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ali abdullah saleh
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Yemen’s President Returns, Saudis Are Relieved
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Yemen’s President Returns, Saudis Are Relieved

After months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to his own country. While some nations around the world were shocked to learn of the move, the Saudis were aware and relieved that it has occurred. In addition, it was Saudi Arabia that helped to arrange some of the travel plans for Saleh.

Saudi Arabia flew Saleh to the city of Aden via jet. He later boarded a helicopter in the dark of night and traveled to the capital city, Santaa, where the presidential palace is located. Both the airport and the land route to Santaa are not secure or under Yemen’s government control at this point. The Saudi Arabian officials have expressed their concern that a civil war in Yemen could spill over the border between the two nations.

Saleh is believed to be the one person who might be able to avert looming civil war in Yemen and put the country back on track. He is also believed to be one of the few people in Yemen that can actually turn up the heat on the al Qaeda terror network that has been amassing new members in Yemen, including new recruits from neighboring Saudi Arabia. The terrorists are currently strong in two of Yemen’s eastern provinces as well as parts of the southern regions.

One of al Qaeda’s top leaders, the US born and raised, Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a CIA missle attack, using a drone to target a vehicle that he was traveling in. Two others were killed in that attack as well. Several Human Rights groups as well as some of the American politicians are questioning the act, asking whether it was legal to kill Awlaki that way. Ron Paul, one of the most vocal of the critics has asked whether Awlaki should have been brought to the United States and put on trial through the US courts.

al Awlaki is believed to have been the mastermind behind several terrorist acts including a fatal shooting that happened at Fort Hood as well as a failed attempt to bring down an airliner heading to Detroit Metro airport. Ron Paul expressed his outrage and criticized President Obama over the killing, saying that as an American citizen, al Awlaki should have been given a trial. He also cautioned the American people not to stand for a president that would just deem someone a “bad” guy and then have them killed. Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director has called the action a violation of both US and international law. President Obama defended the action and called it a “major blow to the al Qaeda network.”

US Rep. Peter King, NY, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said that the strike was not only legal, but a necessary step to bring down the terror network which has been in the process of rebuilding its ranks in recent years. al Awlaki was one of the groups most successful recruiters, worldwide, relying heavily on his knowledge of technology as well as his ability to speak English.


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