The trio states of Sana’a axis, namely Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen, maintain strong ties, one way on another, with terrorism, either through state terrorism or by providing all sorts of support to the elements that have strong connections with Al-Qa’ida organization led by Osama Bin Ladin.
1. Given the fact that the Addis Ababa regime promotes state terrorism against the Ethiopian nation and across its borders into the national territory of Somalia against Somali nationals under the pretext of combating Islamist fundamentalist elements, then it does not sound strange if that system organized meetings for a number of Eritrean Islamist, fundamentalist terrorist elements in Addis Ababa, Gonder and Mekele, supporting theses groups with different forms of aid. By so doing that regime cannot claim the mantle of combating terrorism, while it is at the same time practicing terrorism and supporting terrorists.
2. The NIF regime in Sudan is known all too well to the entire international community for practicing terrorism at so-called Ghost Houses and following a policy of mass ethnic cleansing over the peoples of Southern Sudan, harboring and backing international terrorism through the "Popular Arabic Islamic Congress” since 1991, in addition to its sheltering today, once again, the Eritrean terrorist elements working within Al-Qa’ida organization.
3. The Yemeni regime maintains that it is combating terrorism and terrorists represented in pro Al-Qa’ida organizations, already operating inside the Yemen in unison with political groups in Sana’a, or those who took refuge there after the Taliban regime was ousted from power. However, the Yemeni regime too harbors and backs Eritrean terrorist elements closely related to Al-Qa’ida organization. Consequently, the Yemeni authorities can by no means pronounce that they are against terrorism while, at the same time, they offer help to terrorists on the other side.
After this brief introduction we come to the core of the dynamics that govern both the actual practice of the Sana’a Axis states to terrorism or fostering terrorists.
Quite recently, the key figures in the Ethiopian government like the Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seyoum Mesfin, or the Speaker of the Parliament, Dawit Yohannes, have embarked on giving statements whether at the UN Security Council or in Addis Ababa focusing on three points, in relation to Ethiopia’s dealing with terrorism as follows:
a. Ethiopia has suffered from terrorism.
b. Ethiopia is an anti-terrorist country.
c. Ethiopia is prepared to combat terrorism.
Given the fact that what matters are deeds rather than words, the picture shows the exact opposite, when we examine the Addis Ababa regime’s deeds that truly embody what is known as state terrorism.
First, at the domestic level:
As the Woyane ruling clique in Addis Ababa is a minority regime, it is faced with growing on the part of the majority of Ethiopian opposition groups representing various peoples. Threatened with possible loss of power, the regime has steadily, since it assumed power in May 1991, been pursuing the following policies:
1. It has tightened its iron fist on the political, military, security, economic and propaganda machinery of power, excluding all the rest of other Ethiopian ethnic groups save for decorative and nominal participation.
2. The regime never hesitated in sending to prison anyone who posed a potential threat to it.
3. The system followed a policy of mass detentions and eliminations of all members of Ethiopia’s nationalities whose sole crime was demanding their just and legitimate political rights.
The Ethiopian regime, in the aftermath of its offensive against Eritrea in 1998, carried out the following crimes:
1. Detaining and torturing the Eritrean students in Addis Ababa University who were on scholarship according to the academic exchange accord signed between Asmara and Addis Ababa universities. The only crime of those students was the fact that they were Eritreans nationals.
2. Sending thousands of Eritreans living in Ethiopia behind bars and subjecting them to various sorts of torture merely because of their Eritrean nationality and their nationalist Eritrean feelings.
3. Arresting and torturing women and children at concentration camps in Ethiopia simply for the Eritrean blood running in their veins and for the Eritrean loyalist feelings in their hearts.
4. Confiscating all the assets of Eritreans resident in Ethiopia and illegally confiscating their belongings, something that is counter to all international laws and norms.
5. The rape of Eritrean women by Woyane soldiers in Eritrean territories that Ethiopia occupied.
6. Forcing Eritrean nationals into begging, in the hope of humiliating them.
7. Demolishing churches and mosques in sovereign Eritrean territory that it had occupied and burning copies of the holy books, the Quran and the Bible.
