Government warns tribesmen from helping Al Qaeda, and tribesmen warn from random strikes
By Nasser Arrabyee/03/10/2010
A Yemeni official warned tribesmen from giving Al Qaeda fighters any kind of shelter or help, urging them to stand by the government troops in a possible strike very soon against a village in Shabwa, south of the country.
“You see them walking around in your villages and if you ignore them, and let them do what they want, the danger will get bigger and you will repent,” said the governor of Shabwah Ali Al Ahmadi.
Al Ahmadi was speaking on Saturday in a meeting with chiefs of tribesmen from Al Saeed area where Al Qaeda failed to assassinate him ( the governor) and a number of security and military officials last week.
The governor told the tribesmen that about 20 men were behind the failed assassination attempt including 12 from Al Qaeda and 8 from the separatist movement, according to sources who attended the meeting.
He said there are fighters with Al Qaeda from outside Shabwah and from outside Yemen.
“If you can not control your sons, then at least inform us about the strangers, we have information about people coming to the province and nobody knows who are they and why they are here.”
The governor said in the meeting which was held in Atak, the capital of Shabwah , if the tribesmen continue disregarding their “disobedient” sons and the strangers this would make Shabwah in general and Al Saeed in particular a den for terrorists.
Al Saeed area includes the villages of the tribesmen and relatives of the American-Yemeni extremist cleric, Anwar Al Awlaki, who is believed to be hiding there and who is wanted dead or alive by the CIA.
Local sources said that elements of Al Qaeda came from Al Huta, Lawdar, including Saudis, Sudanese, and Afghan, to the area of Yashbom, in Al Saeed district, where the failed assassination attempt took place last week against the leadership of Shabwah province, south of the country.
Local sources said that some tribesmen blamed the government’s absence in these areas where some tribesmen are conflicting with each other and government services are almost zero.
The sources said that the government is preparing for a battle against Al Qaeda fighters who are hiding in Al Saeed area, especially after the governor asked the tribesmen in the Saturday’s meeting to evacuate the houses of the 20 men who were allegedly behind the assassination attempt. Some tribesmen, however, warned the government from striking randomly.
“As long as the government knows them by name, so it must arrest them and put them on trial, without harming the innocents,” said a local tribesmen from Shabwah.