Thursday, July 5, 2007

Yemen: Car Bombing Hits Tourist Convoy

from Strategic Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor)

A bomb attack against a tourist convoy in Yemen killed at least eight Spanish tourists and wounded several others July 2 ... Yemen's intelligence services have in the past had a significant radical Salafi/Wahhabi and jihadist presence. In the 2006 presidential elections, major radical Salafi religious scholar Abdel-Majeed al-Zindani issued a fatwa obligating voters to cast their ballots in favor of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. While these linkages between Salafist and jihadist elements and the state remain, Saleh's regime has also supported the war against militant Islamists, which led to the weakening of the jihadist presence in the country. However, there are reasonable suspicions that a fair share of Yemen's security apparatus sympathizes with and supports jihadist operations in the country. Furthermore, Yemen sits on a major jihadist thoroughfare connecting four different Islamist militant arenas -- Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan/Pakistan. This will ensure that Yemen remains a hotbed of jihadist action for the foreseeable future.

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