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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05SANAA917
2005-04-12 13:16:00
SECRET
Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES TERRORIST THREAT, SAADA WITH

Tags:   PREL  PTER  MASS  YM  COUNTER  TERRORISM  DOMESTIC  POLITICS 
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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 000917 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2015
TAGS: PREL PTER MASS YM COUNTER TERRORISM DOMESTIC POLITICS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES TERRORIST THREAT, SAADA WITH
FM QIRBI

Classified By: Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski for reasons 1.5 b and d.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 000917

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2015
TAGS: PREL PTER MASS YM COUNTER TERRORISM DOMESTIC POLITICS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES TERRORIST THREAT, SAADA WITH
FM QIRBI

Classified By: Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski for reasons 1.5 b and d.


1. (C) Summary. Ambassador and Foreign Minister Qirbi met on
April 9 to discuss the current threat environment for
Americans in Sanaa as well as the situation in Saada.
Following up on Ambassador's meeting with President Saleh
earlier the same day, the FM listed needed USG assistance in
combating the renewed al-Houthi insurgency in the northern
Saada region. End Summary.

--------------
Ansar as-Sunna Threat
--------------


2. (S) Qirbi asked Ambassador for his assessment of terrorist
activities in the region. Ambassador said there were many
regional concerns, but that he was specifically concerned
about the Jihadist pipeline along with the return home of
Yemeni Jihadists from Iraq. Yemenis are coming back with new
operational experience, he said, and they are looking for
targets and establishing new cells. "They are being
arrested and interrogated upon their return, Yes?" asked
Qirbi. Not all of them, Ambassador replied. Qirbi inquired
on the quality of Political Security Organization (PSO) and
National Security Board (NSB), cooperation on the Ansar
al-Sunna threat. Ambassador told FM that the we enjoy a
good, cooperative relationship with both NSB and MOI, and
that on the most urgent issue wrapping up the Kanaan cell,
the PSO was being very responsive as well. Although we are
indeed concerned with spread of Saada-related violence to
Sanaa, the current high alert and Authorized Departure
status, explained Ambassador was related to the very
dangerous and specific threat raised by Kanaan (Note: Saada
related grenade attacks on military leaders in downtown Sanaa
covered septel. End Note).

--------------
How Did He get Here?
--------------


3. (S) "How did Kanaan get back here?" Qirbi asked
Ambassador, "where was the failure?" Ambassador pointed to
problems in Yemen border security and the lack of
coordination between countries in the region. He noted that
in his journey back to Yemen from Iraq, Kanaan raised the
attention of both Jordanian and Saudi security services, but
had managed to allude them. Better coordination between
regional players, suggested Ambassador, was required.
Document integrity is another problem, continued Ambassador.
(Note: To improve the situation, Post has proposed USG
assistance to MOI border guard forces and MOI CT
investigators, as well as advocated for greater information
sharing and security assistance to Yemen from its Gulf
neighbors. End Note).

--------------
We Need USG Support and Assistance in Saada
--------------


4. (S) Qirbi asked Ambassador for staunch USG support for the
ROYG-side of the al-Houthi battle. On the political level,
Qirbi said, "there is no doubt" that the Believing Youth are
a terrorist organization -- "they used terrorist tactics and
they have outside financial support (re: Iran and Lebanese
Hisbollah)." Qirbi said that although al-Houthi's movement
started as a Zaidi, Yemeni sect, it had evolved into a more
militant organization and Shia unrest could expand to Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. (Comment: while the Believing
Youth may indeed have outside links, this is not the first
time that Qirbi has show traditional Gulf mistrust of
Shiites. End Comment).


5. (S) Turning to military needs, the FM reiterated Saleh's
request for U.S. military and logistical support for ROYG
forces fighting in Saada, namely M113 APCs and HMWWVS.
Ambassador assured Qirbi we would do all we could to could to
speed up delivery of equipment, but, in the meantime stood
ready to assist the ROYG more immediately should we receive a
request for intelligence sharing. Qirbi thanked Ambassador
and stressed the need for the USG to stengthen military and
political support for the ROYG in this fight quickly, before
"others take advantage of the fact that our security forces
are overstretched in Saada." Qirbi also asked for U.S.
terrorist-financing assistance to isolate the source and stop
the flow of funds to al-Houthi followers from abroad.
Ambassador mentioned ongoing USG efforts to provide training
for the CSF-CTU, as well as the presence of a U.S. military
advisor located in the CSF operations center.

--------------
Qirbi Visit to Washington?
--------------


6. (C) On the FM's intentions to visit Washington in the
Spring, Qirbi said he would prefer to wait until a decision
was made on Saleh's potential visit to the White House next
Fall before preceding with plans for his own trip.
Krajeski