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Abdul Rahim Al-Showthabi (YEMEN POST STAFF)
Article Date: November 10, 2008
Two weeks ago, Al-Qaeda's new attack that killed security director and son of one of Mareb tribe's Sheikhs, Mohamed Rabish Kielan, revealed Al-Qaeda's experience in using booby-trapped letters for attacking personals.
Counterterrorism experts said that in 1986 Maktab Al-Khidmat, the original office for Al-Qaeda in the early 80's, opened a branch where Al-Qaeda members received training courses through which they learned how to make booby-trapped letters, and how to fly gliders and helicopters.
In the last four months, organized terror attacks ranging from the southern parts in Hadramout, like the one in July, when a suicide attack on Sayoun's security compound killed 8 people and injured dozens, to the one witnessed in Sana'a when the US Embassy was bombed and 17 people were killed.
Observers believe that war on terror in Yemen was restricted due to governments efforts, while on the other hand, others fear that the operation that was carried out by military forces against Al-Qaeda cell in Sayoun ignited a new war between Al-Qaeda and the Yemeni government.
The period since 2002 until the beginning of 2006 brought out calmness in Yemen as Al-Qaeda attacks were limited, especially after the murder of Al-Qaeda's leader Abu Ali Al-Harithi by an American helicopter in 2005, and the arrests of Al-Qaeda's members after the USS Cole bombing in 2001.
However, Al-Qaeda's members break out from a security prison in 2006 changed the period of calmness to a period of horror, mainly, after the release of Nasser Al-Wahaisi a notorious member of Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen. ِ
Al-Qaeda's latest attacks against Yemeni and foreign facilities were aimed to weaken the Yemeni government's abilities against fighting terrorism.
In addition they said that Al-Qaeda's attacks against the US Embassy were aimed to weaken Yemeni relations with the United States of America.
Yemen is seen as an appropriate place for Al-Qaeda, especially when Saudi Arabia Al-Qaeda branch has been called to move to Yemen and avoid arrest by the Saudi security authorities.
Further, Al-Qaeda supporters in the Arab Gulf had given Al-Qaeda's members in Yemen large amounts of money to buy explosives and weapons, mainly mortars, which can be used from a distance to hit targets that are guarded.
Last year, Al-Qaeda changed its pyramidal hierarchy into a clustered build-up, which opens doors for more independent attacks. However, some still believe that large strategic plans and goals are set by the leadership centered in Afghanistan.
Over the last five months, security forces started nonstop interrogations with suspected Al-Qaeda followers in prisons in order to hunt down its followers, mainly those who broke out of prison, including Qasim Al-Raimi, and Hamza Al-Dhaini. Also, it is considered that Mareb governorate is where Al-Qaeda's most wanted are suspected to be residing.
The Russian Expert in Islamic affairs of the Arab Gulf, Avigeni Nuvikuf, indicated that the militarily establishment made by Former Soviet Union for the Yemeni Socialist Party are being used for trainees from Al-Qaeda's members, assuring his thought by saying that military experts in the Yemeni Socialist Party believe that the United States is their real enemy, adding that this would be an enough reason for Socialists to help Al-Qaeda to attack the United States Embassy.
Over the last five years, Yemen has faced unprecedented security threats on different fronts, but the threats are currently confined to Al-Qaeda after the rebellious Houthi insurgents in northern Sa'ada province were quelled.This year and according to the Interior Ministry, Yemen witnessed 20 terrorist attacks killing 35 people, including six soldiers and two tourists. According to estimates, 91 individuals have been injured, most of them Yemenis.