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UN adds AQAP to consolidated terrorist list under UNSCR 1267
MISSOULA, Jan. 21 (Al-Masakin)—Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, announced, during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the United Nations has moved to list al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its leaders on the consolidated list of terrorist suspects under UNSCR 1267.
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“This will require all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against these entities,” Mr. Benjamin testified.
In January 2009, the leader of al-Qaedain Yemen (AQY), Nasir al-Wahishi, announced that Yemeni and Saudi al-Qaeda operatives would work together under the banner of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
U.S. to mitigate AQAP threat with economic and military aid
Daniel Benjamin and Jeffrey D. Feltman, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jan. 20 recommended a two pronged strategy to check the rise of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Secretary Feltman urged the United States Senate to move to prevent “state failure,” in Yemen.
“Our two-pronged strategy is to build up the Yemeni capacity to deal with the security threats within their borders, and also to develop government capacity to deliver
basic services and economic growth,” Mr. Benjamin told the Senate Committee.
“Excluding for the moment 1206 and 1207 counter-terrorism funding, U.S. development and security assistance have increased in Yemen from $17.2 million in FY2008, to $40.3 million in FY2009. Although final determinations have yet to be made, total FY 2010 assistance may be as much as $63 million,” Secretary Feltman said on Wednesday.
Aid has been primarily employed by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
At the Nov. 2006 meeting in London in November 2006, the international community pledged $5.2 billion for Yemen.
A significant portion of those funds has not yet been provided due to a lack of confidence the Yemeni government.
The United Kingdom will convene a ministerial meeting on Yemen in London January 27.
In 1992, Al-Qaeda militants attacked a hotel in Aden where American military personnel were staying, en route to Somalia to support the UN mission. Two individuals were killed.
In the 1990s, a series of major conspiracies were based in Yemen. Following the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, the American Embassy in Yemen was attacked in 2008.
For the last five years, these terrorists have carried out multiple attacks against Yemenis, Americans, and citizens of other countries.
Evidence of the December 25 conspiracy indicates that AQAP has become capable of carrying out strikes against the United States and allies outside of the Arabian Peninsula, including on the U.S. homeland.
Many radicals have fled Saudi Arabia for Yemen and have joined other fighters who have returned from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A group of senior Al-Qaeda leaders escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006, strengthening Al-Qaeda’s presence.
Departments of State and Defense have been providing training and assistance to Yemen’s key counterterrorism units. Through Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Assistance (DS/ATA) programs training has been to security forces in the Ministry of Interior, including the Yemeni Coast Guard and the Central Security Force’s Counterterrorism Unit (CTU).
Future training may include border control management, crime scene investigation, fraudulent document recognition, surveillance detection, crisis management and a comprehensive airport security and screening consultation.
“We also see additional opportunities now to increase our training and capacity-building programs for Yemeni law enforcement,” Feltman said.
The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism are working with the Department of Defense to use 1206 funds for counterterrorism assistance to Yemen.
Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 established a new program that gives the Department of Defense (DOD) the authority to spend up to $200 million of its own appropriations to train and equip foreign militaries to undertake counterterrorism or stability operations.
State Department / EHC
Al-Masakin News Agency