|New U.S. Drone Strike Kills Three Qaida Suspects in Yemen|
|[An Nahar] A new U.S. drone strike on Thursday killed three al-Qaeda suspects in the town of Rada in Yemen's central al-Bayda province, the site of similar recent attacks, tribal sources there said.|
Mukbel Abbad, brother-in-law of Tareq al-Dahab who led the al- in a brief January 2012 raid on Rada, was killed along with two other suspects, the sources said.
"They're dead, Jim!"
Abbad was a "leading" al-Qaeda figure, one source said.
On Saturday, a similar drone strike killed three suspected in the same region, in what was the fourth attack in one week.
Thursday's attack brings to 14 the number of al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen since December 24, when attacks by the unmanned planes on targets in al-Bayda and the eastern Hadramawt province were stepped up.
Dahab, who led the al- in the January raid on the town, was in February 2012 by his half-brother, who a tribal chief said was hired by Yemeni authorities.
Dahab's other brother-in-law was U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in September.
|Drone Strikes Kill Six Qaida Suspects in Yemen|
|[An Nahar] Two suspected U.S. drone strikes killed six al-Qaeda in Yemen on Monday, including a Jordanian, government officials said.|
The first "drone strike targeted a vehicle killing two al-Qaeda members -- a Yemeni and a Jordanian" in Manaseh of central Bayda province, a local government official said, requesting anonymity.
A security official identified one of the killed as Abdullah Hussein al-Waeli, an al-Qaeda member from Marib province who was wanted after he prison two years ago. No details were given on the Jordanian.
Tribal sources said three other were in the attack.
Three missiles fired at s in Hadramawt province killed four more al-Qaeda s, a local government official said.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the missiles were fired by "an American drone," and that the attack took place in the center of Shehr, a town east of the Mukalla.
Al-Qaeda had declared an Islamic emirate in nearby Radaa earlier this year, shortly before being driven out by tribal militiamen.
Tareq al-Dahab, who led the al- in the January raid on the town, was in February.
Dahab was a brother-in-law of slain U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a suspected US drone strike in September.
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|US govt refuses to lift lid on drone strikes|
|WASHINGTON: The US government has asked a federal court to reject lawsuits demanding the release of documents on CIA drone strikes targeting suspected militants abroad, saying the entire subject is “classified.” Shortly before a midnight deadline on Wednesday, US government lawyers filed a brief to the district court in New York defending the veil of secrecy around the drone campaign, which has killed numerous Al-Qaeda figures and associates in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.|
“Whether or not the CIA has the authority to be, or is in fact, directly involved in targeted lethal operations remains classified,” the government brief stated.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Times had filed lawsuits after having requested papers on the drone bombing campaign under the Freedom of Information Act.
The government not only ruled out releasing documents related to the drone strikes, but argued that merely referring to the number or categories of documents posed a threat to national security.
“Even to describe the numbers and details of most of these documents would reveal information that could damage the government’s counter terrorism efforts,” it said.
The ACLU called the government’s argument “absurd,” saying the drone war was an open secret that government officials have boasted about to reporters.
“Senior officials have discussed it, both on the record and off. They have taken credit for its putative successes, professed it to be legal, and dismissed concerns about civilian casualties,” Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, said in a statement. “The public is entitled to know more about the legal authority the administration is claiming and the way that the administration is using it.”
|Home Front: WoT|
|HIV positive soldier accused of military base plot wears surgical mask in trial|
|An HIV positive US soldier accused of plotting an attack on a military base after fleeing his post as a conscientious objector has gone on trial wearing a surgical mask and manacled to the floor.|
Courtroom security agents behind him wore protective goggles, an apparent reaction to an incident in which the soldier, Naser Jason Abdo, who claims to be HIV positive, bit his lip and spat blood at police.
Prosecutors called the first of 43 witnesses to the stand in a bid to show that Abdo, who fled his post in Kentucky, was gathering bomb-making materials and weapons to attack soldiers and their families at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of a deadly shooting rampage in 2009.
One witness said Abdo told him that the assault was intended to show support for Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and a civilian in the 2009 shooting, which also 32 others.
