A lire le long article de Reuters sur le mini-Etat al-Qaïdesque qui se bâtit dans le sud du Yémen dans le sillage de la guerre menée par l’Arabie saoudite contre les Houthis et les partisans de Saleh.
L’article détaille les ressources financières sur lesquelles AQPA - vous savez, ce groupe censé être responsable des attentats à Charlie... - a pu mettre la main et sa stratégie d’implantation locale pour gagner la bataille des cœurs et des esprits.
How Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger – and richer
One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes at the local port.
Morceaux choisis mais tout est intéressant :
Once driven to near irrelevance by the rise of Islamic State abroad and security crackdowns at home, al Qaeda in Yemen now openly rules a mini-state with a war chest swollen by an estimated $100 million in looted bank deposits and revenue from running the country’s third largest port. [...]
The economic empire was described by more than a dozen diplomats, Yemeni security officials, tribal leaders and residents of Mukalla. Its emergence is the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.
Yemeni government officials and local traders estimated the group, as well as seizing the bank deposits, has extorted $1.4 million from the national oil company and earns up to $2 million every day in taxes on goods and fuel coming into the port.
AQAP boasts 1,000 fighters in Mukalla alone, controls 600 km (373 miles) of coastline and is ingratiating itself with southern Yemenis, who have felt marginalised by the country’s northern elite for years.
Pour les amateurs d’humour, la déclaration de l’ambassade saoudienne :
In a recent statement issued by the Saudi embassy in Washington, Saudi officials said that their campaign had “denied terrorists a safe haven in Yemen.”
Comment AQAP a fait concrètement pour profiter de la guerre des Saoudiens :
Barely a week after Saudi Arabia launched “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Houthis in March last year, Yemeni army forces vanished from Mukalla’s streets and moved westward to combat zones, security officials and residents said.
The city’s residents were left defenceless, allowing a few dozen AQAP fighters to seize government buildings and free 150 of their comrades from the central jail. The freed included Khaled Batarfi, a senior al Qaeda leader. Pictures appeared online of Batarfi sitting inside the local presidential palace, looking happy and in control as he held a telephone to his ear.
Tribal leaders in neighbouring provinces told Reuters that, in the security vacuum, army bases were looted and Yemen’s south became awash with advanced weaponry. C4 explosive and even anti-aircraft missiles were available to the highest bidder.
Et, enfin, un constat rassurant :
And just as Islamic State seized the central bank in Mosul in northern Iraq, AQAP looted Mukalla’s central bank branch, netting an estimated $100 million, according to two senior Yemeni security officials.
“That represents their biggest financial gain to date,” one of the officials said. “That’s enough to fund them at the level they had been operating for at least another 10 years.”
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