Monday, 31 December 2012

Explosive belts or soil belts found in Sanaa street?

Explosive belts or soil belts found in Sanaa street?

By Nasser Arrabyee,31/12/2012

Four explosive belts were seen early morning by normal people in the street of Abu Dhabi, close to Ans market for Qat in the capital Sanaa, said eyewitnesses and security officials Monday. 

The security officials said first it was one explosive bet, then they sent correction   statement saying it was not  only one but four explosive belts.
They again said in a new statement the belts found in the street were unknown items.

The last statement published in the website of the ministry of defense said, the belts were only fake belts , they were filled with soil not explosives!

A tribal leader from Radaa, Al Baidha province survived an assassination attempt last night almost in the same place.  Last month security forces defused several explosive  bags in the same place and arrested three people from Al Baidha, where US drone hit many times. The last US drone attack was last Saturday when three Al Qaeda operatives were killed in Al Masaneh, the Al Qaeda strong hold in Radaa, of the south east province of Al Baidha.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Last words of Jar Allah Omar, minutes before assassinated in 2002

Last words of Jar Allah Omar, minutes before assassinated in 2002

By Nasser Arrabyee,30/12/2012

In the early morning of December 28th, 2002, Jar Allah Omar was wearing his best clothes and telling his his wife to spray more and more perfume on him because he felt it would be very special day.

 He was very excited because a few hours later, he will be speaking to about 10,000 people about tolerance, coexistence, love, peace and respecting others whoever they are. After long time of hatred, malice, and hostilities.

He was a communist and socialist guest in a big gathering of Islamists. 
Mr Omar the architect and main maker  of what is called the common ground  between all political opponents especially between Islamists and Socialists. 

He convinced a lot of people in his party, as a secretary general of the Socialist Party, and a lot of Islamist leaders that Islamists and Socialists can be good allies not enemies. This is why he told his wife that morning it would be a special day.

On that day, I saw him in the May 22 Hall in the northern part of Sanaa,  arriving the first of the leading politicians . He was good looking, smiling, greeting and gesturing and waving to every one. 

He was  a real star because of his controversial history with  politicians that tolerance and coexistence and love and peace can always be achieved as long as rivals sit and talk and listen to each other. 

When I was taking a picture of him that morning, like tens of other journalists, no one  of us was imagining that Jar Allah Omar would be killed cold-bloodedly in that big hall just minutes later. One of the extremist Islamist was waiting for him to finish his  speech with a pistol to kill him as " Kafir"!

Every one in the hall was applauding and cheering enthusiastically when Jar Allah Omar was speaking. What I still remember, and will never ever forget, was him reciting Quranic verses which means what does not benefit people will vanish and die, and what benefits people will remain for ever.

Or with more literal translation (Then, as for the foam it passes away, as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of the mankind remains in the earth).

Jar Allah Omar was believing that by dialogue,  opponents and enemies will always find the things that benefit them all and make them stop fighting each other.  The good should be the common thing not only between political opponents in this or that party , in this or that nation, but also between all human beings. 

Jar Allah Omar finishes  his rhetorical speech, but strong applause and cheers of audience  continue.

He was raising his hands to greet and thank every one for their good feelings while he was walking out among the crowds. He walked besides me and I  looked after him to see where he was going. Less than three meters away from me, Jar Allah Omar stopped for seconds and then I heard firing, three bullets, then I saw Jar Allah Omar fell down. 

An extremist killed him.  This extremist must have been saying to himself I am in the good for the people, and you are not and  you (Omar) must be killed.

The extremist asked Jar Allah Omar quickly : Do you believe in Islam and Shariah? And he himself ( extremist) answered: No, no , no, and shot him down before crowds started to jump for beating him with their shoes until he went unconscious.

The conference turned to hurly-burley and Jar Allah Omar was taken to the hospital where he died. The killer was taken to the house of the tribal leader Abdullah Bin Hussein Al Ahmar, head of Islamist party, Islah, that was holding its general congress. The killer Ali Jar Allah ( no relation between the two) confessed he killed him because he  was ordered by Allah to kill Kafirs. The killer revealed a list of politicians and writers who were to be killed by him as Kafirs.  He was put on trial and convicted and executed. 

On the tenth anniversary of assassination of the soft-spoken and charismatic politician Jar Allah Omar, we should think deeply how bad is the extremism and terrorism. The extremist and terrorist who killed Jar Allah Omar pretended to have the absolute truth, and all others are wrong.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Intelligence officer assassinated

Intelligence officer assassinated 

By Nasser Arrabyee,29/12/2012

The intelligence officer Mute'a Bakutayyan was killed by gunman riding a motor cycle in the city of Mukalla, the capital of the southern province of Hudrmout, said security and medical sources Saturday. 

This assassination came only one day after US drone killed two Al Qaeda suspects riding a motor cycle in Al Sheher area, about 70 km east of Mukalla.

Five more Al Qaeda suspects also were killed by US a drone attack in the same area earlier in the week.

Two military senior officials including one of the  commanders of Hudrmout military region were assassinated in different places  in the capital Sanaa last week by gunmen riding motor cycles.

Political assassinations among military and security officials increased over the last few months as Yemen tries to finish the transitional period that is supposed to end in February 2014.

About 70 intelligence senior officers, and 60 military senior military commanders were killed over the last two years. 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Yemeni NGO to sue Turkish government for increasing assassinations with Turkish guns 

Yemeni NGO to sue Turkish government for increasing assassinations with Turkish guns 

By Nasser Arrabyee,25/12/2012 

A Yemeni NGO for combating violence and terrorism accused the Turkish government of killing Yemenis with Turkish guns provided with silencers.

The National Organization for Combating Violence and Terrorism, Kefah, said that Turkish government should be held fully responsible for all political assassinations of security and military officials.

Today Tuesday, December 25, 2012, two high ranking military officials were assassinated in the capital Sanaa by guns provided with silencers.

At least three shipments of Turkish weapons, mainly  pistols with  silencers, were confiscated by Yemeni authorities in different ports like Aden, Hodeidah, and Mukalla. The last one was Turkish pistols in Hais district of the western province of Hodeidah.

 The President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi promoted Tuesday the soldiers of the check point who discovered the shipment last week  to first lieutenant  and gave each one of them one million Yemeni Rial, that's about 5,000 US dollars each. 

The organization Kefah, said the Turkish government must say who imported the weapons, and must stop doing all that against Yemen.

If not, the organization warned in a statement sent to local media Tuesday, we will file a lawsuit before the International Criminal Court  against the Turkish government and its prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The organization Kefah said that it has copies of the investigations over the shipments of Turkish weapons confiscated recently in Yemen. 

Two senior military officials assassinated

Two senior military officials assassinated

By Nasser Arrabyee,25/12/2012

Two high-ranking military officers were assassinated in the Yemeni capital in different places by gunmen riding motor cycles, security and eyewitnesses said Tuesday.

Colonel Saleem Ghorbani, from the republican guards, was seriously injured with bullets in his head in the area of Dar Salm, in the southern part of the city.

