Suspected Al Qaeda members sit behind bars at the state security court in Sanaa, Yemen, on Tuesday. The court sentenced seven alleged Al Qaeda men to jail terms ranging from five to ten years over plots to carry out bombing attacks against Western tourists in the country.
Muslim women raise their arms upon seeing a relic of Prophet Mohammed during Meeraj-un-Nabi celebrations at Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, Indian-Administered Kashmir, in June 2013.
Washington has promised to increase development assistance to Yemen to about $63 million this year, but that's dwarfed by Saudi Arabia's pledge of $1.25 billion for its poor, unstable neighbor.
The Nigerian who allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner reportedly trained in Yemen with Al Qaeda, but the regional offshoot of Al Qaeda appears to have no ties with rebels and secessionists challenging Yemen’s central government.
Ahmed al-Misri, a prominent member of President Saleh’s ruling party, says he doesn’t have enough weapons, soldiers, or aerial support to target Al Qaeda militants in his Abyan province.
The clerics' promise to wage jihad if the US boosts its military presence was an indirect message from President Saleh's government, said a senior Yemeni analyst. The clerics also noted positively a US effort to dampen fears of deeper military intervention.
Yemen forces killed an Al Qaeda cell leader in a firefight Tuesday night and pursued two dozen other militants in Shabwa Province. For the moment, the calculation of the Yemen government is to proactively challenge Al Qaeda – militarily and with aid.
Security forces said they killed Yemen Al Qaeda chief Abdullah Mehdar in a gunfight late Tuesday.
President Obama and the Pentagon have ruled out US troops in Yemen. The US will have to rely on civilian aid – which has been ineffective in Iraq and Afghanistan – to undermine Al Qaeda.
Iman University, a Sunni religious school in Yemen, educated US Taliban member John Walker Lindh and gave a teaching post to militant American preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. The school denied rumors that it hosted "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, but concern over its militant ties are growing.