Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 142

By Katherine Zimmerman  July 11, 2012
clip_image001

Today’s suicide bombing in Sana’a, the second in two months, underscores the challenges faced by the country’s nascent government in restoring stability and security in Yemen. Last month, Yemeni security forces regained control of southern regions held by Ansar al Sharia, the insurgent arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP’s ability to conduct asymmetrical attacks has not been significantly reduced, however.

A suicide bomber attacked Yemen’s Police Academy in Sana’a, the capital. The attack occurred at 1:30pm local time in Sana’a when the police cadets were coming out of class. At least nine people were killed in the blast, according to Yemen’s Interior Ministry. Some sources are reporting that over 22 people were killed. In May, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) targeted troops rehearsing a military parade in Sana’a, killing close to one hundred soldiers.

Yemeni security officials have been targeted by car bombs. In the past week, at least two assassination attempts have been made in Sana’a: a bomb planted in the car of Lt. Col. Mohammed al Qudami, an intelligence officer, killed him on July 2, and two days later, Saleh al Mustafa, the police chief in Mathbah neighborhood in Sana’a, exited his vehicle moments before a car bomb detonated. The attacks are similar to targeted assassinations carried out by AQAP in the past.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Al Qaeda Flees

Advancing Against Al Qaeda

Advancing Against Al Qaeda (Photo credit: Third Way)

June 18, 2012:  In the last week, al Qaeda has pulled its remaining gunmen from most of the towns and villages it had been occupying for the last year. The major al Qaeda strongholds, Jaar and Zinjibar, are now occupied by police. There are no more known al Qaeda strongholds in Abyan province, which has long been the center of al Qaeda power in southern Yemen.

At its peak, al Qaeda has over 10,000 armed followers in the south. Most of these were allied tribesmen, who were seeking autonomy for their tribes and southern Yemen. The pro-terrorist tribesman eventually noted that many of their fellow southerners were hostile to al Qaeda, and that hostility spread as al Qaeda tried to impose its usual lifestyle adjustment in the few areas it took control of. Although many of the southern tribesmen are conservatives, they don’t like being pushed around by a bunch of self-righteous religious fanatics. Earlier this year the Yemeni government got rid of long-time leader (and irritant) Ali Abdullah Saleh and united the armed forces. The southern separatists and their al Qaeda allies had lost their edge. For the last few months it’s been downhill for the al Qaeda/separatist tribes’ alliance.

Continue reading

Array of security challenges face Yemen’s new leader – Abd Rabbu Mansur al-Hadi

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 5

March 8, 2012 06:11 PM Age: 24 hrs By: Jeb Boone

clip_image001

Abd Rabbu Mansur al-Hadi, President of Yemen

In the opening days of his presidency, Yemen’s new leader Abd Rabbu Mansur al-Hadi has as his priorities the restructuring of the military and the expulsion of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and allied militant Islamist group Ansar al-Shari’a from the restive southern province of Abyan. However, Hadi’s largest shortcoming, his lack of tribal connections, will prove to be a nearly insurmountable obstacle as he attempts to secure the country after more than a year of tribal and political upheaval.

Hadi is a relative unknown in Yemen and has worked in the background behind former president Ali Abdullah Saleh for the entirety of his political career. The new president was born in a small village in the former state of South Yemen and rose steadily in the ranks of the military. After the 1994 Yemeni civil war, Hadi was appointed vice-president by Saleh in an attempt to reconcile with the south after its defeat in the war and subsequent unification with North Yemen. His close association with the Saleh regime caused him to lose a great deal of credibility with southern Yemenis while simultaneously maintaining little sway with northern Yemen’s powerful tribes.

Continue reading

3 Executed by Militants for Helping U.S. in Yemen

Yemen division 2011-7-7

Image via Wikipedia

By REUTERS  Published: February 12, 2012

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) — 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.

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.

A spokesman for the group later said none of those executed were Saudi citizens, but all three had been working for the intelligence services of the kingdom, a close ally of the United States.

A number of important figures in Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen are Saudi militants wanted by the authorities in Riyadh.

The United States has been launching drone strikes against militants in the south. Last month, at least 12 people were killed in one such attack. Continue reading

Saudi to US: Give us Predator drones to use in Yemen

RQ-1A Predator

Image via Wikipedia

Saudi to US: Give us Predator drones to use in Yemen By Guest September 6, 2011 at 12:23 AM This is a guest post by Paul Mutter. U.S.-Saudi military cooperation in Yemen (which I reported on for The Arabist a few months ago) have not been without controversy. While the U.S. conducts it own drone strikes in Yemen against suspected al Qaeda targets and provides extensive funding, intelligence and training to government forces, it also provides satellite imagery to the Saudis, who conduct airstrikes and ground offensives against suspected al Qaeda targets and anti-government Shia militias. Continue reading

The Southern Movement in Yemen (Review – April 2010)

April 2010

The Southern Movement in Yemen

“Unity or death” (al-wahdah aw al-mawt) – that is the slogan written next to the picture of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh on a big poster on ‘Street Seventy’ in Sana’a. The government leaves nobody in doubt that defending the unity of Yemen is top priority. At the same time, there are regular reports about clashes between Southern Yemenis and government forces in the governorates of Lahij, Shabwah, Ad Dali’ and Abyan giving the impression that there is a growing security problem deriving from the Southern Movement with the potential to challenge the authority and legitimacy of the government in Sana’a and the unity of Yemen.

© 2010 Gulf Research Center (GRC)

Download:

Author:

Nicole Stracke, Mohammed Saif Haidar

Series:

Publisher:

 

Chaos, fatal battles spread outside Yemeni capital

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, attends an interview with selected media in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued messages of hard-line defiance Wednesday even as intense battles raged in the heart of the capital for a third day, saying he will not step down or allow the country to become a “failed state.” (AP Photo/Mohammed Hamoud)

SANAA, Yemen — Fighting that rocked Sanaa for the past five days spread beyond the capital on Friday as Yemeni tribesmen opposed to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh seized a Republican Guard military camp in battles that left dozens dead and prompted airstrikes by government warplanes, according to a tribal leader. Continue reading