Terrorism and political marketing [Archives:2005/860/Viewpoint]

July 18 2005

The Editorial Board
Now that the terrorists' trail in Sana'a has been postponed because the Judge has taken his annual “vacation”, the case is on halt. Nevertheless, it seems that judiciary vacations have taken a political trend off late. In Yemen, the judicial system takes leave for the month of Ramadan every year, however, it seems that “taking leave” for judges has been related to other occasions or needs. For example journalists and human rights activists have complained for long because of the unnecessary delay and elongation of al-Khaiwani's trial early this year. Followers of the trail were shocked when it was announced that the Judge suddenly went on leave to Mecca to perform Omra (visit to the holy places). As if he had nothing much to attend to, forgetting that a critical human rights case with international dimensions was on stake. Nevertheless this is just an opinion and perhaps this deduction is wrong. Consequently, now that the current terrorists' trail is on halt as well, which triggers questions whether there are further implications to the timing, especially that it is not usual for judges to take their annual leave this time of year.

Yemen as a country has been adamant in fighting terrorism and eliminating terrorist groups. Most of these attempts have been promoted internationally and the Yemeni government has clearly stated its position in the “war against terrorism” movement, naturally on the United States of America's side. Simultaneously, Yemen as a government also has a number of demands in this regards from the supreme power of the world or as known in this context “the strategic ally”, these demands include release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo and pressure to surrender Sheikh Mohammed al-Muaid who is accused of terrorism and remains in USA custody currently.

Moreover, the terrorists' trail that was supposed to be going on these days in Sana'a was over shadowed by the London bombing and would not have received the publicity the Yemeni government would have liked. Therefore, probably the decision to delay this issue until the international attention to Yemen's efforts in fighting terrorism is secured and once again Yemen's firm stance in fighting terrorism is highlighted. Why not? Especially that the Yemeni government has seriously taken extreme measures and went to great lengths in controlling and eliminating al-Qaida cells in Yemen. This was announced by Prime Minister Bajamal when he declared that “Yemen has been able to control al-Qaida organisation in Yemen”, with the exception of Sa'ada crises which was not appreciated internationally as a part of the anti-terrorism efforts.

Nevertheless, these are only speculations and the truth awaits the return of the judge from his vacation to be unveiled.