Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jamal al-Badawi: Al Qaeda Leader, Cole Conspirator, and Free Man

Jamal al-Badawi is in the news now.

He's the Al Qaeda leader I wrote about yesterday in "Jamal Badawi Blew Up USS Cole, Yemen Released Him."

Al-Badawi has been convicted of helping plan the attack on the USS Cole, seven years ago. News programs announced his release earlier today. Now, at least one news outlet has published an AP story, "Yemen Frees Al Qaeda Mastermind of USS Cole Bombing." That article fills in a few more details:
  • October 2000: Attack on USS Cole kills 17 American sailors
  • April 2003: Jamal al-Badawi and nine other people suspected of involvement in the Cole attack
  • 2004: Jamal al-Badawi escapes, this time with 22 others, mostly Al Qaeda fighters
  • July 2007: eight Spanish tourists, visiting an ancient Yemeni temple, killed in a suicide attack - After this, President Saleh has said that his government and Al Qaeda have a truce
  • October 11, 2007: Jamal al-Badawi turns himself in, swears loyalty to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is released, and Yemeni police are ordered to "stop all previous orders concerning measures adopted against al-Badawi."
  • October 27, 2007: Jamal al-Badawi receives well-wishers at his home
That last point isn't certain, but in case anyone's in the neighborhood and wants to say 'hi' to a terrorist, al-Badawi's home is in the al-Buraika district in Aden.

Yemen's being the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden may or may not have anything to do with al-Badawi's release.

Acceptance of the many ways that cultures have of running themselves is a good idea. However, in this case I think the release of al-Badawi smells of good old-fashioned graft: which has its own rules, like 'an honest politician is one who, when bought, stays bought.'

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.