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Guest Thinkers

Beware of who you call al-Qaeda

Western papers are leading with the news that Yemeni forces have killed two al-Qaeda suspects. Not so fast, says Mareb Press, which actually names the two individuals killed – Nur al-Din Muhammad Ahmad al-Haniq, 17-years-old and Balal ‘Ali Ahmad al-Marani, 22-years-old.

According to Mareb Press both men were members of the Arhab tribe, which is increasingly coming into conflict with the Yemeni security forces. The problem with raids like this, as I detailed in a recent piece for the CTC Sentinel, is that it actually expands al-Qaeda’s support within Yemen.

Both the US and Yemen should be extremely careful about whom they target in Yemen, as going after the wrong people risks turning a two-sided conflict between the government and al-Qaeda into a much more murky and multi-faceted conflict that could potentially involve a number of tribes in what would become a war that could never be won.


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