By Steve in Wisconsin
February 1, 2011
The popular uprising currently underway in Egypt is grabbing the world’s attention, but it is also grabbing the attention of Muslims in other states.
Some media commentaries mention nearby regimes in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen, and speculate as to whether or not they will follow suit. However, analysts are largely overlooking Pakistan — a tinderbox and U.S. ally — whose people are also facing price increases in food and fuel, shortages of goods, utilities and services, plus growing unemployment. These are the same catalysts that launched rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Public dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s pro-Western (seemingly spineless) President Zardari and his government’s inability to stem U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal areas, coupled with a growing interest in fundamentalist Islam have brought Pakistanis’ tolerance level of the status quo to just below simmering. Keep in mind, also, that if there were ever a country that could mobilize hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people at the drop of a hat, it’s Pakistan.
Pakistan is very technologically advanced: cellphones, high-speed internet, and a sizeable blogging network need only to be inspired to rapidly mobilize the masses. Additionally, ever since Pervez Musharraf’s departure it is my opinion that current Pakistani leadership cannot discount the threat of a military coup, or elements of the security services (police and military) joining a popular uprising — with their weapons. Even if the government shuts down internet and cellphone service, Pakistan’s high-density urban population will continue to communicate using simple methods of decades past: vehicle-mounted loudspeakers and bull horns.
Pakistan’s security forces are likely sufficient to contain even large-scale uprisings, but not without substantial civilian casualties and property loss. This is assuming, of course, that elements of these services refrain from joining the rebellion.
The United States (from a purely self-serving standpoint) is making a mistake in turning its back on long-standing regional allies as this sends a message to other rulers and their security services that the U.S. may stand aside and allow events to run their course. America should also reconsider encouraging opposition forces through the use of social networking sites. [See: Inteltrends’ Special Report: The role of social networking websites in global unrest, and, as a further example, Google Launches Service Letting Egyptians Tweet by Phone.
An editorial in today’s Daily Times (Lahore, Pakistan) takes note of the simmering situation there. It reads, in part:
One should in any case be cautious in dismissing the possibility of a movement of the people in Pakistan. However, there is another dimension to the situation here, which could be the cause of great concern. After four decades of nurturing of jihadis and extremists, any popular revolt will be at risk of being hijacked by extremist forces, who have recently rallied together on the issue of the blasphemy laws and are not in a mood to arrest the momentum of their campaign against the government. In these circumstances, the people of Pakistan have the sorry option between an inept and corrupt political leadership and the entire spectrum of right-wing forces from centre-right to extreme right. The decline of the liberal, democratic and progressive community is at the heart of this crisis. Unless these forces strengthen their cadre, induct fresh blood into their ranks and mount a challenge to the extremists, Pakistan has little hope of salvation.
Recent history has shown that countries which have overthrown unpopular dictators are not necessarily pro-Western once a new government replaces them. [See Stanislav Mishin’s analysis: How the Muslim Brotherhood Saved the U.S. Dollar.]
Steve in Wisconsin is a former deputy sheriff with travels in Africa, Asia and Central America. His primary blog is inteltrends.wordpress.com.
Muslim masses begin to move. West fears Islamic revolution.
© Kavkaz Center
January 31, 2011 21:16
The popular uprising changed the regime of dictator Ben Ali in Tunis and, apparently, Mubarak will be the next who will have to go, says the Indonesian newspaper The Jakarta Globe.
Some experts have even compared the wave of popular demonstrations in Muslim countries with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of Communism in Europe – events that nobody predicted until they actually happened – and that Tunisia and Egypt are the beginning of a wave that will sweep away other notoriously autocratic regimes in the Islamic world as well.
As Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center noted, the “barrier of fear that so far kept the Muslim masses under the control of their ruling elites has been broken by the Tunisian revolt”.
After Tunisia protests began in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Yemen. These developments have put the West in a quandary.
Both Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt have over the years received considerable support from Western countries. America has been supporting Egypt to the tune of billion a year. Tunisia was the “poster boy” of the IMF.
Even in spite of the fact that many demonstrations in Tunisia are under the slogans of “freedom and democracy”, Western countries are afraid of supporters of political Islam coming to power.
Yet, it could be argued that an Islamic takeover is still the most likely outcome of the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Jordan and Yemen, says The Jakarta Globe.
For although Islamic forces might seem largely absent in the protests right now, anyone familiar with the region knows that Islamic sentiments and inclinations have always been strong among its residents.
