Tuesday, May 1, 2012

3 Swedish nationals join fight with al-Qaeda in Yemen's Abyan

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 1, 2012- A tribal source in Yemen southern province of Abyan said that 3 Swedish nationals joined lately Ansar al-Sharia fighters to fight along with them against Yemeni authorities.
The source reported that the three Swedish entered legally to Yemen as tourists, and then they joined the militants in its fighting against Yemeni government.
They arrived in Abyan province on Monday and they are now in al-Motheleth district of Jaar city, where fierce clashes took place between Yemeni government troops backed by tribesmen and al-Qaeda militants.
Yemeni authorities always announced the arrested of foreign personnel fighting along with al-Qaeda most of these fighters came to Yemen from Arabic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iraq and so on, and sometime came from Pakistan or Afghanistan. It is seldom Yemeni authorities captured people from the West.
Last week, Yemeni authorities in southern province of Hadhramout arrested at least 39 al-Qaeda militants, all of them are foreigners.
''The militants fled from Abyan province to Al-Mukalla city after fierce clashes took place in Abyan forcing them to leave their hideouts,'' a resident said.
According to security sources, the detainees, who were arrested in al-Mukalla by the Yemeni authorities, were intending to flee to Saudi Arabia.
In March Yemen and the US carried out airstrikes against AQAP hideouts in Abyan and Al-Baidha provinces, killing and wounding scores of civilians alongside alleged terrorists militants.
Yemen Interior Ministry said in a statement that 2 Pakistanis, 2 Saudi nationals, 1 Syrian and 1 Iraqi were among the dead in the raid.
The question here is: “are there foreign jihadists in Yemen—if so, where do they come from?”
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula depends very much on foreign fighters alongside Yemeni locals as it needs to maintain a global element to its movement. After AQAP was formed in January 2009 from a merger of the Saudi and Yemeni terror cells the organization realized it needed to internationalize its support system and launch a recruiting campaign. This is when the foreign jihadist movement was formed.
For the first time AQAP allowed Saudi militants to participate as active partners in the organization not only as normal members but also as leaders.
AQAP declared in 2009 that 2 Saudi militants were among its leaders, Said Ali al-Shihri became the deputy commander of the group and Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the bomb maker.
The group in Yemen recruited foreign elements to carry out some targeted attacks against local government facilities, as well as recruiting foreign elements to pursue a similar policy abroad, such as the failed bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit, which took place on December 25, 2009 with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national being the main perpetrator.
In an interview with the American ambassador to Yemen, published last year, the official revealed that there were several jihadists in Yemen, alongside Yemeni fighters, most of whom came from Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Southern Asia.
Aish Awas, a Yemeni research in AQAP affairs added that some fighters were from America, Britain, Iraq, Sudan, and the United Emirates but in a far lesser numbers.
Moreover, Wikileaks site released last year a US diplomatic cable, which bore the names of some 6 women living in Australia as potential targets of an al-Qaeda plot to recruit women for terror attacks.
The women 4 Australians, 1 Briton and 1 Filipino are among 23 people based in Australia, alleged by Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and the US State Department to be connected to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The latest batch of confidential and secret cables written by the US embassy in Canberra in January last year, was sent to US intelligence agencies and 15 American diplomatic stations around the world.
Many of these foreign fighters traveled to countries like Yemen for terrorism training. AQAP opened a training camp in the district of Mudiyah in the southern province of Abyan. The camp highlights Yemen’s value to al Qaeda in waging its global terror campaign.
According to residents in Abyan province, that camp sheltered more than 800 local and foreign fighters. Yemenis, Saudis, and Somalis make up the vast majority of the fighters.

Gun attack in Seyoun

Press Release
Sana’a, May 1, 2012: An attack took place today in Seyoun, southeast Yemen, at around 14:10 local time, when a group of gunmen fired on a car carrying personnel from TOTAL E&P Yemen.
The incident resulted in the death of one Yemeni guard and the injury of two TOTAL employees.
One of the employees sustained serious injuries and is being treated in Seyoun.
The other employee, whose condition is stable, has been evacuated to Sana’a.
TOTAL E&P Yemen wishes to convey its condolences to the Yemeni guard’s bereaved family, and hopes for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Airstrike on al-Qaida vehicle in south Yemen kills 3

By Associated Press,
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni military official says an airstrike on a vehicle carrying al-Qaida militants has killed three in south Yemen.
The official said Tuesday the airstrike near Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, was one in a series of air raids on al-Qaida hideouts in the southern province where the militant groups have found a safe haven.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
For several weeks, government troops have been waging an offensive against the militants, who have taken advantage of political turmoil in Yemen to expand their presence in the south.
Also Tuesday, al-Qaida-linked militants attacked military vehicles carrying soldiers and a French oil expert. One soldier was killed, and the French expert was wounded.

Frenchman wounded, soldier dies in Yemen

Wednesday May 1, 2012
A French security official working for energy company Total has been wounded and a Yemeni soldier killed when gunmen attacked their car, medical and oil industry officials say.
The attack took place at Sayun in the eastern province of Hadramawt when the Frenchman was on his way to the airport to return to Sanaa after a mission, said a source in Yemen's oil ministry.
A second soldier, who was also in the car, was wounded, and the casualties were taken to a public hospital in Sayun, a medical official told AFP.
'The Frenchman was hit by three bullets in the thigh. His condition is stable and his life is not in danger,' the official said.
The attackers, who were travelling in two vehicles, fired machineguns at the car before fleeing, the ministry said.
Violence is common in south and southeast Yemen, where al-Qaeda militants have exploited the decline in central government control during anti-regime protests that led to president Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation in February.
Total has been operating in Yemen since 1987 and has an almost 40 per cent interest in Yemen's Balhaf liquefaction plant, an investment worth $US4.5 billion ($A4.33 billion) dollars, the country's biggest.
Yemen has an oil production of around 300,000 barrels a day, mostly for export.

SABA, YJS condemn attack on journalist

SANA'A, April 30 (Saba) – Yemen News Agency (SABA) and Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) have condemned strongly an attack on a journalist working for SABA named Anwar al-Bahri.
In a statement issued in this regard, a gang in al-Hasabah neighborhood has stormed the journalist's house Monday afternoon assaulting him brutally in front of his wife and family.
The journalist was seriously injured and taken to a hospital.
For its part, the YJS considered this aggression as a dangerous incident and expressed concern on the continuation of attacks and violations against journalists.
SABA and YJS called Interior Ministry to track down all perpetrators involved in this barbaric attack in order to bring them to justice.