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Fighting Al-Qaeda – Yemen: As Al-Qaeda establish a stronghold in Yemen, this looks at Yemen’s attempts to beat them off.

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Al Qaeda in Yemen are now the group at the top of the world’s list of most dangerous terrorist organisations. All eyes have turned to this ‘little known’ Arab country, asking: who is fighting Al Qaeda in Yemen?

Having escaped Yemen’s maximum security prison, the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen, warns Muslims of a great war between East and West: “Be happy even if bad things are happening. Your children are the next generation and they have your blood”. In the chaos of an economy headed for collapse and frequent riots against the authority of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Al Qaeda have established a stronghold in Yemen, especially amongst local tribes: “many people here have no job. Young people become convinced to join, believing they are following the religious path”. The US has long demanded Yemen crack down on Al Qaeda and Yemen’s new counter-terrorism force is the result. Yet in their attacks on Al Qaeda, Yemen authorities risk triggering a war with local tribes, who are becoming more and more sympathetic with Al Qaeda. Deploying international troops would further inflame hostility among these tribes. So for now it’s Yemen’s counter-terrorism forces who are at the sharp end of this new frontline in America’s war on terror: “We are not fighting Al Qaeda just to fight Al Qaeda. We are fighting for our lives”.

Edited by Banyak Films – Ref:4686
Hugh Macleod and Annasofie Flamand

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