DUBAI, Feb 23 (Reuters) – A senior member of al Qaeda’s Yemen wing who the Yemeni government said it killed has emerged on an internet forum, threatening to carry out attacks in the United States. Yemen declared an open war on al Qaeda on its territory last month after the group’s regional off-shoot claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack on a Detroit-bound plane in December that grabbed the world’s attention.
"Today, you have attacked us in the middle of our household, so wait for what will befall you in the middle of yours … We will blow up the earth from beneath your feet," Qasim al-Raymi, the wing’s military commander, said in an article posted earlier this month on a website used by Islamist militants.
Yemen said in January it had killed six regional militant leaders in air strikes, but al Qaeda later denied this, and other senior members Sanaa had said were dead, such as deputy leader Saeed al-Shehri, have since re-emerged on websites used by Islamist militants.
In an audio tape posted earlier this month, Shehri, a former inmate of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, called for a regional holy war and a blockade of the Red Sea to cut off U.S. shipments to Israel. [ID:nLDE61722L]
U.S. intelligence officials say al Qaeda’s Yemen wing is emerging as the militant group’s most active and sophisticated cell outside the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has approved more than doubling U.S. funding to train and equip Yemeni security forces to combat al Qaeda, U.S. defence officials said on Monday. [ID:nN22216716]
U.S. "STRENGTHENS" AL QAEDA
In his article, Raymi said U.S. assistance to Yemen has strengthened the militants’ popularity among local tribes.
Addressing the U.S. government, he wrote: "You united us with our people … the catastrophe unites those it befalls."
Growing instability in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, is a major security concern to the United States and neighbouring countries such as the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Sanaa struck a truce with insurgents in the north, who have fought the Sanaa government intermittently since 2004 over religious, economic and social grievances.
Yemen’s government has weak control in swaths of the country where the population adheres to tribal structures and laws. It also faces unrest from a southern secessionist movement.
A Yemeni military officer was killed in an ambush in south Yemen on Monday, state media said, following a week of violence after police shot dead a southern protester earlier this month.
The military officer, shot dead in his car, is the third security official killed in southern Yemen in the past week, and the killing follows security sweeps in which authorities seeking to quash strife have arrested around 80 separatists.
"Criminal elements of the so-called separatist movement opened fire on Mohamed Abdel-Qader al-Sinhani in an ambush as he returned to his home in the city of Dalea," the Defence Ministry’s online newspaper said. (Additional reporting by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Dominic Evans)
MANAMA (Reuters) – The Islamic finance industry will need to look for new assets on which to base its structures as investors shun real estate after the sector took a hit during the financial crisis, executives at a Reuters summit said.
The sukuk, or Islamic bond market, particularly in the Gulf Arab region, had been dominated by real estate developers before a regional building boom came to an end in 2008 after the crisis kicked in and oil prices slumped.
MANAMA (Reuters) – Gulf Finance House <GFHB.BH> <GFHK.KW> (GFH) plans to raise $250 million through asset sales this quarter, and has made lay-offs to cut costs after a regional real estate boom ended, its acting CEO said on Tuesday.
Ted Pretty told the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance summit in Manama that the troubled investment house is in talks to sell its stakes in Khaleeji Commercial Bank <KHCB.BH> as well as its “energy city” real estate projects.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai police said Tuesday they had found no evidence to support a British woman’s report that she was raped by a waiter in the Gulf Arab emirate, but have arrested her and her boyfriend for having sex outside marriage.
The case is the second time in a just over a year in which Britons have hit the headlines by falling foul of laws banning extra-marital sex in Dubai, a Muslim emirate popular with sun-seeking Western tourists and expatriates.
MANAMA, Bahrain (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai will unveil his new cabinet at the end of this week, an Afghan official said on Saturday, and a programme to reintegrate Taliban insurgents will start in the new year.
Karzai is under intense pressure from his Western backers to purge his government of corrupt officials and appoint honest ministers to his new cabinet after being re-elected in a poll in which a U.N.-backed panel found a third of his votes were fake.
MANAMA (Reuters) – Iran needs up to 15 nuclear plants to generate electricity, its foreign minister said on Saturday, underlining Tehran’s determination to press ahead with a program the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
Manouchehr Mottaki, addressing a security conference in Bahrain, also cast further doubt on a U.N.-drafted nuclear fuel deal meant to allay international concern about the Islamic Republic’s atomic ambitions.
DUBAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Dubai’s debt problems clouded
national day celebrations in the United Arab Emirates on
Wednesday — at least for a shaken financial community trying to
work out whether any of their loans enjoy government protection.
Flags, fairy lights and fanfare marked the UAE’s 38th
anniversary at a moment when Dubai’s request for a payment delay
on $26 billion of debt owed by government-owned Dubai World has
exposed the frailties of “quasi-sovereign” lending.
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates’ central bank set up an emergency facility on Sunday to support bank liquidity in the first policy response to Dubai’s debt woes that threatened to paralyze lending and derail economic recovery.
Dubai rocked the financial world on November 25 when it said it would ask creditors of Dubai World, the conglomerate behind its rapid expansion, and Nakheel, builder of its palm-shaped islands, to agree to a standstill on billions of dollars of debt as a first step to restructuring.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Multiplying security and economic pressures are deepening instability in Yemen, raising fears for a strategically vital neighborhood that includes oil superpower Saudi Arabia and one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
A Muslim Shi’ite revolt, southern secessionism and al Qaeda attacks have combined with water shortages, a humanitarian crisis, worsening poverty and falling oil income to stir powerful currents of turbulence in the poor Arabian country.
RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation reached a 28-month low of 3.5 percent in October, but analysts expect it to increase by end-2009 mainly on a chronic housing shortage and weaker U.S. dollar.
Data from the official statistics authority showed that the cost of living index reached 124.3 points in October up from 120.1 points a year earlier.