Al-Qaeda puts hard conditions to cease operations [Archives:2003/671/Front Page]

September 25 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Al-Qaeda organization branch in Yemen stipulated some major conditions to end up its military operations against foreign interests in Yemen, including the withdrawal of Yemen from the international coalition of the war on terrorism, stop hunting down for suspected al-Qaeda militants as well releasing their fellow colleagues in jails. It also puts the condition that Yemen should not permit any foreign military forces to come to Yemen and that it should also terminate its military cooperation with the US. Another condition is that the Yemeni government should not in any way extradite any Muslim citizen of any nationality to another country and that Quranic and other religious schools as well as charitable societies should not be put into trouble by the state. It also dictates there must be a control on the institutions of moral and ethical perversion and that foreigners coming into the country should be informed to abide by the laws, morality and traditions of the community.
In a press statement of which Yemen Times got a copy, al-Qaeda said “in a response to the call of President's Ali Abdullah Saleh to repent and cease all acts against foreign interests, we are ready to accept the offer honestly and fairly.”
According to the statement, al-Qaeda stipulates for dialogue and negotiation with the government that one hundred persons of clerics, tribal Sheikhs, political and social dignitaries should be witness on such a move and agreement between the two sides. The statement strongly denied information on agreement between some of al-Qaeda militants in jail and the clerics committee set by president to convince prisoners to give up their extremist and fanatic attitudes and views. It described such information circulated by state media as “lies and nonsense talk that aim to tarnish the image of al-Qaeda in Yemen,” pointing out in a cynical manner that political regime in Yemen as trying to shrug off its shoulders, showing itself as victorious in the war on and being able to extend its experience in this regard to foreign countries, resisted the influence and interventions of the Americans in the internal and mainly more sensitive affairs posted by their embassy and ambassador in Sana'a. It clearly said that al-Qaeda has never conducted contacts or dialogues with the committee. The statement said these conditions are directed to the president in person and if the government abides by them and to avoid embroiling the country into the turmoil of turbulence and accordingly more losses and insecurity and instability, there will be an end to targeting foreign interests in the country. It warned against fallback on the part of the government to fulfill the minutes of the agreement or even falsity.
In addition, the statement stressed that this move is not at all a signal of setback or fallback to go on the right path but al-Qeada has taken “this strategic decision after deep study and to achieve legal goals represented by the conditions.” At the same time, it praised the stands of the president, describing him as the only Arab and Muslim leader who is not an agent for the West or the East but it reminds him that he should not be misled by his “bad cronies and coward clerics.”
The statement has recalled the attacks on the US, highly praising Osama Bin Laden and his fellow guys from many countries including Yemen who faced “the enemy” and were able to put down the US which, according to the statement was planning to do what it is doing now.
In his comment on the statement and conditions, Judge Hamoud al-Hitar, head of the committee conducting dialogues with extremists, said that some of these conditions can not be negotiated at all, mainly those calling for the withdrawal of Yemen from international coalition fighting terrorism and extradition of citizens in accordance with international treaties. He said that nothing has been done with regards to these conditions some of which, according to al-Hitar, are negotiable.