Monday, January 28, 2008

Yemen Strikes Difficult Truce With Terrorists

From the International Herald Tribune:

SANA, Yemen: When the Yemeni authorities released a convicted Qaeda terrorist named Jamal al-Badawi from prison last October, American officials were furious. Badawi helped plan the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

But the Yemenis saw things differently. Badawi had agreed to help track down five other members of Al Qaeda who had escaped from prison and was more useful to the government on the street than off, said a high-level Yemeni government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He had also pledged his loyalty to the Yemeni president before being released, the official said.

The fracas over Badawi - whom the Yemenis quickly returned to prison after being threatened with a loss of aid - underscored a much broader disagreement over how to fight terrorism in Yemen, a particularly valuable recruiting ground and refuge for Islamist militants in the past two decades.

Read more ....

My Comment: Islamic militancy and rebellion against the central government is so interwoven in the culture of Yemen and many of its people that any discussion on peace is problematic. Then again .... one has to start somewhere.

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