Al-Eman University strengthens security [Archives:2004/725/Front Page]

April 1 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The al-Eman University run by Sheikh Abdulmajeed Al-Zindani has started taking precautions against penetration by CIA agents, media reports said.
Reports said that the university administration decided to stop all peddlers coming to the university to sell their products to students in the university campus, abolishing all licenses that they obtained previously. This decision was made as a result of the press statement of US Ambassador Edmund Hull last week that US is worried about the suspicious activities of the university in promoting extremism in the country.
The university decision has been reported to have been taken as a response to suspicion that the US might use those peddlers in intelligence work inside the university.
Hull told al-Nahar Weekly last Thursday that the US is concerned about the suspicious activities of al-Eman university in promoting fanaticism inside Yemen, pointing out that adding the name of al-Zindani to the US list of suspected people supporting terrorism was based on accurate information on the activities of al-Zindani in financing terrorist organizations. He said that a dialogue between Yemen and the US in this respect is going on. He denied that there are other Yemeni clerics on the wanted list at the moment.
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It was reported that the university campus was crowded with peddlers and that some of them showed interest in studying at the university on a part time basis despite the fact that the enrollment at the university is very difficult.
Yemen Times learnt that the university administration and al-Zindani fans started collecting signatures in support of al-Zindani against the US allegations concerning supporting and funding terrorism. The sources said that they intend to present these signatures to the Yemeni Government to stop any potential extradition of the man to the US.
The US already said that adding the name of al-Zindani to the list does not mean a “request for extradition” at the moment.
The university, which was set up in 1995, has already closed one of its gates to the west, lengthened the wall of the university in some parts and has built a more secure gate to the north. Security measures are already there and even visitors should leave their mobiles if they are to enter the university offices.
Thousands of Yemeni and foreign students are enrolled at the university which receives financial assistance from some Arab and Muslim charitable organizations. Reports said that the university was able to collect around $18 million. Yet, it was reported that such funds went down after the US announcement on adding the name of al-Zindani to the list of suspected supporters of al-Qaeda and terrorism.
Al-Zindani refuted allegations concerning the university and said it is operating according to the Yemeni Constitution and laws. He even said that President Ali Abdullah Saleh laid the foundation stone of the university and defended it several times. However, the university was closed down temporarily after the September 11, 2001 terrorist operations in the US in fear of any potential US strike against the university as Yemen was put as target number 2 after Afghanistan at that time.