‘Al-Qaida in Yemen’: The market at Jaa…

‘Al-Qaida in Yemen’:

The market at Jaar, a small city in Abyan province in southern Yemen, is on a filthy, dusty road strewn with garbage, plastic bottles, cans and rotten food. Plastic bags fly on the hot wind and feral dogs sniff around the vegetable stalls. Minibuses and donkey carts jostle for space on the crowded street.

Standing in the middle of the chaos is one of the jihadi gunmen for whom the town has become famous. Thin, short, with a well-groomed beard and shoulder-length hair, he is dressed in the Afghan style: shalwar kameez, camouflage vest and an old Kalashnikov. He is either a bandit imposing a protection racket on the merchants or a rebel protecting them from the corrupt regime – and most probably a bit of both.

Note the following quote:

“I agree with George Bush in one thing,” he said, pulling at his beard. “He gave us a really accurate wisdom: you are either with us or against us, you are either with Islam or with the crusaders. I tell the Muslim clerics in the whole world you are either with the flag of the mujahideen and God is great or you are with the flag of the cross … there is no other option.”