Its like the same day, over and over, again and again. During the last war, Saleh released several convicted terrorists from jail on the condition that they go to fight in Sa’ada, but some ran away instead. Among the most repetitive reports since 2005 regarding the Sa’ada War and al Qaeda have been those of hardened terrorists training the tribal militias. Some foreign al-Qaeda always managed to show up for the prior Sa’ada wars to fight on behalf of the state. Mercenaries is a more apt term. This time they started congregating before the war even broke out. Saleh whistled apparently.
The article mentions the discovery of the terror training camp during the international search for the missing foreigners in June, but omits that the camp was actually an “abandoned” military facility. The surprising thing was that they only discovered one. If you want to find terrorists training in Yemen, start looking by at the military camps. Multi-tasking we can call it, perhaps sub-letting.
The question has always been, what is the quid pro quo? Beyond the obvious transit of jihaddis of all nationalities from Yemen to Iraq, the money laundering, criminal facilitiation and the free flow of goods and services to Somalia, what else is al Qaeda getting?
On a less controversial note and previously discussed in context of the southern protests, the internationalization of any conflict in Yemen under the banner of jihad poses the serious threat in drawing foreign fighters considering the Yemeni environment is so hospitable. However the Yemeni government is the one defining the conflict(s) in terms of apostasy and providing the hospitable environment. And this war, this time, everything is bigger.