Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Drones and suicide bombings back again 

By Nasser Arrabyee/11/09/2012

The political and security situation in Yemen is worsening despite international and regional efforts to bring the 2-year transition deal to success. 

About 30 people were killed and injured in a suicide bombing at the gate of the Yemeni cabinet on Tuesday in the heart of the capital Sanaa. Two days earlier the President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi said his authorities foiled three car bombs that were supposed to target important interests and officials in Sanaa, Aden and Hudhrmout.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at least  12 people including 7 soldiers were killed and more than 15 injured when a car bomb exploded in  the convoy of the defense minister at the gate of the cabinet which was holding its weekly meeting. 

The minister of defense,  Mohammed Nasser Ahmed survived the assassination attempt. This is the fourth assassination attempt against Nasser since led the war against Al Qaeda earlier this year. 

The minister of defense was almost the first to get out from the weekly meeting of the cabinet and the  car bomb, driven by a suicide bomber, was waiting outside and when the minister's convoy (three cars) got out it exploded, according to eyewitnesses. 

The bombing destroyed the last car of the convoy killing all the seven bodyguards inside and five people at least of the passers-by were also killed. More than 15 people were injured and three buildings were heavily damaged  in the site.  In addition to the car bomb, three cars were destroyed including the car of the bodyguards. 

The security authorities in official statements that TNT explosives were found and defused nearby the wall of the building of the cabinet. The explosives were supposed to explode by remote control after the suicide bombing.  The minister of interior Abdul Qader Qahtan said in a statement to the state-run TV that there security shortcomings. 

The attack carries the hall marks of Al Qaeda  especially that such a terrorist attack came only one day after the second man of Al Qaeda in Yemen was killed in a US drone attack with full cooperation from the Yemeni government. 

The attack also came hours before a demonstration called for by the Islamist party, Islah, Yemen brotherhood, to refuse  the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's participation in politics as head of his party that has 50 per cent of the unity government. 

Al Qaeda second man killed by drone

The second man of the Al Qaeda in the Arabia. peninsular ( AQAP), Saeed Ali Al Shihri, was killed along  with six other terrorists by a US drone attack in the eastern province of Hudhrmout on Monday. The killing of Al Shihri was considered to be painful blow to Al Qaeda.

The other six terrorists killed in the operation were leading members of Al Qaeda  but were not identified by the official statement. 

According to local sources, Al Shihir, 40, Saudi national, was killed in the second drone attack after he escaped with three other injured operatives. The drone killed him with the three injured in a remote area in Wadi Hudhrmout.

Al Shihri and a group of eight terrorists  were at the village of Al Hashem in Wadi Al Ain between Mukalla and Sayoun when the drone attacked them killing four of them and injuring three others. The big fish, Al Shihri, survived in this attack .

Al Shihri, who returned from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia in 2007 before he joined  Al Qaeda in Yemen in early 2009, took the three injured in Hilux car used usually as a mobile hospital and escaped to desert according to local residents in Wadi Al Ain. 

The US drone followed Al Shihri, alias Abu Sufian Al Auzdi, to kill him with the three injured  in a remote area in the valley of Hudhrmout the sources said. 

The Saudi Al Shihri emerged in Yemen as Al Qaeda second top leader in January 2009 when the Saudi branch of Al Qaeda united with the Yemeni branch forming what they called Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsular (AQAP).
Now, the Yemeni top leader, Nasser Al Wahayshi, Alias Abu Basir,  is the only one left. Although Al Shihri was Al Wahayshi's deputy, he was more important as Saudi national and Saudis are connected with the financiers in Saudi Arabia and the gulf as a whole. The killing of Al Shihri was considered as a painful strike to Al Qaeda a success for the US drone  continuous campaigns.

The drones successfully killed Anwar Al Awlaki, the second most  wanted after Bin Laden in September 30, 2011 in the eastern province of Al Jawf. Fahd Al Qusu, the third most wanted for CIA, was killed in his village in Shabwah on May 2012 by a US drone. 

If drones make mistakes and kill civilians, like last week when 11 people killed when a missile missed Al Qaeda car in Radaa south east of the country,  Al Qaeda exploits these mistake to recruit more and more fighters and sympathizes. 

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