This is proven by the fact that the burial of Mohammed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian who set himself alight in protest against Ben Ali and thereby started the popular uprising, featured slogans like “The martyr is loved by Allah!”
And also by the fact that the organizers of the demonstration in Egypt on Tuesday felt themselves forced to ask the demonstrators not to show their religious views, and begged the people to bring only Egyptian flags and no religious symbols.
Nevertheless, the protests started off with a mass prayer in the square where the people gathered.
The fact that Muslims do not want democracy and secular way of development, has been shown by numerous opinion polls. The most recent PEW survey showed that 85% of Egyptians and 91% of Indonesians favor the presence of Islam in politics. 82% of Egyptians, 70% of Jordanians, and 40% of Indonesians support the introduction of sharia law such as stoning for adultery and the death penalty for apostasy.
Therefore, it is possible that the word freedom Muslims understand not as permissiveness and disrespect for religious laws, as in the West, but rather to live according to Islam. For instance, Tunisia banned the Islamic headscarf and threw women in prison for wearing it.
Although western media outlets are silent about this, we must recognize the popular uprisings in the Arab countries are associated with Islam. While the revolutionaries do not call for the establishment of an Islamic state, but by time the revolution can turn in this direction.
Meanwhile, Western diplomats and analysts predict that the growing instability in the country will present fresh challenges for U.S. and “Israel”, which are considered “masters” of the Middle East, says CBS.
“Egypt is now witnessing a major political tsunami with consequences for its surrounding region”, warns an Arab diplomat from a Middle Eastern country who served in Cairo until last August. Speaking to CBS News on condition of anonymity, the diplomat warned of “a variety of dangers” following a regime change in Egypt.
Going forward, he listed the emerging possibilities, ranging from “a significant rise of Islamic militants in Egypt who will take a harder line towards the U.S. and Israel”, to “Egypt becoming a symbol of change for others to follow”.
While President Mubarak for now appears to be defying the odds, Egypt is becoming increasingly locked in a state of growing paralysis that is forcing many analysts to resign themselves to a regime change.
Meanwhile, the return of Mohamed El-Baradei to lead the protests has raised the possibility of a future government led by a figure who will pursue internal reforms while retaining links to the U.S., “Israel” and other outside powers.
Analysts warn a future democratic regime elected through a popular vote is likely to also give political gains to Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood, or “Akhwan al muslimeen”.
Mubarak, in his three decades as Egypt’s president, has frequently presented himself to foreign powers as the most effective bulwark against “hard line Islamists”.
Nevertheless, the possibility of “Akhwans” coming to power is even real.
“Akhwan al muslimeen” has assumed a role as the key representative of Egypt’s underdog. In a volatile situation as we have today, these people have the perfect opportunity to be heard as never before,” says a second Arab diplomat who until 2009 served at his country’s embassy in Cairo.
“I believe events in Egypt have a real chance of spilling over. This is a volcano with real lava waiting to spill over,” said a Pakistani security official.
Department of Monitoring
How the Muslim Brotherhood Saved the U.S. Dollar
© Stanislav Mishin
Source: Mat Rodina
January 30, 2011
There are two truths that the Anglo Elites know all too well: democracy in the West means a ruling oligarchy with good PR, democracy in the Middle East means Islamic Jihadists and Fundamentalists. This has been a fact for many years and is not, in any way a shock or disconnect for any of the American elites now backing “democracy” revolutions.
1. Iranian revolution, 1978-1979: Mass protests by a wide coalition against the King. Result? Mullahs take over.
2. Egypt has free parliamentary elections. Results? The Muslim Brotherhood becomes the second most powerful party in the country, before being quickly banned.
3. Americans allow free elections in Iraq. Results? Islamist parties become the main power blocks in power.
4. Palestinians have free elections: Voters protest against corrupt regime. Result? Hamas is now running the Gaza Strip.
5. Beirut Spring: Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Druze unite against Syrian control. Moderate government gains power. Result? Hezbollah is now the main political force in Lebanon.
6. Algeria holds free elections: Voters back moderate Islamist group. Result? Military coup; Islamists turn (or reveal their true thinking) radical; tens of thousands of people killed.
Quite simply, the majority of the population has an insane infatuation with extremist Islam, be it Shiite or Sunni. Again, none of this is a surprise to the owners of the Anglo sphere. So why are they so actively backing revolutions and over throws throughout the Middle East?
