YEMEN Press Agency

UAE officers admit to recruit al-Qaeda members in their ranks

SANAA, May 21 (YPA) – An Emirati military general and a number of Emirati officers have dropped confessions to a British newspaper that the UAE is associated with al-Qaeda and recruited members to its forces in Yemen, as part of a sensational investigation by the newspaper.

The Independent newspaper said it “continued to investigate the suspicious relationship between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and al-Qaeda”, after the Associated Press investigation, which revealed secret deals being made by the alliance with the group.

“The coalition is facing accusations of deals with al-Qaeda that allow its militants to withdraw from the targeted areas, with the money they can carry, as well as to recruit its fighters alongside the coalition forces.”

“The UAE army has denied these allegations as untrue and illogical,” the newspaper said, but quoted Emirati leaders as saying that “Yemeni forces allied to the coalition are absorbing numbers of al-Qaeda fighters after verifying their backgrounds.

“Many al-Qaeda fighters are young people who have come under the control of al-Qaeda and have been forced or persuaded to take up arms,” the Independent quoted an Emirati military major general “Ali” as saying.

“When the civilian areas are cleaned from the organization, many of these fighters leave behind, and it makes sense to recruit them, because this sends a strong message about Yemen’s commitment to liberation,” he told the newspaper.

“Fighting rebellion is a process aimed at winning minds and hearts. Al-Qaeda is very successful in recruiting individuals, but they have not recruited them to become terrorists, but to be fighters. It is necessary to distinguish between the two in such a complex battlefield, ” he said.

He continued: “We recruit fighters, not terrorists, … They could easily be separated; the fighters were eager to join us, but the terrorists wanted to kill us. “But we are subjecting volunteers to a thorough psychological examination to ensure that they are not extremists.”

The UAE general Al-Qaeda added:” fighters motivate them to fight other non-ideological factors and can be easily absorbed into society.” This process includes improving the quality of life of these individuals and rebuilding social structures.”

The Associated Press earlier published an investigation into the UAE’s methods of fighting al-Qaeda, revealing that “the coalition is making secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters and paying them to leave major cities.”

“The coalition allows others to withdraw with their weapons, equipment and millions of dollars of stolen money, and deals with some of them to join their allied forces in Yemen,” the agency’s widely-circulated investigation revealed.

The Associated Press investigation noted that “all of this is done with the knowledge and facilitation of the Americans, reflecting the contradictory interests of the US war with its Arab allies, especially the UAE, against al-Qaeda, and al-Qaeda’s war with the coalition and according to America against the Houthis.”