Talks With Al Qaeeda Strained
We have a MAJOR problem. Talks between us and Al Qaeeda have virtually broken down completely as they don't trust us anymore. They insist that Anas al-Hamati, our office manager in Yemen, has "stolen" the ransom money that the SA Govt brought to give them. It is for that reason that they sent the picture of the bomb belt emphasising that Anas is a legitimate target because he "stole" their money. We reiterated repeatedly that our government does not pay ransom. They said we lying. They said no government sends a high level minister to a country where their citizen is taken hostage, makes a big announcement in the media that they negotiating and then don't bring any ransom money. They say all governments say in the media they don't pay but do so under the table.
The head from the Yemeni President's office summoned Anas for a personal one on one meeting,stating that he and the President compliment Anas on the great achievement in freeing Yolande, but now should take the bomb threat very seriously. They recommend him leaving Sana'a to go to one of the safer provinces or leave the country for a period of time. Arrangements are already in place to pull Anas and his family out of Yemen.
An Iranian diplomat held as hostage was executed yesterday. His head was found in Marweh Province. In spite of this new challenge we still have 2 weeks to find alternatives.