By Nasser Arrabyee, 17/07/2012
The Yemeni capital seems to have become the safest place for Al Qaeda operations, after the government troops defeated terrorists in remote areas.
The majority of the recently recruited fighters of Al Qaeda returned to Sanaa with the purpose of implementing terrorist acts against military and security targets and western interests, according to a press interview I previously made with one of those who returned to Sanaa.
A senior military official confirmed to me this week that those who were fighting in the southern province of Abyan returned to the main cities mainly to the capital Sanaa. "About 70 to 80 per cent of those who were fighting us here in Zinjubar, Jaar, and Shuqrah, went back to Sanaa and other main cities, because nobody knows them, they are very young," said the military official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to media.
" Those who are hiding are few and they are in the wanted lists to us and to the security agencies, they are the top leaders and the very famous operatives," He added.
The official made it clear that those who represent about 20 per cent were split into three groups according to military and security intelligence after the defeats of last month. One group made a camp in Al Mahfad, a mounteneous area between Shabwah and Abyan, and second group went to the eastern province of Hadhrmout, more specifically in Wadi Dawan in Sayoun, and the third group went to Rada'a in Al Baidha province. The recent estimate of Al Qaeda elements in the whole country is 10,000, according to sources close to Al Qaeda.
So, the majority of Al Qaeda elements, the young, the most dangerous are now in the Yemeni capital Sanaa among the normal people. The month of Ramadan, the the month of fasting which begins in July 20, is expected to witness many terrorist acts. Al Qaeda believes that Ramadan is the month of 'victories' over their enemies.
On Monday July 16th, 2012, the security forces arrested a young man wearing an explosive belt before he blew himself up among security forces who were doing their daily exercises in the Central Security Forces in Sanaa, according to security sources.
A day earlier, Sunday, a passerby was killed when he held a bag abandoned in the main street in Hezyaz area in the northern outskirts of Sanaa. The bag was full explosives, and was waiting for a military convoy. On Wednesday July 11, 2011, 10 students were killed and 20 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate of the Police Academy in Sanaa while getting out for the weeken.
Why Al Qaeda kills the Police Academy students? Why not others?
The Al Qaeda suicide bombing that killed and injured more than 30 students from The Police Academy in Sanaa was to take revenge from this Academy, said security sources.
A group of students from this academy arrested a terrorist who led to the arrest of more than 10 Al Qaeda members who were behind the massacre of May 21 in which more than 100 soldiers were killed and 300 injured during a rehearsal parade in Sanaa.
Minutes after the massacre of May 21, known as Asabeen Massacre, the Police Academy students, arrested a suspected cameraman while filming the details of the explosion.
" we were very angry to see someone filming, we beat him nearly to death," said Fahd, a student from the Police Academy who participated in the arrest of the cameraman.
The camera man was a member of Al Qaeda, as identified later with a 10- member cell, was assigned to film the suicide bomber of Asabeen massacre before and during implementation of the operation.
It's him, and by the same camera, who filmed the suicide bomber Haitham Mufareh while saying his will before the bombing of Assabeen.
The video clip of Mufareh that was shown days after the massacre was found in the camera of this terrorist.
Observers view that Al Qaeda now is more dangerous than ever before, because it's among the people and close to their targets.
In an attempt to make the society hate and reject Al Qaeda, a condemnation campaign is still continuing in Sanaa to tell people about the crimes and massacres of Al Qaeda. The campaign started immediately after the biggest and most brutal massacre in which 100 soldiers were killed and 300 were injured in a rehearsal parade on May 21, 2012, in the parade square of Assabeen in the capital Sanaa.
The campaign, organized by the Central Security Forces, includes various activities and events held in the same square of Assabeen.
The pictures of all those who were killed and injured are shown, with a big screen showing the first moments of the suicide bombing every fife minutes. Families, relatives, friends, and angry people visit the place every day.
Colonel Sharaf Hamdeen, the officer in charge of the campaign, said that at least 1500 people visit the place and sign in a petition calling for putting those responsible for the massacre in trial and execute them in the same square.
Yemeni, Arab and international politicians and diplomat visit the place and write their condemnation of the massacre.
The major, Mahdi Al Jarbani, the commander of the 120-soldier battalion, which was almost totally killed by Al Qaeda suicide bomber, also visits the place from time to time to explain to the visitors how he was almost the only survivor. Al Jarbani was slightly injured. As a commander, Al Jarbani, was one meter away in front of the battalion of the Central Security Forces that was targeted by Al Qaeda on May 21, 2012.
" When I heard the explosion, I tried to keep standing, I did not feel I was injured, then, when I looked back, I saw no one from my battalion, I saw only arms,legs, heads, and bodies over each other in a sea of blood," said Major Mahdi Al Jarbani.
The leadership of the Central Security vowed repeatedly they would continue their campaign until the perpetrators are executed in the same square.
The sufferings are even more trmendous from Al Qaeda in the south where Al Qaeda ruled about one and a half year befor it was driven out last month.
Al Qaeda cut hands of more than 10 people and executed more than 5 including three alleged spys for Saudi Arabia and US in the three Taliban-Style emirates of Azzan, Jaar, and Zinjubar, the southern provinces of Shabwah and Abyan.
Khaled Abdul Azeez,32, from the village of Hajar, an area between Jaar, and Zinjubar, is a father of three children living in a house made of clay. Al Qaeda cut his right hand earlier this year after they accused him of stealing ammunition.
Khaled he did not steal anything, but Al Qaeda cut his hand because he refused to fight with them against the army. " I swear by Allah that I did not steal anything, and those who witnessed against me wanted to punish me because I refused to fight with them," said Khaled Abdul Azeez in an interview in his house last week. " Now after they cut my hand, who would support my wife and my kids, I can not work with only one hand," he complained.
Eyfak Ali Abdullah, 22, from Zinjubar, was another example of those who suffered from the brutal practices of Al Qaeda. His right hand was cut after he was accused of stealing an air conditioner. "They cut my hand without any trial, and sent me home without any help or treatment," he said.
Suffering of those who fled the fighting has not come to an end even after Al Qaeda was driven out from their areas.
About 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), are still away from their houses in Zinjubar and Jaar and neighboring areas despite the fact that Al Qaeda was driven out earlier last June. IDPs are still waiting for the basic services to return to their towns and villages which were greatly damaged by the war.
The IDPs are also afraid of the mines which were planted by Al Qaeda everywhere including mines inside their houses.
Waleed Nasser Saeed, 35, was the first IDP to be killed by a mine planted at the door of his house in Al Kud, at the outskirt of Zinjubar on June 10, 2012.
Waleed left his wife Sawsan,30, and his 3-year old sole son Abdul Munem, in the IDPs camp, Kataban school in Aden, and went back to see his house.
As soon as he arrived at the door of his house, and while trying to open it, a mine planted under the door exploded killing him and friend of his who came also to see his house. This incident and many others frightened the IDPs who can not wait to go home.