past three hours resulting in many killed and hundreds wounded, we do not have exact number, as people are being shot at the moment with live ammunitions.

This is an urgent call to all the international human rights organizations, Governments, UN Counsel, and leaders of the world who call for global peace.

Please act NOW, unarmed citizens are facing a merciless war simply for demanding PEACE and FREEDOM. They are being forced to evacuate the camp site, under live fire by machineguns and heavy artillery.

The aggressive regime has forbidden all media activities and personnel from visiting freedom and change squares around Yemen, and evacuating them. There is no media coverage in Yemen, the regime is acting with aggression against Yemeni citizen with barbaric force.

PLEASE ACT AND IMMEDIATELY TO HELP STOP THE ONGOING KILLING

Categories: News Articles

Obama snubs Yemen protesters

April 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Protesters in Yemen began a letter writing campaign today, directed toward US President Barak Obama. The protests that began in January seek the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Unlike in Egypt where protests were centered in the capital, in Yemen demonstrations broke out around the country and swelled to the millions with each passing week. On Friday, massive protests were held in 18 of 20 governorates around the country.

“Millions of Yemeni peaceful protesters are questioning the silence and the insubstantial announcements by some members of your administration and moreover, overt bias in favor of the Yemeni tyrant. The respected Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, announced publicly that protests in Yemen are an internal affair and the primary concern of the United States is instability and diversion of attention from dealing with AQAP… Yemeni women, men, children, and elders are all eager and confident that they will hear from you as the leader of the free world and that you will support their democratic goals now and in the future.”

In public statements, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates repeatedly stressed the good relationship between the US and Saleh. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The people of Yemen have the same rights as people anywhere, and we support dialogue as a path to a peaceful solution.”

However, the protesters are demanding Saleh’s immediate resignation and the exclusion of his family members from positions of authority.

The US is lobbying to retain Saleh’s son and nephews who head the US trained counter-terror units. President Saleh is seeking immunity from future prosecution of his substantial financial crimes as well as crimes against humanity and other violations of international and Yemen law.

The US Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein, has been negotiating between the state and opposition parties. However the opposition party coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), is not the driving force behind the protests and did not join the protests until a month after they began.

Protester leaders, representing groups from around the nation, have issued and re-issued their demands and even resorted to Youtube to send a message to the US ambassador in Yemen.

The protesters’ letter highlights their “aspirations to maintain universal values, and to elect a free and democratic government that will guard and respect the achievements and victories attained by the blood of the young martyrs fallen and slaughtered in the squares of freedom.”

State forces, in uniform and in plain clothes, have killed over 100 protesters and wounded hundreds others. Last Friday 53 demonstrators were killed, mostly by shots to the head, when snipers positioned on rooftops opened fire. Over 150 villagers were killed in Abyan this week when an unsecured ammunition factory exploded, an incident many in Yemen have tied to regime attempts to create chaos.

The slaughter, the broad national protests and mass defections from the Yemeni bureaucracy and military are clear indications of the illegitimacy of the Saleh regime, protesters assert. The transition plan calls for civilian leadership by an interim transitional council.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Feierstein said that the economic challenges facing the country are important as the current political challenges.

Indeed decades of corruption, embezzlement and mismanagement under the Saleh regime, and the diversion of revenue of natural resources and foreign aid, have brought Yemen to the brink of economic disaster. Wikileaks revealed that the US is aware that Saleh and members of his family are also engaged in regionally destabilizing criminal enterprises including large scale weapons smuggling. Drug smuggling, currency counterfeiting and human trafficking of women and children are other lucrative enterprises for the Saleh regime.

