Remember the attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen last month that took the lives of eighteen people? A group calling themselves "Islamic Jihad" claimed responsibility for the blast. It has a nice, scary ring to it hasn't it? "Islamic Jihad" also happens to be the name of a group that operates out of Gaza.
"Islamic Jihad" pointedly mentioned its affiliation with al Qaeda after claiming responsibility for the September 17 U.S. embassy bombing:
"We, the Organisation of Islamic Jihad, belonging to the Al-Qaeda network, repeat our demand of (Yemeni President) Ali Abdullah Saleh to free our detained brothers within 48 hours," said a statement signed by self-proclaimed leader Abu Ghaith al-Yamani.
Former agent for French military intelligence Pierre-Henry Bunel has this to say about 'al Qaeda':
"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the 'TV watcher' to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism..."
Well now the Yemeni authorities have arrested a group of these al Qaeda-backed militants with, surprise surprise, links to Israeli intelligence.
From BBC News:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said the security forces have arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to Israeli intelligence.
Mr Saleh did not say what evidence had been found to show the group's links with Israel, a regional enemy of Yemen.
The arrests were connected with an attack on the US embassy in Sanaa last month which killed at least 18 people, official sources were quoted saying.
Israel's foreign ministry has rejected the accusation as "totally ridiculous".
"A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services," Mr Saleh told a gathering at al-Mukalla University in Hadramawt province.
"Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings," he added.
The 17 September attack was the second to target the US embassy since April. Militants detonated car bombs before firing rockets at the heavily fortified building.
Mr Saleh did not identify the suspects, but official sources were quoted saying it was same cell - led by a militant called Abu al-Ghaith al-Yamani - whose arrest was announced a week after the attack.
An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said the Yemeni president's statement was without foundation.
"To believe that Israel would create Islamist cells in Yemen is really far-fetched. This is yet another victory for the proponents of conspiracy theories," Igal Palmor said in remarks reported by AFP.
And from the Yemen Observer:
President Saleh revealed on Monday that security forces in Yemen caught an espionage network for Israel made up of Arab nationals. This announcement came during his speech in front of MP's, Shura Council members, local council members, scholars and military and security leaders at Hadhramout University.
According to the president the suspected spies will be brought before the courts shortly in a public trial after investigations are complete.
The network was comprised of 40 people from different Arab nationalities spying for Mossad, the Israeli international intelligence said sources from National and Political Security Units. The members of the espionage network entered Yemen on the premise of conducting business, tourism and even for preaching in mosques. Saleh said that the suspected spies form a terrorism cell that uses also Islam to reach their targets.Members were arrested individually and found to be in possession of detailed maps for sensitive security sites, intelligence telecommunication units and advanced tracking devices.
And from another Oct 8 news report:
Dubai, Oct 8 (IANS) A terrorist cell busted in Yemen last month after a suicide attack on the US embassy there had links with an Israeli intelligence agency, the state-run Saba news agency reported.The report, quoting an unnamed source, said investigations and data retrieved from a computer seized from the cell, showed there was correspondence between the Islamic Jihad group’s deputy leader Bassam Abdullah Fadhel Al-Haidari and an Israeli intelligence agency.
Saba quoted the source as saying that the correspondence between the two sides included a request from the Israeli side to implement terrorist attacks inside Yemen.