Written By: Observer Staff
Article Date: Jan 8, 2013 - 7:24:08 PM
Ali Al Ahmadi,Chief of Yemen’s National Security Agency (NSA). © Barakish.net
The chief of Yemen’s National Security Agency (NSA) said that cooperation with the U.S. government in the use of U.S. drones will continue until Al-Qaeda is over.
In a press conference held on 8 January, General Ali Al Ahmadi said that the counter-terrorism program with the United States will continue as long as Al Qaeda continues to operate in Yemen.
When asked by a reporter why the government is allowing U.S. drone attacks in Yemen, Al Ahmadi said, “If we are rid of terrorism, we would not want to see a single plane or any help from any country.” But Al Ahmadi said that this cooperation was part of the international coalition against Al Qaeda that Yemen has been a part of since 2001.
Al Ahmadi said that relations between Yemen and Iran have never been cut, despite Iran’s backing for some parties in Yemen, but it is time that Iran restores relations on a proper basis with the state of Yemen, instead of dealing with factions within the country.
Relations with Iran have been in the spotlight in Yemen. Iranian ambassador to Yemen Mahmoud Hassan Ali Zada had said on January 7 that there were “parties that seek to spoil our relationship and Yemen should be aware of what is going on”. President Hadi had accused Iran of running an espionage network in Yemen, which Iran had denied.
Al Ahmadi said that Iran supported the Houthis on both official and ideological levels. “While Iran has not sent weapons to Yemen, they have sent money as well as moral support.” Al Ahmadi said, “The seven wars were absurd and many Yemenis were killed. For over a thousand years, Shafii and Zaydi lived in peace. I would say that the right path now is for the Houthis to put down their weapons and to engage in the National Dialogue.”
Commenting on media reports of illegal arrests by the NSA in 2011, Al Ahmadi said “If there are mistakes made, they do not reflect the NSA policy.” He denied that the NSA operated special prisons. “Whenever we arrest people for interrogation, we send them immediately to the Political Security Organization for detention and we make sure that the detainee’s family is informed” Al Ahmadi said, adding that currently, the NSA has 25 suspects in PSO detention, some of whom have been referred to the prosecution.
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