In 2010, Human Rights Watch called for a UN investigation into whether the actions of the Yemeni military during the Saada War violated international law. The state’s tactics included sustained bombardment of civilians, and the blockade of food, medicine and international aid, which constitute collective punishment the rights group asserted. Over 300,000 were displaced. Residents of Saada joined the national protests calling for a democratic state and have been demonstrating weekly.

http://www.examiner.com/yemen-headlines-in-national/obama-snubs-yemen-protesters

Categories: News Articles

Yemen’s Saleh plays the al Qaeda card

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

At first glance, the FOX News headline, “al Qaeda: Yemen province now an Islamic Emirate,” is pretty disturbing. But it’s not remotely true. The US media is getting played by the King of Spin, President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his legion of Baghdad Bobs, again.

As anti-government protests calling for Saleh’s ouster engulfed Yemen and military commanders defected, the Saleh regime pulled back its remaining military and security forces and distributed weapons to proxies. In Abyan, state-jihaddists looted an ammo factory and took over the building housing a radio station. The terrorist mercenaries made an announcement on the radio that the city of Ja’ar in Abyan was deemed an Islamic Emirate and women were confined to their homes without a guardian. Later over 150 villagers, mostly women and children, scavenging the factory were killed in a horrific explosion. Yemenis claim the blast was remotely detonated.

Yemen’s state-jihaddists are al Qaeda types who work as mercenaries for the regime. The Saleh regime is very good at “cloning,” a tactic to undermine the opposition and confuse the west. The state has created look-alike newspapers, governmental non-governmental organizations (GONGO’s), and fake opposition parties. Beyond deploying security thugs in civilian clothes, as Mubarek did, the Saleh regime has a large contingent of jihaddist mercenaries on the payroll. Many of these “state-jihaddists” were released from jail after a pledge of loyalty to Saleh.

After the tragedy in Abyan, Yemenis across the nation accused Saleh of playing the Al Qaeda card to spin the western media and US, a frequent practice. They say that the state fosters and deploys al Qaeda mercenaries to elicit counter-terror funds, equipment and training, which are then used against internal opposition. As the Senate found last year, Saleh diverted US trained counter-terror units and US supplied equipment to the Saada War. (Indiscriminate bombing displaced over 300,000 residents in the northern Saada province as the state withheld food and medicine in a pattern that constituted collective punishment, Human Rights Watch found.) Beyond the 150 killed in the Abyan blast, dozens of others are suffering severe burns with little medical support.

The leaders of the raid on the ammo factory, Khaledabdul Nabi and Sami Dhayan, have worked for the state for years. Nabi, of the Abyan Aden Islamic Army, trained and led jihaddists into battle on behalf of the Saleh regime during the Saada Wars (2004-2010) against northern Shia rebels who claim religious discrimination. Nabi’s group, not AQAP, made the radio announcement. The residents in Ja’ar formed a local security committee which now has control of the area.

Yemenis are bewildered at the stance of the Obama administration in light of Saleh’s chicanery. Secretary Gates has repeatedly stated that the Saleh regime is an important partner to the US and the protests are an internal affair. At the same time, the US Ambassador in Sanaa is lobbying to keep Saleh’s sons and nephews in charge of the counter-terror units. A former Foreign Minister, Abdullah al Asnag, long in exile, detailed the regime’s duplicity from the USS Cole bombing to the 2010 US airstrikes in Yemen. Watan, the Coalition of Women for Social Peace, appealed directly to the American people yesterday,

Our stance depends on evidences proved that Selah is using al-Qaeda, and the American war against terrorism to receive generous financial support, and intensive training for the Special Forces, Central Security, and National Security, which all headed by his son and his nephews and use to suppress the Yemeni for more than a decade.

The last American stance, which was expressed by Robert Gates, reinforces our belief that the U.S. government is not serious in fighting terrorism and promoting democracy. The money is used in the name of the American people and the fight against terrorism to support dictatorial regimes and Al-Qaeda, against nations’ choices and demands for democracy. Yemen comes at the forefront of these nations.

