Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

From Andrew McGregor at The Jamestown Foundation

Apart from the military, Yemen’s security is handled by three civilian agencies, at least two of which are believed to include Salafi and Baathist sympathizers at the highest levels. Most important of these is the PSO. A number of PSO officials have been dismissed in the last few years in an attempt to eliminate corruption and Islamist sympathizers from the organization as it is reshaped to take the lead in Yemen’s counter-terrorism effort.... U.S. diplomats in Yemen have frequently been targeted by Salafi extremists, although Yemen’s security services have preempted several such operations. Typical of the “revolving door” approach to terrorism prosecutions that irks the United States is the case of two Yemenis convicted of trying to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Edmund James Hull (an important official in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts) in 2004. Only days after Saleh’s return from Washington, the two convicts had their sentences reduced from five years to three on appeal (AFP, May 7).

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