8. Demolishing residential houses, schools, hospitals and factories in Eritrean territories it occupied.
9. Marauding Eritrean cattle and looting belongings of Eritrea civilians.
10. Destroying historic monuments like the Belew-Kelew stelae at Metera that dates back to the 3rd Century A.D. Such Talibanesque barbaric act is not a crime against Eritrea alone, as much as it is a crime against all humanity.
11. Digging up of martyrs cemeteries, stealing their coffins, uprooting trees planted in honor of Eritrean martyrs, etc., all reckless deeds committed only by ruffians whose hearts are full of envy and malice, rascals completely devoid of the tiniest grain of humanity. This shows how much the Ethiopian regime is deprived of humanity, completely immersed as it is in practicing terrorism in its all forms.
12. The Eritrean Charge d'Affaires in Addis Ababa, Mr. Salih Omer, who is at the same time Eritrea’s representative at the OAU, undergoes daily harassment, constant threats, close monitoring in his movement, and surveillance of his office and his home. He is always subjected to provocative summons by security agents of the Woyane regime. His diplomatic immunity is violated at will and rendered ineffective; such deeds are incompatible with international norms.
13. The Ethiopian regime harbors Eritrean terrorist groups known for their close relations with the Al-Qa’ida terrorist network, in general, and even personally closely linked with the internationally-sought ringleader, Osama Bin Laden,. Those groups namely comprise of "The Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement" and "The Eritrean Islamic Salvation Movement" along with the rest of Eritrean mercenary groupings embarked on terrorist actions with the support on military or logistical levels, directly or indirectly offered by the Ethiopian government to the detriment of the innocent civilians living along the Eritrean border.
14. The Ethiopian regime, in coordination with the Yemeni and Sudanese regimes, organized from 15 to 22 October, 2002, meetings in Addis Ababa for traitorous Eritrean elements who have close ties with Al-Qa’ida, to formulate the so-called “National Eritrean Alliance” and use it for their covert agenda.
It is worth mentioning that the Deputy Secretary General of this Alliance is none other than Mohammed Taher Shengeb, one of the figures of the “Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement”; the secretary for political affairs is Hamid Turki, a key figure in the “Eritrean Islamic Salvation Movement.” Both organizations are known for their strong ties with Al-Qa’ida.
In this respect, the Ethiopian government commits the following:
1. It undermining the peace process in Somalia, which was launched in the Arta conference in Djibouti in October 2000.
2. Ethiopian forces wreak havoc in sovereign Somali territories between 1997 and 2000, and still does, exploiting the absence there of a central government supposed to control all parts of that country. By doing so, Ethiopia, is desperately hindering the establishment of one unifying central authority in Somalia.
3. Flooding the Somali arena with all sorts of weaponry to ensure the non-stop of the inter-ethnic fighting between the Somali brothers, hostile to one another. Hence, Ethiopia, in effect, breached the resolution of the International Security Council, No. 733(1992) that provided for an arms embargo over Somalia.
4. As if this in not enough, the Ethiopian regime publicly announces the complete readiness of its forces to invade Somalia, in co-ordination with international alliance forces or going it alone, if necessary.
5. The Ethiopian government is seeking to disrupt the Somali reconciliation endeavors that commenced last October in Kenya and is still in progress.
Here, it is noteworthy to point out that:
1. The Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia has asserted the absence of terrorist elements with Al-Qa’ida affiliations in the territories under its control, supporting that fact by calling on USA to send a fact-finding mission to verify the Ethiopian allegations.
2. The TNG of President Abdul Qasim Salad Hassan expressed its readiness to help the international forces dismantle the terrorist groups in case the presence of such groups is certified in Somalia.
3. The TNG rightfully stated that all danger evolves from the existence of political vacuum over vast areas of Somalia, which automatically leads to a situation exploited by terrorist groups. Basically, the international community should shoulder the responsibility of supporting the Somali government fill that vacuum.
