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Al Qaeda Call for Islamic State in Southern Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sana’a, Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Al Qaeda has called for Islamic rule in Yemen and vowed to retaliate for what it called the killing of civilians in clashes between police and locals in the south where secessionist sentiment is strong.

In a recording posted on an Islamist website on Wednesday the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, Nasser Al Wahayshi AKA Abu Basir announced the movement’s support for “the people of Southern Yemen” in their struggle [for secession] from President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime.

In the recording Al Wahayshi said “The time for the rule of Islam has come so that you can bask in the justice and tolerance that it brings” adding “The injustice that befell you – God willing – will not go unpunished. The killing of Muslims in the streets is a great crime that has no justification.”

Earlier this month Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on the people of Yemen to hold a dialogue to maintain national unity following a week of clashes in the south between the police and locals. Saleh took power in the former Yemen Arab Republic [North Yemen] in 1978, and has been President of the Republic of Yemen since unification in 1990. Al Saleh has backed US action to crack down on Al Qaeda following the September 11 attacks, and has described the southern rebels as being “ignorant forces of darkness who [have] adopted deviant terrorist and racist ideas.”

In the internet recording posted on Wednesday Al Wahayshi said “as far as we are concerned Ali Abdullah Saleh is an infidel…and today he is using all forms of oppression under the pretext of preserving unity.”

Salah Al-Shanfara, President of the southern “Success Movement” which has become known as a peaceful movement announced his rejection of this [violent] position. Al-Shanfara informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “we have no links to Al Qaeda and we do not accept any such talk or position.”

In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the Yemeni Foreign Minister, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi revealed that the calls for separation in the South is being driven by those [negatively] affected by unification in 1994. Al Qirbi has described Yemeni unification as a positive move in strengthening the security and stability of the region.

Mohamed Al Aydurus, a member of the ruling General People’s Congress party in Yemen informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “what is currently taking place [in southern Yemen] is being carried out by mercenary elements outside of the law.”

Sheik Tareq al-Fadhli, a leading tribal and Jihadist figure in Yemen recently raised eyebrows by joining the Southern Mobility movement. He described what is currently taking place in Southern Yemen as a “case of a people being occupied and their wealth confiscated.” As for his previous jihadist activities, al-Fadhli said that “this is an issue that is over 20-years old and in the past. Today we live on our own land; we have no ties to Afghanistan. Anybody that wishes to make accusations of terrorism [against me], let them make it officially and I am ready to make an appearance [and face this].”