Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yemen opposition denies US accusation to Zindani being terrorism supporter

By: Shuaib M. al-Mosawa

Sep 17, 2011

The opposition groups’ Joint Meeting Party (JMP) said it will not hand over any Yemeni on a U.S. terror list for terror charges in light of their newly international commitments to combat terrorism.

Muhammed Qahtan, the JMP spokesperson, said that Abdulmajeed al-Zindani is not on a U.S. terror list. “There is no such claim [by the U.S.] That was just blackmail by the regime,” Qahtan said.

He added that only Al-Zindani assets were frozen but he is not a terrorist. “The Yemeni Constitution,” Qahtan said, “bans handing over any wanted person to a foreign state except for Saudi Arabia under the framework of an agreement between the two states of extraditing criminals.”

The U.S. embassy in Sana’a, when asked for comments on whether al-Zindani sill wanted, directed us to the its official documents that condemned Al-Zindani as a financer and recruiter of Al-Qaeda militants

“The U.S. has credible evidence that AL-Zindani, a Yemeni national, supports designated terrorists and terrorist organizations,” according to a February 2004 press release by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The press release said that al-Zindani “has a long history of working with bin Laden, notably serving as one of his spiritual leaders. In this leadership capacity, he has been able to influence and support many terrorist causes, including actively recruiting for al-Qaeda training camps.

Most recently, he played a key role in the purchase of weapons on behalf of al-Qaeda and other terrorists.” The press release pointed out to Sana’a-based Al-Eman University run by Al-Zindani.

“Al Iman students,” the press release said, “are suspected of being responsible, and were arrested, for recent terrorist attacks, including the assassination of three American missionaries and the assassination of the number two leader for the Yemeni Socialist party, Jarallah Omar.

Notably, John Walker Lindh [a U.S. citizen who joined Jihad in Afghanistan] was also a student at Al-Eman University before he joined the Taliban.” The U.S. ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein expressed in a March press conference concerns over the Islamist Islah Party taking power.

“…So if you’re saying, Abdul Majid al-Zindani,” said Feierstein in an answer to a question asked by one journalist, “Abdul Majid al-Zindani, as you know, is on the terrorism list both of the United States and the United Nations, and so would we have a problem if he were elected President, absolutely...”

The United States blames the Yemeni government for Al-Zindani is still at large despite being on the terror list.

“The [Yemeni] Government’s capacity for stemming terrorism financing remains limited. In February, the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee designated prominent Yemeni sheikh and opposition Islah party leader al-Zindani for his association with al-Qaeda.

The Yemeni Government has taken no action to bar his travel or to freeze his assets in compliance with its UN obligations, and Zindani continues to appear prominently at public events.”

Fresh confrontations break out in the capital of Yemen

By: Mohammed al-Kibsi

Sana'a, September 17, 2011- At least four people were killed and three others wounded in clashed broke out between the security forces and militias of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar in al-Hasaba neighborhood on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

This was the second time to break the ceasefire brokered by Saudi Arabia last June.

Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar’s office confirmed that the fresh attacks that took place Wednesday al-Hasaba zone came from the Ministry of Interior by the Republican Guard, led by the son of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The office said in a press release that the attacks came as an attempt to blow up the situation again in al-Hasaba, stressing that the guards of Sheikh Sadiq committed to the truce did not respond to the bombing that targeted several places in the neighborhood al-Hasaba, resulting in deaths and injuries of residents within the neighborhood.

The Office of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar said that The remnants of the Republican Guard had been trying for weeks to explode the situation through continual provocations against the guards of Sheikh al-Ahmar that did not respond to that. Residents of al-Hasaba said that there were heavy mortar shelling in al-Hasaba on Wednesday evening and that confrontations continued until Thursday morning.

Meanwhile the Interior Ministry said the news that "its forces attacked the homes of al-Ahmar sons in al-Hasaba neighborhood were inaccurate.

A security source at the ministry of interior said that confrontations boke out between the security forces and between the tribesmen affiliated to al-Hamar sons after the latter clashed with soe residents of al-Hasaba neighborhood that refused to let the militants to dig entrenches in front of their homes.

" some media outlets published reports via telephone, without any investigation or making sure of what happened exactly and they even did not communicate with the officials at the ministry of interior to know what happened,” the source said.

field to communicate with the official sources."

“What happened on Wednesday is that the people of homes located in the vicinity of al-Ahmar house refused to let the militants of al-Ahmar sons to dig trenches in front of their homes, "and that these militias," tried by force to dig the trenches and opened fire on residents that called on the police for help. "

"The security forces assure the citizens that it is" ready at all times to respond to terror practices committed by militias of al-Ahmar sons, siad a statement issued by the ministry of interior on Friday.

"We will not accept blackmail by outlaws who want to terrorize the people and threatening them directly or through the media of the civil war."

"These militias know well that the army and security is able to clear them and their leadership from the area when the State decides that, but the political leadership of the Republic of Yemen is trying to address the problems that was created by the enemies of the nation with wisdom and with minimal losses."

Renewed violence in Yemen as more call for Saleh to resign

September 17, 2011

Pro-democracy protesters in Yemen continued to push for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign Saturday, despite overnight violence that left a soldier dead and 11 wounded, dpa reported.

Yemeni government troops opened fire overnight near an anti-government protest camp in the capital Sana'a, injuring 11 protesters, local media reported Saturday.

One of the wounded protesters was in a critical condition, the Mareb Press news website reported.

The state-run Yemeni television said the fighting in the Yemeni capital also left one soldier loyal to Saleh dead.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni opposition said pro-Saleh supporters fired mortar rounds overnight at the home of prominent opposition tribal chief Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar.

The incidents took place a day after thousands of Yemenis renewed calls for Saleh's resignation.

Saleh is still in Saudi Arabia, where he has been recovering from injuries sustained in a June attack on his presidential compound.

Earlier this week, he authorized one of his aides to hold talks with the opposition in an effort to put an end to the crisis that has gripped the country since late January.

In April, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) proposed a plan designed to end Yemen's crisis, which almost brought the country to the brink of a civil war. Saleh has agreed in the past to the proposal, but has backed out before the deal could be signed.

The Yemeni opposition not only wish to see Saleh resign, but are demanding the departure of his entire political team.

On Friday, a Western diplomat told the German Press Agency dpa that Saleh would not return to the country from Saudi Arabia, where he is staying, and will transfer powers to the vice president within 10 days.

The diplomat, who has close contacts to Saudi officials, added that Saleh would remain in Riyadh, where he is recovering from injuries he sustained in an attack on his palace early June.