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Guest Thinkers

Wednesday Papers:

Al-Sharq al-Awsat leads the way today with this article about the trial of the 16 members of al-Qaeda currently on trial in San’a. The article, following the government’s designation, labels them all as members of one cell, but they are actually individuals who have been arrested in various parts of the country over the previous year and as such are actually parts of different cells. Also, I believe Husayn al-Jarabani makes a mistake in writing that Hamza al-Qu’ayti was killed along with five of his comrades in the August raid in Tarim, there were actually five killed in total, including al-Qu’ayti. But look for a verdict (possibly) in July.

There is also this article by Mohammed al-Qadhi, who consistently has some of the best reporting on Yemen in English, on the problems of the south. There isn’t really much new here, but it is a good overview of the continuing problems.

But ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jifiri has this quote in the piece:

What is happening now is more serious than what happened in 1994 due to the increasingly mobilised hatred between southern and northern people.”

Finally there is this story from NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston on ‘Abd al-Hakim Muhammad, who shot two soldiers in Little Rock last week. Muhammad is supposed to have studied at Dammaj under Yahya al-Hajuri, in what is yet another black-eye for the Salafi institute in the north. I also find it hard to believe that he was arrested for having an expired visa or even carrying a Somali passport – as one simply doesn’t get arrested in Yemen for either of these things, at most a small fine would take care of the problem. In all likelihood, he was carrying a number of other things that haven’t come out in the media, which would explain why he was arrested initially in Yemen.

This case, I think, also brings out a real dilemma for law enforcement in attempting to prevent crimes before they happen. It appears the FBI was well aware of this individual but he was not guilty of committing a crime until he acted.


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