The FBI alleges Hasan had contacts with the charismatic US-born Anwar al-Awlaqi, a leading member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a September 2011 drone strike.
FBI agent Charles Owens said that Abdo told him in an interrogation session that "he wanted to do it for the sake of the men and women of Afghanistan, that they had been wronged."
Abdo was July 27 in the nearby Texas town of Killeen. Police and federal agents have previously testified that they found a handgun and enough gunpowder to make at least one bomb.
They also discovered directions from an al-Qaeda magazine on how to build an .
Prosecutors mounted a detailed case, mixing a trail of receipts and time-stamped videos of Abdo with testimony from a number of workers who encountered him.
They said he planned to detonate a bomb in a crowded Chinese restaurant not far from Fort Hood, and then gun down soldiers, their families and civilians as they fled.
"He referred to civilians as collateral damage," Mr Owens said.
Defence attorney Zachary Boyd countered that prosecutors could not prove that his client intended to kill anyone, and that no was ever built.
"I want the jury to focus not just on the evidence, but the law," Boyd said in his opening statement.
Prosecutor Gregg Sofer told jurors that Abdo had intended to kidnap a soldier and execute him on video when he was still in Kentucky.
"He had already acquired a body bag, a stun gun, a cattle prong," Sofer told the jury.
But the plan fell apart and Abdo fled, leaving his Cadillac, body bags, a green body bag carrier and bleach to clean up the .
A hood, three handcuff boxes, batteries for the prong, his car keys and identification papers were also found.
"My heart was racing," Oak Grove Police Sergeant Victor Lynch told the court. "I was thinking somebody was in danger."
Abdo bought a .40-calibre handgun and two extended round clips from a man in Nashville and paid $315.05 in cash at a Dallas-area department store for items that prosecutors said could be used to make a bomb, including electrical wiring, clocks and a pressure cooker.
He then took a four-hour taxi ride from North Texas to Killeen, where he bought smokeless gunpowder in a local gun store.
A federal forensic analyst testified that the powder, typically used in fireworks, burns slowly but could be used to detonate a bomb.
Prosecutors displayed receipts for the goods and showed videos of Abdo at the department store, his Killeen hotel and at the gun store a few miles down the road.
Along the way, he aroused suspicion that twice prompted police investigations and ultimately led to his arrest.
One employee recalled telling Abdo to have a nice day after he paid $256.44 cash for a number of items that included the smokeless gunpowder.
Bothered after the exchange, those at the store later called police.
|US drone strikes al-Qaeda convoy in Shabwa|
|[Yemen Post] US drones targeted al-Qaeda an vehicle in the southeastern Yemeni province of Shabwa with five strikes, sources told Yemen Post.The drone targeted theAnwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed last year by a drone attack.s' car in Karma area in Azzan district, of Shabwa, which is considered to be al-Qaeda stronghold as it's the hometown of the Yemeni-American |
As of yet, there is no reports of causalities resulting from the attack but a tribal source told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity that the five people who were in the car are all presumably killed.
Further, the drone has targeted some hideouts in the areas between al-Hota and Azzan districts of Shabwa, media outlets said.
US intensified its drones attacks in the southern parts of Yemen in an effort to compensate for the disrupted military cooperation on fighting the terror network. The cooperation, which is based on training, funding, and donating equipment, was suspended owning to the unrest that plagued the country last year.Azzan, a district in Shabwa, was taken over by al-Qaeda who found little resistance by security forces.The terror network also take control of some towns in the war-torn province of Abyan, including Zinjubar, the , taking an advantage of the distracted army.
|Al-Qaeda declares Shabwa Islamic Emirate|
|[Yemen Post] Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was assassinated last year by an US drone strike, as an Islamic emirate., al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen, declared on Wednesday the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa, the hometown of the Yemeni American |
In a statement released on its website, al-Qaeda declared Shabwa, a province abundantly rich in natural resources such as oil and gas, an Islamic emirate, citing pictures of its elements in control of key government institution in the governorate.
