Yemen: Al-Qaeda, Western-made group
(PRESS TV) Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar has sharply criticized the West for linking al-Qaeda to his country, accusing Western powers of having helped create the terrorist group.
“Al-Qaeda is mainly a Western-made group,” Yemen’s Saba news agency quoted Mujawar as telling ambassadors of Asian and African countries to Yemen on Saturday.
The militant group “was not created in Yemen at all as it is being alleged by those who propagate this perception internationally about Yemen,” he added.
Mujawar’s comments hinted at America’s funding of fighters in Afghanistan who were resisting Soviet occupation back in the 1980s.
The United States has stepped up pressure on Sana’a for what it calls al-Qaeda’s use of Yemeni soil as a safe haven for terrorist operations against Washington.
The US and its European allies have announced a decision to crack down on the US-termed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) after Washington said it had foiled an alleged plot to send bombs in freight packages to Chicago.
The Yemeni premier also called on the international community to support his government’s efforts to fight terrorism.
“Yemen has launched an early warning of the danger of terrorism on the international security even before the September 11 events, but unfortunately we did not find response to these warnings,” he said.
Mujawer also pledged that Yemen would continue its efforts to counter terrorism despite the high cost of human and economic losses, warning that poverty and unemployment are significant factors that intensify extremism, whether in Yemen or in any other country.
The concept of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was introduced by US officials who alleged a bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound Christmas Day flight in 2009.
US Air Force fighter jets and drones were later reported to engage in military operations in central and southern provinces of Yemen, allegedly targeting militant hideouts. Dozens of civilians were killed in the attacks, according to local officials and residents.