Already a revolution has swept out the sectarian dictator of Tunisia, with Islamists quickly moving in. Exiled leader of Tunisian Islamist party returning to role in ‘new era of democracy’.
Protests, demonstrations and revolutions have now spread to Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Albania, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Egypt is by far, the worst hit, with the government teetering, mass looting and violence becoming the norm and the Muslim Brotherhood riding high.
All of this, of course is nothing new, it is a rehash of past and present events. So, my astute readers are now asking, again, why are the Anglo Elites servicing these revolutions and how will this save the U.S. dollar, or at least stave off its death for a few more years?
To answer that one must understand that to be a vassal, er, an ally of the Anglos is worse than to be an enemy. At least an enemy knows where he stands, while an ally will be used and when his or her utilization has reached its max, will be betrayed, back stabbed and sold out as best suits the Anglos, be it an Irishman or a Half Arab who sits in the Oval Office.
So now the time has come for a new round of betrayals, to prop up the USD at the expense of allies. You see, dear reader, the U.S. dollar is the exchange currency for Oil and Gas and the higher the price, the more the USD is demanded. The more that is demanded, to buy the more expensive oil and gas, the more debt currency the U.S. private Federal Reserve gets to print up and drop off on the world, allowing for accumulation of real resources, worth real value, as well as continuing pointless Marxist programs and the off-shoring of American hyper inflation to the rest of humanity.
This is nothing new. The U.S. ‘colour revolutions’ were used in the Central Asian states, to create havoc in areas adjacent to oil. The first was in Uzbekistan, where the socialist dictator and U.S. ally, Karimov, has been designated for removal by a U.S.-sponsored Islamic revolution. Unfortunately for the Americans, Karimov had no problem massacring the American paid for revolutionaries. He followed this by ousting the U.S. base on his lands and running to Moscow for protection.
The U.S. dollar did not get its intended boost in the Central Asian territories, at that time, however, the Americans did not give up. Even if a revolution fails in the directly affected area, one can be staged in an adjacent area which will lead to further instability in the intended area, thus driving up the price of oil and gas. To that end, the Americans created and backed the civil war in Tajikistan, where Uzbeki fanatics, in the south of the country now have defacto rule and will export their jihad to their own mother country, thus ensuring high levels of instability for decades to come.
To that same end, the Americans are backing the revolutions on the periphery of the main oil fields of the Middle East, in full knowledge that this will spill further and further into the oil producing regions. That is the plan, after all.
Tunisia, itself, a small time oil producer, accounts for 40,000 barrels/day.
Algeria and Yemen have also faced mass protests, funded and organized by Western NGOs, even as the owners of those NGOs pretend to be sympathetic to the rulers of the countries in question. However, as in Uzbekistan, these rulers have and will continue to respond with massive force, making sure that their U.S.-sponsored, home grown Islamics do not get very far. In Yemen, early Sunday, the government arrested Tawakul Karman, a prominent journalist and member of the Islamist party Isiah. He had organized protests through text messages and emails. All of the Western press are playing their roll, screaming to the high heavens about this Islamic fundamentalist’s follow on release and her love of freedom, even though Fundamentalist Islam believes in Sharia and has no freedom, other than the right to murder unbelievers.
Jordan, one of the most stable regional powers, has also been rocked by protests, as more than 5,000 people took to the streets, demanding the King give up his power, to “the people”.
Egypt has not been so lucky. Its government has proven, so far, to be weak, with many in the military openly siding with the Islamic Brotherhood and its Western NGO backers. Looting in the streets is rampant, as is direct confrontation with those special police forces, and special forces, still loyal to the dictatorship. The end is only a matter of time.
Egypt itself is responsible for the production of 680,000 barrels of oil per day. While this is about 1-2% of the world total output, Egypt further plays a massive role, with the Suez Canal and the alternate Surned pipeline, of passing an additional 1 million barrels of crude bound for the European and American markets. It is bad enough with the Somali pirates pushing up the price of oil, or why do you think that a trigger-happy America willing to invade just about anyone it can, including once upon a time Somalia, suddenly is too timid to deal with a bunch of rag tag pirates?
Other protests have erupted in Morocco, Libya, Lebanon and even Albania. All around the edges of the major oil players.
More worrisome than disruptions to Egypt’s oil production is the prospect that the unrest spreads to other hard-line states in the region, such as Libya and Algeria, both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Other countries in the region, including Tunisia and Yemen, have been wracked by anti-government protests in recent weeks, though neither is a major oil producer.