Such announcement is the third of its kind but the biggest of its magnitude. The terror network has declared Zinjubar, the of the strife-torn province of Abyan, an Islamic emirate in May last year. However Yemeni army assisted by tribal managed to regain control of it , forcing them out three months later.
The town [Zinjubar] still the scene of nearly daily between the Jihadists and army troopers nevertheless. On Sunday, AQAP has waged a surprise attack on military posts the outskirts of Zinjubar, leaving at least 180 soldiers killed, capturing 70, and looting different kinds of weapons.
Also, earlier the year, the have briefly taken over Rada, the main town of the southeastern Province of Al-Baitha. They ,however, pulled out after Yemeni government has struck a deal with them, releasing dozens of their fellow islamists from prisons.
Taking an advantage of the current situation the country is going through, Yemen-based al-Qaeda wing--the most active offshoot of the global terror network in the world according to US Department of State-- has gained momentum in south Yemen, stepping up its attacks on army and security forces, and taking control of large swathes of lands.
Earlier the day, locals in al-Mukala, the of Hadramout, the biggest province in the country, has distributed flies, warning army personnel that their fate is going to be death unless they repent and stop fighting for the government.
High-ranking security officer told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity that the interior Ministry have intelligence information that the AQAP fighters planning to take over al-Mukala.
Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has pledged to eradicate AQAP elements on Monday.
|Yemen journalist close to Awlaqi on hunger strike|
|SANAA — A Yemeni journalist who was close to slain US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi and was jailed for five years last year for promoting Al-Qaeda is on hunger strike, Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday.|
“Abdul Ilah Haydar Shae... has been on hunger strike since 12 February. He has stopped eating and drinking in an attempt to pressure the authorities to release him,” said the media rights watchdog (Reporteurs Sans Frontieres, RSF) in a statement.
On January 18, 2011 the court specialising in terrorism cases convicted Shae, 34, of “working in the media for the benefit of Al-Qaeda, taking pictures of security buildings, embassies and foreign interests in Sanaa, and inciting Al-Qaeda to attack them.”
After serving his five year prison sentence, Shae, employed by the official news agency Saba and held in jail since August 16, is due to be placed under house arrest for two years.
The journalist said in July 2010 that security agents had kidnapped and beaten him.
“His health is deteriorating rapidly,” RSF said on Wednesday.
“We warn that this decision (to go on strike) threatens his life,” it said. “We launch this campaign to call for saving his life and releasing him.”
“Haydar’s analyses have refuted much of the lies promoted by the media, thus embarrassing both the American and the Yemeni governments,” said the statement, referring to attacks on Al-Qaeda hide-outs in Yemen.
“Most victims of these attacks were innocent women and children who have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. The decision came to silence (Shae) after he unveiled most of these crimes,” the statement added.
“We urge all local, regional and international rights groups and political parties to take up their duty towards this case,” it said.
Shae, who specialises in terrorism, is considered one of Yemen’s most knowledgeable journalists on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the network’s local affiliate. He is also known for his close ties to Awlaqi, the jihadist preacher said by Washington to have been linked to a failed 2009 attack on a US-bound airliner, who was killed on September 30 in an air strike in Yemen.
|British Islamists Jailed for Plotting Terror Attacks|
|[An Nahar] A British court on Thursday Anwar al-Awlaqi for planning terror attacks on targets including the London Stock Exchange. nine Islamists inspired by slain Al-Qaeda lynchpin |
The nine men, who are all British nationals of Bangladeshi and Pak origin, had pleaded guilty to a variety of terror-related offences at a hearing a week ago at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London.
Judge Alan Wilkie sentenced three of the men to "imprisonment for public protection" -- an indeterminate jail term for suspects regarded as dangerous -- while the other sentences ranged from 16 years to five years.
Wilkie said they were "fundamentalist Islamists who have turned to violent terrorism in direct response to material, both propagandist and instructive, issued on the Internet by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
Awlaqi, the U.S.-born leader of AQAP, was killed on September 30 in an air strike in Yemen.
Wilkie added that it was a "difficult and complex sentencing" that "gives rise to a number of issues of principle and has a high profile".
