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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03SANAA1194 2003-05-29 10:27:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

SCENESETTER FOR FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER'S VISIT TO

Tags:   PREL PTER KCRM YM COUNTER TERRORISM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001194 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

FBI FOR DIRECTOR MUELLER FROM AMBASSADOR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2013
TAGS: PREL PTER KCRM YM COUNTER TERRORISM
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER'S VISIT TO
YEMEN

REF: A. SANAA 1078

B. SANAA 1077

C. SANAA 1066

Classified By: Ambassador Edmund J. Hull, for Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).

------------
Introduction
------------



1. (S/NF) The Ambassador has briefed President Saleh on your
visit. Saleh wishes to meet with you and welcomes the
establishment of a LEGATT office in Sanaa. As noted in the
2002 Patterns of Global Terrorism Report, ROYG has provided
"excellent cooperation with the U.S." Your visit could
hardly be better timed. Having just mounted successful
parliamentary elections and weathered the anxieties generated
by the war in Iraq, Saleh and his newly formed government are
in an upbeat mood as they formulate their agenda for the next
two years. CT cooperation with the USG figures prominently
in that agenda. Pushing for sustained Yemeni efforts to
re-capture Cole suspects and enlisting Saleh's personal
support for the LEGATT office should be two primary
objectives of this visit.



2. (S/NF) Yemen Minister of Interior (MOI) Alimi also looks
forward to meeting with you during your visit. Alimi has
plans for expanding MOI's CT capabilities and has requested
the FBI's cooperation and assistance. The other key
interlocutor for you here will be General Ghaleb Gamish, head
of the Political Security Organization (PSO -- Yemen's
intelligence service). Both should be included in your
meeting or luncheon with Saleh.



--------------------------


OVERVIEW


--------------------------





3. (C) U.S. relations with Yemen, the poorest and most
populous nation on the Arabian Peninsula, have improved
steadily in recent years. Yemen has made commendable
progress in political and economic reform, and internal
security.



4. (C) Since unification in 1990, Yemen has taken numerous
steps to broaden political participation. Yemen was the
first country on the Arabian Peninsula to have universal
suffrage and the first to have direct presidential elections.
Yemen held remarkably peaceful and orderly parliamentary
elections on April 27, and a new cabinet has been appointed.
The agenda for the new government, which will focus on
economic development and security, should be released in
early June.



--------------------------


JIBLA TRIAL


--------------------------





5. (C) The trial of Abed Abdulrazak Kamel, confessed
murderer of three American citizens in Jibla on December 30,
2002, concluded on May 7. Kamel was sentenced to death on
May 10. Reports indicate that he intends to appeal. The
investigation phase of the trial was marked by excellent FBI
support and U.S.-Yemen cooperation, including joint crime
scene investigations. FBI and ROYG officials conducted joint
interviews with Kamel and all of the witnesses.



--------------------------


USS COLE


--------------------------





6. (S/NF) On April 11, ten prisoners, including four
individuals implicated in the attack against the USS Cole,
escaped from a high-security prison facility in Aden.
Following the escape the local PSO Chief and the prison
guards in Aden were questioned, roadblocks were set up, and
photos of the escapees were carried by major newspapers.



7. (S/NF) The re-arrest of the escapees is a matter of the
highest priority. President Saleh has assured the Ambassador
that the ten will be re-captured. A reward of up to 10
million riyals (USD 54,645) has been offered for information
leading to their arrest.



8. (S/NF) Nevertheless, we need to urge continued Yemeni
efforts or this campaign will flag. Moreover, if they are
recaptured, Saleh will almost certainly move to try Quso and
Bedawi quickly. He believes the delay in their trail, at
U.S. behest, kept them alive and in less secure confinement.



--------------------------


COUNTERTERRORISM


--------------------------





9. (S/NF) The ROYG has been effective in disrupting
terrorist activities inside Yemen, and taken steps to monitor
extremist elements. The ROYG is also responsive and
effective in providing security for Embassy personnel. It
looks to the U.S. for training and financial assistance in
accomplishing these tasks.



10. (S/NF) The ROYG has conducted CT operations throughout
Yemen to capture key al-Qaida operatives, and has cracked
down on religious institutions implicated in breeding
extremism, including Dar al-Hadith institute in Marib and
Al-Iman University in Sanaa, resulting in the expulsion of
foreign students. Yemen is also monitoring its ports of
entry for entrants from Iraq and Afghanistan. ROYG has
provided excellent support to Embassy security, and
intelligence sharing has improved. The Yemenis have also
been supportive of our requests for action against terrorist
financing sources in Yemen, but this is a field in which
bilateral cooperation has been limited.



--------------------------


IRAQ


--------------------------





11. (S/NF) A member of the UN Security Council at the time
of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Yemen allied itself with
Iraq and voted against the UN resolution authorizing the use
of force in Iraq during the Gulf War. Yemen suffered
greatly. It was marginalized by its Arab neighbors and over
a million Yemenis working in Gulf states were sent home.
U.S. support for Yemen re-unification after the 1994 civil
war provided an opening for improved relations, and the ROYG
responded. Yemen has since issued statements consistent with
those of the Arab mainstream -- lamenting the suffering of
the Iraqi people and opposing long-term U.S. occupation of
Iraq -- but stopped short of denouncing the U.S. Saleh's
desire to protect relations with the U.S. and the lingering
economic impact and isolation caused by the ROYG's foreign
policy after the first Gulf War notably softened its
opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom.



--------------------------


REGIONAL ISSUES


--------------------------





12. (C) Yemen has actively attempted to repair damage to
its relations with other Gulf states caused by its support
for Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. Yemen has re-established
relations with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and the border
dispute with Oman has been resolved. Yemen has also settled
the dispute with Eritrea over the Hanish Islands (although
fishing disputes remain a bilateral irritant), and reached a
border agreement with Saudi Arabia.



--------------------------


U.S. ASSISTANCE


--------------------------





13. (S/NF) The USG continues to help Yemen develop its CT
capabilities. U.S. Marines are currently training Yemeni
security forces in Hodeidah, Sanaa, and Marib; support for
Yemen's economic and political development continues; and
USAID will re-open in June.



--------------------------


THE EMBASSY


--------------------------





14. (C) Sanaa is no longer on authorized departure,
although minor dependents are not permitted at post. Embassy
security continues to benefit from ROYG cooperation augmented
by structural improvements and personal protective measures.

HULL