FBI chief in Yemen as drone kills Aqap leader
[Emirates 24/7] FBI director Robert Mueller visited Yemen on Tuesday, pledging to help quell an Islamist insurgency, as security and government sources said a drone had killed a prominent Al Qaeda leader linked to an attack on a French oil tanker.
In a meeting with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office earlier this year, Mueller promised the United States would support Yemen "with full force" in all respects.
"Mueller visits Yemen on an annual basis so this is not a special or secret occasion," said Mohammed Al Basha, Yemen's embassy front man in Washington. "President Hadi emphasised that he is strongly committed to combatting extremism and working with the U.S. to counter the mutual threat of terrorism."
Yemen's embassy in Washington said on Tuesday that Mohammed Saeed Al Umda, convicted in 2005 of involvement in the 2002 attack on the Limburg oil tanker, had been killed in an air strike on his convoy in the oil-producing province of Maarib on Sunday. It did not specify whether it was a U.S. strike.
Umda, described by the embassy as Yemen's fourth most-wanted man, had received military training under the late Osama bin Laden
... who has made the transition back to dust...
in Afghanistan and was in charge of the group's finances, a security source said.
In Washington, U.S. officials indicated that there had been other similar air attacks recently against cut-thoat targets in Yemen. U.S. cooperation with Yemeni authorities on counter-terrorism issues appears to have improved somewhat since Hadi took over from long-time president President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
earlier this year.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were aware of reports of Al Umda's death in such an attack but did not have final confirmation. U.S. sources indicated that the
Arclight airstrike in which the Yemenis say he was killed was carried out by a missile fired from a CIA-operated drone aircraft.
The United States has repeatedly used drones to target suspected al Qaeda cut-thoats, who have been emboldened by a year of political upheaval in the impoverished state.
Exploiting mass protests against former president Saleh's 33 years in office, forces of Evil linked to Al Qaeda last year seized large swathes of territory in southern Yemen, including at least two towns.
Yemen's army, which split into two factions during the uprising that eventually unseated Saleh, has been battling to get the upper hand against the cut-thoats.
On Tuesday, the Defence Ministry put the number of forces of Evil killed in the southern Abyan
...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an
Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues...
province in the past two days at 52. It said the army had seized some government offices from forces of Evil as they pushed deep inside the quiet provincial capital of Zinjibar.
In a statement, Ansar al Sharia, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group, said its fighters had blocked the army's advance and challenged the authorities to issue "just one recent photograph showing troops inside the city (Zinjibar)".
The statement did not refer to the drone attack.
Tribal sources in Abyan said up to 21 forces of Evil were killed in three separate festivities with pro-government rustics on Tuesday. Two tribal fighters died in the fighting, they said.
Posted by: Fred