The Yemeni government has vowed to strike with "an iron fist" after a recent Internet statement attributed to al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on oil facilities in the country and pledged more attacks. According to analysts, the statement is genuine, indicating the beginning of a new chapter of al-Qaeda activity in Yemen.
"The security forces will strike with an iron fist and would relentlessly deal with every terrorist who harms Yemen, its economy or interests," the state-run 26 September weekly quoted an unidentified official as saying. "The security organizations have taken all necessary precautions against any threats that could harm the country's security and stability," said the official.
The Internet statement claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks against two oil facilities in Hudhrmout and Marib, east of Yemen, on September 15 and vowed further attacks: "Those operations were only the first spark, and what is coming shall be harsher and bitter."
The statement raised many questions about al-Qaeda in Yemen. Abdul Elah Haider, writer and analyst, said the statement showed that al-Qaeda cells are regrouping and rebuilding. "The tone and the vocabulary of the statement are not different from those issued by al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, so I think the statement is genuine and credible."