Yemen and Security

Jane at Armies of Liberation links to a scathing column in the Yemen Times:
The political regime used to keep an iron grip over everything, even the opposition parties, sorting out differences with them through bargains and deals. But, when it has found out that these ways will no longer work out, it is going nuts and is behaving like a child who holds a gun and starts firing against everybody without knowing the consequences. ...

An anonymous guest poster at Armies of Liberation comments on Yemen's gun ownership, concluding:
The vast majority of Yemenis are engaged full-time in the business of
survival and savings. They know that goats plus rain equals money,
or that pick-up trucks plus subsidized fuel plus cheap labour equals
money. They also know that there is very little that you can do on a
daily basis with a gun that makes money. Forget notions of weapons
culture, or the odd gun freak that has five or six weapons, ordinary
people in the tribal areas can only afford to keep what weapons they
have in order to protect their other assets, so if you ask yourself
what is required to do this - you arrive at a very different answer,
but one which exactly tallies with first hand observation of rural
people’s houses and lives.

Via Internet Haganah, ICT on the Yemeni connection:
The Yemeni connection to worldwide Islamic terrorism stretches back nearly two decades; its roots can be traced to the war in Afghanistan during the 1980s between the Afghan rebels and the pro-Soviet Communist regime backed by Soviet military forces. During this war thousands of Muslim volunteers from all over the world, especially Arab countries (including Yemen), came to fight alongside their Afghan brothers. The war served these volunteers as a university for the study of radical Islam and prepared them, mentally and physically for the violent confrontation with the "infidel" West and with the Muslim regimes that cooperate with it. The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan "proved" to them that the power of faith in Islam conquers all other forms of power.

The Afghan Veterans returned to Yemen during the early 1990s, convinced both of their ability to eliminate the remnants of the Communist Muslim regime in the southern region of the United Yemen and of their capacity to expel the foreign presence from Yemeni soil. They formed an alliance with the northern Sana government against the remnants of the southern Communist regime in the hope of being allowed to enlist in the Yemeni army and freely operate in southern Yemen, in order better to expel the American and British presence from Yemen. After these demands were rejected, the Afghan Veterans established radical Islamic organizations that began to undermine the Yemeni regime and perpetrate terrorist attacks against western targets inside Yemen and against senior Yemeni figures suspected of collaborating with the West. Soon these organizations began to cooperate with al-Qa'ida and even received financial support from it.

The involvement of Yemeni volunteers in the Iraqi war was just a matter of time. Just as in Afghanistan, Yemenis comprise a significant component of the Muslim volunteers in Iraq. However, in contrast to the Afghan case, this time the Yemeni regime made it more difficult for them to leave for Iraq; nor was the government pleased to accept them upon their return. As a result, Iraqi veterans and subsequent alumni of Afghan training camps, including the Yemenis, were forced to return to Yemen under false identities. Very quickly the concerns of the Yemeni government were confirmed: the return of Iraqi alumni to Yemen brought with it a wave of terrorist attacks that may threaten the stability in the country. Iraqi veterans, some of whom are members of al-Qa'ida, view Yemen as a convenient ground for the fostering of radical Islamic ideologies and as a target for terrorist attacks against the foreign presence in the region.