Al-Qaeda tries to impose strict regulations in Jaar, Yemen

The Jaar radio station and presidential palace are located on Khanfar Mountain. [Abdel Hakim al Sayyed/Jaar City Council]

The Jaar radio station and presidential palace are located on Khanfar Mountain. [Abdel Hakim al Sayyed/Jaar City Council]

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Al-Qaeda is attempting to impose strict regulations on citizens of the city of Jaar in Yemen's Abyan province, one month after members of the group seized the radio station and presidential palace and declared an Islamic emirate in the province.

"Al-Qaeda operatives control all affairs in Jaar in Khanfar district and have begun announcing the implementation of a plan to segregate boys and girls in separate schools and appoint a female administration for the girl's schools," Saleh al-Hanashi, director of the radio station, told Al-Shorfa.

"The [al-Qaeda] elements control the mosques and the mosques' missions. They are conducting seminars and calling for radicalisation and extremism in all affairs," he added.

Al-Qaeda elements in the city forced residents and business owners to pay taxes and local council fees to them instead of the state, according to officials.

In the group's first communiqué after capturing the city, al-Qaeda representatives said, "Women who go to the market to obtain essentials must be accompanied by a relative and must carry proof of identity such as a personal or family ID card or a passport."

Al-Hanashi said al-Qaeda is administering the city "with extreme recklessness and lack of knowledge", which exacerbates the adverse conditions, pointing out that its fighters are ostracized by citizens who deal with them very carefully and prevent them from venturing deep into the city's neighbourhoods.

Al-Qaeda set pre-conditions for re-opening the radio station, al-Hanashi said, and pressured him and other employees to reopen it under their control and supervision, but station employees refused.

According to al-Hanashi, al-Qaeda elements want to operate the radio station with an extremist orientation that serves their interests while instructing people to comply with their orders.

"We’ve gotten weary and apprehensive of al-Qaeda. The citizens are cautious while interacting with them, and this forced al-Qaeda elements to refrain from forcing them to do anything, [particularly] in light of the tense situation with the security forces, who launch attacks from time to time in an attempt to retake the city," al-Hanashi said.

He said the authorities are worried about the safety of residents, which prompted them to take a measured approach in attempting to restore the situation to normal.

"People are looking forward to the day when they don't see al-Qaeda in their city," al-Hanashi said.

Ahmed Ghaleb al-Rahwi, under-secretary of Abyan province, told Al-Shorfa al-Qaeda fighters are looting and plundering public property, especially the farms from which they stole cows and sheep and then sold them to citizens in the market.

Sheikh Nasr al-Shabi, a resident of Jaar, told Al-Shorfa, "Those who took over Jaar and declared it an Islamic emirate, are a mix of al-Qaeda elements, jihadis, some gangsters, and ex-convicts who were lured with money to join them."

He added that their presence in the city frightened citizens who have fled to other provinces with their families to ensure their safety. "I am one of those [who fled]. I took my family to the al-Hablain area in al-Dale city then came back to guard my house and property."

Al-Shabi wondered, "How can they claim they are jihadis (fighting) in the name of religion and carry the banner of Islam, when they walk around the city during prayer time and do not enter the mosques?"

Nasser al-Mansari, secretary-general of the local council in Khanfar district, told Al-Shorfa that al-Qaeda fighters use contemptible methods that endanger citizens.

"During the military campaign against them last week, they took refuge in the homes of citizens after they forced the owners out," he said, adding that some of the members are from other Arab nationalities.

With regard to al-Qaeda's plan to separate children at school by gender, al-Mansari said, "The cancelation of schools in most provinces delayed their project to exercise control over the schools and enforce their extremist views to prohibit the mingling of children and make changes to the curricula."

He said, "The tense political situation in Yemen has prolonged the life of the alleged emirate because it has benefited from the disagreements between the different political forces that created a vacuum and precluded dealing with terrorist

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  • READER COMMENTS

    ناريمان

    2011-7-29

    May God’s curse be upon all the oppressors who do not want the betterment of Muslims, and who are affiliated with these criminal organizations represented in the al-Qaeda organization and other damned criminal organizations that spread corruption on Earth and destroyed the industry and the production. They also weakened security in the country and made it into fighting factions that shed each other’s blood, to accomplish their purposes of stealing the wealth of Islamic countries.

