The State Department's new Country Reports on Terrorism warns of the dangers of repatriating Yemeni Gitmo detainees.12:35 PM, Aug 6, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
President Obama’s Gitmo problem (that is, his inability to shut the facility down, even though he wanted to do so in just one year) is in many ways a Yemen problem. The Yemeni detainees accounted for roughly 40 percent of the Gitmo population when Obama took office.
Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki brags about his “students” – the Fort Hood shooter and Christmas Day bomber.10:20 AM, May 23, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki described both the Fort Hood Shooter and the Christmas Day bomber as his “students” in a tape released this weekend, according to press reports. This is not surprising – the evidence tying Awlaki to both terrorists has continued to mount. But Awlaki’s comments highlight, once again, the U.S. Intelligence Community’s many failures in investigating the al Qaeda cleric.
And the complicity of the press.3:35 PM, May 20, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
More often than not, Guantanamo detainees’ claims are repeated verbatim, and uncritically, by the press. This is true both here in the U.S. and abroad. And it leads to some curious stories.
Awlaki audio recording released. 12:50 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By CHARLIE SZROM and KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN
In an audio recording released last Wednesday, Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born radical Islamist cleric residing in Yemen, called directly for jihad against the United States. (For more about Awlaki, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.) In short, Awlaki has been linked to a number of recent terror attacks, including the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas Day attack.
A proxy war in Yemen.Feb 22, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 22 • By DAVID SCHENKER
Nearly 50 years ago, Yemen fought a civil war pitting the Egyptian-backed government in Sana against insurgents supported by Saudi Arabia and its cadre of European mercenaries. The six-year war was bloody: At one low point in the campaign, Cairo resorted to mustard gas and nerve agents in an effort to stem the rebel tide. In the end, the government prevailed, but not before Egypt lost 26,000 troops.
If only Abdulmutallab weren't mirandized. 5:23 PM, Feb 1, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
As Stephen F. Hayes has thoroughly documented, there is much U.S. officials should be asking Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab about. Abdulmutallab was mirandized shortly after his arrest, however, and decided to stop talking. He has provided, at most, limited cooperation since then, prompting administration officials to claim that the FBI got everything that was needed in just 50 minutes. That is implausible for a variety of reasons. But here is one more topic for the interrogation that should have been: What does Abdulmutallab know about the Americans (including ex-convicts) al Qaeda has recruited?
Brilliant.6:45 PM, Jan 27, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Yemen will begin building an $11 million rehabilitation centre for returning Guantanamo detainees in three months when it expects to receive funding from the United States, a government official said on Wednesday.
There are 91 Yemeni detainees left in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Washington suspended transfers to Yemen this month because of a deteriorating security situation in the country, in the throes of a crackdown on a resurgent al Qaeda.
It is now an exporter, if not a sponsor, of terrorism.
7:55 PM, Jan 14, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Anybody curious about how and why Yemen became a place where al Qaeda and other jihadist groups operate with apparent impunity--while its government claims to be a reliable ally of the United States--should simply look at a map of the Middle East. Throughout its history Yemen has been different from the rest of its neighbors. It is, in truth, a local pivot--but a permanently wobbling one. It now faces an existential threat, as radicals from within in its borders and around its neighborhood threaten to destroy it, with the apparent complicity of--or at least, a dangerous passivity on the part of--its rulers. In this it resembles that other strategic hub and Islamist target, Pakistan.
The White House denies the undeniable.9:40 AM, Jan 7, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
What the Obama administration is saying now:
“We never had a plan to transfer Yemenis back to their country if the Yemeni government was not capable of handling that transfer.”
January 6, 2010 -- Robert Gibbs, White House briefing
11:12 AM, Jan 6, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
With respect to closing the Guantanamo detention facility, President Obama said the following on Tuesday:
"Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda. In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
The president did not say which statement, in particular, he had in mind. But the “explicit rationale” he references must come from al Qaeda’s own propaganda.
Yemeni SCUDs, Pyongyang, and U.S. Nonproliferation Policy3:00 PM, Dec 12, 2002 • By HENRY SOKOLSKI
THIS WEEK, after pulling off one of the most remarkable interdictions in naval history and succeeding for the first time in making nonproliferation something more than a feel-good slogan, the Bush administration concluded that it had made a mistake. Announcing December 10 that the Spanish Navy with U.S. assistance had intercepted an unflagged North Korean ship carrying 15 hidden SCUD missiles, the White House decided the following day to release the shipment to its intended recipient, the government of Yemen.