UPDATED: Recommended Read: Al-Qaida in Yemen: Poverty, corruption and an army of jihadis willing to fight

Posted on August 22, 2010

Map of Yemen, Saudi Arabia being north of it

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The UK Guardian has part one of a two-part special report on al-Qaeda in Yemen which I highly recommend.  The author spent 2 months in the country interviewing government officials, tribesmen and jihadis themselves.   

The upshot is that the Yemeni government is quickly losing control in the south of the country which has become a hub for al-Qaeda.  One of the more eye-opening quotes is at  the end of the article: 

At Faisal’s house, I asked him what he thought of the government’s attempt to crack down on al-Qaida. 

“Don’t believe the government when they say we are fighting the jihadis,” he said. “The government gives them money, the government negotiates with them, the government uses them to fight its enemies, and then they tell the Americans give us money so we can fight al-Qaida.” 

He closed his eyes and sighed. “It’s a comedy,” he said. 

Part 2, which comes out tomorrow is said to “follow the trail” of the radical American cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.  Click on the link in the first sentence to read the entire article. 

UPDATE: Part 2 of the article is here: Shabwa: Blood feuds and hospitality in al-Qaida’s Yemen outpost