In a separate incident, gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead brigadier Fadhl Al Radfani in the area of Bab Al Yamen, meters away from the gate of the ministry of defense.

The ministry of defense confirmed in statements the two assassinations of the two men saying that terrorists were behind theme.

The capital Sanaa and many other provinces witnessed similar assassinations as security situation is getting from bad to worse.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Security situation worsening in Yemen 

Security situation worsening in Yemen 

By Nasser Arrabyee,23/12/2012

A motor-cycle riding gunman shot dead an a military officer in the middle Sanaa late after noon Sunday. Later in the day, the ministry of defense identified the victim as Sergeant Bashir Al Odaini.

The ministry of defense said Al Odaini was "martyred" by terrorists without any further details. 

Al Qaeda is believed to be behind such kind of assassinations. The Police Academy Street, in the heart of the capital Sanaa, was place of the assassination. Two days earlier, three westerners, two Finns, and one Austrian, were kidnapped almost from the same area of the city. Al Qaeda is believed to be behind the Westerners who were studying Arabic language in the old city. 

Earlier in Sunday also,  the army was shelling villages in Wadi Habab of Serwah in the eastern province of Mareb where angry and Al Qaeda-linked tribesmen refused to allow technicians and engineers to repair the oil pipe line previously damaged by  saboteurs from these tribes. 

Helicopter was dropping leaflets telling residents to get out from villages where saboteurs in armed confrontation with the government troops. 

The Mareb  electricity station was attacked early on Sunday December 23rd 2012, for the second time within hours almost in the same area of Damashekah area of Abeidah in Mareb.

One day earlier, a tribal leader and contractor from Mareb said Saturday that he damaged the electricity and vowing to do that again and again if his rights are ignored.

"It is me who fired and damaged electricity & I would do it again if my right is ignored,"  said the contractor Hassan Huwaeek from Mareb in a press interview published by Yemen today on Saturday. 

"I fired at the towers of electricity in our area in Damashkah, Abeidah, damaging the first damaging parts of the  station," He said. 

"I swear by Allah that what I have done has nothing to do with any politics, I want only the law to be applied to everyone," he said. 

Huwaeek  said that the  tribal leader of Hashid and famous businessman  Hamid Al Ahmar imposed the contractor Mesar Salalm Al Hashidi on a 40 million dollars electricity project  in Mareb without any tenders or  any respect for the laws.

"I am a well known contractor from Mareb, and I offered my bids like any contractor but someone else was chosen for the project, without any bids or any procedures," he said. 

"If it is allowed to  choose the contractors without tenders and without laws, then, we the local contractors from Mareb, should be chosen first'" he said. 

"I would fire again and damage the whole station completely, if the Indian company can not prove that Al Hashidi was legally chosen," he concluded. 

General Yahya Saleh calls for cleaning army and security from "extremists and terrorists

General Yahya Saleh calls for cleaning army and security from "extremists and terrorists" 

By Nasser Arrabyee,23/12/2012

The ex-commander of the central security general Yahya Saleh said that assassinations of security and military officers over the last two years were implemented by  extremists and terrorists inside the army and security agencies.

He called for bold steps to clean the army and security from these extremists and terrorists. 
"There should be bolder steps to clean the army and security and extremists and terrorist who were behind the assassinations of some officers including the massacre of Al Sabeen in which 85 soldiers and officers were killed from the central security," said Yahya Saleh in a press statement from Beirut where he is spending his vacation. 

He praised his successor general Ahmed Al Makdashi as one of the most  distinguished security commanders. 

Last week, the general Yahya Saleh was the first to welcome the decree of President Abdu Rabu  Mansour Hadi to  sack him as commander  of central security describing this and all other decrees as wise and brave for  restructuring and unifying the army and security. 

Minutes after President's Hadi decrees, Yahya Saleh put  in his face-book a well-designed post of congratulation and support for Hadi's steps
The post gained hundreds of likes, comments and shares in hours. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

This is why I attacked the  electricity, says tribal leader

This is why I attacked the  electricity, says tribal leader

By Nasser Arrabyee,22/12/2012

A tribal leader and contractor from Mareb said Saturday that he damaged the electricity and vowing to do that again and again if his rights are ignored.

"It is me who fired and damaged electricity & I would do it again if my right is ignored,"  said the contractor Hassan Huwaeek from Mareb in a press interview published by Yemen today on Saturday. 

"I fired at the towers of electricity in our area in Damashkah, Abeidah, damaging the first damaging parts of the  station," He said referring to the last attacks last week. 

"I swear by Allah that what I have done has nothing to do with any politics, I want only the law to be applied to everyone," he said. 

Huwaeek  said that the  tribal leader of Hashid and famous businessman  Hamid Al Ahmar imposed the contractor Mesar Salalm Al Hashidi on a 40 million dollars electricity project  in Mareb without any tenders or  any respect for the laws.

"I am a well known contractor from Mareb, and I offered my bids like any contractor but someone else was chosen for the project, without any bids or any procedures," he said. 

"If it is allowed to  choose the contractors without tenders and without laws, then, we the local contractors from Mareb, should be chosen first'" he said. 

"I would fire again and damage the whole station completely, if the Indian company can not prove that Al Hashidi was legally chosen," he concluded. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A Martyr’s Funeral

By Nasser Arrabyee

Source: The Majalla

Fourteen-year old Ezzuddin has never met his father. But on Sunday morning 16 December, his uncles and other family members pushed him to go to the neighboring mosque to have a first and last look at his father’s remains.

A day earlier, a special American military plane delivered the remains in a box to the Yemeni Air Base, Al-Dailami, in the capital Sana’a. This was more than three months after the 36-year old Yemeni national, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, died in his Guantanamo detention cell, where he was held for nearly eleven years since the prison camp first opened.

Before his detention, Abdul Latif had been seriously injured in a car accident in Yemen. He claimed that he had been in search of free medical treatment in Afghanistan when he was handed over to the Americans after being captured by the Pakistani authorities on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2001.

“You told me in your last letter, you’re coming to me, and you will never leave me again, father,” said Ezzuddin while looking at the box of his father’s remains, crying loudly in the Shawlak mosque in the middle of the Yemeni city of Taiz where hundreds of people gathered to pray for Abdul Latif on Sunday afternoon.

According to Abdul Latif’s family, in his last letter earlier this year, Abdul Latif told his only son and the twelve-member extensive family that the Americans had ordered his release and he would come back home soon. However, his son would never see him alive. Abdul Latif died on 8 September 2012.

When still alive Abdul Latif had been recommended for transfer back to his homeland, Yemen, several times by Executive branch panels under both the Bush and Obama administrations. However, the possibility that he might join Al Qaeda and fight America in Yemen or elsewhere was likely the reason behind the recantation of his promised freedom.

At the funeral I attended, a stream of cars carrying the mourners drove through Taiz down to Revolution’s Martyrs cemetery in the Kalaba neighborhood, where Abdul Latif’s remains would be buried. “He is a martyr, like any one of those martyred in our revolution,” said Abdul Latif’s brother, Mohammed who was a leading protester against Saleh’s regime in 2011. “My brother was detained alive and dead by the state of terrorism, America, so his martyrdom degree should be higher in the eyes of Allah,” said Mohammed who has been following up his brother’s case with American and Yemeni lawyers and journalists.

