By Nasser Arrabyee/25/10/2010
A Yemeni local official said Monday that authorities know by names Al Qaeda operatives in the southern province of Shabwah.
“ We know by names Al Qaeda operatives hiding in Al Saeed district, and w would give them a last chance to surrender themselves,” said Ali Hassan Al Ahmadi, governor of Shabwa.
Al Ahmadi, who was speaking to gathering of local tribesmen in Al Saeed district in Shabwah where a group of Al Qaeda operatives including Anwar Al Awlaki, are believed to be hiding, said, “ the mountains of Al Kor, Awlakis’ areas in Al Saeed, are not like Afghanistan’s Tora Pora as the local and western media portray them.”
The governor Al Ahmadi was attending a rally organized by the local authority to celebrate the “end of combing operations” against Al Qaeda hideouts in Al Saeed district in Shabwah.
The governor thanked the tribesmen who cooperated with the security forces in the combing operations over the last two days, although they did not find anything or arrest any suspect.
The governor of Shabwah, Al Ahmadi, along with high security and military officials escaped an assassination attempt late last September in Yashbom area of Al Saeed distrct. The security forces have been searching for those behind the assassination attempt since then without success.
Earlier this week ( Saturday Sunday), About 1000 young-men from the local tribes of Shabwah participated with a security campaign including about 1000 soldiers who implemented “the combing operations”.
Some tribesmen of Shabwah supported the participation of the tribesmen and some others refused and some played it down and it described it as just a show to exaggerate Al Qaeda presence to gain western support.
“Yes, of course we are cooperating with the security forces, because we do not want to be hit because of Al Qaeda,” said the local tribesman, Abdullah Al Mehdhar over phone from Al Saeed. “ There is huge series of mountains, and they can not be all combed easily,” he said when asked why the combing operations resulted in nothing.
However, some tribesmen say tribesmen who cooperated with the security forces were only relatives of the officials who are originally from Shabwah such as the deputy minister of defense Salem Al Qutn, and others who led the “combing operations”.
“It was just like a picnic, every group walked for about one km and returned, the time was only about three hours on Sunday , how they could find Al Qaeda,” said tribal sheikh Lahmar bin Salfooh, also from Al Saeed.
The local coalition of opposition parties which includes the Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, refused the participation of the tribesmen with the security forces in their hunt for Al Qaeda fighters. The opposition parties warned , in a statement, of more tribal conflicts.