Sunday, October 24, 2010

YemenWatch: Sunday Roundup October 24, 2010

There has been so much going on in Yemen that I do not know where to begin.

According to this report by the Yemen Post, the attacks at the sports club were done by a politician - the article doesn't mention AQAP at all.

A Yemeni intelligence officer was assassinated in the Hadramawt region of eastern Yemen this week.  A number of local politicians and officials have been killed.

The Yemeni foreign minister says there's only about 400 AQAP fighters in Yemen.  Which is plenty for guerrilla warfare.  Of course, these guys are trying to create an army and take over the country.

A British report says that the US may be unintentionally helping al-Qa'eda, because people see US funding and support as an attack against their country.  I think they are correct.  For a more blatant reason, when the US uses predator drones to bomb AQAP, it worries the nearby civilians.  Especially if when they miss.  But what else can the US do at this point?  They will continue with the funding.

[edit: added more Yemen info]
An American spokesman for al-Qa'eda has called for attacks in the US and Europe.

And a group of "international terror experts" expects a big attack by al-Qa'eda soon.  Unfortunately, the writer of the article does not mention who these experts are.  Their reasoning seems sound though:  the attacks in Yemen have been easy to carry out, so the next step is a larger attack, which is more impressive, but also more difficult.  If AQAP really wants to take over Yemen, they will have to step up their game.  And it only helps them when you hear stories like the following:
In addition, when we met General Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh (Head of the Counter Terror Unit) this month, he openly said that he does not have a problem with random U.S. attacks in Yemen. Yahya’s comments will be used by Al-Qaeda to show people that the current government is a tool in the hand of those who want to kill innocent citizens under claims that they are fighting Al-Qaeda, like those attacks that take place daily in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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