Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yemen slow to pursue al-Awlaki.

It would seem the U.S. just expects every country to immediately go along with what the U.S. wants, in this case killing or capturing al-Awlaki. Yemen for its part has plenty of problems of its own and is certainly not anxious to stir up another hornet's nest and face the wrath of al-Awlaki's tribe. Saleh the president of Yemen is a survivor and is not going to jump when the U.S. commands if it means likely assassination. This is from AsiaTimes.

Yemen dithers as US hunts to kill
By Oliver Holmes

SANA'A - Yemen is dithering as the United States intensifies its anti-terrorism campaign by authorizing the killing of radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki. In an act of defiance, the Yemeni government initially refused to hunt Awlaki, saying it would not take action until intelligence from the US proved he was a terrorist.

Last week, the Yemeni government appeared to have reversed its decision. Yemen's Defense Ministry said on Thursday that Awlaki was being pursued for alleged links to al-Qaeda, a move that could stir trouble in the South Arabian state.

Indecisiveness from Sana'a exemplifies the delicate balance the Yemeni government has to maintain. On one side, Sana'a is being



pressured by the international community to step up efforts against al-Qaeda; on the other, President Ali Abdullah Saleh wants to appease tribal leaders and a nation weary of foreign interference by proving he is not a puppet of the West. Yemenis warn of potential dangers if Sana'a were to cooperate with the Americans in a lethal strike against Awlaki, whom many see as a preacher rather than a terrorist.

"Killing Awlaki will create huge anti-American sentiment in Yemen," Hasan Abdul Warith, a prominent Yemeni columnist and widely respected intellectual, told Asia Times Online in a telephone interview. "Yemeni people will never accept such policies," he added. "Even if I understand [US President Barack] Obama's decision, as an Arab I feel that the decision is a sign of American arrogance."

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