Would you like to make English your default language, on this site? |
The Yemeni Interior Ministry said in a statement Thursday (July 12th) that security agencies have uncovered a plot by al-Qaeda to set up training camps in the mountainous regions of Ibb and al-Daleh provinces.
The ministry said it directed security agencies in both provinces "to counter any attempt by al-Qaeda terrorists to infiltrate" any region of the two provinces, especially the al-Radhma, al-Nadira, and Qatabe, where al-Qaeda members were spotted conducting reconnaissance.
The new locations would replace camps in the Radaa directorate, which are vulnerable to air strikes.
The ministry's leadership stressed "the need for vigilance and caution".
"The mountainous and rugged topography of Ibb and al-Daleh provinces is very attractive to al-Qaeda, particularly following its defeat and the pursuit of its fighters in Abyan and Shabwa," Brigadier General Fouad al-Attab, director of security for Ibb, told Al-Shorfa.
"The security services are monitoring all of al-Qaeda's movements, investigating information, and pursuing al-Qaeda members, especially information that relates to establishment of training camps, and are working to thwart any attack al-Qaeda may carry out," he said
Al-Attab encouraged residents in Ibb and Al-Daleh to report any suspicious activity.
Colonel Abdullah al-Shaddadi, security director for the al-Nadira directorate in Ibb province, said, "When we received the Ministry of Interior's directive about al-Qaeda's plot to set up training camps in our areas, we raised the security alert level on the roads and entrances to the directorate."
"We contacted all tribal elders and officials in the area and instructed them to be on the alert for any suspicious activity and to alert the security directorate if any such activity occurs," al-Shaddadi said. "We are ready to respond to any attempts of sabotage."
Faris al-Saqqaf, a political analyst and director of the Centre for Future Studies, told Al-Shorfa, "Following their defeat in Abyan and Shabwa provinces, remnants of Ansar al-Sharia will take refuge in new areas that they assume are not being monitored by security services."
He said that "al-Qaeda considered and selected these areas on the assumption that they would not be pursued in them, particularly after the blows they sustained in Abyan."
"Another possible reason for them to flee to those areas is to attract airstrikes that claim innocent lives and turn public opinion against the war on al-Qaeda in the north and the south," al-Saqqaf added. "Al-Qaeda is at its most vulnerable stage and has sustained numerous blows."
"(Al-Qaeda) has passed through multiple generations, and this generation, its third, is the weakest," he said. "It will be easier for security agencies backed by intelligence support to fight them if they move into Ibb and al-Daleh with traditional weapons because security agencies will be able to isolate clusters from the main force in these mountainous regions, and then surround and defeat them."
"Al-Qaeda has suffered significant losses, especially by targeting innocent civilians which cost it the sympathy of the local population," al-Saqqaf said. "This will be a critical factor because the highly educated population in those areas are aware of the threat."
Al-Saqqaf said security forces "must treat information acquired about their movements seriously and take appropriate action, such as forming popular resistance committees and attaching them to the armed forces, given the success of the experiment in Abyan and Shabwa".
"The state should lead a cultural, intellectual, and economic war against extremist ideology until it is eradicated," he said.