DUBAI (Reuters) – As new Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares for his inauguration on Sunday, his most powerful Arab ally is deploying both threats and promises to ensure the Arab Spring cannot upset a new anti-Islamist front in the Middle East.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Egyptians this week to embrace Sisi, the military man who drove Islamists from power in Cairo a year ago, and said they should to disown the “strange chaos” of the Arab uprisings.
DUBAI, June 3 (Reuters) – A video of French hostage Serge
Lazarevic, appealing to France’s President Francois Hollande to
negotiate his release after two years in captivity in the
Sahara, was aired by Dubai-based Akhbar Al Aan TV on Tuesday.
In the video, Lazarevic wore a black turban and had a long
grey beard. He said he had been kidnapped by al Qaeda’s North
African wing, AQIM, and appeared in front of two gunmen, whose
faces were concealed by turbans.
SANAA (Reuters) – Other Yemeni officials may have looted public funds, but former president Ali Abdullah Saleh says he was not one of them and he has challenged his authorities to find one dollar acquired inappropriately and hold him to account.
His critics in Yemen, an impoverished country of 25 million where 40 percent of the population live on less than $2 per day, accuse him of embezzling billions of dollars during his 33 years in power.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Attacks on top Yemeni government targets blamed on al Qaeda suggest a vigorous army counter-terrorism campaign has failed to dent the militants’ ability to humiliate the authorities with acts of brazen violence.
After months of militant raids on security forces, foreigners and government officials, Yemen’s army launched a concerted air-and-ground campaign late last month against militant bastions in Abyan and Shabwa provinces.
SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) – An intense two days of air strikes on al Qaeda in Yemen may have killed or wounded some of its commanders, but drones alone are unlikely to eradicate the threat the group poses to Yemenis and the West.
A weak central government, a rivalry-ridden and poorly equipped security force, endemic poverty and corruption have made Yemen the ideal haven of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whom U.S. President Barack Obama has described as the group “most active in plotting against our homeland”.
DUBAI (Reuters) – The leader of Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen has vowed to attack the United States, in a video apparently showing a gathering of the group celebrating a mass jailbreak of fighters.
In February, attackers mounted a bomb, grenade and gun assault on the main prison in Sanaa in which 29 inmates, including 19 jailed for terrorism-related crimes, escaped.
DUBAI/KUWAIT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s fierce campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, already on the run in its Egyptian birthplace, has divided a Gulf Arab bloc, causing discomfort in some member states where the Islamist group is embedded in daily politics.
Feuding with Qatar over Islam’s place in a turbulent Arab world, Riyadh recalled its ambassador from Doha last week and branded the Brotherhood, a Qatari ally, a terrorist group.
DUBAI (Reuters) – The ink was barely dry on President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s plan to stabilize chaotic Yemen before the objections started pouring in.
Leader of a nation seemingly on the brink of breakdown for years, Hadi had hoped he could appease rival political groups by creating a federal state of six regions that would give each more say over political, social, economic and security affairs.
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will introduce compulsory military service for young Emirati men, it said on Sunday, a move highlighting the Gulf state’s concern over turmoil in its neighborhood.
The UAE, a federation of seven emirates with mostly an expatriate population, faces no immediate threats from neighbors and has been spared militant attacks that have afflicted other countries such as Saudi Arabia.
BAGHDAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – Nuri al-Maliki’s political skills have kept him at the pinnacle of power in Iraq since 2006, but the Shi’ite Muslim leader has yet to heal the wounds of a country traumatized by tyranny, occupation and communal strife.
His critics say he has exacerbated that legacy by gaining undue control over the army, police and security services and using them freely against Sunni Muslim and other political foes, while allowing grave abuses in prisons and detention centers.