Abdul Latif’s mother, a woman in her sixties, did not come to see her son’s remains in the mosque or attend the burial. Although she did insist that his remains be buried in Taiz, refusing the suggestion from some family members to bury him in Sana’a. “After I saw the remains in the hospital in Sana’a, I told my mother over the phone that she would not be able to bear the sight,” said Mohammed. “Now that we are here in Taiz she has completely broken down in bed… she refuses to talk to anyone.”

Abdul Latif’s father is at the funeral, he talks effusively to other mourners about what he considers to be America’s crimes. “We are patient, and we are waiting for Allah’s justice and punishments for America’s crimes,” said the father, Farhan Abdul Latif, who lives in a small house with his remaining five sons and their wives in Azzahra neighborhood.

His son Mohammed had said he would never accept the remains without a Yemeni autopsy report. But after a meeting with the Minister of Interior, Abdul Qader Qahtan, and an autopsy doctor, as well as a representative from the US embassy, he changed his mind about the matter. The meeting was held at the minister’s house only four hours before the remains arrived “The doctor told me it is too late to perform an autopsy now, and that they do not have the technology to check remains months after the death,” said Mohammed Abdul Latif after he returned from the Police Hospital in Sana’a.

In a letter sent to his American lawyer, on 28 May 2012, Abdul Latif said, “I am being pushed toward death every moment.” Some reports suggested that Abdul Latif over-dosed on his psychiatric medication. According to his lawyer David Remes, he had attempted suicide several times.

Abdul Latif is the second Yemeni to have died whilst imprisoned at Guantanamo, of the approximately twenty Yemenis who have been released over a period of seven years. The first Yemeni detainee was released in 2005, Waleed Al-Qadasi. I was allowed access to see Al-Qadasi in the intelligence prison of Taiz, he said that Yemeni intelligence are suspicious of his terms of release. “They were asking me why the Americans released me in particular,” Al-Qadasi said.

Approximately sixty Yemeni nationals are still held in Guantanamo Bay. Despite his earlier promises US President Barack Obama has failed to close down the ill-reputed detention centre. On their part, the Yemeni government has been unsuccessful in controlling ex-Guantanamo detainees. One of the Yemenis released from Guantanamo blew himself up in a suicide bombing aimed at the American-trained counter-terrorism forces north of Sana’a in 2009. According to one ex-jihadist who attended the funeral of Abdul Latif, more than ten of those released are now fighting with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The US-backed Yemeni government is at war with AQAP. The organization exploited the unrest of 2011, recruiting fighters and further consolidating its influence in Yemen. AQAP is returning to the southern province of Abyan after they were driven out earlier this year by troops and tribesmen loyal to the government. AQAP’s number one man, Nasser Al-Wahayshi, was spotted last week with approximately 130 fighters in the mountainous region of Al-Mahfad between Abyan and Shabwah provinces. It is therefore hardly surprising that the US has hesitated over the transfer of detainees, fearing they will be handing over recruits to the enemy.

US releases dead detainees, and keeps them alive

   Guantanamo Alive and Dead Detainee

 By Nasser Arrabyee, 20/12:2012

 The 14-year old Ezzuddin has never ever seen his father. But on Sunday  morning of December 16, 2012 he was pushed by  his uncles and other family members to go to the neighboring  mosque to have the first and last look at his father's remains.

 One day earlier, a special American military plane brought the remains in a box  to the Yemeni Air Base, Al Dailami, in the  capital Sanaa, that is more than three months after the 36-year old Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif ambiguously  died in his Guantanamo detention, where he  suffered more than 11 years.

 Abdul Latif had been seriously injured in a car accident here in Yemen and was in search of free medical treatment in Afghanistan when he was captured and sold to Americans after the terrorist attacks on Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

  "You told me in your last letter, you're coming to me, and you will never leave me again, father," Said Ezzuddin while looking to the box of his father's remains  ,and  crying loudly in the Shawlak mosque in the middle of the city of Taiz where hundreds of people came to pray for Abdul  Latfi, noon of Sunday.

 In the last letter earlier this year, Abdul Latif said  to  his only son and the 12-member extensive family that  the American ordered his release and he would come back soon.

  With the letter, he sent a picture of him smiling and holding the official order for his release. However, instead of receiving him alive, Ezzuddin and the  whole  family received the death news. Abdul Latif died in September 8, 2012.

 He had been cleared for transfer back to his homeland Yemen four times by both Bush and Obama administrations. The possibility that he might join Al Qaeda and go fight America anywhere was always behind recantation.

 After receiving his father's death news, Ezzuddin, currently in grade 9 in normal school in addition to Quran school, started to hate any news or cameras or journalists talking about his father.

 In the funeral I attended, tens of cars carrying the mourners drove down to cemetery of " Revolution's Martyrs"  Kalaba  area in the southern part of the city, where Abdul Latif's remains we're buried.  "He is a martyr, like any one of those martyred in our revolution," Said ,Abdul Latif's brother, Mohammed who was a leading protester against Saleh's regime in 2011.

   " My brother was detained alive and dead by the State of terrorism, America, so his martyrdom degree should be higher in the eye of Allah," Said Mohammed who was following up his  brother's case over the 11 years with American and Yemeni lawyers and journalists.

 The mother of Abdul Latif, in her 60s, did not come to see her son in the mosque or in the cemetery although she was insisting to bring the remains to Taiz, refusing strongly a suggestion from some family members to bury him in Sanaa.

  " After I saw the remains in the hospital in Sanaa,  I told my mother over phone that she will not bear to see him," Said Mohammed. " Now that we are here in Taiz she is completely broken down in the bed, she can not see anything." Unlike the mother, father, in his 70s, seemed in  high moral, speaking to mourners over the grave about America's crimes.

 "We are patient, and we are waiting for Allah's justice and punishments for America's crimes," said the father, Farhan Abdul Latif, who is living in a small house with his left 5 sons and their wives in Azzahra neighborhood. When  I asked him what's the family's demands now he said,"We demand now fair and just compensation."

  His son Mohammed had said he would never accept the remains without Yemeni autopsy report. But after a meeting with the minister of interior Abdul Qader Qahtan  and an autopsy doctor and a representative from the US embassy, he seemed to have changed his mind about this matter.

 The meeting was held in the ministers's house about 4 hours before the remains arrived. Minister of Interior is originally  from the same  distinct where Abdul Latif is Sharab.

  "The doctor told me, it is too late now to do autopsy, and that they do not have technology that helps them to check remains months after the death like this," Said Mohammed Abdul Latif after he got from Police Hospital in Sanaa where the autopsy doctor saw the remains.

   In a letter sent to his American lawyer David Remes on May 28,2012, Abdul Latif said, " I am being pushed toward death every moment." Some reports mentioned he had an overdoes of psychiatric medication And according to his lawyer Remes, he had attempted suicide several times.

