NYR | U.S. officials suspect that Yemen fed them false intelligence for a 2010 strike against al-Qaeda suspects that killed a local leader, Jabir Shabwani locked in a dispute with the president's family, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The disclosure of such an incident would complicate relations between the two allies at a time when Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is seeking to v...isit the United States amid months of popular protests demanding his ouster.
May 25, 2010 US missile strike, launched on intelligence supplied by the Yemeni government, killed Jabir Shabwani, 31, deputy governor of the central Mareb province, whose long-standing relations with Saleh’s family had soured.
“We think we got played,” the Journal quoted an official as saying, adding that other officials do not believe there was a Yemeni plan to kill Shabwani.
If true, though, the allegation would represent one of the most serious lapses in the Obama administration's counterterrorism campaign, casting a spotlight on years of behind-the-scenes tensions between the U.S. and the Yemeni president, according to the Journal.
Yemen's government arranged to send Mr. Shabwani on a mission to meet informally with al Qaeda members in Mareb in a bid to convince them to renounce the terror organization, said Mr. Shabwani's father, Sheik Ali Shabwani. Such negotiations were viewed with suspicion by U.S. officials, who feared Mr. Saleh would cut deals with, rather than fight, al Qaeda militants.
he current and former U.S. military officials said they didn't have knowledge of such a mission. They had, however, been receiving intelligence from Mr. Saleh's government of an impending meeting in the area of suspected al Qaeda leaders.
Meanwhile, Saeed Obeid al-Jahami, experts in Qeada affairs, said that the former Yemeni government has not dealt with terrorist cases seriously and this is the fact US is aware of.
At an interview with "Yemen Fox", Jahami said "former Yemeni government provided US with misleading intelligence to make US believe that Yemen has achieved progress in the field of war against terrorism".
"The fact is that Yemeni government and its security apparatus were not serious generally in fighting Qeada, for this reason they had no enough intelligence of terrorist group to provide US."
"Yemeni government has exploited terrorism to blackmail western countries," he said. Jahami expected that, in the near future, several fallacies will be revealed about victories the Yemeni Government has claimed to achieve in the field of fighting terrorism.
"Such misleading intelligence affirm that the former regime was unserious in dealing with Qeada issue."
About whether Yemeni government provided US with false intelligence in order to eliminate political rival, he said "it is possible, since Jabir al- Shabwani was serious in his mission to negotiate with some terror elements, which would have foiled government unserious policy in dealing with terrorism." #Yemen #yf