Alsahwa Net- The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS), a local thin-tank based in Sana’a, accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of providing untrue information to the United States of America on terrorism in Yemen.
The SCSS published in October a long report which was written by Gregory Johnsen, an American prominent expert on armed groups in Yemen and former member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Panel of Experts on Yemen.
Johnsen who detailed how the UAE attempted to falsify the UN on Yemeni individuals to label them as terrorists, presented a case of one Islah party member who was eventually sanctioned by the USA as an “AQAP leading member” based on reports sent by Abu Dhabi to Washington.
This case drew the conclusion that that the USA must be cautious on how it defines terrorists in Yemen, according to Johnsen.
He explained that Washington has to ensure that it distinguishes between the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other Islamist groups.
He suggested that the USA will find itself in a war that can never be won when including other Islamists groups within the definition of terrorism.
“AQAP is a terrorist organization; Islah is not,” wrote Johnsen.
Johnsen reported that the USA received misled information from the UAE about members of the Islah Party that Abu Dhabi labels them as AQAP terrorists.
He explained that the USA added Khaled al-Aradah, in May 2017 to its terror-list
When he was a member of the armed groups expert on the Yemen Panel of Experts for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“For months, the UAE had been sending our panel files of Islah figures in Yemen, claiming they were members of AQAP and urging us to investigate and nominate those individuals for UN sanctions,” wrote Johnsen.
He added “Each time I investigated one of these individuals, what I found was not a member of AQAP, but rather an Islah figure in Yemen that the UAE didn’t like.”
Following the US sanctioning against Al-Aradah, Johnsen reinvestigated available evidence and found nothing that would suggest Al-Aradah was a senior member of AQAP or that he ran an AQAP camp, according to Johnsen.
“In fact, the evidence I did find – photographs of him with Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and with Saudi military officials in Marib – strongly suggested that he was an Islah figure who ran a militia camp in support of President Hadi’s government,” Johnsen wrote.
“Subsequent interviews in Marib also point to the fact that Al-Aradah, who many describe as Al-Ahmar’s “right-hand man in Marib” is a member of Islah but not necessarily AQAP,” Johnsen said.
“For the UAE, that distinction does not matter, but for the United States it should,” concluded Johnsen.