The “assailant” was dressed in an army uniform. Maybe he was in the army. Can the Yemenis be sure there are no “Islamic extremists” in their army? They cannot. “Suicide bomber kills up to 112 in Sana, Yemen,” by Zaid al-Alayaa and Jeffrey Fleishman for the Los Angeles Times, May 22:
SANA, Yemen “” A suicide bomber targeted soldiers rehearsing Monday for a military parade here, killing as many as 112 people and signaling that Islamic extremists may be shifting their focus to Yemen’s capital after weeks of intense battles in outlying provinces with U.S.-backed government forces.
Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia claimed responsibility for the bombing in retaliation for American-assisted government offensives against its strongholds in southern Yemen. Unnerved by increasedU.S. military and drone strikes, the militants struck directly at the heart of the new and fragile government of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
The attack, in which at least 300 people were injured, was the bloodiest in the capital in years and came a day after gunmen fired on a car carrying three U.S. civilian contractors training the Yemeni coast guard in the Red Sea port of Hudaydah. The Pentagon said the trio suffered minor injuries….
The attack on Sana revealed how easily militants can maneuver and exploit the nation’s turmoil. Officials said an assailant dressed in an army uniform detonated a concealed bomb while troops drilled for a national holiday parade scheduled for Tuesday. Bodies and rifles were scattered across Sabin Square and four city hospitals were overwhelmed with the dead and wounded….
A statement posted on an Al Qaeda website said Yemeni officials had been “turned into mercenaries” carrying out U.S. and Western policies. It added: “We will get revenge…. What happened in Sana is only the beginning.”…
The bombing came days after Yemeni forces launched major operations against militants linked to Ansar al Sharia and the group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Authorities said 19 soldiers and 33 militants were killed in weekend clashes in the south. Earlier this month, a U.S. drone strike killed Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Quso, an Al Qaeda operative believed to have plotted the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors.
The militants had promised on their website to retaliate, calling their strategy a “flowing river” that will sweep across the impoverished country. Much of the Al Qaeda affiliate’s focus has been in the south, including Abyan province, where police stations have been overrun, officials assassinated and towns seized. The tactics have frustrated Yemen’s underpaid, ill-equipped army, which has been manipulated by political forces.
Islamic militants have rattled the government since Hadi’s inauguration day in February, when a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, mostly soldiers, at a presidential palace. Washington fears increased efforts by Yemeni extremists to attack U.S. targets similar to the failed plots in 2009 and this month to blow up airliners over Western skies….