4. It is an undisputable fact that the TNG entertains the recognition of regional, continental and international bodies through the IGAD, OAU, Arab League, Islamic Conference, European Community, and the UN. Nevertheless, it could not fill that political vacuum prevailing in all Somalia for the past ten years. The reason for that is Ethiopia’s active policy aimed at widening that political vacuum, which creates a safe haven for the terrorist elements, the very elements the Ethiopian regime maintains to combat. Thus, Ethiopia creates the viable environment for these groups to have a free hand in carrying out their coercion against the helpless Somali peoples held captive by some of their own leaders and the Ethiopian regime equally.
To sum up, then, if the Ethiopian regime is promoting terrorism, harboring and aiding terrorist groups, it would never be credible to pose itself as the sole combatant of terrorism in our region. Neither can it be commissioned or trusted by any international alliance to play a role, however insignificant, in the fight against terrorism. Just the opposite is true. The spotlight aught to be focused on the terrorist nature of this regime that domestically promotes terrorism and export it to the rest of the region. Steady deterrent measures against it by the international community should follow this, before that regime could spread its deadly terrorist virus to the entire African Horn, Great Lakes states and the rest of the Nile Valley countries. In fact, the covert agenda of the Ethiopian government strategies mention that goal according to revelations carried by "The Reporter" newspaper, a pro- Ethiopian government publication, in an issue dated June 2000.
As this Islamist self-imposed system that came to power, through a military coup d’Etat on June 30, 1989, after ousting a democratically elected system, it out of fear of a popular political Sudanese response led by political forces and trade unions, the regime started to establish an autocratic, Islamist and fundamentalist system by way of:
1. Establishing a regime based on security, governs with a security mentality and resorts to security through all six security organizations:
1.1 General Security Apparatus.
1.2 Internal Security Apparatus.
1.3 Special Operations' Security Apparatus.
1.4 Detention Centers Security Apparatus.
1.5 Khartoum Security Apparatus.
1.6 External Security Apparatus.
2. “Purging” the military establishment from all non-Islamist elements and restructuring it according to its autocratic, Islamist and fundamentalist ideology.
3. Forming “People's Militias” that constitute as an eye and ear and a tool of repression against any activity, anywhere, counter to the regime.
4. Reorganizing the trade unions according to its perceptions and agenda.
5. Tightening its iron grip on national economic institutions, which all became controlled directly or indirectly by the regime.
B. The Nature of the Khartoum Regime
It is a totalitarian, Islamist, fundamentalist and extremist system practicing aggression against the Sudanese nation, while spreading terrorism to neighboring countries and the world at large.
1. At the level of Khartoum, the regime established what is known as “Ghost House” prisons where all sorts of lethal tortures are perpetrated on the part of anybody suspected of carrying out the slightest move that regime views as threatening its sheer existence and continuation. So, because this regime stole the power, surreptitiously, through a coup d’Etat, it is scared even from its own shadow. Consequently, it is no wonder if it continues to see enemies all around it and, hence, responds hysterically and coercively against all the individual members of the Sudanese nation. It is also not surprising that its doctrines carried the form of mass ethnic cleansing campaigns against the Southern Sudanese peoples.
2. The Khartoum regime believes that it has a “heavenly, eternal message” not only to the Sudanese people but to humanity at large. To put this ideological conviction on the ground, it established in 1991 the International Islamism and branded it as “The Popular Arabic Islamic Conference” led by:
2.1 Sudanese Dr. Hassen al-Turabi
2.2 Saudi Osama Bin Laden
2.3 Egyptian Dr. Aymen Al-Zawaheri
2.4 Yemeni Abdul Majid El-Zindani
3. The Khartoum regime's documents reveal that the mission of those political movements working under the banner of “The Popular Arabic Islamic Conference” consists of:
3.1 Subverting, by all means, the New World Order;
3.2 Working for the reinvigoration of the Islamic fundamentalist system, making effort to establish systems similar to that of Khartoum, and;
3.3 Laying emphasis on Algeria, Niger, Libya, Senegal, Tunisia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Palestine, and the Gulf states plus studying the feasibility of creating conducive situations in Iraq and Egypt.
