Yemenis, part of Iraqi resistance [Archives:2003/642/Front Page]

June 19 2003

Yemen Times Staff
Sanaa, 14 June – US intelligence officials have verified on Friday reports that Yemeni fighters are part of an organized Iraqi resistance force currently engaging US forces.
US officials confirmed that some of the combatants resisting US occupation forces came from Yemen, and a number of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and others.
This was mentioned in a US report released one day after the US military launched air strikes on what it said was a “terrorist training” camp near Baghdad. US Central Command said that about 70 fighters -possibly including Yemenis- were killed in the attack.
This also comes in a time the US is admitting of the existence of “organized resistance” in Iraq by so called “Saddam Hussein loyalists”, who engaged in “pure political sabotage” and spreading rumors that the toppled president is poised for a comeback, Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator in postwar Iraq said on Thursday,
It was also revealed that numbers of Arab fighters are still entering Iraq to fight the American-British coalition forces, possibly causing delay in achieving stability in the country and providing civil services to the public.
According to American sources, “the presence of Yemenis and Saudis in Iraq may indicate links to Al Qaeda, which draws heavily from a population of Muslim extremists in both countries.”
This comes as the US Central Command announced on Friday morning that it had captured 74 Al Qaeda sympathizers in a raid near Kirkuk City in a possible attempt to link those fighters to Al Qaeda. But Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, commander of the coalition joint task force, quickly backed off that assertion in a briefing, saying there was no way of knowing whether the fighters were associated with Al Qaeda.
Yemeni fighters had flown to Iraq many months ago when calls for Jihad were made by Islamic scholars and sheikhs throughout the Islamic world. Many Islamic figures in Yemen had then called for Jihad in Iraq including Sheikh Abdulmajeed Al-Zindani, a prominent Islamic scholar respected widely in Yemen and the Islamic world.