Yemen, like Pakistan and others, seems to have mastered the double-game ($$). While the U.S. is paying for an anti-terror police unit in Yemen, and using Special Ops to train it, Yemen is non-committal in the fight against jihad. How many billions will they bilk from U.S. taxpayers? From the LA Times, Yemen dismisses Al Qaeda threat as ‘exaggerated’:
Yemeni officials on Sunday dismissed the threat posed by Al Qaeda in their country as “exaggerated” and downplayed the possibility of cooperating closely with the United States in fighting Islamic militants, even as the U.S. and Britain temporarily closed their diplomatic outposts in Yemen because of unspecified Al Qaeda threats.
The statements by Yemen’s foreign minister, chief of national security and Interior Ministry came a day after the region’s top American military commander vowed to step up U.S. military support for the beleaguered Arabian Peninsula nation.
Analysts said the Yemeni statements reflected domestic political concerns about President Ali Abdullah Saleh appearing weak and beholden to the West as he faces numerous political challenges.
But Yemeni officials Sunday appeared to rebuff any close cooperation with the West. Foreign Minister Abubakr Qirbi told a government-run newspaper that his country welcomed intelligence-sharing but had made no commitment to conducting anti-terrorism operations in conjunction with the West.
“Yemen has its own short-term and long-term schemes to tackle terrorists anywhere in the republic that only call for intelligence and information coordination with other countries,” he told the daily newspaper Politics, the official Saba news agency reported.
CNN interviewed controversial former CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer, who dropped a few nuggets of interest as well. He stated that the U.S. has dumped money and munitions into Yemen since 9/11 and al Qaeda has only grown there; that al Qaeda helped to get Yemeni president Alu Abdullah Saleh into power; and the number of AQ in Yemen is drastically underestimated. Click the video below to watch/listen.Vodpod videos no longer available.
In case the Yemeni’s word isn’t good enough, and many dismiss Scheuer out of the box, here’s a February 2009 post from the Long War Journal that adds credence to the notion that Yemen won’t be much help, but will take the money, Yemen strikes multifaceted deals with al Qaeda:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently struck a deal with Ayman Zawahiri, and Yemen is in the process of emptying its jails of known jihadists. The Yemeni government is recruiting these established jihadists to attack its domestic enemies as it refrains from serious counter-terror measures against the newly formed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The tripartite relationship between the Yemeni regime and al Qaeda enables all participants to further their goals at the expense of national, regional, and global security.
News reports from Yemen detail a meeting in Sana’a between President Saleh and a number of so-called reformed jihadists late January. The militants demanded freedom for imprisoned associates. A presidential committee identified 170 jihadists eligible for release, and 95 were released Saturday. Other reports indicate that authorities have cleared for release a total of 300 of the 400 total suspected al Qaeda in prison.
Again, from the LA Times report:
A member of a smaller Shiite Muslim sect, [Yemeni President] Saleh has been accused for years of gaining political allies by turning a blind eye to the growing influence of Sunni extremists who have begun enforcing Islamic dress codes and setting up religious schools.
Foreign Ministertells The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that “there is a lot of sensitivity about foreign troops coming to Yemeni territory.”
U.S. military personnel are currently in Yemen training its counterterrorism forces, and al-Qirbi says Yemen would welcome more personnel as trainers. “But not in any other capacity.”
In other words, Yemen will gladly accept U.S. taxpayer money by the tens or hundreds of millions, but don’t want infidel troops on Muslim soil to kill al Qaeda and other terrorists.