The Empty Quarter has moved

January 25, 2009

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Post Revisits U.S.S. Cole

May 5, 2008

For those who don’t know the whole saga, the Post has a thorough overview of the U.S.S. Cole bombing and its aftermath. Nothing really new, except some quotes from Yemeni officials. The documents accompanying the article are in interesting read too. Regarding Yemen’s refusal to cooperate with the initial investigation – I know that since that time Yemenis have undergone FBI training, including in forensics…no more excuses.

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Sadiq is Catching On

April 21, 2008

This is why Sadiq al Ahmar’s control of Islah is such a tragedy. I feel sorry for the Brothers and true “reformists” within the party who must deal with him. I don’t disagree with anything he is saying, just the sentiment behind it.


More on al Zindani’s AIDS Cure, Patent Trouble.

April 12, 2008

Do they even have patents in Yemen? Maybe that’s why he’s having trouble. No joke, it would be great if it was true…but I don’t have much “faith” in the al Iman head. I think the all the henna might be affecting to his brain. Now hepatitis B and C, and diabetes! Wow, I can’t wait.


Yemeni university announces AIDS remedy

SANA’A, April 12 (Saba) – Chairman of the Iman University Abdul Majeed al-Zindani has announced his university readiness to treat HIV-affected people.

The announcement was made at a press conference on the sidelines of the first international health conference that coincided with the sixth medical forum held recently in Yemen.

Al-Zindani said that after twenty years of search he and a medical team could produce a medication that will help cure the HIV- affected people.

He added the medication was produced under the supervision of the University of Abdul Aziz Bin Saud.

Experiments conducted on animals indicated the medicine was safe and no side effects could associate its use.

Al-Zindani said he is facing difficulties preventing him from getting patent, pointing out that the Public Health and Population ministry promised to give him a patent after he gave it samples of the drug to be tested.

On the other hand, he indicated that he had conducted other searches by which he could produce medicines for treating the diseases of the hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and diabetes.

But he added that it is difficult to provide large quantities of these medicines for people.

Al Qaeda Elements Threaten Mareb Authorities, Soldier Killed, Regional Command Bombed

April 12, 2008

This doesn’t sound like any organized al Qaeda-Yemen operation…shooting at an army vehicle and running away. Of course, a number of checkpoints have been attacked as well lately, which AQ apparently later claimed credit for. The “bomb” is more likely a grenade. There are plenty in Mareb sympathetic to al Qaeda and hostile to the central and provincial authority, so it’s not surprising that a threat/eulogy would be sent out. Additionally, the tribes have learned by now that any mention of al Qaeda is a good way to get attention. I could be wrong, but I’m not convinced.

UPDATE: confirms the “explosion.”


Al Qaeda threatens leadership in Mareb: One soldier killed in Mareb

السبت 12 إبريل-نيسان 2008 / Mareb Press

One soldier was killed on Saturday by unknown men on Safer road in Mareb province.

The attackers opened fire on an army vehicle leading to the death of one solider. The attackers were able to run away.

The security apparatus are still search and investigating to know the attackers.

On other hand, unknown men threw a bomb on the building of the Command of Middle Region causing no casualties.

It’s worth mentioning that the building of the Command of Middle Region was exposed to a number of attacks during the last months. The attacks allegedly carried out by Al Qaeda. The attack occurred during day time not at night as usual.

Unknown men have distributed publications threatening the leadership and social figures in Mareb with death for being involved, as they claimed, in killing four Al Qaeda men.

The publications which include poems also praise and lament the four Al Qaeda men.

UPDATE on Canadian Nexen Bombing: It Was an IED

April 11, 2008

I guess they ran out of mortars…or maybe subsidy cuts are affecting prices in the weapons suqs too.


Second blast within a week, Americans evacuated from embassy

By: Nasser Arrabyee

Article Date: Apr 10, 2008

A bomb exploded early on Thursday outside the offices of a Canadian oil firm in Hadda Street, in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. The blast caused minor damage to the wall of the building of the largest oil company operating in Yemen, Canadian Nexen Petroleum. It caused no causalities according to eyewitnesses.

A police officer at the scene said that the improvised device was tossed into the corner of a cinema adjacent to the company’s building. He said a second bomb was found by the door of a nearby restaurant and defused. The incident comes just days after another attack, attributed to al-Qaeda, on a residential complex housing western workers in Sana’a last Sunday. This prompted the US Embassy in Sana’a to release a statement on Tuesday that non-essential staff will be evacuated from Sana’a immediately.

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U.S. Navy to Return to Aden Port

April 11, 2008

Interesting. The “possibility”…if they hand over all the Cole bombers?


U.S. Navy Yet To Return to Aden

By christopher p. cavas

Once terrorists have chased out United States forces, do those forces go back?

Not in the case of Yemen and the USS Cole.

The Navy confirmed April 10 that no port visits have been conducted in the port of Aden since the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 wounded in the attack, which took place during what was intended as a brief refueling stopover.

Aden is in a key location for U.S. and coalition forces, who routinely operate out of nearby Djibouti and patrol the Horn of Africa region.

