Will September 11 negative impacts on Yemenis make the upcoming period intense? [Archives:2002/39/Focus]

September 23 2002

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A year has passed since the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. have taken place. Such attacks are bloodcurdling and horrible acts. Different countries have been negatively affected by such acts, locally and internationally.
Such attacks have not been experienced in the US history. The US reaction has been very strong and as a result it has sought to launch anti-terrorism war against countries that are thought be harboring terrorism. Fears and doubts on the part of the Arab and Islamic states have accompanied this war. Bin Laden, the main suspect as the mastermind of the attacks, has been only taken as a cover to launch war against Islam. While at the same time we find that Bin Laden has been also celebrating the elapse one year since the attacks have been carried out.
Few days ago, in a televised documentary film screened by Aljazeera TV. channel, we have learned that the US and Pakistani officials have already named one of the arrested men as Ramzi Binalshibah, a key al-Qaeda operative member thought to have played a leading role in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. It is said that Ramzi is of a Yemeni origin and that he was suspected of having links with al-Qaeda along with other 8 Yemenis. Hence, the number of Yemeni suspects of having links with al-Qaeda has been increasing considerably which in turn has negatively affected Yemen and Yemenis in and outside their country.
Some 8 to 25 Yemeni nationals were inside the twin towers of the World Trade Center when the September 11 attacks took place. The material loss has been estimated at USD 15 million. In addition to this, more than 51 Yemenis have been killed or murdered as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Yemen suspected of harboring terrorist elements
The negative impact on Yemenis abroad as a result of the September 11 attacks has not been the end of the road. Regardless of interrogating and questioning them at airports and border outlets, the Yemeni authorities have adopted strict measures against suspects to having links with al-Qaeda elements. It has cooperated with the US to track down terrorist elements.
Internal crises as a result of September 11 attacks
Human rights organizations studies have indicated that the number of detainees as a result of the September 11 attacks has reached 140. Around 27 Yemenis have been suspected of having links with al-Qaeda elements. In addition to this, Yemenis have been exposed to inhuman acts and harassment in different countries of the world, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and the detainees in Guantanamo, where the number of the Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo base has reached 80 people.
In addition to this, capitals of some Yemenis have been frozen due to the September 11 attacks. But the question, which poses itself, will Yemenis and Yemen face a lot of troubles particularly after the USS Cole bombing incidents and the September 11 attacks?
Yemen is really in a very critical situation specifically, as we are approaching a crucial stage, that is, the upcoming parliamentary elections due in April in 2003. Let’s wait and see!