Prosecutors said the men belonged to a group of fundamentalists who planned a spate of mail s during the run-up to Christmas 2010 and discussed launching a "Mumbai-style" atrocity.
Four of the men -- Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, from London and brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah 25, from Cardiff -- admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised (IED) in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.
Miah was for 16 years and 10 months, Chowdhury for 13 years eight months, Rahman and Desai for 12 years each.
Three others, Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, Usman Khan, 20, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke in central England, received indeterminate sentences with a minimum of eight years for making longer-term plans which included taking part in "terrorist training" in Pakistain.
Another man, Omar Latif, 28, from Cardiff, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism but was not involved in the specific plots and was for 10 years four months.
Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke, admitted possessing a copy of Inspire, an Internet magazine produced by AQAP, and was for five years.
The Crown Prosecution Service said after the hearing that the men were "not members of al-Qaeda but they were clearly influenced" by Awlaqi.
"What they had in common was that they all held extreme fundamentalist religious beliefs and were committed to converting those beliefs into terrorist action," CPS counter-terrorism lawyer Piers Arnold said.
During the case, prosecutors said police found a handwritten target list at the home of one of the men that included the Stock Exchange, the U.S. embassy in London, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and two rabbis.
They also talked about travelling to a training camp in Pak .
The group, who met due to their membership of various Islamic groups, had originally challenged the charges against them and were due to stand trial, but at the 11th hour they changed their pleas to guilty.
|Al-Qaeda militants seize more locations in southeast Yemen, soldier killed|
|[Yemen Post] Militants believed to belong to al-Qaeda launched Monday offences on government institutions in the southeast city of al-Baythda,some260 Kilometers southwest the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.|
The continued their assault today and seized control of the central prison releasing all of its inmates. They also attacked an intelligence prison in the city and set it ablaze , leaving a soldier killed and another injured.
The ministry of defense quoted a military source in the city as saying:"a terrorist group attacked Monday the central prison in the Rada and they set an intelligence prison a blaze, which resulted in one soldier killed and another injured,"
The initial accounts of Rada's central prison released inmates are 700 among them serving judiciary sentences.
The have began their attacks on Sunday as they took control of key locations in the al-Baytha of Rada, including historic Rada castle and communications' building .
The terrorist group declared Rada as an islamist emirate ,as did their fellow group( ) in the southern Abyan of Zinjubar in May.
The group is led by Tariq al-Thahab, who is connected by marriage to late American-Yemeni Anwar al-Awlaqi , who was killed a couple of months ago by an American drone.
|U.S. Considering Saleh Visit Request|
|[An Nahar] The United States is considering Yemeni President 's request to visit, but would only grant him entry for "legitimate" medical treatment, a senior U.S. official said Monday.|
Officials also said President 's top anti-terror advisor John Brennan called Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Sunday to urge "maximum restraint" after forces backing Saleh killed 13 demonstrators.
Saleh, set to stand down after a presidential election in February, said on Saturday he wanted to visit the United States, though was not seeking treatment for wounds sustained in an attack on his palace in June.
But a senior U.S. official said Monday that Saleh's office had contacted the U.S. embassy in Sanaa and said the president did want to go to the United States to seek "specialized medical treatment."
"The request for approval for to travel to the United States is currently under consideration," the official said on condition of anonymity.
"The only reason that travel to the United States by President Saleh would be approved would be for legitimate medical treatment."
U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar said last week that Saleh, treated in after June 3 s at his palace, needed "important" medical treatment abroad.
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had previously said that Saleh would visit New York for medical treatment.
White House Deputy Spokesman Josh Earnest meanwhile said that Brennan called Hadi on Sunday to discuss the recent violence and the political transition leading up to the presidential election.
"Mr Brennan emphasized strongly the need for Yemeni security forces to show maximum restraint when dealing with demonstrations and called upon all sides to refrain from provocative acts that could spur further violence," Earnest said.
"Vice President Hadi said that he has initiated an investigation into the deaths and injuries that occurred and that he would do his utmost to prevent further bloodshed," Earnest said in Hawaii where Obama is on vacation.
