Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 142

By Katherine Zimmerman  July 11, 2012
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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.

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North Africa and the Persian Gulf: Lingering Tensions, Different Stakes | STRATFOR

English: An effigy of Moammar Gadhafi hangs fr...

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Despite its proximity to Europe and its status as a major African oil producer, Libya‘s sparse population and relative isolation from its neighbors make the stakes of civil unrest much lower than in other regions of the Arab world

Libya returned to the headlines Saturday when a protest in front of the headquarters of the National Transitional Council (NTC) turned violent. A group of demonstrators in Benghazi broke into the building, vandalized and looted the property and reportedly drove NTC head Mustafa Abdel-Jalil to flee through a back exit. A leading member of the council has since resigned, and Abdel-Jalil has warned that the country risks heading toward civil war if protests continue to intensify. The euphoria many Libyans felt at the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi last October has faded, and though elections for a constituent assembly are scheduled for June, it is hard to see a stable, democratic government on the horizon in Libya. Continue reading

Online preachers of hate: Anwar al-Awlaki,’bin Laden of the internet’

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online. Photo: REUTERS

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online

7:30AM BST 07 Jun 2011

Operating from Yemen, the US-born Islamic preacher has been dubbed the ‘bin Laden of the internet’ having been linked to numerous extremists charged with terrorism offences in Britain and elsewhere.

He has lived in Britain and America, speaks to his followers in impeccable English over the internet and is one of the key figures of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP).

Awlaki gave advice to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspected Detroit bomber, who tried to blow himself up using a device in his underpants on Christmas Day 2009.

US security sources have reportedly said there is “concrete evidence” that Awlaki recruited Abdulmutallab, who lived in Britain while studying at University College London.

Material gathered at UK properties linked to Abdulmutallab – who is being held in the US on terrorism charges – allegedly suggests he was an avid follower of Awlaki’s blog and website.

Most recently, Awlaki has been linked to Rajib Karim, the former British Airways graduate trainee, who planned to smuggle a bomb onto a transatlantic flight. Continue reading