“If this thing spreads across the North African continent, gets into Libya, Algeria, then you’ve got trouble,” said Stephen Schork, editor of the Schork Report energy newsletter.
Finally, this whole process is now spilling into Saudi Arabia and soon possibly into the whole of the Gulf princedoms. The oil shocks will be profound and will be quick.
Already, with just the Egyptian upheavals, and as expected, just on the Thursday and Friday violence, oil went up over 4%, some $3.70 per barrel. Another similar rise can be expected this week, if not higher. When, not if, Mubarak’s government falls, oil should be expected to hit close to the $100 mark. With Nigeria also sinking into civil war, oil may well peak over $100/barrel by the end of February.
The American media and their other Western underlings and affiliates, are doing their part in colouring these as peoples’ fights for freedom and human rights. Of course they know full well what this will lead to: Islamic fundamentalism, which is the only result that this has ever led to. Then when this happens, when the correct end result is in place, those very same self-serving hypocrites, will throw up their hands and declare that they are shocked that those stupid, dirty Arabs could not make any go of “freedom” even after all the help they were given.
The Americans have been preparing for this for years. Many foolishly blame this on Obama, he is a part of this, but his is only the final chapter in the preparation for one of the last ditch efforts to stave off Judgment Day of the U.S. dollar and its debt built and house of cards economy.
“What happened in Georgia with the Rose Revolution and Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2003-2004 was part of a long-term strategy orchestrated by the Pentagon, the State Department and various U.S.-financed NGOs like Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy to create pro-NATO regime change in those former Soviet Union areas and to literally encircle Russia,” author and researcher William Engdahl told RT.
“What is going on in the Middle East with the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia that we saw a few days ago, and now in Egypt with Mubarak in his 80s, and obviously a regime that is not exactly the most stable one, we have a food crisis taking place as a backdrop and the IMF coming and telling these countries to eliminate their state food subsidies so you have, of course, the explosive background for popular unrest. Within that you have these NGOs, like Freedom House, training activists and trade unions and various other organizations to demand democracy, demand human rights and so forth,” he added.
This earlier report by RT [“TV Novosti”] sums the process up even better:
Dr. William Robinson is one of the foremost experts on Washington’s democracy promotion initiatives, he wrote the book ‘Promoting Polyarhcy.’
“In Latin America, in Eastern Europe with the Velvet Revolutions, in Africa, in the Middle East, really all over the world, the U.S. set up these different mechanisms now for penetrating these civil societies in the political systems of countries that are going to be intervened and to assure the outcome is going to be pleasing to Washington’s foreign policy objectives,” said Robinson.
Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, “We do this through surrogates and non-governmental organization and through people who are less suspecting of the evil that may lurk behind their actions than perhaps they were before. Have we learned some lessons in that regard? You bet! Do we do it better? You bet! Is it still just as heinous as it has always been? You bet!”
The Americans call this process Creative Destruction, that is the new catch phrase for world revolutions, no different than that which was exported from our own country while it was ruled by Anglo financed Marxists. While the PR may be promising and alluring, the results will be misery and death for those in ground zero: with tourism and industry fleeing fundamentalist regimes, resulting in yet more starvation and poverty, and a massive enrichment for the top 1% of the Anglo elite who could not give a bigger damn, no matter what their fully owned media mouth pieces may be saying.
The massive increases in the price of oil, as well as the increased demand for weapons by those states who border these areas, will line the pockets of thousands of executives and politicians in America, and to a smaller level, of England, for decades to come. If a war or three are spawned from this, even better.
Furthermore, with refugees and terrorism flooding Europe, which is finally starting to react violently to the virus that is attacking the body social at large, and the confiscation of European industry in Northern Africa, the Euro will be on the front lines of these new Islamic plagues, like never before. It will take another beating, with the dollar remaining a “safe” investment. Just another big plus, not to mention the new missions for NATO and that military-industrial complex, this will generate.
As for the American serfs, the little people? Well, the $6-10/gallon ($1.50-$2.25/liter) gasoline will crush them. Sure, the socialist welfare programs that their government will finance by selling yet more dollars, will help some, but it is a mild treatment for a terminal disease. Their falling wages, in the face of mass and growing unemployment as well as soaring inflation, will drag the last of the middle class into poverty and slavery. However, unlike the Arabs or the French or most other people of the world, they will do what their British cousins have been doing for the past 30 years, put up a stiff upper lip and accept this as their reality. And yes, as before, for the world at large, their owners in NYC, DC and London, could not really give a bigger damn.