  • شاكر

    2011-7-29

    The al-Qaeda organization has adopted an ideology of violence since the beginning of its origin, based on the tactic of spreading fear and terrorizing the safe, unsuspecting people, in order spread their influence over the areas of their presence, and thus have a safe shelter in these areas, to launch its damnable operations against the safe, unsuspecting societies in different areas. As such, the al-Qaeda organization has been a direct cause of the humiliation of the nation and of the strife and adversaries the nation is going through, in addition to the many problems and the grave disasters caused to the Islamic nation through its terrorist acts. These acts led to the abuse of the Islamic religion, because these acts caused the displacement of millions of people, in addition to killing and wounding a large number of people who were victims of operations of random killing. This led to the destruction of the infrastructure of strong Islamic states that have been going through a phase of growing and development. A department of studies specialized in terrorism proved that most of the victims of terrorist acts have been Muslims; not Westerners. This proves that the al-Qaeda organization has failed in achieving its purposes. It is clear that the al-Qaeda organization’s leaders have been aware of the dangers of the weakness of popular support for the theory that calls for the spread of violence and the killing of people. Therefore, they justified their acts as inevitable necessities, claiming that such acts do not contradict Islamic jurisprudence. In reality, however, they could not be further from the rightly guided Islam that preaches dialogue, understanding and respecting the opinions of others without seeking violence and fighting, except in the case of defending oneself against attack and treachery. They seek protection under the cover of the Islamic religion, while they have no connections to Islam or any other religions. Also, the Muslim community repudiates all their terrorist acts that do not serve anyone except for the enemies of the country, because those terrorists are groups of renegade outlaws who abandoned religion and laws. They sold their souls to the devil, who is their ally in this life and in the afterlife. Today, they are fighting God and his Prophet, spreading corruption on earth, destroying crops and killing children by committing major sins. They have distorted the beautiful image of the Islamic religion before other nations, as a result of these cowardly and deviant acts.

  • عبد الجبار

    2011-7-27

    God's curse be on the despicable al-Qaeda with its conspirators, who call for murdering, booby-trapping and killing innocent people from all of the Arab countries. This organization claims to be Muslim while it has nothing to do with Islam. It is the reason behind all the problems occurring in the Arab countries, particularly the Muslim countries. I curse it night and day, and pray that it would be eliminated.

  • قاسم

    2011-7-12

    The situation in Yemen is critical because, as we know, the members and leaders of al-Qaeda have long wanted to make it a base for themselves. I think that the deterioration of the security situation and the circumstances that Yemen is going through will facilitate and stimulate the movement of Al-Qaeda and its elements that are located there, as happened in Iraq after the war. We have seen how al-Qaeda has become very strong there, and how Iraq needed years of security work to get rid of them; and it still needs more work. Thus, we have to be wary because if al-Qaeda starts its activities in Yemen, it will have a significant impact on all the neighboring countries and the Gulf States in particular. We are enjoying safety and we thank God for that; but if Yemen becomes an incubator for terrorism and al-Qaeda, there will be serious consequences for the Gulf countries and all the investments there. Al-Qaeda is looking for an opportunity to create a base in the region, and I think it has found it now, as the security forces in Yemen are preoccupied with the situation of chaos and the protests taking place in the country. All Yemenis, including the government and the security forces, are too busy trying to control the situation and the ongoing demonstrations, so that I do not think they will fight against al-Qaeda. I think that it is better for all Yemeni citizens, politicians and even Ali Abdullah Saleh to think about the interest of their country and to get rid of this mess. Moreover, all the countries of the region and the Gulf in particular should intervene, to end what is happening in Yemen, to give room to the fight against Al-Qaeda's ideology and the bases that I think it has prepared in Yemen since the deterioration of the situation.

  • فواد عبدالله

    2011-5-24

    All the insults I give to the cowardly al-Qaeda do not quench my anger, but what would satisfy me is to see them transformed into apes, because they deserve torture and insults, as they are unclean. They do not deserve to be respected because they do not respect anyone. We ask God to curse the filthy al-Qaeda.

  • بوحمد شعيل

    2011-5-18

    Nowadays, there is growing fear of the increased activity of al Qaeda in Yemen, as a result of the chaos and unrest that the country is witnessing. In fact, this state has significantly weakened the security side as a result of the violent unrests that are rocking the country. Besides, the work of the security forces entrusted with combating terrorism in Yemen has stopped. They are currently watching the events taking place in the country, because they cannot impose their control over the regions, except through the support of the army. We can see that the military is preoccupied with being divided. Indeed, a part of it still supports the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the other part supports the revolution in the country for the sake of reform and change. Thus, the country has become threatened by al-Qaeda. The latter will take advantage of this opportunity to impose its control over some areas in the country and declare its independence under their rule. This will divide the country, continue chaos and bring us back to the first square of conflict and infighting among the sons of the same country.

  • مبروك الحربي

    2011-5-2

    We ask God to help the people of Yemen and guide them. With regard to Al-Qaeda, if they believe that the elements of Al-Qaeda are honest and trustworthy, and that they can reestablish the caliphate for the Muslims, then they can choose it.

  • ماجد المقبلي

    2011-4-22

    We ask God to help us in the face of the Joint Meeting Parties, because they have controlled southern Yemen with Al-Qaeda.

  • ليان

    2011-4-22

    Gracious!

  • احمد

    2011-4-21

    Peace be upon you…. We thank our brothers in Al-Qaeda for their efforts in maintaining security and stability, as well as the good treatment of people. In fact, the image of Al-Qaeda has changed significantly among many citizens, including me, especially when we dealt with them and saw their adherence to religion and keenness on protecting the honor and properties of the Muslims.