Terrorism: Yemen not for foreign forces role

Faced with mounting international pressure to do more, the leadership in Yemen is sending out a message that it will not allow the West to run its counter-terror drive against the al-Qaeda.

During his late Saturday press conference, Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh stressed that Sana'a would not permit foreign forces to undertake counter-terrorism operations on Yemeni soil. He added that Yemen would continue to participate in the war against terrorism, but in accordance with its “national potential,” state-run Saba news agency reported.

The press conference was held after two parcel bombs apparently originating from Yemen and bound for religious centres in Chicago were recovered on separate flights in Dubai and East Midlands airport in Britain.

On Sunday, Yemen's Information Minister, Hassan Al Lawzi asserted that Yemen's determination to counter terrorism is driven first by its national security perceptions and then by “regional and international” considerations. Referring to the reportage on two suspicious package that were seized, he said that “there are unfortunately different and exaggerating reports on the issue [which are] serving Al-Qaeda and at the same time harming counterterrorism efforts”.

Responding to the terror plot, the leadership in Yemen had reached out to neighbouring Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), apart from establishing telephonic contact at the highest level in Britain and the United States. Saba news agency is reporting that during their conversation on Saturday, Saudi Arabia's King Abduallah bin Abdulaziz promised Mr. Saleh, Riyadh's full support to counter threats to Yemen's “security, stability and development process”. Analysts point out that Saudi Arabia and Yemen have been working together against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operating out of Central Yemen as well as Houthi rebels concentrated in the north. The United States has praised Saudi Arabia for the tip-off which has helped eliminate the week-end terror threat.

Meanwhile, Yemeni media is reporting that the father of the woman who has been arrested in connection with the plot has claimed that his daughter Hanan Al-Samawi, a fifth year University Student at Sana'a University, is innocent. According to the daily Yemen Post, Amatulillah Mohammed, wife of Mohammed Al-Samawi, an engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, has also been imprisoned. The family lawyer, Abdul Rahman Barman, claimed the two women had been taken to the National Security Prison. The daily said the arrests were made after Ms. Samawi's phone number and identification copy was found on the two packages.

Police have also raided the offices of the UPS and FedEx companies, and are investigating 26 packages. Some of the employees of the two firms have also been arrested, said Yemen Post.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 3:33:16 PM |

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