News / Middle East

Al-Qaida in Yemen Leader Threatens to Topple Government

Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh
Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula is threatening to overthrow Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh. The government and al-Qaida rebels have stepped up activity against each other across the country.

In an audio tape broadcast on the internet, the leader of the self-styled "al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula" group, Qasim al-Rimi, is threatening to topple Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh.

In the tape, al-Rimi tells President Saleh he will be driven from office, like former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, because he is supposedly an "agent of the U.S." who has "lost his legitimacy."  Al-Qaida, on the other hand, he alleges is becoming stronger.

He claims that President Saleh has lost a lot of his territory, much of his army, and his legitimacy.  He goes on to allege that al-Qaida is now fighting a war of attrition and strengthening itself to widen the battlefront against its enemies and to destroy them.

Yemen Post Editor-in-chief Hakim Almasmari notes the threat to topple the government is not new. "This is not something new," he said. "That is something that was announced over three years ago, but a new part is that al-Qaida announced that it will create an army - an Aden-Abyan Army - and the Aden-Abyan area is know to have a very good stronghold for al-Qaida."

Princeton University Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen says he thinks al-Raimi is exaggerating about the group's strength, but says it has grown since last year and has been multiplying its propaganda in recent weeks.

"One of the things that stood out to me is really the vast amount of statements, both printed statements, audio statements, videos, magazines that al-Qaida has put out over the past couple of weeks, including eulogies," he said.

"There has really been, I think, a significant uptick in the last couple of weeks in just the amount of material that the organization has put out on jihadi websites and this, in conjunction with some of the attacks they have been carrying out.  But, certainly, the group seems to have grown significantly from what it was about a year ago when people were suggesting that there were, say, 300 members of al-Qaida."

Johnsen says he believes recent al-Qaida attacks are driving many foreigners into leaving the country, which will have long-term negative effects.

"The cumulative effect of some of these attacks that we are seeing in Yemen is that more and more foreign civilian employees are either leaving Yemen or not coming to Yemen, and so the foreigners that are in Yemen more and more, there is an equation where it is heavily military, and I think that if you look at any country, that sort of an equation does not spell success," he said.

Editor Hakim Almasmari says al-Qaida has been carrying out small attacks in Yemen, but that many experts worry it is preparing to carry out a big one to show how powerful it is and prove that it can destroy the economy of the country.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid