Blog archive: Yemen

  • 20th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As I mentioned last Sunday, there's a debate going on in the Obama administration about the use of drones in Yemen for strikes against suspected militants (as opposed to just using them for surveillance). It's a hugely important debate, with implications for other parts of the world too...
  • 19th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to a Yemeni politician, the recent parcel bombs affair was part of "a suspicious plan for harming Yemen's sovereignty and its independence in preparation for imposing foreign agendas". The remarks – from Salah al-Saiadi, secretary of the Yemeni Popular Democratic party (...
  • 15th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
         Six months after 28-year-old Khaled Said died while being arrested in Alexandria, there are claims of another death at the hands of officers from the same police station. The family of 19-year-old Ahmed Shaaban say he was arrested along...
  • 15th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yemeni warplanes attacked what are described as al-Qaeda hideouts in the Bani Dhabyan territory east of Sanaa yesterday, according to local reports (Yemen Post in English and Mareb Pressin Arabic). Significantly, perhaps, the reported use of Yemeni air power comes in the midst of ...
  • 14th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph today, the new head of Britain's armed forces, General Sir David Richards, says there will be no "clear-cut victory" against Islamist militancy, though it can be contained. "In conventional war," he tells the paper, "defeat and victory is very...
  • 13th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing in the Waq al-Wag blog, Gregory Johnsen refers to the case of eight men who were apparently arrested by mistake during a raid against al-Qaeda in Yemen. After almost two months in detention they have now been released, thanks to the efforts of a tribal sheikh. Incidents like this are not...
  • 6th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Various news reports today mention that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is claiming responsibility for the crash of a UPS cargo plane at Dubai on September 3, as well as the more recent incidents involving parcel bombs. The Boeing 747 aircraft had taken off from Dubai 45 minutes...
  • 2nd November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to numerous reports yesterday, the initial tip about the "parcel bombs" plot came from Jabr al-Faifi, who was released from Guantanamo five years ago for "rehabilitation" in Saudi Arabia but then "escaped" to Yemen and joined al-Qaeda there. Later, Faifi reportedly became...
  • 1st November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Still in Yemen, the government's 26 Sepember website is celebrating the country's "progress" against corruption. This is based on the fact that Yemen has moved up eight places, from 154 to 146, in Transparency International's latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index. In fact, the...
  • 1st November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hanan Mohamed al-Samary, the 22-year-old student arrested in Yemen on Friday in connection with the parcel bombs affair has now been freed. The move followed protests in Yemen over her detention. As I suggested here yesterday, it appears that she was the victim of identity theft. She was...
  • 31st October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A young woman described as a medical student has been arrestedat her home in Sana'a, along with her mother, in connection with the parcel bombs found on planes bound for the United States. She was identified by US officials through a SIM card found in one of the devices, according...
  • 27th October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Discussing the use of child soldiers in Yemen, the US State Department's annual report on trafficking in persons, issued in June, said: "Despite a 1991 [Yemeni] law which stipulates that recruits to the armed forces must be at least 18 years of age, and assertions by the government...

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