These goals were drawn in the Sudanese capital in 1991 while plans for carrying out those goals were drawn in 1995 through eight offices as follows:
a. Sana’a Office, Yemen, supposedly to control and direct activities of the fundamentalist movement in the Gulf region.
b. Mogadishu Office, Somalia, supposedly to run the activities of the fundamentalist groups in the Horn of Africa, namely, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan.
c. The Khartoum Office, Sudan, to govern all the activities of fundamentalist groups in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt and Libya.
d. Rome Office, Italy, to supervise activities of fundamentalist groups in the Arab Maghreb countries (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania).
e. The Karachi Office, Pakistan, to supervise fundamentalist groups in Afghanistan and Albania.
f. Tehran Office, Iran, responsible for fundamentalist movements in the entire Central Asian countries along with Bosnia Herzegovina.
g. London Office, UK, commissioned for preparation of strategic studies, publishing and spreading information and distributing literature.
h. New York Office, USA, which is responsible for collecting and raising funds plus managing them.
C. Harboring Terrorist, Opening Terrorist camps and sheltering terrorists Sought by International Justice
1. The notorious international terrorist Carlos took refuge in Khartoum when he had nowhere to run in this globe. For a while, he drew plans for terrorist operations in all corners of the world from his base in Khartoum. The Khartoum regime, being faced with harsh reality, gave Carlos up like any sacrificial lamb, offering him to the French authorities in order to save what it could of its precarious position.
2. Osama bin-Ladin, the leader of Al-Qa’ida, too, sought refuge in the Sudan in 1991, coordinating his terrorist activities in unison with the Khartoum regime, using the country as a springboard until he finally became a liability and was forced to relocate to Afghanistan in 1996 with the ascension to power of the Taliban.
3. Opening of training camps for international terrorists and harboring prominent terrorist figures wanted for trial by International Courts.
D. Planning Assassination Attempts
1. The Khartoum regime had been implicated in the foiled assassination attempt of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in May 1995 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
2. In 1996 the Khartoum regime planned another foiled attempt of assassination on President Isaias Afwerki, by the terrorist Nesredin Abu El-Kheirat.
3. Also in 1996, the American Administration of President Clinton accused Khartoum of plotting an attempt on the life of Mr. Anthony Lake, former American National Security Advisor.
E. Khartoum's Policy Toward Eritrea
1. Supplying arms to the Eritrean terrorist elements.
2. Spiriting terrorists across the border into Eritrea to carry out subversive deeds against the innocent civilians and their assets as schools, hospitals, water resources, etc. On December 16, 1993, a terrorist group composed of twenty men secretly crossed to Eritrea. However, they were intercepted and wiped out. Later, some of them were found to belong to a North African country.
3. Establishing well-equipped camps to shelter terrorists to use these as springboards for their activities. They included the Afghani Arabs.
4. Organizing a students' union connected to the terrorist fundamentalist elements; and not sparing the official Sudanese media organs to enable the terrorist element to spread their hostile and desperate political venom against Eritrea in an attempt to undermine the foundations of national Eritrean unity.
5. After the eastern Sudanese town of Hamoshkreib fell into the hands of the Sudanese opposition on Oct 15, 2002, the Khartoum regime lost no time to point an accusing finger toward Eritrea, threatening a military action against it.
6. The Sudanese government is providing its entire media organs to the service Eritrean terrorist elements like Abu-Suheil and Arafa, among others, known for their strong ties with the Al-Qa’ida organization led by Osama Bin-Ladin.
7. The Khartoum regime is doing all it can by mobilizing all its resources to subvert the Eritrean national unity along religious, ethnic and tribalist lines.
F. Establishing a Puppet Regime in Asmara, Composed of Terrorists and Traitors
The strategy of the NIF ruling clique in Khartoum is to put together a puppet government of traitors, agents, mercenaries and terrorists in Eritrea. Such agenda is, in fact, a long standing aim, whose roots date back to 1988, the year of the foundation of the so-called "Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement," as a brainchild of the Sudanese Islamist fundamentalist movement. For years since then, the Sudanese government worked covertly to put this agenda on the ground, only to be uncovered later at the Sana’a Summit on October 15, 2002.
