OP-ED

The People Who Come Through Here

While I was watching English news and reports about the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, followed by the seizing of hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket on Friday which ended in killing a policewoman and the two attackers, I have noticed that the name of Yemen was repeatedly mentioned, as if Yemenis were behind the attacks.

With deep regret, this is how the western media with the help of intelligence focuses on tiny details to throw blame at Yemen, which distracts their own community’s attacks from their own failures.

Kouachi and his brother was born there, brought up there, got educated there, and continued to live their lives in Paris, but it is unfathomable to say that they learnt the process of terrorism over there too. Rather than investigating on the source of how they reached this level and what pushed them to carry out their attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the supermarket in Paris, the news turns to Yemen for blame.

Kouachi and his brother were made terrorists in their homeland. They visited Yemen to study like hundreds of students who come to Yemen to learn Arabic. So why do you blame Yemen for a few days maybe months stay?  The statement says that Chérif Kouachi was arrested in 2005 for terrorism. He was released in 2008 after sentencing was suspended for “time served,” despite evidence suggesting Kouachi may have even gone as far with his plot as travel to Yemen in 2011. Was that visit to Yemen at that time the reason behind Friday’s incident? I doubt it, like how I doubt the French intelligence agencies’ knowledge for saying so.

The same has happened to Yemen before, like in 2011, as a Yemen-based offshoot of al Qaeda was suspected of being behind the alleged Christmas Day bomb attempt on a jet flying to Detroit. Anwar Al Awakim the notorious Al-Qaeda leader allegedly killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011, became a story about Yemen, despite him living in Los Angeles for years. Since there were hostages, why didn’t the French intelligence capture them for investigation? Sometimes its easier to blame Yemen than to acknowledge the problems in your own society.