American people, the hands of Yemeni people who have been in the streets in a peaceful revolution since two months, still rose demanding the elimination of the dictatorial regime and establish a modern civil state. However these hands are facing your weapons, your money, and the shameful attitude of your government, which we know that they do not reflect the spirit of the American nation which based on principles of freedom and human dignity.

Lift up your hands against your government that on your behalf and via your money is supporting the repression of peoples, democracy and peace.

Yesterday in Hajjah, 230 were wounded when Saleh’s thugs opened fire from rooftops on the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, echoing last Friday’s massacre when snipers killed 53 during a protest in Sanaa, largely by head shots.

Yesterday protesters issued a video statement to US Ambassador Feierstein along with a draft list of demands that represents a consensus among all the protesters around the county. Unlike in Egpyt where protests were centered in Cairo, Yemen is witnessing large sustained anti-government protests in nearly every province and even on the island of Socotra.

http://www.examiner.com/yemen-headlines-in-national/yemen-s-saleh-plays-the-al-qaeda-card

Funeral march in Aden Yemen

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

ADEN March 4, 2011–Tens thousands of people from across Aden attended a massive funeral march today for a protester killed by Yemeni security forces. Hael Waleed Hael, 18, was shot by to death in Maalla City last Friday.

The funeral procession begin at one pm in Maalla and wound up in Crater City where Mr. Hael was buried in Alqatee cemetery.

Hael Waleed was among seven persons killed on Maalla’s main road Feb. 25. Eyewitnesses reported that troops belonging Yemen’s Central Security Forces opened fire on peaceful protesters demanding the end of the regime Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power since 1978.

Twenty-two were killed on Feb 25-26 during widespread protests across Aden. Many violations of international law were documented since anti-government protests broke out over two weeks ago including shooting at medics attempting to retrive the wounded from the streets.

Official reports said that one colonel in the Central Security was killed in clashes and five solders injured in Maalla but trusted sources said there are seven soldiers’ corpses in the hospital morgue.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Funeral march in Aden, Yemen for young protester killed by security forces – National Yemen Headlines | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/yemen-headlines-in-national/funeral-march-aden-yemen-for-young-protester-killed-by-security-forces#ixzz1UDQ0hbMp

Categories: News Articles

Air Strike in Yemen as clerics threaten jihad

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

A statement by 158 Yemeni religious scholars warned the US that any military intervention will be met by violence.

“If there is any insistence from any foreign party or aggression or invasion against the country … then Islam considers jihad a duty to repel the aggression,” the declaration read. Read more…

Categories: News Articles

Yemen on the Brink of War

May 16, 2009 10 comments

On May 3, the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a issued a statement on the political violence in South Yemen that claimed eight lives last week. The United States stressed that “Yemen’s unity depends on its ability to guarantee every citizen equal treatment under the law.” What the Yemeni government calls unity, the protesters call occupation.

Since protests erupted in South Yemen in May 2007, dozens were killed, hundreds injured and over a thousand arrested. As police shot into the crowds, Southern claims of institutionalized discrimination turned into calls for independence. After regional protest marches last week, Yemen began shelling the town of Radfan. Some Southerners took up arms for the first time. Read more…

Yemen strikes multi-faceted deals with al Qaeda

February 13, 2009 4 comments

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently struck a deal with Ayman Zawahiri, and Yemen is in the process of emptying its jails of known jihadists. The Yemeni government is recruiting these established jihadists to attack its domestic enemies as it refrains from serious counter-terror measures against the newly formed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The tripartite relationship between the Yemeni regime and al Qaeda enables all participants to further their goals at the expense of national, regional and global security.

Yemen releases 95 jihadists
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Corruption Triggers Media Repression in Yemen

August 28, 2008 1 comment

The level of media repression may be a determining factor in whether Yemen avoids the threat of state failure. The Yemeni government suffers from entrenched corruption in nearly every office, a legacy of traditional patron/client relationships. Demands for transparency threaten the substantial patrimonial networks associated with access to the government budget.

