Foreign Policy Blogs

FBI Investigates the Attack against President Saleh

The Following piece is written by a Yemeni-based journalist who writes for the Foreign Policy Blogs network and, due to serious security concerns, remains anonymous.

About a week ago, President Saleh was the victim of an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded within the Presidential compound. As a result of his injuries, Ali Abdullah Saleh was flown to Saudi Arabi, where he underwent a grueling surgery to remove shrapnel from his chest. Although the President is said to be out of the Intensive Care Unit, his health status is clouded by conflicted reports.

The Yemeni government has now asked the US to assist its forensic team by sending FBI agents into the country. A Yemeni official revealed under cover of anonymity that the FBI had arrived on Wednesday and was immediately lead inside the Presidential Palace. The government is keeping an extremely tight lid on the whole operation, especially since reports came out of the US conducting airstrikes in the southern part of Yemen.

Where analysts see another proof of the ties uniting the US and Yemen; Yemenis see further signs of American interferences in their country’s internal affairs.

American Aid

Despite having criticized the Yemeni government over its violent and often bloody crackdown on peaceful protesters, the US is still showing willingness to support its long standing ally in the region.

It seems that the fear of al-Qaeda is taking precedent over the calls for Democracy and Freedom. Very much like in Bahrain, President Obama is quick to overlook the many crimes of his autocratic friends, to better further his country’s short term interests.

A Yemeni official said that the FBI investigation was expected to end next week. “They are concerned about how the attack was carried out. Everyone is a suspect.”


If at first the government pointed its fingers at Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar for he was the most obvious enemy of the Yemeni Regime. Only a few days before the attack, Sheikh Sadeeq publicly announced that he would make “Ali leave Yemen barefoot”, he added that he and his brothers would not rest before the Dictator was ousted.

The Sheikh however denied all responsibility in the attack.

Later, those close to the Regime pointed out that the President’s brother, Ali Mohamed al-Ahmar whose son had been murdered by Saleh a few years ago, could be another potential suspect.

It now seems that the FBI is leaning towards al-Qaeda, saying that the terrorists would be behind the attack rather than someone within the President’s inner circle.

However, given that analysts reported that the blast came from within the Mosque and not from a missile as claimed by the government; it screams inside job.

The Presidential Palace is extremely well-guarded and no weapons of any kind are allowed inside. A senior official said that even mobile phones were left at the door…

Placing an explosive inside the Presidential Mosque could only be done by vey high up government officials, Ahmed Saleh, the President’s son, Ali Mohamed al-Ahmar, the President’s half-brother and Tarek Saleh the President’s nephew and Head of his Private Guards.