Potential Hot Spots: April 1, 2005


Yemen has escalated its war against Islamic radicals. For the last four days, Yemeni troops have fought Islamic radicals in northern Yemen. There have been nearly a hundred casualties, and the army has brought in artillery to pound the brick compounds some of the rebels are holding out in. The Islamic radicals belong to the "Believing Youth" organization, an Islamist group associated with the late Hussein al-Houthi, a young radical who was killed earlier this month. Yemen had long tolerated Islamic radical groups, including al Qaeda. But this policy of tolerance has not been reciprocated. The Islamic radicals became more and more unruly and violent. Fearing that the Islamic radicals might become strong enough to mount a serious rebellion, the government has been jumping on the more aggressive groups.  In addition, the government has been cooperating with Saudi Arabia, which it has not been done much in the past. The two countries now exchange information on Islamic radicals, as well as captured terrorists. Large extended families and clans along the border have kin on both side of the ill defined border, and have never paid much attention to the border anyway. This has led to smuggling, which has upset Saudi Arabia, which is attracting all manner of forbidden goods (booze, drugs and porn). The Saudis consider these forbidden pleasures as a form of terrorism.


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