Yemenis mourn Saif’s death [Archives:2005/899/Local News]

December 1 2005

SANA'A, Nov.28)A large number of Yemeni people attended last Wednesday the funeral of the Yemeni Islamic Scholar Omar Ahmad Saif, deceased at 78 years of age. The deceased devoted most of his time to jihad and the Islamic call in different parts of the Muslim world. He is known to be included in the most wanted list created by the United States of America for being linked to al-Qaida. He was related to Usama bin Ladin and was considered one of Bin Ladin's close acquaintances.

Late Omar Ahmad Saif was born on Oct. 16- 1927 in Haifan District- Taiz and during his life he was a member of the Yemeni Ulama'a Society. He participated in leading Yemeni youth who had participated in the Jihad in Afghanistan against the former USSR along side with Shiekh al-Zindani.

Omar Ahmad Saif was the Preacher of the Great Mosque in Sana'a in the reign of Yemen's late President Abdullah Al-Sallal. He was a member of the first al-Shoura Council, representing Taiz during President Abdulrahman al-Eriani's rule. He was imprisoned during al-Eriani's rule because of conflicts with the former president and released later in the reign of President Ibrahim al-Hamdi.

After Yemen's Re-unification, Saif was elected an MP for the city of Hodeida and joined the People's General Congress Party. Then he was appointed as the spiritual religious leader of the Party.

Omar Ahmad Saif was one of the prominent figures including Sheikh Abdulmajid al-Zindani, who opposed to the Statute of the Re-unification State, which they believed is of a secular nature. He moved from Sana'a to al-Jawf calling people to object to the constitution where he lead what was known as the million protesters demonstration in protest against the united Yemen's proposed constitution.