The issue was broached April 8 during a Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing when Chairman Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., mentioned he’d recently been told “naval ships don’t go back into Aden” since the attack.

“A person was talking to me,” Kennedy said. “This person mentioned to me that this has some significance, because they’re trying to make the point that Al Qaida is making, that once the United States leaves, it doesn’t come back. And they were using the fact that there had been the attack on the Cole and we haven’t had a Navy ship that’s come back into Aden.

“And they used other examples – the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia – that once Americans have left places, they don’t come back. And if they leave in Iraq, they’re not coming back.”

Terrorists attacked a U.S. apartment building complex called Khobar Towers in June 1996, killing 20 people, including 19 U.S. service members, and wounding 372.

“It was just an interesting point,” Kennedy said, admitting it was “sort of an off-the-wall question.”

Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, deputy chief of naval operations, replied that he would check on the correct answer, supplied two days later by a Navy spokesman.

“The Navy has not conducted port visits in Yemen since the attack on the USS Cole,” said Lt. Clayton Doss. “We are working closely with Yemen on a range of issues, including the possibility of port visits.”

Kennedy said the issue came up when he was preparing for Senate hearings begun earlier on April 8 with Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. ground commander in Iraq.

FBI Mueller Requested al Badawi

April 10, 2008

So it was a high-level request. Interesting that the embassy confirmed Muellers demands for al Badawi (a Yemeni, and therefore unlikely to be handed over) and not ElBaneh, who holds an American citizenship and would presumably be easier to get…of course, I suppose Jaber would have to be locked up first before he could be extradited. True, al Badawi actually accomplished acts of terror while Jaber only helped plan foiled ones…but this also makes al Badawi more valuable to Saleh, as do his connections.


FBI director demands to extradite Al-Badawi

April 10, 2008- US Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller asked during his meeting with the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh On Wednesday to extradite Jamal al-Badawi who is suspected with bombing the USS Cole destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden in order to prosecute him in an American court, U.S. Embassy source told

The source pointed out that Mueller further discussed with Saleh issues of combating terrorism and updates of the investigations on the attacks which targeted the U.S. embassy on March 18 and the housing compound of Hadda on April 6.

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Zindani on AIDS

April 9, 2008

The Mad Islamic Scientist speaking on his cure for AIDS at an “AIDS Conference.” I remember when he first announced that he had discovered a cure…we ran a nice (albeit sarcastic) piece congratulating him. We need to get this guy in touch with Pfizer. You can see past news of the Sheikhs discovery at Armies of Liberation.

UPDATE: Now in English.


الزنداني يتحدث في مؤتمر دولي عن الإيدز و القضاء عليه

أخبار الوطن: سيتناول آخر مستجدات اختراعه الدوائي للقضاء على فيروس الإيدز وسيتطرق للشهادات التي منحت لاختراعه

الأربعاء 09 إبريل-نيسان 2008 / مأرب برس– خاص

في إطار فعاليات المؤتمر الطبي الدولي الأول, تستضيف الجمعية الطبية الخيرية اليمنية مساء الجمعة القادمة الشيخ عبدالمجيد الزنداني – رئيس جامعة الإيمان- في محاضرة مفتوحة حول فيروس نقص المناعة (الأيدز) وما تم التوصل إليه من اختراعات دوائية للقضاء عليه

وقال مصدر مسئول في اللجنة التنظيمية للمؤتمر الطبي إن الشيخ الزنداني سيتناول في محاضرته هذه آخر مستجدات اختراعه الدوائي للقضاء على فيروس الإيدز وسيتطرق للشهادات التي منحت لاختراعه من مراكز علمية وطبية عالمية, إلى جانب أنه سيستمع إلى أسئلة واستفسارات الأطباء والصيادلة المشاركين في المؤتمر الطبي والمعرض السادس للأدوية اللذان يحتضنهما مركز اكسبو صنعاء

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Mueller Gives Saleh FBI Pep-Talk

April 9, 2008


Blah Blah Blah… Is this a high-level bid for Elbaneh, or just a goodwill visit? Can’t help but compare Muller’s indication that:

“the strong, united and stable Yemen serves security and stability of the region and the world, expressing admiration of Yemen’s advance in democracy and development.”

To the letter from President Bush delivered by Fran Townsend that stressing that:

 “Yemen’s security, stability and unity a significant element for serving stability in the region, renewing his country’s confirmation on maintaining the support for Yemen’s security and unity as well as its progress in democracy and development…”


 I’m not hating on Muller, I’m not even convinced that this standard script is even coming from U.S. officials…it is the state news agency after all. I’m just playing irony police.


President Saleh meets FBI director


SANA’A, April 09 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh met on Wednesday Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Muller.

Mutual cooperation relations and joint cooperation ties between Yemen and the United States of America, especially combating terrorism, were discussed.

Muller hailed the existing partnership between the two countries, confirming the US support for Yemen’s efforts in combating terrorism fields.

He indicated that the strong, united and stable Yemen serves security and stability of the region and the world, expressing admiration of Yemen’s advance in democracy and developmental fields.

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