More than 20% of state funds go to the administrative expenses of the Presidency and Parliament. A quarter of the Yemeni budget is allocated to the military as a line item. Another third of the budget is spent on diesel subsidies. Beyond the misappropriation of state funds, members of the administration also spin off criminal enterprises using advantages gained from their official positions.

In Yemen’s pervasively corrupt environment, investigative reporting is challenging the conditions that undermine efforts at wider economic and political reform. Read more…

Categories: Media

Yemeni Security Forces Blanket Aden on War Anniversary

Aden, July 7- In the early morning hours Monday, Yemeni army units supported by Central Security forces blanketed Aden City, the former capital of southern Yemen, in advance of a planned civil rights demonstration.

By the end of the day, the fourteenth anniversary of the end of Yemen’s civil war, government forces had arrested over 300 in Aden and detained numerous reporters. Security blocked all the routes to the public square at al-Hashimi station, the site of the planned sit in. Read more…

Categories: News Articles

Yemeni Hunger Striker, Hassan Baoum, Serously Ill

Southern Yemeni activist Hassan Baoum is seriously ill and has been transferred to a police hospital, his family reports. Baoum is on a hunger strike in protest of his “illegal arrest” on April 1, 2008. He has had a diabetic reaction, and his blood pressure is very high. Baoum has been held incommunicato since his arrest on April 1, 2008, restrained by leg irons and handcuffs. Read more…

Categories: News Articles

Yemen Spirals Toward Disintegration

April 24, 2008 2 comments

As war renews in Yemen’s North and protests turn to riots in the South, terror attacks have hit the capital, and the opposition is boycotting upcoming elections. Civil liberties are under attack and traditionalism growing as the central government turns to hard liners for support and the population’s basic needs go unmet. Read more…

Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen Tags:

Al-Qaeda In Yemen: Mercenaries or Terrorists

April 22, 2008 Leave a comment

القاعدة في اليمن مرتزقة أم إرهابيون؟ [23/4/2008] ? : – جين نوفاك*- ترجمة خاصة بـ[يمنات]

لقد تم الإعلان عن تناقض وجهات النظر بين محللين سياسيين غربيين ويمنيين حول اندلاع الهجمات الإرهابية في اليمن حيث بينت إحدى المقالات في مركز مكافحة الإرهاب أنه«تم التغلب على القاعدة في اليمن بسبب التعاون الوثيق بين اليمن والولايات المتحدة أثناء المرحلة الأولى من الحرب (2000 – 2003) لكنها – القاعدة – تعلمت من هذه الخسارة»وكيفت تكتيكاتها وأهدافها.
الجيل الجديد من هذا التنظيم يرفض التفاوض مع نظام الحكم اليمني وتبشر به إستراتيجية جديدة ورقي مستمر،عبر الدعاية الخاصة بالشبكة العنكبوتية.

في الوقت الذي تستحوذ فيه الضغوطات الداخلية على اهتمام نظام الحكم اليمني، تأتي فيه السيطرة على هذا التنظيم في آخر الأولويات. Read more…

Categories: Arabic Articles, Terrorism, Yemen Tags:

Al-Qaeda in Yemen, Mercenaries or Terrorists

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

The dichotomy of viewpoints between Yemeni and Western analysts on the recent outbreak of terror attacks in Yemen is pronounced. An article at the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point finds that “Al-Qa`ida in Yemen was defeated by the close cooperation of the United States and Yemen during the first phase of the war (2000-2003), but it learned from the loss,” and adapted its tactics and goals. Read more…

Categories: Terrorism, Yemen Tags:

Violence Explodes on Multiple Fronts in Yemen

April 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Twenty-one people died in political violence across Yemen this weekend, including southern protesters, northern rebels, tribal paramilitary fighters, and Yemeni soldiers. A mortar attack by al Qaeda in the capital heightened tensions. Read more…

Yemen Mobilizes Military to Quell Riots

April 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Yemen has rounded up opposition political leaders in response to several days of riots that caused extensive damage to government buildings and vehicles. Over the last 48 hours, the Yemeni military deployed dozens of tanks, armored vehicles and fighter jets into the southern Yemeni governorates.
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Massive Protest in South Yemen

March 27, 2008 Leave a comment

A rally in the southern Yemeni governorate of Dhalie on Monday drew several hundred thousand protesters from the governorates of Hadramout, Aden, Abyan, and Shabwa. Some estimates put the crowd at more than a half million. Read more…

Unsteady Peace in War Torn North Yemen

March 22, 2008 Leave a comment

A three-year war in Sa’ada, Yemen generated thousands of casualities, wide-scale destruction, tens of thousands of internal refugees and cost upwards of a billion dollars. Progress toward implementing a cease-fire agreement negotiated by Qatar reached an impasse this week as both the Yemeni military and several thousand Shia rebels refused to abandon their positions. Reports of a prison massacre are heightening tensions amid sporadic skirmishes in the province, which borders Saudi Arabia. Read more…

Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen Tags:

Internet Censorship in Yemen

March 6, 2008 3 comments

The Internet has taken root in Yemen, functioning as it does everywhere, as a social network, as an electronic pamphleteer and as a purveyor of facts and ideas. The Yemeni government is intimidated by the public’s internet use and the resulting social and political progress. Consequently the Yemeni state dramatically increased internet censorship in the last months, as it is prone to do in times of crisis and negative publicity. Read more…

Categories: Media, Yemen Tags: ,

Yemen’s Illogical Logic of Repression

February 12, 2008 Leave a comment

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty,” Thomas Jefferson.

As Yemenis struggle toward freedom from tyranny, the Yemeni government uses all means at its disposal to thwart the growing democracy movement. The regime simultaneously creates a façade of reform for the benefit of the western donors, often with depressingly good results. Read more…

Categories: Media, Opinion Tags: ,

Yemen’s Intifada

January 9, 2008 Leave a comment

يواجه اليمن عدم استقرار غير مرئي منذ الحرب الأهلية في 1994م زادت من حدته الحرب التي خاضتها الدولة مع الثوار الشيعة

في محافظة صعدة الواقعة شمال اليمن، حيث خلفت تلك الحرب أكثر من 50000 لاجئ داخلي، ورغم أن التمرد انتهى في يونيو/ حزيران الماضي إلا أن التهديد ما زال قابلا للاشتعال بسبب عدم تطبيق أي من الطرفين لشروط وقف إطلاق النار.

التهميش السياسي والاقتصادي لقطاع واسع من المجتمع ساهم في التمرد وبالتالي خلق فسادا حكوميا مستوطنا.. قلة الخدمات الأساسية والتدابير الأمنية المتشددة كانت من أهم العوامل المحفزة لاحتجاجات جنوب اليمن واسعة الانتشار والتي جذبت أكثر من 100.000 محتج والتي راح ضحيتها حتى الآن عشرة محتجين زعم أن قوات الأمن هي من قتلتهم بالإضافة إلى ضرب واعتقال الكثير منهم.
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Yemen’s Intifada

January 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Yemen is facing instability unseen since its 1994 civil war. A war with Shiite rebels in the northern Sa’ada province left over 50,000 internal refugees. The rebellion ended in June but threatens to re-ignite as neither side has fully implemented the cease-fire conditions. The political and economic marginalization of vast segments of society contributed to the rebellion as did endemic governmental corruption, lack of basic services and draconian security measures. These factors are also the catalyst for widespread protests in southern Yemen, some of which attracted over 100,000 protesters. Ten protesters were killed, allegedly by security forces, and many were beaten and arrested. Read more…

Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen Tags:

Yemeni Officials Who Profited from Land Confescation

January 1, 2008 Leave a comment

A Yemeni Parliamentary committee issued a report in 2006 naming 26 persons who illegally profited from land confiscated in Aden following Yemen’s 1994 civil war. The list includes Members of Parliament and the Shoura Council, military and security force commanders, current and former judges and ministers. The Parliamentary committee recommended that the land owners receive compensation for their losses, however none has been paid.
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Categories: News Articles, Yemen Tags:

INTERVIEW: Colonel Naser Saleh Abdul Qawi, secretary general of Aden Military Retirees Society.