  Abdul Latif is the second Yemeni who returned dead of about the 20 Yemenis who were released over a period of 7 years. The first Yemeni detainee was released in 2005, Waleed Al Qadasi.

 When I was allowed to see him with an American lawyer in the intelligence prison of Taiz, Al Qadasi told us, the Yemeni intelligence was skeptical about him, why he was released. "  They were doubting I was sent to spy for Americans.

 They were just asking me why the Americans released you in particular," He said.  About 80 Yemenis  are still languishing in the ill-reputed detention of Guantanamo, and this number is more than half of the whole number. The American President Barack Obama did not keep his promises to close the detention and send the detainees home.  

The majority of Saudi detainees were released although the second man in the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ( AQAP) is Saudi national, Saeed Al Shihri. The US trusts the abilities of Saudi authorities to control all those who were released, about 200.

 But the Yemeni government failed in controlling even those few who were released.  One of the Yemeni releasees blued himself up in a suicide bombing against the American-trained counter-terrorism forces in 2009.

 According to an ex-jihadist in Afghanistan  who attended the funeral of Abdul Latif, more than 10 of those  released are now fighting with Al Qaeda in Abyan, Shabwah and Mareb.

 The American-supported government of Yemen is now in a war with Al Qaeda that exploited the unrest of 2011 to recruit and expand in the war and poverty stricken country.  So, the reason why US has not released the Yemenis who are not in trials, is very clear.

  They will go and fight with Al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda now is returning to the southern province of Abyan after they were driven out earlier this year by troops and tribesmen loyal to the government.

  The top leader of AQAP Nasser Al Wahaishy was seen last week with about 130 fighters in the mountainous area of Al Mahfad between Abyan and Shabwah.  Al Qaeda in Yemen is exploited  in the political conflicts, and Al Qaeda itself is exploiting the political conflict.

 The ex-jihadist and tribal leader Tarik Al Fadhli, originally from Abyan said this week that Al Qaeda had something to do with all senior officials of the State and political parties.

  " I was one of those who founded Al Qaeda in Yemen, and I would confirm that all senior officials of the State and of the political parties linked with Al Qaeda in a way or another," said the controversial tribal leader who is now living under house arrest in the southern coastal city of Aden.

 The tribal leaders of Abiedah and Ashraf of Mareb signed a document condemning the terrorist and sabotage acts on Tuesday December 18, 2012 after the battle  between Al Qaeda-linked  tribesmen and troops was intensified in the eastern province of Mareb.

Yemen transition gets more serious, more critical 

 Reactions on army restructure plan

 By Nasser Arrabyee, 20/12/2012

 The Yemeni former President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that the decrees of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to restructure and unify the army are in the interest of the nation.

 "I wish the decrees will return us all to the spirit of the political settlement which was based on the GCC Initiative," said Saleh commenting on Hadi's decrees.

 President Hadi issued Wednesday the expected and long awaited  republican decrees for restructuring and unifying the army which was divided during the last year crisis.

 The decrees made the whole army in four main components: the land, air, sea and border forces, which means cancellation of all previous names including the republican guards and the 1st armored division which were forming the two main rival factions.  The republican guards and 1st armored division will be within the land forces.

And the land forces will be divided into seven military regions. "Making the army in four main groups, land, air, sea, border forces, means cancellation of all previous names," said Nasr Taha Mustafa, director of the Presidential Office.

  " Which means there is no more something  called republican guards or 1st armored division."  However, Mr Mustafa said generals Ahmed Ali and Ali Muhsen were not sacked as   commanders of the republican guards and 1st armored division.

 "The cancellation of the republican guards and 1st armored division does not mean sacking their  commanders ( Ahmed Ali and Ali Muhsen) because these two units are no longer existing from the legal view point," said Mustafa.

 The implementation of the decrees may take  about five years, and modifications can happen at any time, as it was understood from the decrees.

  Almost all those who were included in the decrees of yesterday, welcomed and supported the decrees as a strategic plan for building professional army to protect the nation's interests.

The general Yahya Saleh, who was sacked from  the central security, welcomed the decrees and considered them brave decrees.  General Ali Muhsen also welcomed the decrees.  For general Ahmed Ali, he was still in a trip outside Yemen. 

 The political analyst, author of three books on Yemeni crisis,Najeeb Ghallab commented on the decrees by saying: These  decrees,  if translated into reality, will unify the army, and make it strong for protecting the state from rebellions and chaos.

  But, the restructure should lead to neutralized, and institutionalized army.

 The army should stay away from conflicts, it should not be used for settling accounts. If the restructure is used for settling accounts this may lead to retaliation acts that will affect on the whole political settlement

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

180 tons of smuggled explosives and ammunitions discovered in Yemen harbor 

180 tons of smuggled explosives and ammunitions discovered in Yemen harbor 

By Nasser Arrabyee,19/12/2012

More than 180 tons of explosives and ammunitions were confiscated in the harbor of Mukalla east of Yemen, said sources in the Yemeni coastguards Wednesday. 

The shipment of explosives and ammunition was on ship carrying Bolivian flag,  with five-member crew, three Indians and two Ukrainians.

The ship was heading to the harbor of Umm Kasr in Irak, and the shipment belongs to Turkish businessmen according to the documents associated.

Meanwhile, the coastguards in the harbor of Aden confiscated a total of 500 night vision glasses and 1000 stores of bullets and arrested the businessman who smuggled the shipment.

Yemen recently has witnessed a lot of attempts to smuggle Turkish weapons, and confiscated already more than four weapons shipments. Smuggling weapons to Yemen  increased the concerns of Yemenis over possibility of failure of the transition period and going to civil war.  

Monday, 17 December 2012

Republican Guard Members Sentenced in Yemen

Source: The New York Times

 A Yemeni military court sentenced 93 members of the Republican Guard to prison terms of up to seven years for an attack on a military complex in August, the Defense Ministry said Saturday.

Hundreds of guardsmen attacked a Defense Ministry compound in Sana but were captured by other military forces, and about a hundred were arrested.      
The sentences, which were more lenient than expected, were announced amid heightened tensions between factions loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose son commands the Republican Guard, and the interim government led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

On Tuesday, the former president’s son, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Saleh, refused orders to hand over long-range missiles to the Defense Ministry, raising fears of a showdown that would threaten the fragile transition of power that was worked out in February.

The United States and Persian Gulf states fear that political instability in Yemen could allow a branch of Al Qaeda based there to mount strikes against Saudi Arabia and Red Sea shipping lanes.

The Republican Guard, the best-equipped of Yemen’s military units, is seen as important in efforts to contain Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups that took over towns in the south this year.

Former President Saleh, who was pushed from power in February after more than a year of protests, was granted immunity from prosecution and is seen by some Yemeni politicians as intent on finding ways to retain influence.

Judge Abdulmalik Ali Rashid al-Arshi convicted the members of the Republican Guard of offenses that included assaulting a defense complex in Sana, the capital, on Aug. 14; deserting their military posts; refusing orders from President Hadi; murder and attempted murder, a statement on the Defense Ministry’s Web site said.

