Al Badawi Given House Arrest – Why?

No surprise here, other than the muted criticism by the U.S. administration…Some headlines have said the U.S. is outraged at the decision, but I have yet to see such outrage publicly. Where’s George, where’s Condi – Hell, as I pointed out Fran Townsend WAS JUST THERE! Instead this act didn’t even warrant condemnation by someone in the government with a name in most articles – for the record, officially it was NSC Press Secretary Gordon Johndroe and a Justice Department statement. Other officials have expressed anger off the record, and notable observers such as former USS Cole Cmdr Kirk Lippold have condemned it. The most angered response seems to have come from Rudy who is asking for Yemen to gets its aid pulled. 

Regarding the Townsend visit, Yemeni sources are revealing that the letter from Bush demanded al Badawi’s turnover to the US. This is rather comical actually – of course the US wants him, but they’re dreaming if they think that Saleh is in any position to extradite. He has plenty of problems at home now, and to be viewed as putting one more Yemeni in Guantanamo would not be a smooth move – even if it is al Badawi. Instead of turning him over, they release him – ha! 

There is something going on here, however – everything just doesn’t add up (unless you are willing to believe that Saleh is actively trying to help known terrorist and undermine the security and financial stability of his own country…which I am not ready to do yet) and something is definitely afoot.

Al-Tagheir alludes to accusations that Saleh is settling accounts with extremists to counter the southern separatist threat…Armies of Liberation has something on this theory too. Sadly, this is a real possibility, as historically extremist Jihadi types have been used in the past by the government against its enemies – most recently in the Sa’dah conflict. Making peace with Abyan jihadis would give the regime a hardcore ally in the south…but at what cost? 

Its been reported that al Badawi personally “pledged his loyalty” to Saleh. How is Yemen going to remain a US “partner” in the war on terror, when its president has the loyalty of a known terrorist?  Of course, perhaps Saleh is banking on the Bush administration’s historic apathy on the whole Cole issue…but I don’t think they can slip this one by. This is the worst scenario for what is going on.

The best case scenario as I see it, is along the lines of what I surmised earlier – that al Badawi may be working with the govt. and turning over other terrorist elements within Yemen, as evidenced by other recent captures. If the theory out there about AQ-Yemen is true – that there is a split between the Afghan generation and the Iraq generation – al Badawi is a throwback to the older, largely wrapped up cell. As such, Yemen might view his threat potential as minimal and be willing to trade with him for good intel – especially if he provides them with info on the next generation of AQ-Yemen. Even so, you would think that the government would be able to extract intel from him whether incarcerated or not…its not like they don’t have ways of making him talk.

USS Cole plotter freed by Yemen 

Badawi escaped from jail in 2006 but handed himself in recently
A Yemeni man convicted of plotting and taking part in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 is to be freed from jail.

Jamal al-Badawi will be kept under effective house arrest after pledging allegiance to Yemen’s president.

Badawi was sentenced to death in 2004 for his role in the bombing, but escaped from jail early in 2006. He handed himself in two weeks ago.

The US, which lost 17 sailors in the attack on the Cole, has criticised the decision not to send him back to jail.

A spokesman for the US National Security Council described Yemen’s move as “deeply disappointing”.

“This action is inconsistent with a deepening of our bilateral counter-terrorism co-operation. We have communicated our displeasure to Yemeni officials,” he said.

Wanted

No details of Badawi’s release from jail were made public.

However, one unnamed official told Reuters news agency that Badawi would remain “under close scrutiny and control of the security forces”.

Although he was condemned to death in 2004, that sentence had previously been reduced to 15 years in prison.

In 2006 Badawi was among a group of 22 prisoners, including many suspected al-Qaeda figures, who escaped from a jail in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

He turned himself in about two weeks ago, but remains wanted in the US, which has put a $5m bounty on him.

BBC News

التغيير ـ خاص : نفت مصادر رسمية مطلعة لـ ” التغيير ” أن يكون المتهم الرئيس في تفجير المدمرة الأميركية كول جمال البدوي أطلق سراحه كما تناقلت بعض وسائل الإعلام الدولية. واتصل ” التغيير ” بقيادات بارزة في الأجهزة الأمنية اليمنية بشأن الموضوع لكنها نفت علمها بالأمر مطلقا . وقالت المصادر إن البدوي لم يكن معتقلا أصلا كي يفرج

عنه . وكان البدوي ضمن 23 شخصا فروا العام الماضي من معتقل للأمن السياسي في صنعاء وقتل بعضهم في رمضان الماضي منهم فواز الربيعي ومحمد الديلمي وآخرين .. وكانت قالت مصادر صحيفة الجمعة إن الإرهابي المطلوب لليمن والولايات المتحدة جمال البدوي جرى الإفراج عنه من احد السجون اليمنية بعد أن سلم نفسه في السادس عشر من الشهر الجاري للسلطات كما أكدت مصادر رسمية يمنية
وذكرت وكالة أنباء (د.ب.أ) أن مسئولي الأمن في صنعاء قالوا أمس الجمعة أن السلطات اليمنية أفرجت عن متشدد من تنظيم القاعدة أدين بتدبير تفجير المدمرة الأمريكية “يو.إس.إس.كول” قبالة سواحل اليمن عام 2000
وقال المسؤولون الذين رفضوا الكشف عن هويتهم إن جمال محمد البدوي وهو الرجل الثاني الذي يدان في الهجوم على المدمرة الأمريكية أفرج عنه في ميناء عدن جنوبي البلاد. يذكر أن الهجوم أسفر عن مقتل 17 بحارا أمريكيا وإصابة 32 آخرين
وكان البدوي ضمن 23 عنصرا بالقاعدة فروا من سجن شديد الحراسة تابع للمخابرات في صنعاء في فبراير عام  2006 بينما كان يقضي حكما بالسجن لمدة 15 عاما أصدرته إحدى محاكم أمن الدولة في عام 2005
وكانت فرانسيس تاونسند ، مساعدة الرئيس الأميركي جورج بوش زارت اليمن بعد أيام على إعلان تسليم البدوي لنفسه ( في الثاني والعشرين من الشهر ) وأجرت مباحثات مع الرئيس صالح في عدن ويقال إن المسؤولة الأميركية حملت خلال زيارتها لليمن رسالة إلى القيادة اليمنية تطالب بتسلم البدوي
وتأتي هذه الأنباء المتضاربة في وقت تشير فيه المصادر إلى مخاوف من أن تحاول بعض مراكز الحكم والقوى في اليمن استغلال البدوي أو غيره من المتطرفين من القاعدة في تصفية الحسابات الداخلية على خلفية التطورات الجارية في المحافظات الجنوبية

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