The Obama administration dismissed warnings about a potential uprising in Yemen from friends and foes of Al Aqaeda alike, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
'Hamid al-Ahmar, a wealthy Yemeni businessman, warned an unnamed U.S. embassy official in August 2009 that a massive movement to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh would erupt unless the ruler guaranteed free and fair parliamentary elections due in 2011.'
Various leaders in the Middle East also warned the Obama administration about the situation in Yemen, but the motivation behind these warnings varied, depending on who had issued the warning.
Hamid al-Ahmar is a member of Yemen's Islamic Party, Islah [Al Islah]. U.S. officials reportedly view the Islah Party as a dangerous force, with links to al-Qaeda Yemen's Muslim Brotherhood runs the political apparatus of Al Islah.
A prominent spiritual leader of the Islah party, Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Dept. as a terrorist. Al-Zindani’s ties to al-Qaeda include recruitment and weapons procurement. According to the Treasury Dept., al-Zindani has a"long history of working with bin Laden, notably serving as one of his spiritual leaders."
Sadeq al-Ahmar, a Sunni religious scholar, is also among the party's leaders. Hamid al-Ahmar, the aforementioned wealthy Yemeni businessman, is Sadeq's younger brother. Thus, it goes without saying that, Mr. Ahmar, in warning U.S. officials about a potential uprising in Yemen, was essentially seeking to prod the Obama administration to push President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power, so that a more radical government could assume the reigns of power - which would clearly be a boon for Al Qaeda and its ally, the Al-Islah Party.
In October 2009, Qatar's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, reportedly told US Ambassador Joseph LeBaron that his nation was "frightened" by what could happen in Yemen. Al-Thani is a major financial backer of the Qatar based Al Jazeera network. Al Jazeera has been fueling some of the current uprisings. However, the Al Qaeda sympathizer network, for the most part, has remained conspicuously silent in the face of the violent government crackdowns in Iran.
Thus, al-Thani's warning to the U.S. ambassador in '09, like Hamid al-Ahmar's warning, was clearly an attempt to cajole President Obama to push President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.
On the flip side, Saudi Arabia and Oman, who also warned U.S. officials about the situation in Yemen, were, no doubt, hoping that President Obama would act quickly to bolster the Yemeni President and subsequently, to prevent the extremist elements from taking over the reigns of power. While it is true that President Ali Abdullah Saleh has not confronted Al Qaeda to the full extent necessary, he has, nevertheless, taken them on.
But apparently, the White House did not feel a sense of urgency to heed the aforementioned warnings..
It should also be noted that while the administration initially supported President Saleh, it has since changed its tune, and is now supporting the opposition...
Osama is beaming......