The men were sentenced to prison terms of three to seven years, while five other Republican Guard members were acquitted, according to the ministry’s statement.

The assault on the complex in August was set off by President Hadi’s decision to put two Republican Guard brigades under the control of the southern and central military regions, which are not under General Saleh’s control.

‘The Scream’ raises Yemen women’s voices in Dubai

By Acil Tabbara - DUBAI
At the peak of the uprising against now ousted Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, Khadija al-Salami left her diplomatic post in Paris to film the mass participation by long-marginalised women in the revolt.
In her documentary "The Scream," screened at the Dubai International Film Festival, Salami -- who was forced to marry aged just 11 -- focuses on the role women played during the year-long uprising in the impoverished Arab state.

Salami her diplomatic post in Paris to film the mass participation by long-marginalised women in the revolt

"Traditionally, a woman's voice must not be heard, just as her hair must remain covered," said Salami, who herself does not cover her long dark hair.
"I chose this title for my film because women have shouted out through their uprising and movement that they exist" in Yemen's male-dominated society, she said.

"They screamed out their suffering, announcing that their revolt is not only against the government but also against all of Yemeni society, including their husbands and fathers."

Filming in the vast sit-in camp that sprang up outside the gates of Sanaa University, Salami followed the daily lives of black-clad women who demonstrated alongside men until Saleh finally quit under a power transfer deal signed in November 2011.

"I was amazed to see these women standing up" for their rights in Yemen, she said. "I wanted to be part of the revolt."

In "The Scream," Salami follows Rahma the journalist, Balqis the human rights activist and Huda the poet -- three women who played major roles throughout the uprising.

The film shows Rahma fearlessly contacting senior officials to denounce the use of prohibited weapons by security forces against protesters.

Balqis, meanwhile, breaks the conservative tradition that women do not visit coffee shops and is seen sitting at a cafeteria, boldly discussing gender equality with the men.

And Huda the poet is seen climbing atop the podium at the camp, which became known as Change Square, and making fiery speeches to encourage demonstrators.

The women, who insist on being part of the uprising, refuse to put up their own tents away from those of the men, and they soon begin facing problems in Yemen's ultra-conservative and deeply tribal community.

"Women took to the streets alongside men but they were beaten and harassed by so-called revolutionaries," said Salami. "How can a man be rebelling against a regime while oppressing his (female) partner?"

Her film also shows women being treated with contempt by the companions of a prominent religious figure, as Saleh himself in his speeches criticised the mixing of the sexes among opposition ranks.

As it nears its end, "The Scream" portrays the disappointment of women as they realise that the uprising has failed to improve their status within Yemeni society.

But "now women do not fear anybody. They have a voice and they will continue the struggle to achieve their rights," said Salami. However she concedes that it will be "a long fight."
In Paris Salami also filmed prominent Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman after she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her influential role during the uprising.

Salami is already working on a new film that tells the stories of girls who have been forced to marry older men, an ancient traditional practice in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country which she condemns as "organised rape."

The 46-year-old Salami was herself forced by her family to marry a 20-year-old man when she was only 11.

"I felt I was abused. I had two choices -- either I end my own life or rebel against society," she said. "I chose the latter and got a divorce, but only after much difficulty."

She believes her salvation came through education. She won a scholarship to continue her schooling in the United States and later became director of the Paris-based Centre for Communication and Culture of Yemen.

In 2006, Salami published, with Charles Hoots, her book "Tears of Sheba. Tales of Survival and Intrigue in Arabia."

Its title, she said, is to "remind people that women had ruled Yemen" during the country's ancient past.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Al Qaeda returns  to Abyan

Al Qaeda returns  to Abyan

By Nasser Arrabyee, 14/12/2012

Al Qaeda is trying to restore the southern province of Abyan after more than 130 Al Qaeda fighters arrived in Al Mahfad mountaineous areas of this restive  province that was under of terrorists  earlier this year, said local sources Thursday.

Today Thursday, a total of 80 fightersn arrived in Al Al Mahfad coming from the eastern province of Mareb where the army is launching a war against Al Qaeda and loyal tribesmen after they killed about 17 soldiers including the commander of  middle region.

On Wednesday, local sources said that the top leader of Al Qaeda in Arabian Penisular (AQAP), Nasser Al Wahaishy arrived in Al Mahfad along with 50 fighters. 

Trying to restore the contol over Abyan, two check points around Al Mahfad under the control of Anti-AlQaeda popular committees were attacked today Thursday, said sources.

Earlier in the day, the head of popular committees  in the neighboring province of Lahj survived  an assassination attempt by Al Qaeda suspects who threw a hand grenade to his car burning it completely. 

Back on May and June of this year, the governemnt troops and tribesmen drove out Al Qaeda from Zinjubar and Jaar of Abyan after being declared Taliban-style Emirates for more than year. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Food assistance for more than one million Yemenis 

Source:  WFP, 12/12/2012


SANA’A – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and non-governmental organisation Islamic Relief have embarked upon a massive collaborative effort to deliver emergency food assistance to 1.1 million Yemenis before the end of the year.

This huge, month-long, operation in December aims to  deliver almost 7,500 metric tons of wheat and more than 700,000 litres of vegetable oil to 157,000 food insecure households at 850 separate locations in five governorates—Sana’a, Mareb, Dhamar, Hodeidah and.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Egypt affects Yemen again 

Egypt affects Yemen again 

By Nasser Arrabyee, 11/12/2012

Yemen's unfinished settlement might fail completely returning the country to violence and civil war. The new President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi appeared this week to be tired and helpless to stop the continuous political assassinations and sabotage acts against oil, gas, electricity and communication installations. 

Hadi accused the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of being behind all those assassinations and sabotage acts that took and still take place all over the country.  However, Hadi's accusations were not official or completely public.

Hadi was speaking on Sunday December 9th, 2012 to army and security officials in a symposium on restructuring the army and security, and all of a sudden he asked journalists to turn off all cameras and recorders.

And then, he threatened to bring to justice all those spoilers of settlement including former President Saleh.

"Those who think they have immunity, they should know, we can cancel it, exactly the same as we made it," he said.

He said the army and security is still split between three commanders and he is only a nominal commander-in-chief.

The three commanders he meant are  the son of Saleh, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, commander of the republican guards, and cousin of Saleh,  Ali Muhsen, commander of the first armored division, and the nephew of Saleh,  Yahya Saleh, the second man of the central security forces.

" I am the commander- in-chief of the armed forces, and the republican guards and first armored division are under the leadership of the minister of defense, and the central security is  under the leadership of the minister of interior," Hadi said.

"There are hundreds of billions of  embezzlements and corruptions in the army and security, and if they do not stop assassinations and sabotage acts, we will reveal their files and put them on trial ,"  Hadi added while all cameras and recorders were still off. 

The big question was why Hadi asked to turn off the cameras and recorders although he was in a big ceremony and the military and security commanders were from those loyal to him and those calculated not loyal to him. 

Obviously, he wanted to deliver a message to  spoilers including Saleh and Muhsen. What  President Hadi said  was not new to a lot of Yemenis who want Hadi to  do whatever he sees suitable to Yemen.