December 7, 2007 1 comment

Colonel Naser Saleh Abdul Qawi is the secretary general of Aden Military Retirees Society. Col. Abdul Qawi was a member of the southern Air Force, and was stationed at the al-Anad military base before it fell to Sanaa’s forces in Yemen’s 1994 civil war. Abdul Qawi is one of hundreds of military retirees who were reinstated to the Yemeni military in response to months of protests that have rocked the southern Yemeni governorates. Read more…

Categories: Interviews, Yemen Tags:

One Killed, Four Wounded in Aden Protests

November 29, 2007 Leave a comment

November 29, Aden: One person was killed and several wounded when Yemeni soldiers prevented thousands of protesters from reaching the site of an anti-regime demonstration.
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Categories: News Articles, Yemen Tags:

INTERVIEW: Yemeni MP Ahmed Saif Hashed, “There Are No Human Rights In Yemen”

November 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Mr. Ahmed Saif Hashed serves on the Yemeni Parliament’s Freedom and Human Rights Committee. An independent MP, Mr. Hashed represents constituency 70, which includes parts of Lahj and Taiz. Mr. Hashed is a prominent human rights activist with a special interest in the condition of Yemeni prisoners. He heads the Al-Tageer human rights organization and owns the Al-Mostakela newspaper. Jane Novak interviewed him for the Global Politician. Read more…

Categories: Interviews, Yemen Tags:

Yemen’s Truce with Al-Qaeda

November 1, 2007 Leave a comment

THE AMERICAN ATTEMPTS to rehabilitate the Yemeni regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh have not succeeded. Yemeni authorities recently pardoned Jamal Al-Badawi, convicted mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing. Almost all the terrorists who bombed the American warship and killed 17 American sailors are free, except those dead or in U.S. custody. Read more…

Categories: Terrorism, Yemen Tags: ,

Bloody Protests Continue in Yemen

October 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Since May, Yemen has witnessed widespread civil unrest in the southern governorates including Aden and Marib. Three protesters were killed during demonstrations in Mukallah, and two more were killed in Dhalie. On October 13, five people were shot dead at a sit-in in Radfan, Lahj when security forces opened fire on the crowd. Witnesses reported a dozen wounded. Over fifty thousand people gathered the next day in Radfan for a previously scheduled demonstration despite these brutal security practices.
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INTERVIEW: Dr. Aidros Nasr Al Naqeeb, Head of the YSP Parliamentary Block, “The Yemeni regime has no desire for reforms in any field.”

October 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Armies of Liberation conducted an interview with DR. AIDROOS NASR NASER AL NAQEEB, the chairman of the Yemeni Socialists Party’s (YSP) Parliamentary block. Dr. Aidroos represents three districts in the southern governorate of Abyan. Read more…

Categories: Interviews, Yemen Tags:

The USS Cole Bombing: A Seven Year Perspective

October 17, 2007 Leave a comment

On October 12, 2000 two Yemeni suicide bombers rammed an explosives-laden dingy into an American destroyer, the USS Cole. Seventeen US service members were killed and forty-nine injured. The destroyer had been invited by the Yemeni government to refuel in the port of Aden.