A passive people, believing in their own illusionary freedoms and high on their own self importance, make for the best slaves and no where are there more such slaves than in the USA.
The rest of us will also have to live with an ever more violent world, courtesy of the biggest sponsor of Islamic insanity the world has ever had the sorry state of knowing.
Al-Qaeda Announces Holy War against Houthis
© Yemen Post
January 30, 2011
Yemen Post Staff
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced on its website jihad (holy war) against the Houthi northern Shiites.
In an audio message posted on the Internet, Saeed Ali Al-Shihri, deputy leader of the Yemen-based (AQAP), said that Houthis in Sa’ada, Jawf, and Amran will face a strong war against them, calling on Sunni Muslims in northern Yemeni provinces to be with (AQAP). He accused Iran’s regime of backing Shiite rebels.
“Jihad against northern Shiites has been declared since the implementation of the AQAP’s twin martyred car bombing attacks against convoys of Shiite rebels’ in the northern provinces of Jawf and Sa’ada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26 of the last year,” he said.
Last year two bombings occurred in northern Yemen with one targeting a procession on its way to celebrate a religious Zaidi ceremony, Eid Al-Ghadir, in Jawf killing almost 24 and wounded several others. The other targeted Houthi followers traveling in Sa’ada to participate in a funeral, killing two mourners and wounding eight.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Yemen Times, Sana’a.
Al-Wahishi not dead, says expert
© Yemen Times
By Ali Saeed
January 6, 2011
Naser Abdulkareem Al-Wahishi, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is still alive, an expert on Al-Qaeda, Saeed Ubaid, told the Yemen Times.
Media reports claimed yesterday that Al-Wahishi was killed in Pakistan by an American drone at the end of December.
But Ubaid disagreed: “I do not think that Al-Wahishi had gone to Waziristan as the organization in Yemen needs him”.
Al-Wahishi was said to be killed three times; twice by the Yemeni government during operations carried out against Al-Qaeda by Yemen in September 2010 and now, for the third time, by the Pakistani government.
Some media reports this week claimed that Pakistani officials confirmed that Al-Wahishi was killed on December 28 when two American missiles were fired on a militant camp at the Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan in Pakistan.
Al-Qaeda until now has not recognized the death of its leader and published his article in a recent copy of its magazine, Sada Al-Malahem (Echo of Battles).
“That is an indicator that he is still alive,” said Ubaid.
He explained that Al-Wahishi might have been wounded and that is why his media appearance has decreased recently.
He also said that evidence of Al-Wahishi’s existence was the tape recording published two months ago that he would protect Anwar Al-Awlaki, the U.S. citizen of Yemeni origin who is on the U.S.’s kill or capture list.
“If he was killed, Al-Qaeda would announce that and include him on its martyrs list,” said Ubaid.
He noted that until now those who claimed to have killed Al-Wahishi have not proven any evidence of that.
The expert supported his claim with the fact that Yemen’s security sources in the past announced the killing of some Al-Qaeda leaders but these persons appeared to be alive after these claims were made.
“We cannot trust security sources for killing an Al-Qaeda leader, as Ayd Al-Shabwani was announced to be killed four times by the Yemen’s security sources, Qasim Al-Raimi was announced to be killed twice by the Yemen’s security sources,” he explained.
Al-Wahishi was appointed as a leader of formerly-named Al-Qaeda in Yemen in 2007 after he escaped with 23 Yemeni captives from a security prison in Sana’a in 2006.
When the two Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia merged in January 2009, Al-Wahishi was announced as leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
[Photo: Al Qaeda magazine via Yemen Times]
The following article is reprinted with permission from Yemen Times, Sana’a.
Al-Qaeda remains security threat in 2011
© Yemen Times
By Ali Saeed
January 3, 2011
Al-Qaeda will remain a security threat in Yemen this year, a political analyst told the Yemen Times yesterday, after the organization claimed responsibility for at least 49 attacks.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) announced in their latest edition of the Arabic magazine Sada Al-Malahem (Echo of Battles), that it was responsible for carrying out 49 operations between May and October last year in different areas of Yemen.
“Their announcement shows that they are still strong and in continuous confrontation with security forces,” said political analyst Dr. Mohamed Al-Qadi. “It also indicates that Al-Qaeda is going to remain present this year.”