 He should be brave enough to take the appropriate decisions  on appropriate time. But he can not ignore two important things: The GCC initiative that is now governing the transitional period which ends only by elections in February 2014.  This initiative was also based on giving immunity from prosecution for Saleh and his senior aides. 

The second thing that Hadi can not ignore is the compromise, his government was  formed from Saleh's party ( 50%) and Saleh's opponents' parties  (50%).

The secretary of Saleh commented on the unofficial statements of Hadi as "very dangerous". The Political  Bureau of Saleh's party held an urgent meeting after the spread of the Hadi's statements. But no official position was taken. They only sent five people to Hadi to know what he said exactly and why. A source told the Weekly that Hadi released his statements only after he saw critical statements published by media close to  Saleh. 

  Ahmed Al Soufi, secretary of Saleh said if the statement was proved, then Hadi should not be in his current position in our party. President Hadi is still the secretary general of Saleh's party. 

"What we want from President Hadi is declare who is behind the assassinations and sabotage acts, and he should put them on trial, and if he can not , then he will not be able to protect interests of the people and unity '" he said.  

meanwhile, the slogan of 'The people want the fall of the regime'   has come back again to the minds and voices of the Yemeni youth who were emboldened and inspired by what is going now in Egypt. 

The difference here in Yemen is that the youth used this famous slogan  in a big conference on human rights while the prime minister was speaking on Sunday December 9th, 2012, in Sanaa.

A group of young protesters came to the conference only to tell the prime minister, Mohammed Basundaw, they do not want him and do not want  the whole regime,  in front of cameras. 

They came from their square " Change Square" where they are still sitting in their tents despite the fact that President Saleh was gone and a new President was elected early this year.

When Basundaw started to speak, they started to chant collectively "the people want the fall of the regime". And instead of calming them down, the prime minister angrily answered back " you are thugs, agents, and hired".
He also accused them of working for former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"How much he paid you?," he provokingly asked them in front of cameras.

The angry youth, about 40 of them, jumped to the podium where the prime minster was speaking.  The  bodyguards tried to  repulse them, but they failed after one of the young people was injured, his right hand was broken as he was beaten by the guns.  The prime minister escaped with his bodyguards and the conference turned to chaos and hurly-burly.

The young people took the microphones and started to speak what they want.

 They refused everything, but to continue their revolution against the current regime. They also said that their friends are still in prisons of the government.
The prime minister widely criticized for what he said to the protesting young people. One of the leading protesters, Khaled Al Ansi said the prime minister was rude and he should apologize for the protesters. 

One of the protesters said the economic situation of those still sitting in was the reason behind that uprising in the conference. " What human rights they are are talking about, and we do not find to ear," said Saeed Saleh, one of the protesters. " Our friends who struggled to make Basudawh prime minister, are still in prison, and those injured do not have any care."

The defected general Ali Muhsen also criticized the prime minister Basundaw. 
General Muhsen, who defected from Saleh's regime last year and declared his support for the youth revolution, said that the government of Basundwa failed to protect the unity, and instead, it encouraged the rebels in the south and north for separating. 

Muhsen said in statements published in his newspaper Akhbar Al Youm, that the provinces of Saada, Hajja, Al Jawf and Marib are under the influence of Al Hputhi, and the south under the influence of separatists, and Taiz province under the influence of the supporters of Saleh. The government  was not able to do anything  to stop these rebellions. 

From their side, Saleh's supporters and and his party and 14 other parties allying with it, are now planning to make a million-man demonstration to demand that those behind assassinations and sabotage acts be revealed and put on trial.  

Latif Letter About Guantanamo Speaks From the Grave: "I Am Being Pushed Toward Death Every Moment"

By Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout | Investigative Report

Explosive claims in a letter to his lawyers reveal a Gitmo detainee's fears about his captors' intentions, well in advance of his mysterious death. Meanwhile, the investigation into his apparent suicide centers on the protocols meant to prevent it.

More than two years before he was found dead in his cell at Guantanamo Bay, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif reported that the people who oversaw his every move were facilitating his demise.
In a letter sent to his attorneys on May 28, 2010, the Yemeni detainee claimed he was given "contraband" items, such as a spoon and a "big pair of scissors ... by the person responsible for Camp 5," where uncooperative prisoners are sent.

"I am being pushed toward death every moment," Latif wrote to human rights attorneys David Remes and Marc Falkoff. The communication was written in Arabic and translated into English by a translator Remes has worked with for nearly a decade.

"The way they deal with me proves to me that they want to get rid of me, but in a way that they cannot be accused of causing it," Latif wrote.

On September 8, Latif was found "motionless and unresponsive" by guards in a cell in the very same Camp 5 cellblock he had cited in his letter. Two months later, the military produced a report that said he committed suicide.

The mystery surrounding the death of the eldest son of a Yemeni merchant who, by all accounts, did not belong at the offshore prison for suspected terrorists, is underscored by the almost prophetic nature of this singular letter.

The question that likely will never be answered is whether it is a true representation of his experiences, the paranoid creation of an unstable mind or the cunning fabrications of an angry man, captured and sold into bondage by post-9/11 bounty hunters.

That answer may have died with Latif, but there is a measure of corroboration for at least some of his claims, and more questions have been raised as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) continue to probe the circumstances surrounding his death.
Unanswered Questions
Two weeks ago, Truthout broke the news that the autopsy report prepared by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner concluded the manner of Latif's death had been ruled a suicide. Truthout sought a copy of the autopsy report under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Last week, John Peterson, the head of the US Army Medical Command's FOIA office, denied Truthout's records request stating, "the autopsy report part of an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigation and is not releasable" under a FOIA exemption "which prohibits the disclosure of information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation."
Following up on Truthout's story, The New York Times reported Latif died from an overdose of psychiatric medication that he may have hoarded until he collected enough for a lethal dose.

Truthout has independently confirmed with officials who have seen the autopsy report that it states Latif took a fatal dose of psychiatric medication.
Latif had been seriously injured in a car wreck in his native Yemen and was in search of free medical treatment in Afghanistan when he was captured and sold to the Northern Alliance following the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

He suffered severe neurological damage in the car accident, which may have contributed to behavior that led to repeated stays in the detention center's psychiatric unit.

Latif had been cleared for transfer back to his homeland four times over the past decade by both the Bush and Obama administrations; yet he remained imprisoned at Gitmo, his case mired in legal and political entanglements that Remes, his Washington, DC-based lawyer has been trying to unravel since 2004.

The 36-year-old Yemeni husband and father of a 14-year-old son had a history of suicide attempts, but also had reason in recent months to find hope amid the despair: A human rights group had taken up his cause.