Thirteen people were killed on Saturday in an attack by security forces and loyalists of Saleh against a march of thousands of people calling for the embattled leader's trial, medics said.
Dozens more .
Brennan and Hadi also agreed on the importance of the transition leading up to the election in February, Earnest said.
Brennan also said Washington was a "strong and fervent supporter of the Yemeni people" in their quest for security, political stability, representative government, and economic prosperity.
The United States is acutely concerned about further instability in Yemen, and the presence on Yemeni soil of al-Qaeda and affiliated who have posed a direct threat to America's people and security.
Two years ago, while Obama was also in Hawaii for Christmas, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was trained in Yemen by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), allegedly tried to blow up a U.S. airliner over Detroit with explosives sewn into his underwear.
In September, U.S.-Yemeni Anwar al-Awlaqi, who is believed to have ed the airliner plot, was killed in what was apparently a U.S. air strike in Yemen.
AQAP has taken advantage of 10 months of deadly protests against Saleh to bolster its presence in the restive provinces of Marib, Shabwa, Abyan.
Militants linked to al-Qaeda control several regions and towns including Abyan Zinjibar, where they clash regularly with government forces and tribal auxiliaries.
On Sunday, a local intelligence chief in the port of Aden in south Yemen, a police official said.
Colonel Hussein Shabibi was the latest security officer to be targeted in recent months in south Yemen in attacks generally attributed by officials to al-Qaeda.
Government forces are sometimes supported by U.S. drone strikes in their battle against the Partisans of Sharia, the al-Qaeda-linked group that took over most of Zinjibar in May.
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|Round-up: Naturalized jihadi charged in foiled New York City bomb plot|
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 27-year-old Jose Pimentel was targeting police, postal facilities and others and said he was a "lone wolf" without affiliation to foreign terrorist organizations.
City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Pimentel, though not affiliated with an outside group, was a follower of slain radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a US raid earlier this year.
Kelly said Pimentel, a native of the Dominican Republic who was a US citizen, had followed a online magazine from Awlaqi including an article "How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."
Pimentel "talked about killing US servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly US army and marine corps personnel. He talked about bombing post offices in and around Washington Heights and police cars in New York City, as well as a police station in New Jersey," the police chief said.
Mr. Pimentel made incriminating statements to an informant who was working with the Police Department, investigators said, and those conversations were recorded.
"He was in the process of building three pipe bombs," the law enforcement official said. "We weren't going to wait around to figure out what he wanted do with his bombs. He was in Harlem about an hour from actually assembling the bombs," but had all the "unassembled components ready to go."
Pimentel had been monitored by authorities since 2009 and his extreme positions "made some of his like-minded friends nervous," said Kelly.
|Yemen Troops Killed in Attack on 'Qaeda Militants'|
|[An Nahar] Five Yemeni soldiers were killed on Saturday in an attack on the southern city of Zinjibar during an operation aimed at rooting out linked to Al-Qaeda, a medical source said.|
The fighting comes a day after one of the group's top leaders in the Arabian Peninsula country, U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaqi, was killed in an apparent U.S. drone strike.
"Five soldiers were killed and another three were in in the Bajdar district of Zinjibar," the medical source told Agence Presse. Residents confirmed there had been shooting in the area.
On Friday, a military official reported one soldier had been killed and six presumed Al- in a firefight in the Kud area south of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province.
The military official also said five were killed in an air raid on the same day.
Hundreds of from the Al-Qaeda linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) group overran Zinjibar in May, and the city and adjacent towns have since been the scene of bitter fighting with the army.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of nearly nine months of sweeping unrest against President to bolster its presence in the restive south and east Yemen, launching regular attacks.
On Friday -- the same day Awlaqi was killed -- AQAP issued a new claim of responsibility for deadly attacks.
In a statement received by AFP in the main southern Yemeni city Aden, the group said it was behind a series of attacks in the south, but made no mention of Awlaqi's death in an air strike east of Sanaa.
AQAP said it had killed 130 Yemeni troops in an attack on a garrison in Zinjibar, east of Aden, on September 14.
It said it had killed two Yemeni soldiers in an attack on September 11 and 10 in another the following day.