In the light of historical perspective, several facts have become clear. Intelligence warnings generated prior to the attack were never forwarded to the commander of the Cole. The investigation afterwards was marred by turf wars within the US government, leaving links between the Cole bombing and the attacks of 9/11 unexplored. The Yemeni government worked diligently to limit the scope of the US investigation. Almost all the Yemenis involved in the Cole bombing are walking free. The involvement of some Yemeni officials in the bombing is documented; however, the scope of that involvement is not.
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Categories: Terrorism, Yemen Tags: ,

Yemen on the Brink of Civil War?

September 22, 2007 Leave a comment

Tensions simmering since the Yemeni civil war in 1994 have flared into violence that may engulf the nation.

“We want equal rights,” retired Brigadier General Ali Moqbel stated. The simple declaration expressed the sentiment of tens of thousands of Yemenis who have repeatedly clashed with security forces in Aden, Makallah, Dahlie and other towns in southern Yemen since the spring.
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INTERVIEW: General Ali Moqbel, Head of the Yemeni Retired Military Consultive Association, “We demand equality in citizenship.”

September 9, 2007 Leave a comment

In an effort to enlighten our readership on the true nature of the growing civil unrest in Southern Yemen, Armies of Liberation obtained an exclusive statement from Brigadier General Ali Moqbel, organizer and member of the Yemeni Retired Military Consultive Association (MCRA). In the statement, General Moqbel clarified the goal of the protests, “We demand equality in citizenship and the return of all our officers to their positions.”
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Reform in Yemen: Progress and Obstacles

July 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Yemen is a country facing substantial problems. It is one of the most undeveloped, poverty stricken countries globally. Basic services are scarce, and corruption is rampant. Half of Yemen’s 20 million citizens are under 15. High fertility rates and early marriage mean the population will double within decades. Oil, a mainstay of the economy, is rapidly depleting. Both illiteracy and unemployment are high. International donors and many within the Yemeni administration recognize the urgency of the issues facing the nation. However some governmental strategies are undermined from within the regime itself. Both water management and corruption mitigation efforts have been limited by the failure of ministries to coordinate among themselves.
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Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen

Leading Yemeni Journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani Arrested

(Arabic, Al-Thawry pdf)

In 2004, prominent Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani wrote from jail, “I believe in democracy, freedom, equality and rights and am willing to suffer for their sake simply because I do not wish my children to suffer dictatorship and I will strive to provide them a better future.”
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Ceasefire In Yemen

June 27, 2007 Leave a comment

The Sa’ada war in northern Yemen may be coming to a close. The Yemeni government announced on June 15 that a cease-fire had been negotiated through the good offices of the Emir of Qatar. Shiite rebels agreed to lay down their arms after nearly three years of fighting. Hopes are high that an end to hostilities will allow immediate assistance to over a half a million Yemenis in Sa’ada province adversely affected by the fighting.
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Tensions Flare in South Yemen

Demonstrations and armed conflict in southern Yemen are heightening fears of growing instability in the impoverished nation, already battling an insurgency in the North.

Yemen has experienced marked instability since September’s 2006 presidential election. In the northern Sa’ada province, about 60,000 soldiers have been embroiled in a guerrilla war with about 2000 Zaidi Shi’a rebels since January. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled the fighting and military bombing, and many are without shelter, food, water, and medical care.
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Training Day, How Yemen Aids and Abets Iraqi Insurgents

April 5, 2007 Leave a comment

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.
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Categories: Terrorism, Yemen Tags:

A Day in the Life of a Failing State

June 13, 2006 Leave a comment

An outbreak of chickenpox in Yemen goes a long way in demonstrating the challenges of daily life for Yemeni citizens. The incident is also a snapshot of the factors that may lead Yemen toward state failure. Barhan is a typical village in Yemen where most villages have no electricity, no sewage system and no clean water. Nationally, one in ten kids dies by age five; contaminated water contributes to half their deaths. Of the millions of kids not in school, the highest percentage is among rural girls.
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Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen Tags:

Democracy or Failure

February 19, 2006 Leave a comment

Ahmed Al-Rabei recently described the worst case for Yemen as, “an Afghan scenario and a civil war that will spread to the borders of GCC countries.” Al-Rabei, a columnist for Alsharq Alwasat, wrote with great affection for the Yemeni people of his concern for the future of Yemen. Al-Rabei is not alone in his assessment of an uncertain future for Yemen. A variety of international organizations and reports have highlighted increasingly dysfunctional Yemeni institutions and governance.
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Al-Qaeda Escape in Yemen: Facts, Rumors and Theories

February 16, 2006 Leave a comment

One theory circulating in Yemen these days is that the recent escape of 23 prisoners from a maximum security intelligence facility was orchestrated to transfer them to U.S. custody, circumventing Yemen’s extradition laws. Certainly the U.S. would have interest in obtaining custody of the escapees. Several were convicted of complicity in the bombing of the USS Cole which killed 17 US service members on October 12th 2000. Others include convicted bombers of the French oil tanker, the Lindburg, and an American, Gaber Elbaneh, convicted in the U.S. of involvement in an al-Qaeda cell in Lackawana, New York.
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An Attack on All

February 14, 2006 Leave a comment

Much discussion lately has been centered on what limits a responsible media should place on itself. At the other end of the spectrum remains the burning issue of censorship, propaganda and governmental limitations on the flow of information to the public. For some years the reformist posture of the Yemeni regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh had credibility internationally because of the existence of a lively Yemeni press. One reason confidence in Saleh’s commitment to democratization has diminished is a prolonged and systematic assault on Yemeni journalists, as an informative press is the bedrock of a government run by the people.
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Drug Smuggling, Gun Running and Other Crimes

October 14, 2005 Leave a comment

President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen is scheduled to visit the United States in November for a round of meetings with President Bush and other high-ranking officials. As the representative of the Yemeni people, Saleh deserves a great deal of respect and hospitality. Yet it has become increasingly apparent that the regime, under the total domination of President Saleh, is engaged in a wide variety of criminal activities to the detriment of regional stability and the Yemeni people themselves.
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The Battle For Truth in the Age of Terror

September 7, 2005 Leave a comment

A United Nations Development Program report recently said that Yemen is “infested with corruption” throughout all sectors including corruption monitoring agencies, and the Yemeni government lacks an effective system of exposing and checking corruption. Rampant corruption is a logical consequence of the concentration of power in Yemen: Ali Abdullah Saleh is the president, the head of the military, the chief judicial officer, the head of the ruling party, and essentially controls the parliament and the official media. He has been in power for 27 years.
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Protests in Yemen

July 27, 2005 1 comment

Widespread popular protests in Yemen grabbed attention in the West even though some international journalists were prohibited from broadcasting video of the violence via satellite. Tanks and military vehicles line the streets, giving Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, an eerie resemblance to Iraq. The protests were triggered by a reduction in governmental subsidies on many commodity items in this desperately poor nation. The price of petroleum has risen by around 90 percent and the price of gas has increased almost80 percent. In a country where the per capita G.D.P. is $508 a year and half the population is in poverty, the price increases mean more people will be starving. But there is a broader context to the protests than the lifting of subsidies: governmental corruption, brutality, and repression. Much of the anger on Yemen’s streets is directed toward the government itself. “Prices have risen and we’re afflicted while not one single corrupt official has been held accountable,” said Mohammaed al-Baazany, a 25-year-old unemployed university graduate.
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Categories: Political Evolution, Yemen

The Free Press and Democracy

January 27, 2004 Leave a comment

It is a telling statement about the rigors of political evolution that the Sana’a Regional Democracy Conference prohibited journalists and some NGOs from attendance, when the foundation and substance of democracy is honest public debate among a well informed electorate.

As noted by Stamford University, since 1974 more than 60 countries in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa have made transitions from authoritarian regimes to some form of democracy. Many around the Arab world are calling for some reform or democratization in the Middle East.
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