One of the most compelling questions investigators must resolve is: How would Latif have managed to hoard and deliberately overdose on pharmaceuticals at a prison facility where detainees are under constant surveillance?
The well-defined protocols in place at Guantanamo were specifically designed to prevent such an occurrence - so the question of whether those protocols were followed is yet another element of the investigation into Latif's death.
Standard Operating ProceduresCamp Delta replaced the crude open-air cages where detainees were first held when they were brought to the prison in 2002. Camp Delta was made up of Camps 1 through 6, as well as a psychiatric ward, a camp that houses high-value detainees formerly in custody of the CIA and several other camps. As the population of the detention facility dwindled over the years, some of the camps were shuttered. But the official procedures remain in place.

Guantanamo's 2004 Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual, released publicly by the Department of Defense several years ago, states that even in one of the prison's lower security camps, which has since been shuttered, "MPs will verify a detainee has taken their medication, if orally, by making the detainee open their mouth and move their tongue around as to check all areas for hidden medications."

Additionally, "All MPs will make detainees open their hands before leaving ... to ensure no medications that are to be taken orally are being hidden."

Those checks are still in place throughout Guantanamo and are now conducted by Navy Corpsmen.
At the detention hospital, where Latif was held in the month prior to his death, a separate October 2004 SOP pertaining to the administration of medications to detainees states that corpsmen are to "visualize the detainee has actually swallowed his oral medications" before they leave the "cell area."

According to the SOP, corpsmen are authorized to administer or "pass" medications after they have completed a five-day training course known as the "Corpsmen Medication Orientation to Camp Delta."

Corpsmen are then required to sign a "Medication Administration Understanding," which states they will comply with the requirement to witness the swallowing of medications and also will not "leave powders, medication bottles, pills, lotions or any other medical material in a detainee's cell for use at other times unless I have specific permission from the RN/MD/DOC via a memo on file at the DOC [Detainee Operations Center]."

The Camp Delta SOP also requires the guard force to randomly search prisoners' cells on "day shift and swing shift," at least three times a day and prisoners are also searched, "at a minimum," every time they are removed from a cell. If Latif had successfully managed to hoard his medications, despite visual inspection of his taking the drugs, he would have had to evade all the mandated searches of his cell and his body.

Moreover, the Camp Delta SOP states that prisoners like Latif, who are deemed to be a "self-harm" risk, are supposed to have their activities documented every 15 minutes. Guards are to "conduct a visual search of the cells and prisoners every ten minutes by walking through the block." Deviating from the SOP is considered to be an Article 92 violation - failure to obey an order or regulation - under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Latif had expressed his desire to take his own life and had even attempted suicide several times during the course of his 10-plus years of imprisonment at Guantanamo. But Remes questioned whether he could have eventually succeeded in doing so, given the tight security measures in place.
Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) spokesman Capt. Robert Durand did not respond to specific questions regarding the SOPs and whether JTF-GTMO staff has followed them.

A Recalcitrant Prisoner, a Pantheon of DrugsAs Truthout reported in October, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo did not immediately issue a statement about Latif's cause of death - unlike previous deaths at the prison, including those the government said were the result of suicide - because there were no obvious signs as to how he died.

It's also unknown how long Latif was unresponsive in his cell before guards discovered him unconscious. A US official knowledgeable about the NCIS investigation into Latif's death told Truthout Latif did not leave his cell to attend prayer on the day of his death, and did not eat breakfast or lunch.

In a statement issued to Truthout a month after Latif's death, Durand said there was no "obvious indication of self-harm" or "a known medical condition" that Latif suffered from. Durand went on to say that Latif "was monitored by the behavioral health unit, and his recent actions, activities and statements to therapists indicated he did not appear to want to end his life."

Durand added that JTF-GTMO only issued statements when there was a "clear and reasonable assumption" about the manner in which a prisoner died, such as "hanging ... slashed wrists or scattered pills from an attempted overdose."

Durand's statement indicates there weren't any pills Latif's body when he was found.
In fact, Latif, who had a history of being a noncompliant prisoner, expressed his concern on more than a dozen occasions over the course of eight years regarding the medication he was administered, which he said was changed every four to six months.

"People stop trusting the medication, for example sometimes they give you the wrong quantity of medicine or wrong medicine," he said during a June 18, 2005 meeting with Remes.

Latif described being strapped to a "hard stretcher" and transferred back and forth from his cell to the medical clinic over and over again, in what he said was a form of sleep deprivation. At other times, he claimed he was kept medically sedated, even being drugged "in the night when I was asleep." A note by the attorney at this time indicated Latif was being medicated on "sedatives and psychotropics [and] painkillers."
Remes told Truthout in early October that the government's idea of medical treatment was simply to keep Latif subdued. "On many occasions he told me he was drugged and sedated," Remes said. "When he met with me he told me he was given energy boosters or mood boosters."

Latif also told Remes during another meeting they had in May 2010 that following a suicide attempt, unknown Guantanamo officials blamed Remes for it.

"They came to talk with me," Latif said. "They asked why I did this. They suggested that you [Remes] had encouraged me to do this."

Latif said he also was visited in the psychiatric ward by "two military lawyers" who encouraged him to fire Remes and asked him "to sign a paper firing you [Remes]," which he refused to do. The same incident also happened in January of 2010, Latif said, except that time Latif claimed he was given an injection prior to being visited by a military lawyer who wanted him to fire Remes. Latif said he believed "they wanted to have no one report" his death.

According to unclassified notes taken by Remes in May, during his last meeting with his client, Latif said he sometimes took psychiatric medications out of his mouth "because I don't want to here." A word in Remes' notes is missing. He said it may be "die."

In the days leading up to his death and his transfer to the disciplinary wing of Camp 5, Latif, who was held in the detention hospital at the time, was reportedly threatened with an "ESP injection," according to an account given to Remes in October by Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner whose ten-plus years of detention and torture at Guantanamo has attracted international attention and put pressure on the British government by human rights organizations to secure his immediate release.

Aamer was Latif's "neighbor" in Camp 5, Alpha Block. It is unknown what an "ESP injection" is, but Aamer claimed other prisoners said it "makes you a zombie," and has a "one month afterlife." Neither Durand nor other JTF-GTMO officials have responded to Truthout's requests for comment about the drug.

In July - three months prior to Latif's death - Truthout obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request an inspector general's report from the Department of Defense that revealed "war on terror" prisoners in the custody of the US military at Guantanamo and elsewhere were forcibly drugged with powerful antipsychotics and other medications, and also subjected to "chemical restraints" if they "posed a threat to themselves or others."

Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman, told Truthout earlier this year that secrecy rules prohibited him from identifying exactly what "chemical restraints" are and whether they are still being used at the prison. The report only identified the powerful antipsychotic, Haldol, which can be administered by injection.

Over the past decade, dozens of current and former prisoners held by the US government in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan have alleged in news reports, court documents and meetings with their lawyers, that they took pills against their will and/or were forcibly injected with unknown substances that had mind-altering affects during or immediately prior to marathon interrogation sessions.

The allegation sparked an investigation by the CIA and Defense Department inspector general, which prepared a report on its findings. While the watchdog said it could not find any evidence that "mind-altering" drugs were used for the purposes of interrogation it noted that "certain prisoners, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis were interrogated."

The CIA version of that report remains classified.

