Combatting extremism in Yemen
Asharq al-Awsat reports that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salih has formed a council of senior Muslim clergymen to preach to Yemen’s youth, especially returnees from Afghanistan, about the dangers of religious extremism. They will conduct open discussion and dialogue sessions, both voluntary and with extremists in prison. Non-government sources estimate that hundreds of young Yemenis are in prison on charges of belonging to al-Qaida or to Yemen’s al-Jihad al-Islami. The latter organization, founded in 1992 by returnees from the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, consists of about 200 individuals and has run terrorist training camps in Yemen’s mountainous regions.
Yemen is cooperating with the FBI and the US military in chasing down al-Qaida elements in that country.