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YemenOnline >> Politics

Yemen presidentís US snub Ďaimed for Salafistsí


Sana’a: Yemen president’s pledge to stand by a cleric suspected of funding terrorists would not have any impact on the country’s relations with the US since the US has not officially requested Yemen to extradite him, analysts said.

Yemen’s official news agency reported on Monday that Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi vowed to support Abd Al Wahhab Mohammad Humaiqani, the secretary general of Rashad Party, who was accused by the US of funnelling money to terrorist organisations in Yemen. Hadi said that Yemen would not handover the cleric or any other citizens to the US.

The agency also said that Yemen sent a formal letter to the US government asking for the rationale behind terrorism charges against Humaiqani.

But Humaiqani told Gulf News that the media distorted Hadi’s statement.


“President Hadi gave a promise to my supporters that he would personally raise the issue with the Americans and would demand that they substantiate their claims.”

Abdul Salam Mohammad, the director of the Sana’a-based Abaad Studies & Research Centre said that Hadi was sending a message to the Salafists, not the Americans, when he said that the he would not deport the cleric to the US.

“Hadi was sending massages of reassurance to the Salafists that he would stand by the Yemeni cleric against the US charges. Hadi fears that if he did not reassure the Salafists, who recently joined the political process, they may become more radicalised and join armed groups.”

He added: “Some political Salafists are discontent with Hadi’s handling of the conflict in Sa’ada between them and the Al Houthis. They think that Hadi did not do anything to stop the war.”

Mohammad said that the US has made a mistake when they listed the cleric before informing the Yemeni government.

“They know that Yemen is going through a critical moment and cannot withstand more problems.”

Sami No’man, a political analyst, said that the US had similarly not asked Yemen to extradite Abdul Majeed Al Zindani when they put him on the same list in 2004.

“Yemen has never handed over any citizen to the US. Even when the US accused the Yemeni journalist Abdul Elah Hider Shaea of having ties with Al Qaida, the then government tried him in Yemen and threw him in a Yemeni jail.”

No’man said that Hadi cannot turn his back on the US at least for the time being.

“The state is too weak. Religious and tribal conflicts are everywhere and the economy is struggling. Yemen cannot confront the serious Al Qaida threat on its own. Hadi also needs the US to mount pressure on disobedient political parties.”

Khaled Abdul Hadi, a freelance journalist, agreed that the US-Yemen ties will not be affected by the argument about terrorism charges against the cleric.

But Abdul Hadi said that Humaiqani made a mistake when said that some of his political rivals misled the Americans by giving them false information about him.

“The Americans are not so naïve to take information from people by face value.”

Last month, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Humaiqani and the Qatari head of a Geneva-based human rights organisation, Abdul Rahman Bin Umair Al Nuaimi, claiming that the two friends used their positions as heads of charities to finance terrorist organisations linked to Al Qaida.


Photo: Abd Al Wahhab Mohammad Humaiqani (YemenOnline)

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