As we briefly alluded in the second part of this study, the Sudanese regime has got its own agenda concerning Eritrea, as clearly spelled out later by high officials of the regime:
1. The Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mustafa Osama Ismail, told Sudanese press in Oct. 15th 2002 that the mission of the Sudanese government is “to rid the Eritrean nation of its government.”
2. Dr. Kutbi El-Mahdi, advisor of the Sudanese President on political affairs, told the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) according to the Sudanese "Akhbar Al-Youm" newspaper issue of November 30, 2002, that "The leadership of the Eritrean Alliance is the legitimate leadership for the Eritrean Nation.”
Thus, the Islamist fundamentalist regime of Khartoum, immersed as it is in the consumption of terrorism domestically, along with harboring terrorists and exporting terror throughout the globe ever since its assumption of power through a military coup d’Etat on June 30, 1989, overthrowing a democratic system elected by the Sudanese people, has unveiled its agenda that stipulates the “SALVATION” of the Eritrean peoples from their national government by terrorist elements and reinstating a government of traitors and terrorists.
As much as the Eritrean state dealt with Sana’a on the basis of goodwill, the Yemeni Republic reciprocated this by dealing with Asmara in a policy of enmity. This is attributed to the existence of deeply buried hostile attitude towards independent Eritrea on the part of the Yemeni government that surfaced quite openly by the end of 1995, when it sparked off the islands crisis in the Red Sea in a deliberate and calculated move. Shortly thereafter, an agreement of principles was reached through the Paris Accord of May 21, 1996, which averted the hot war fanned earlier by the Yemeni government. But the Yemeni government lost no time to flare up a cold war before the ink of the Paris Accord could dry up by harboring:
1. Remnants of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), led by Abdella Idris.
2. Teyyar elements (ELF-RC), headed by Ibrahim Mohammed Ali.
3. Members of the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM).
In this context, it is to be noted that the leader of the fifth column, Abdella Idris, had paid a visit to Yemen on November 12, 1996, following an official invitation. He was received by Yemeni President Ali Abdella Salih Al-Ahmer, together with officials of the political security apparatus, the Minister of Interior Brigadier Yahya Al-Mutewekil and also by one of the key figures of "Alliance for Reform Party” (“Al-Islah”) Sheikh Abdul-Majid Al-Zindani.
Consequently, Abdella Idris agreed with the Yemen authorities on a work plan comprising five central points, as follows:
1. Backing the Eritrean mercenary groupings in order to bring down the system of government in Asmara.
2. Striking an alliance between the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement and the remnants of the four groups forming the Eritrean Liberation Front.
3. The Yemeni authorities would ensure supplying these groups with arms and technical assistance.
4. Extracting some aid from the Iranian government with Yemen and Sudan acting as intermediaries.
5. Opening an unofficial office for Abdella Iris's group in Yemen.
In this context the Yemeni president General Ali Abdella Salih Al-Ahmer was heard elaborating on the problem between Eritrea and Yemen as being no longer over the ownership of the Hanish-Zughur archipelago, which is a minor question, according to him, as much as it is a real political contention with the Eritrean authorities.
As political analysts certify that Yemen had grossly miscalculated militarily when it went on a military adventure against Eritrea in 1995 without proper calculation, it is also now repeating the same mistake in its misreading of the Eritrean political scenario.
It is needless to say that the Eritrean government did not ascend to power by way of a series of Coup d’Etats led by sergeants, or political plots and conspiracies, but rather it came into being as an outcome of a long, drawn out process and bitter experience of struggle that spanned three full decades, during which time the revolution matured and embraced the entire nation and its people. Consequently the Eritrean political power is derived from the people and is owned by the people, and is certainly not coming from a certain village or a certain tribe that safeguards it. We are sure that the Yemeni reader would appreciate these realities and the context to which we are alluding here.
Are the Sana’a rulers not aware of the fact that sheltering elements of the fifth column along with fundamentalist extremist groups, and mercenary circles trading with religion and the homeland, committing terrorist and subversive acts against civic installations and establishment, is a subversive act which is directed not only against a government, but also against the whole Eritrean state?
