Warnings of Jihad if US Troops sent to Yemen
Washington Post"If any foreign country insists on aggression and the invasion of the country or interference, in a military or security way, Muslim sons are duty bound to carry out jihad and fight the aggressors," the clerics said in a statement.
Today in Yemen, a group of prominent Muslim clerics warned that if US troops are sent to fight Al Quada in Yemen, they will declare a jihad, or holy war.
The group is comprised of 15 clergymen and includes the highly influential Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani.
He has been courted by the Yemen government, and the United States views him as one of the leading spiritual backers of terrorist organizer Osama bin Laden.
Thus far, Obama says he will not be sending troops to Yemen to fight alQuada forces there, although the anti-terrorism force has been increased.
The clerics' warning goes straight to the Yemeni government's dilemma in cooperating with Washington against an al-Qaida offshoot in the country. In doing so, Yemen's weak regime must avoid upsetting al-Zindani and other radical Islamic figures whose support it needs to stay in power.
"If any foreign country insists on aggression and the invasion of the country or interference, in a military or security way, Muslim sons are duty bound to carry out jihad and fight the aggressors," the clerics said in a statement.
President Barack Obama has said he does not plan to send American combat troops to Yemen, though Washington is increasing counterterrorism aid and training to Yemeni forces to battle al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Concern about the growing capabilities of Yemen's al-Qaida offshoot increased after the failed attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner shortly before it landed in Detroit on Dec. 25. U.S. investigators say the Nigerian suspect in the failed attack told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.
The group of clerics also said they believe an international conference on Yemen to be held Jan. 27 in London is intended to clear the way for the Arab country's occupation by foreign nations. The conference is to be attended by the United States and European countries.