Yemen: Hollow Victory Over Terrorists


September 10, 2013: In the north over 40 people have died so far this month because Islamic radical tribesmen have been battling Shia tribesmen. The security forces are staying out of this because the Sunnis are attacking Shia mainly for religious reasons (Sunni conservatives consider Shia heretics and blasphemers). There are also purely tribal (land and water) disputes between the Sunni and Shia tribes, and for that the Security forces will often back the Sunni tribes because the Shia have frequently been in rebellion as they seek to regain autonomy they lost in the 1960s. The growth of al Qaeda in the last few decades has only added to the Shia woes in the north.

Business groups are asking for government protection to form their own militias to protect themselves and their operations. Without better security many businesses will shift their operations elsewhere. Shortages have increased inflation to nearly 20 percent, up from 5.5 percent last November. The economy began to regain strength last year but that growth has stalled because of increased al Qaeda terror attacks.

Al Qaeda is denying American assertions that the terrorists were planning attacks that caused the U.S. to close diplomatic facilities through the region last month. It would appear that al Qaeda in Yemen is concentrating on local terrorism, especially against the security forces. That makes sense, as last year the security forces defeated an al Qaeda attempt to take control of southern Yemen and are seeking to crush the terrorist organization entirely. That has been difficult to do as many separatist southern tribes support al Qaeda for ideological and security reasons.

September 9, 2013: In the capital two separate roadside bombs were used against military buses but caused no injuries.

September 7, 2013: In the capital a terrorist died as he was trying to plant a bomb in the car of an intelligence officer. Using bombs like this, which are planted at night, is a favorite al Qaeda tactic in their effort to cripple intelligence operations and discourage police from coming after Islamic radicals. So far this year over 70 intelligence officers and army and police commanders have been killed by al Qaeda death squads.

September 6, 2013: In the south (Taiz province) two al Qaeda gunmen killed an air force general. Elsewhere in the south (Hadhramaut province) an army colonel was shot dead as he left a mosque, while in Lahij province another colonel was shot dead near his home. 

September 5, 2013: For the third time in a week tribesmen bombed a portion of the oil pipeline the goes to a Red Sea terminal. The pipeline had been bombed regularly in the last few months. Each attack takes anywhere from a day to a week to repair. These bombings interrupt export of 125,000 barrels a day. Exporting this oil is the major source of government income. Tribes living near the pipeline want to be paid more to “protect” (not attack) it.

September 3, 2013: In the south (Abyan province) seven al Qaeda men died when they fought pro-government tribesmen.  

September 2, 2013: In the north ten rebel Shia tribesmen were killed by a landmine. Most of Yemen was cleared of landmines over the last 14 years, but the Shia tribesmen have planted new ones to keep security forces and rival tribesmen at bay. The problem is that the Shia who plant the mines don’t always tell all their fellow tribesmen the locations of these mines.

September 1, 2013: In the south (Abyan province) al Qaeda gunmen attacked a checkpoint and wounded three policemen.

August 30, 2013: In the capital police arrested three Libyan men and accused them of working for al Qaeda. One of the men was carrying $250,000 in cash. The three were about to board a bus to the south, where many al Qaeda have taken refuge. Elsewhere in the capital the prime minister escaped injury when al Qaeda gunmen opened fire on his convoy. In the south (Abyan province) one soldier was killed and two wounded when al Qaeda attacked a checkpoint.

August 29, 2013: In the south (Bayda province) a U.S. UAV fired a missile at a vehicle and killed a wanted al Qaeda leader (Qaeed Dhahab) and two other terrorists. Dhahab was a brother-in-law of deceased (since 2011) terrorist leader Anwar al Awlaqi. In the south (Taiz province) al Qaeda gunmen on a motorcycle wounded a senior officer.

August 27, 2013: In the capital police caught a man trying to smuggle explosives into the country by hiding them in fruit juice containers.

August 25, 2013: In the north rebel Shia tribesmen trying to collect “taxes” from tribesmen met with armed resistance. Each side lost four dead. In the capital a remote control bomb went off on a military bus, killing one man and wounding 24 others. Later in the day police raided a building near the airport and found the bomb workshop where the device on the bus was assembled.





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