As fighting continues between Saudi Arabia and Northern Yemen radicals Obama;s announcement he will repatriate terrorist from Gitmo to Yemen is puzzling. Saudi Arabia finds another Iranian link to the Shi’ite revolt that stemmed from neighboring Yemen.
Saudi security sources said troops have found
· Iranian money in suspected strongholds of the Believing Youth. The sources said Border Guard units found Iranian money
· Yemen Army uniforms and weapons in suspected safe houses of the Shi’ite rebels in Jizan.
“We found lots of weapons and Iranian money, and this is very unusual,” a Saudi security source said.
The sources said the Believing Youth was sending agents deep into Saudi Arabia during the Shi’ite war. They said some the Shi’ites were seeking to establish strongholds in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the Shi’ite-populated Eastern Province.
This was the first time Saudi Arabia reported a link between the Believing Youth and Iran. Yemeni leaders have often accused Teheran of financing the revolt.
Both Saudi Arabia and Yemen have reported significant gains in the war against the Believing Youth. Saudi Arabia was said to have maintained a blockade of the northern Yemeni border while Sanaa has sent forces to capture the northern provincial capital of Saada. The blockade includes a sophisticated and costly security fence.
The Saudi sources said two weapons smuggling boats operated by the Believing Youth were destroyed by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces on Dec. 7. The sources said Saudi frigates and helicopters pursued the rebel boats when they exploded, presumably from the munitions on board.
The “Believing Youth” are followers of Sheik al-Houti, a Zaidi religious leader, who was killed in 2004 and largely responsible for and headed the armed group. The group opposes the United States and Israel and Saudi Arabia’s relations with the USA.
North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued.
Yemen has long had a reputation of lawlessness and militancy.