Another group of freed Islamic thugs rejoin their jihadist freinds.
Pictured: Said Ali al-Shihri, Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish (ID not confirmed); Abdullah Saleh Ali al Ajmi; and Abdullah Mahsud
At least a dozen former Guantánamo Bay inmates have rejoined al-Qaeda to fight in Yemen, The Times has learnt, amid growing concern over the ability of the country’s Government to accept almost 100 more former inmates from the detention centre.
The Obama Administration promised to close the Guantánamo facility by January 22, a deadline that it will be unable to meet. The 91 Yemeni prisoners in Guantánamo make up the largest national contingent among the 198 being held.
Six prisoners were returned to Yemen last month. After the Christmas Day bomb plot in Detroit, US officials are increasingly concerned that the country is becoming a hot-bed of terrorism. Eleven of the former inmates known to have rejoined al-Qaeda in Yemen were born in Saudi Arabia. The organisation merged its Saudi and Yemeni offshoots last year.
……A Yemeni, Hani Abdo Shaalan, who was released from Guantánamo in 2007, was killed in an airstrike on December 17, the Yemeni Government reported last week. The deputy head of al-Qaeda in the country is Said Ali al-Shihri, 36, who was released in 2007. Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, who was released in 2006, is a prominent ideologue featured on Yemeni al-Qaeda websites.
……The US Government issued figures in May showing that 74 of the 530 detainees in Guantánamo were suspected or known to have returned to terrorist activity since their release. They included the commander of the Taleban in Helmand province, Mullah Zakir, whom the British Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup, called “a key and seemingly effective tactical leader”. Among others who returned to terrorism was Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti who killed six Iraqis in Mosul in 2008.
The number believed to have “returned to the fight” in the May 2009 estimate was double that of a US estimate from June 2008. US officials acknowledged that more detainees were known to have reoffended since, but the number has been classified.
And the icing on the cake:
Obamster decides to reopen the embassy in Yemen.
The U.S. Embassy in Yemen reopened Tuesday after a two-day closure, saying successful Yemeni counterterrorism operations have addressed the threat that prompted the measure.
The embassy shut down because of an imminent Al Qaeda attack. In an announcement on its Web site, the embassy said the Yemini operations have allowed it to resume operations
……For the U.S., the situation in Yemen raises parallels with Iraq and Afghanistan, where Washington has had to go beyond military action to infuse economic help while pushing political reform on sometimes reluctant political leaders in hopes of undermining support for militants.
……At times, that has meant forging alliances with Islamic extremists, and (Yemeni President Ali Abdullah) Saleh has frustrated U.S. officials in recent years by freeing jailed Al Qaeda figures on promises they would not engage in terrorism. Several top militants have since broken those promises.
Saleh, a military officer, rose to power in 1978 after two previous presidents were assassinated, one after only eight months in power. Many expected Saleh would not last long either.
But the 67-year-old leader cemented his hold by planting close relatives — including a son — in top military commands, and he has centralized political and economic power in his family.
He also struck alliances with Islamic extremists, known as Salafis. Many of the Salafis hold a similar fiercely anti-U.S. ideology as Al Qaeda — and they have considerable influence in the government, military and economy.