Truthout's investigative expose on Latif's life and death, published in October, quoted renowned forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who suggested the US government likely would conclude Latif's death was due to drugs - specifically, drugs that cause brain depression like opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety sedatives - the kinds of drugs that appear to have been a routine part of life at Guantanamo for the recalcitrant detainee.

Aamer also claimed, according to Remes' notes of his interview with the prisoner, that Latif had "fought and fought" his transfer to a particular cell in Camp 5 because of the constant buzzing noise from a generator located behind a wall.

In his May 28, 2010 letter to attorneys Remes and Falkoff, Latif said he had been placed in isolation "in block Alpha, Camp 5, in a cell that resembles a lion's cage. It has been made especially for me in this way."
He said drugs apparently administered to him for sedation affected him in such a way that he ate his own excrement.

That letter also contains other allegations, notably the claims that Latif was given items that might help facilitate his suicide, as well as threats to Latif's life, more than a dozen beatings by Guantanamo's brutal Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) squad, which he says resulted in broken bones, and a visit to the detention hospital.

"I don't think anyone believes me but this is the truth to be found by people who investigate what is happening to me especially these days," Latif wrote. Of the incident with the scissors and spoon, Latif said he was told to report it to "the police" and that "a chief in the navy who is specialized in investigating such incidents was called."

Other prisoners represented by Remes have leveled similar allegations of what they said were attempts to facilitate their suicide. In late July 2009, a year before Latif said scissors were placed inside of his cell, Abdulsalam al-Hela also reported finding scissors and sharp metal objects in his cell. Yasin Ismail told Remes he heard of other prisoners having similar experiences.

Breasseale, the Department of Defense spokesman, said Latif's allegations are "absurd" and he would not respond directly to them.

"The suggestion that DOD personnel, the overwhelming majority of whom serve honorably, are or ever were engaged in systematic mistreatment of detainees is patently false and simply does not withstand intellectual scrutiny," he told Truthout.

"While there have been substantiated cases of abuse in the early days of the detention facility, for which US service members have been held accountable, our enemies also have consistently employed a deliberate campaign of exaggerations and fabrications.

"I will say that the detention facility at JTF Guantanamo Bay happens to be one of the most heavily scrutinized in the world. Accusations that the professionals who are charged with conducting the safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of the detainees there perform in any other than the most professional of ways simply fails to hold up under investigative rigor. Further, we have years ago updated our laws, policies, procedures and training to ensure respect for the dignity of every detainee in our custody.

 We never forget that the physical well being of detainees is our primary responsibility, and their security is of vital importance to our mission. Frankly, we fail to prioritize this duty at our own peril...."

Despite past statements of suicidal intent, Latif became a bit hopeful when he learned human rights organizations were going to launch a campaign to free him.

Remes told Truthout that he was told by Amnesty International in an email in July that "the cases of Adnan Latif and Hussain Salem Mohammed Almerfedi have been selected for this year's Amnesty International Letter Writing Marathon, an annual international activism drive that takes place in December and generates a lot of appeals and media attention."

On August 2 - a month before Latif's death - Remes said he met with officials at the Yemen Embassy and "pressed them to give priority getting Adnan and another client, Abdulsalam al-Hela, out of Guantanamo."
Remes said the Yemen officials agreed, "expressing particular sympathy for Adnan."
Soon after, he said he sent both Latif and al-Hela a letter "informing them that the embassy would make them a priority."

"I Am a Human Being"What continues to go unexplained is why Yemen has yet to accept Latif's remains three months after he died. At first, a Yemen government official told Truthout Latif's remains would not be accepted until the government received a complete copy of his autopsy report, as well as the conclusions of the NCIS investigation into his death.

William K. Lietzau, the assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy, turned over the autopsy report to Yemen Embassy officials in Washington, DC on November 10. Yemen then sent a copy of it to Sana'a, the country's capital. Not long after, Yemen government officials said they agreed to accept Latif's remains and turn them over to his family due to the amount of time it would take NCIS to complete their probe.

Two weeks ago, a Yemeni government official told Truthout Latif's remains would be returned to his family in "the upcoming days." But at press time his remains continue to be held at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and it is unknown if Yemen will ever accept them.

Breasseale would not respond to questions about what, if any, contingency plans are in place if Yemen refuses to accept Latif's remains. Yemen government officials previously told Truthout "politics" were the reason his remains have yet to be repatriated to Yemen. But they would not elaborate.

What is certain, however, is that Latif's brother, Muhammed, said his family will not accept his brother's remains until they receive a complete, unredacted copy of his autopsy report, which the Yemeni government has refused to turn over to him. The report likely will identify the fatal dose of psychiatric drugs Latif is said to have taken and that's something the US government wants to keep secret, officials close to the investigation have said.

Truthout's attempts to pry loose the identities of other drugs given to detainees have failed. The list of drugs given to prisoners would be found in their medical records. But the US government has consistently refused to release those records under FOIA citing prisoners' privacy rights.
Even the prisoners' attorneys have had trouble gaining access to the medical records. When they do obtain the documents, they are deemed "protected" or classified and are therefore unable to discuss publicly what it says about drugs the prisoners were given.

Another investigative report published by Truthout in 2010 found that all prisoners rendered to Guantanamo were given a massive dose of the controversial antimalarial drug "mefloquine," regardless of whether they had malaria or not. An Army public health physician said the dosage given to prisoners amounted to "pharmacologic waterboarding."

Mefloquine is known to cause severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal and homicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety.

"They {the Yemeni government} are playing this game not giving all of the information and sometimes giving us wrong information so that we will give up and stop asking about my brother," Muhammed said. "But by God we are not going to forget about this matter at all. We will follow this through until the end."

Muhammed also said his family wants a second, independent autopsy to be conducted to confirm the cause and manner of his brother's death. However, he said the Yemen government might pressure the family to immediately bury his brother if and when they turn over his remains. Also complicating the possibility of a second autopsy is the condition of Latif's remains. US officials told Truthout they are badly decomposed.
The mystery surrounding Latif's death has led Amnesty International and other human rights organizations to call for an independent investigation.

Steve Schorno, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Washington, DC, which has been conducting frequent checks on prisoners at Guantanamo, said the ICRC "is deeply concerned about Mr. Latif's suicide and the continuing uncertainty faced by detainees in Guantanamo Bay."
But Schorno said the ICRC "will not comment on US government investigations or the reported need for independent investigations into his death."

"As a matter of policy, the ICRC does not conduct investigations, including in cases of suicide by a detainee," Schorno said. "The issue of Mr. Latif's suicide is one we have followed and continue to follow as part of our bilateral, confidential detention dialogue with US authorities."

Schorno said the ICRC has had numerous conversations with Latif's family since his death three months ago.
Latif openly expressed his belief that no one would believe his story about the systematic abuse he had endured, and that he expected he would end up dead amid mysterious circumstances.

"It seems that I might have to send you my body parts and flesh to make you believe me and to believe to what degree of misery I have reached," he wrote in that May 28, 2010 letter to Remes and Falkoff. "I am happy to die just to get away from a non-extinguishable fire and no-end torture. Marc and David: In the end, I am a human being."