SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen may review its methods in fighting militants after an air strike aimed at al Qaeda killed its own mediator and prompted clashes between his kinsmen and the army, Yemen’s foreign minister said on Monday.
A government inquiry into last week’s strike that killed Jaber al-Shabwani and four others will also investigate whether drones were involved in the operation, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told Reuters in an interview.
SANAA (Reuters) – An assassination on Yemeni territory of a radical Muslim cleric wanted dead or alive by U.S. authorities would be unacceptable, the Yemeni prime minister said on Sunday.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Council recently gave the CIA the green light to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-Yemeni citizen whom they accuse of having links to al Qaeda and who is believed to be in hiding in southern Yemen.
SANAA (Reuters) – The ancient alleys of Sanaa are still bustling. Shoppers mingle, traders peddle their wares and children play in the street, all to a cacophonous backdrop of roaring motorbikes and honking cars.
But there is one thing that is almost entirely missing from the oldest and most picturesque part of the Yemeni capital: tourists.
SANAA (Reuters) – Tourist hostage-takings in Yemen come in two kinds. Luckily for the American couple released this week after a day in the captivity of tribesmen, theirs was the kind where no one is hurt.
The couple were abducted on their way back from a beauty spot in the mountains near the capital Sanaa, finding themselves stopped by armed men just after they returned to their car.
SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh this week marked 20 years ruling a united Yemen, but has little to celebrate in a country buckling under the pressure of separatist, sectarian and al Qaeda violence.
Pro-unity billboards lining the streets of the capital Sanaa — “Strength in unity and unity in strength!” — serve as a soft warning to Yemenis not to challenge the state, whose government has strong Western backing and a history of quashing dissent.
SANAA (Reuters) – A Yemeni umbrella opposition group welcomed a government amnesty for nearly 300 imprisoned rebels and separatists, one of its key demands, but members said on Monday they doubted the government was serious about change.
In a speech on Friday to mark 20 years of unity between north and south Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced an amnesty for 298 imprisoned northern Shi’ite rebels, southern secessionists and journalists.
DUBAI, May 16 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s regional wing in Yemen has threatened the United States with more attacks should any harm come to a U.S.-born radical cleric wanted dead or alive by Washington, according to an audio tape posted online on Sunday.
U.S. officials said in April President Barack Obama’s administration had authorised operations to capture or kill Yemen-based Anwar al-Awlaki — a leading figure linked to al Qaeda’s Yemen wing, which claimed responsibility for a failed bombing of a Detroit-bound plane in December. [ID:nN06234819]
"That was a failure but tell me, what will success be like," the wing’s leader Nasser al-Wahayshi said in an audio recording which appeared on websites often used by Islamic militants.
"It will inevitably be a disaster for you (Americans), for we are enamoured with the attacks of September 11," he said.
"Obama, tell your people and do not hide from them the size of the danger that constantly awaits you. Divulge to them the result of the investigations on the cells and the ongoing plans and the targets of the Mujahideen," said Wahayshi, who was once a close associate of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Awlaki, who is of Yemeni origin, has said he had contacts with a Nigerian suspect in the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound plane and with a U.S. army psychiatrist accused of shooting dead 13 people at a military base in Texas in November.
Born in New Mexico, Awlaki led prayers at U.S. mosques. He went to Yemen in 2004 where he taught at a university before he was arrested and imprisoned in 2006 for suspected links to al Qaeda and involvement in attacks. Awlaki was released in December 2007 after he was said to have repented.
"The threats of the United States do not frighten us … Muslims, do not worry about the sheikh (Awlaki), he is in safe hands," Wahayshi said.
Western countries fear that al Qaeda’s resurgent regional wing, called Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is exploiting instability in Yemen, an impoverished country bordering oil giant Saudi Arabia, to launch attacks in the region and beyond.
Last month, the group tried to assassinate the British ambassador to Yemen when a suicide bomber threw himself into the path of the convoy taking Tim Torlot to work in the capital Sanaa.
The envoy was unharmed and only the suicide bomber died, but the bold hit signalled that a recent crackdown by Sanaa on the global militant group has done little to curb its ambitions to carry out attacks on international targets. (Additional reporting by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Jon Boyle)
DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s regional wing in Yemen has threatened the United States with more attacks should any harm come to a U.S.-born radical cleric wanted dead or alive by Washington, according to an audio tape posted online on Sunday.
U.S. officials said in April President Barack Obama’s administration had authorized operations to capture or kill Anwar al-Awlaki — a leading figure linked to al Qaeda’s Yemen wing, which claimed responsibility for a failed bombing of a Detroit-bound plane in December.
ABU DHABI, May 10 (Reuters) – UAE officials offered assurances that talks on a $24.8 billion Dubai debt deal were going well and that no more major corporate restructurings were expected after Dubai, helping to send financial shares higher.
Central Bank Governor Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi said the country’s banks were healthy and well capitalised and that he saw no impact on the UAE economy from the Greek debt crisis.
DUBAI (Reuters) – A suspected al Qaeda suicide attack against Britain’s ambassador to Yemen shows the militant group’s resolve to carry out high-impact attacks is undented by a recent crackdown and Sanaa needs more help to fight the group.
Britain’s ambassador escaped unharmed and only the suicide bomber died, but the strong symbolism of an attack on an international target will grab the world’s attention and cast doubt on Yemen’s recent efforts to quash al Qaeda’s regional wing, which has shown it has global aspirations.