Though it is generally true that the Yemeni policy is based, genuinely, on the tactics of constantly changing color, in the style of the chameleon, however, that does not mean that it lacks certain pillars from which it can never depart even a hairbreadth. Such pillars are: -
1. The tribal base (Hashed), the tribal branch (Senhan) and the village (Al-Ahmer) -- this is the triangle of Hashed-Senhan-Al-Ahmer which has an iron grip on the political, military, security and economic situation in Yemen, through the "General Popular Conference" led by the head of the state, General Ali Abdella Salih, and the "Yemeni Alliance for Reform" (Al-Islah party) chaired by Sheik Abdella Bin Hussein Al-Ahmer. Here, to illustrate the grip of this triangle, we only need to note in passing that Yemen has 46 political parties, reflecting the ethnic/tribal diversity of the country rather than genuine political diversity and pluralism.
3. The strong relationship of the regime in power with pan-Arabist Islamist and fundamentalist movements.
2. Causing tension with the Eritrean government through the pursuance of Machiavellian means, considering it as a de facto government, rather than any other considerations, and basing its relations on such considerations.
1. Yemen provides a conducive social, religious and economic atmosphere for the growth and spread of Islamist fundamentalist movements, that organized themselves in splinter military groups during the former Soviet Union's invasion to Afghanistan in 1979, forming what was known ever since as the Afghani Arabs, among whom were to be found Yemeni Afghans.
2. Both domestic and external Yemeni events for several years now indicate that the ruling "General Popular Conference" party in Sana’a had been penetrated by the Al-Qa’ida organization. As a proof, the member of the Central Committee for the party of President Ali Abdella Salih and the head of the political security apparatus, Abdul Salam Ali Abdul-Rahman had been identified by both the Arab and western intelligence circles to be an active member of Al-Qa’ida organization, implicated in various terrorist operations before his capture and arrest in September 2002.
3. The "Yemeni Alliance for Reform" (Al-Islah) headed by Abdella Hussein Al-Ahmer, who is the chairman of the Yemeni parliament and an ally of the ruling “General Popular Conference," is considered to be a founding member of the international Islamist fundamentalism under the umbrella of the so-called “Popular Arabic Islamic Conference” formed in 1991 in the Sudan, among other, by Yemeni Sheikh Abdul Majid Al-Zindani, who is an active member within the framework of the same strategy with the Al-Qa’ida leader Osama Bin Ladin.
4. The British newspaper "The Guardian" in its October 7, 2002, issue confirmed that the number of Yemenis who fought in Afghanistan along side Osama Bin Ladin against the Soviet forces makes 14,000 combatants; and that some of those Afghani Yemenis have returned home in successive waves only to constitute the genuine back-up foot soldiers of the Al-Qa’ida organization.
5. When the Taliban assumed power in Afghanistan in September 1996, Al-Qa’ida, under the Taliban umbrella, started to organize the Afghani Arabs and others in order to launch terrorist war the world over. The organized operation of return for the Afghani Arabs, among whom were the Yemenis, to their respective home countries focused on forming secret cells that enabled them to infiltrate into each country’s power structure and state organizations, particularly after the “Great Escape” from Afghanistan when the International Allied Forces, led by USA, swept over the Taliban regime on October 7th, 2001, ultimately resulting in the international forces total control on Afghanistan in December 7, 2001.
6. After the downfall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, many Afghani Yemenis returned home and promptly organized their bases in many Yemeni regions, particularly the southern ones, led by Abdul-Majid Al-Zindani, who also joined the Afghani Eritreans, with the collusion of the Sana’a ruling party.
7. Despite the denial of the Yemeni Prime Minister, Abdul-Gadir Bajamal, as to the presence/existence of a pro Al-Qa’ida, group in Yemen, the American Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz confirmed that the USA had pressured President Ali Abdella Salih, during the latter's visit to Washington and his meeting with President George W. Bush on December 19, 2001, according to Al-Jezira satellite TV channel, so that the Yemeni government agreed to combat the Al-Qa’ida elements in Yemen. In addition to that, the Yemeni Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Abu-Bakar Al-Qurabi, while visiting Washington, confirmed to his American counterpart, Secretary of State Colin Powell, that Sana’a is committed to battle the Al-Qa’ida elements.
