by Aram Roston, from Buzz Feed
Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American
Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound
through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission
were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they
had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America.
But now they were working for a different master: a private US company
that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy
on the Persian Gulf.
On that night, December 29, 2015, their job was to carry out an assassination.
armed attack, described to BuzzFeed News by two of its participants and
corroborated by drone surveillance footage, was the first operation in a
startling for-profit venture. For months in war-torn Yemen, some of
America’s most highly trained soldiers worked on a mercenary mission of
murky legality to kill prominent clerics and Islamist political figures.
target that night: Anssaf Ali Mayo, the local leader of the Islamist
political party Al-Islah. The UAE considers Al-Islah to be the Yemeni
branch of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE calls a
terrorist organization. Many experts insist that Al-Islah, one of whose
members won the Nobel Peace Prize,
is no terror group. They say it's a legitimate political party that
threatens the UAE not through violence but by speaking out against its
ambitions in Yemen.
[read more here]