He explained that AQAP’s magazine accurately reflected the 49 operations, which targeted security and military checkpoints. Some of the operations were aimed at assassinating high ranking officers and leaders in Yemen’s army and security forces, according to the magazine’s operations section.
The magazine’s report explained that most of the operations were concentrated in southern governorates, especially Shabwa and Abyan in the south-east of the country.
It indicated that the terrorist organization carried out 13 operations in five governorates against security officers and leaders. Six operations were executed in Abyan governorate.
Five officers were killed in five operations, while the last attack targeted the governor of Abyan, Ahmed Al-Misary, when he was in a military convoy hunting Al-Qaeda suspects last August. The governor survived, but eight of his bodyguards, including his brother, were killed.
Al-Qadi said that that AQAP started a new trend in 2010, the second year of operations for the new branch of Al-Qaeda, formed in January 2009 and its tactics now included targeting Yemen’s army and police.
“Targeting Yemen’s police is a development of Al-Qaeda tactics, as they found the police standing between them and their targets which are western interests,” he said.
AQAP also said in the fifty-page magazine that it was responsible for killing three police officers in Hadramout and another two police officers in Lahj.
The magazine authors also confirmed that the organization assassinated the deputy chief of criminal investigation in Marib governorate, Mohamed Fara’, at the end of August last year. It claimed that Fara’ was hunting down jihadists and hiring informants against Al-Qaeda.
The last operation targeted Colonel Ali Mohamed Salah Al-Husam, the deputy chief of the Political Security Organization in Sa’ada governorate, where Al-Husam was taken as prisoner last October, the report claims.
Other operations were carried out in Lahj, Abyan and Shabwa and took place between July and October. Only two operations were carried out in the capital, Sana’a. The first one targeted a minibus that was carrying political intelligence officers and the second targeted the British deputy ambassador in October 2010. The attempted assassination, in April, of British ambassador Tim Torlot was not mentioned.
The report denied that Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack against Al-Wahda sports club in Aden, which killed at least four people and wounded 14 others on October 11, 2010.
Al-Qaeda said that only five of its militants were killed and four were injured during operations last year.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Yemen Times, Sana’a.
More U.S. intervention in Yemen’s anti-terror plans
© Yemen Times
By Ali Saeed
December 27, 2010
The Yemeni Ministry of Interior’s announcement on Friday that it will create four new anti-terrorism branches for units in Shabwa, Marib, Hadramout and Abyan is a response to direct pressure from the United States.
Saeed Ubaid, an expert on Al-Qaeda, told the Yemen Times that the U.S. has recently become increasingly demanding on Yemen regarding combating terrorism. He said that this new move by the Yemeni government was in direct response to U.S. pressure on the Yemen government to step-up its efforts against terrorism.
“The increasing demands of the U.S. on Yemen have become like an order and not cooperation,” said Ubaid.
“And that makes us feel that the U.S. wants to fight a proxy war against AQAP.”
Ubaid claims that one of the most recent demands from the U.S. has been for Yemen to provide intelligence information about members of Al-Qaeda, arrested or being held by, the Yemeni government.
He described the expansion of anti-terrorism units to cover the four governorates as “a forward movement”, as long as they can prove efficient, are well equipped and local security leaders in the areas support them.
The Ministry of Interior said that its move aimed to “tighten the noose on terrorists and to paralyze their movements where they hideout”.
“Yemen has never been, and never will be a safe haven for terrorism,” it said.
The ministry claimed the step would advance its confrontation with Al-Qaeda elements to “a closing stage to root them out of Yemen”.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the recent parcel bomb plot. Packages were sent to the U.S. from Yemen and intercepted in Dubai and London at the end of October.
The four governorates chosen for the new units have witnessed intense clashes between Al-Qaeda elements and Yemen’s security forces, said Saeed.
“Shabwa is the home of Fahd Al-Qasa, listed by the FBI as the third most-wanted terrorist and the U.S. born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki,” he said.
Lauder city in Abyan governorate, where one of the branches of the counterterrorism unit will be based, was announced as an “Islamic state by Al-Qaeda,” according to Ubaid.
Similarly, Marib, where one of the branches will be established, is also considered a heaven for Al-Qaeda in Yemen, he said.
Hadramout will host the largest of the new bases. A number of the governorate’s local security leaders have been targeted by AQAP in 2009 and 2010, according to the Ministry of Interior. In March 2009, a suicide bomber in Shibam killed four South Korean tourists, which Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for.