8. In its news report on October13, 2002, the Yemeni news agency "Saba" published excerpts from a report by the "TIMES" newspaper correspondent that spoke of the existence “of several training camps for terrorists in Yemen, that transformed into the real field of training for Al-Qa’ida cadres.”
9. It is worth mentioning that the very Al-Qa’ida elements launched a terrorist attack on October11, 2001, against the American vessel, USS Cole, in the port of Aden. On October 6, 2002, a similar terrorist attack was carried against the French vessel, the Limburg, off the Makla port. What attracts the attention is that the Yemeni authorities desperately tried to deny the involvement of Al-Qa’ida elements in either of these and other terrorist incidents. They admitted the bitter reality only after being forced into it by both Washington and Paris. The Yemeni's reluctant admission is ground for significant suspicion on the regime’s culpability. In addition, terrible economic consequences have resulted from these terrorist attacks, to mention but a few:
9.1 Insurance companies raised their fees by 300% on ships calling on Yemeni ports.
9.2 The number of ships calling on Yemeni ports witnessed a 50% drop.
9.3 Accordingly, the financial losses of Yemen according shot to some 4 million dollars monthly.
10. The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on November 4, 2002, launched a rocket attack form the Predator, a remote-controlled spy plane, on a vehicle occupied by one of the Al-Qa’ida leaders, Salim Sunyan Al-Harithi (also known as Abu-Ali), killing him along with other five of his accomplices in the Marib province of Yemen. Al-Harithi was one of the Al-Qa’ida leaders close to Osama Bin Ladin, accused of executing terrorist operations against the American battleship USS Cole.
11. On November 6, 2002, the American Administration announced the closure of its Embassy in Yemen because of security concerns. The American State Department spokeswoman, Lynn Castle, said, “The embassy will be re-opened when time allows.”
12. According to BBC news of 17 November, 2002, the British Embassy in Yemen has also been closed to the public following safety concerns. The Foreign Office confirmed the embassy was closed on Friday 15 November, 2002, “due to a recent review of security arrangements.”
13. In light of all these systematic terrorist acts on the part of pro- Al-Qa’ida Yemeni elements all over the Yemeni territories, President Ali Abdella Salih issued a call on November 5, 2002, to all Yemenis within the Al-Qa’ida organization “to declare repentance and stop lethal acts they committed against Yemen, and to return to the fold of the society; that violent methods generate negative impact on the national economy, security and stability, and at the same time ridicule Yemen's reputation and have detrimental effect on its interests and its foreign relations,” according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper report of November 6, 2002.
Thus a glaring question is posed here to the Yemeni political leadership: How could Yemen be anti-terrorist and anti Al-Qa’ida on the one hand, while at the same time it offers shelter to train and arm Eritrean terrorist elements, which maintain close ties with Al-Qa’ida? Though the answer is obvious, we leave it for the Sana’a regime to answer, if it is really serious about combating terrorism. However, if it has varying yardsticks on dealing with terrorism, then this is another issue. Be that as it may, it is essentially clear that Yemen is paying a high price for its contradictory dealing with terror and terrorists who respect no boundaries or limits.
1. Though it maintains that it combats terrorism, the Ethiopian regime practices state terrorism against it own nationals and the Somali people, supplying Eritrean terrorist elements with various forms of aid, whether militarily, technically or financially.
2. The Sudanese regime practices a form of state terrorism in the north of the country and pursues a policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing against peoples of the South, while sheltering, training and arming Eritrean terrorist element who are part of the Al-Qa’ida organization.
3. The Yemeni regime pretends that it combats terrorism, hypocritically acts as the town crier calling on its Yemeni terrorists to “announce repentance, abandon evildoing” on the one hand, and sheltering, training, arming and supporting Eritrean terrorist element on the other.
Such a stark and obvious contradiction, isn't it?
To conclude, one of the common factors among the trio states of the Sana’a Axis of Belligerence, as this study illustrates, is the practicing of state terrorism on one side and supporting of terrorists on the other.
. . . To be continued in Part 4 and Final.
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