Yemen's leader warns of al-Qaida
SANAA, Yemen — The president of Yemen on Thursday warned that the al-Qaida branch in the country was expanding and using assassinations and abductions of foreigners as a way to challenge the central authority.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued his warning during a closed session of the National Dialogue, which brings political and religious leaders together to decide on the country's system before writing a constitution.
The official SABA news agency said Hadi held an “exceptional” meeting, but offered few details on the president's remarks. However, three people at the session agreed to relay his comments to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
They said Hadi told the participants that Yemen was at a crossroads, and pointed to a “very precarious” security situation in Yemen. One described Hadi's remarks as unusually frank.
The National Dialogue is part of a transfer of power deal that led to the ouster of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. During a year-long uprising, militant groups affiliated with al-Qaida took advantage of the military's preoccupation with the unrest and took control of large areas of territory in the country's south.
According to the participants, Hadi said that although his government has been going after al-Qaida militants and dealing them some setbacks, “the group is recuperating” and sleeper cells are waiting for the right time to carry out terrorist operations. One of the participants said Hadi told them that he was speaking “honestly” and that the security grip on the country was not as good as it should be. Hadi said that al-Qaida was increasingly using modern technologies to facilitate communications and avoid being tracked.
Hadi said some political activities had been canceled in the south because of security concerns for those would be attending. He said the government had told foreign missions to exercise caution while moving about Sanaa. Foreign missions must get permission before traveling outside the capital.
Two Finns and one Austrian kidnapped in Yemen in December were released on Thursday, according to Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.
Meanwhile, al-Qaida militants killed an intelligence officer in southern Lahj province and a day after three Yemeni air force pilots were shot and killed near an air base in the south.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Replica of ship that aided American cause sets sail
- Dissidents on ballot in Cuban elections
- Iraqi forces retake key oil refinery from ISIS
- Australian teenagers arrested in plot to attack veterans event
- Obama meeting with Castro ends 5 decades of official estrangement between U.S., Cuba
- Pakistan could put nukes on new submarines sold by China
- Iraqi PM, visiting United States, rips Saudi airstrikes in Yemen
- Obama warns Iran to respect sovereignty
- Turkey touts treatment of Armenians
- Cuba applauds removal from U.S. terrorism list
- Unilateral Obama sanction relief for Iranians possible