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Yemen court jails two for trying to kill U.S. Ambassador
On Monday, the State Security Specialized Penal Court (SSSPC) sentenced two suspects to five years in prison for attempting to assassinate former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hall, in 2004. Under the verdict, Hozam Al-Mas and Khalid Al-Halilah faced a maximum five-year imprisonment term after being convicted of charges attributed to them by the Attorney General. Issued by Judge Umar Al-Ba’adani, the verdict stated that the suspects will be jailed in special places and receive kind treatment while their seized explosives will be confiscated to the State’s Treasury. Seized weapons included hand grenades and a Russian-made pistol.

The court began trying the suspects in January on charges of attempting to kill the U.S. envoy. They threw a hand grenade at him as he was entering a shop in the Hadda area. Charges were based on the Attorney General’s indictment that the suspects observed the ambassador’s car in Al-Sab’een area, Sana’a. Accomplice Al-Halilah waited inside a taxi while Al-Mas jumped from the shop’s fence carrying a pistol and two hand grenades, plotting to kill the envoy after he parked his car and entered the shop. When a policeman saw him and ordered him to stop, Al-Mas fired on police and fled the scene.

Al-Mas pleaded guilty to attempting to kill the ambassador, but told the SSSPC he was nuts psychologically ill. Taxi driver Al-Halilah pleaded not guilty, saying he only drove Al-Mas to an arms market.

Yemen's starting to grate...
The Bush administration appears to be increasingly frustrated in winning Yemeni support for the U.S.-led war against terrorism. U.S. officials said Yemen has become resistant to cooperation as well as advice from the newly-arrived military trainers in the Gulf Arab country. The officials said the slow pace of cooperation has been exacerbated by the current bombing campaign attributed to supporters of Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden.
And also by the Palestinian blow-up. They were kissing the hand when we were dismantling Afghanistan. The Arab attention span is even shorter than the American, so that's faded by now, and they see the U.S. as being distracted and not as much of a danger to them.
"The Yemenis appear very cooperative when you discuss the issue at the highest levels of government," an official said. "Then, you get down to the brass tacks and things get very difficult. Nobody who knows the situation believes this is cooperation." The officials have described a state of increasing tension between the U.S. embassy in Sanaa and the Yemeni government. They said Yemeni officials and opposition politicians are calling on U.S. ambassador Edmund Hall to be withdrawn from Sanaa.
Especially the opposition. This is the same approach the Bad Guys used in the Philippines when U.S. troops arrived to help with the Abu Sayyaf hunt. The mid-level party hacks and bureaucrats are probably also dragging their feet and finding reasons they simply can't lend assistance, under, f'rinstance, Rule 762.14B, subsection 11 of the Yemeni Rules for Civil Servants, vol. 221...

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