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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/29/10

Yemen and Afghanistan : How to defeat al-Qaeda ?

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The recent terrorist failed attempt by the Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab to blow up a Detroit-bound plane has brought Yemen in the heart of the US politics. Jus a week before the incident, if you ask an average American what is Yemen, he probably will say : is it a kind of food or sport ?

Why Afghanistan and Why Yemen ? Why these 2 countries became home-like for al-Qaeda terror organization ? Bin Laden, when he was kicked out of Saudi Arabia and stripped out of his Saudi nationality ( originally he is from South Yemen ) in the early 90s, he escaped to Sudan, but could not survive there . Why he survived in Afghanistan and Yemen ?

Both Afghanistan and Yemen are poor Muslim countries. Both are mountainous. Both populations are extremely tribal. Both populations addicted to narcotics, Afghan to heroin and Yemeni to a semi-narcotic plant called Gat. Both population heavily armed ( it is said in Yemen there are 3 pieces of arms per person ). Both with very low education. Both central governments are weak and corrupt.

The most fertile recruitment ground for terror orgnizationsis land where young people have no future and have nothing to lose if they join a terrorist organization. The battle with al-Qaeda will never be won militarily. This is a battle of hearts and ideas. If the ideology of al-Qaeda is defeated, then it will dissolve like salt in water.

I believe the solution is 2-fold. One in the the Muslim leaders and scholars hands. The other in the US government hand. I do mean it. This is not to spread the responsibility or make it a shared one.

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