Yemen Twitterati Suddenly Popular?

About three weeks ago, I noticed a peculiar surge in my followers. I didn’t think much about it at first, but where the activity initially started with a handful of fakes joining a day, the pace quickly picked up and soon tens were spiking my followers list per day. There was no occasion to warrant increase, I didn’t suddenly become famous, and fact that handles were Arabic when I mostly tweet in English, were all reasons I suspected something was amiss. A quick review of accounts of my supposed new fans revealed they were fakes and automated bots.

I jokingly tweeted about it at the time, but also realizing fake followers can hurt your account’s credibility, engagement rate, and in extreme cases lead to suspension of account on premise of violating Twitter’s rules (i.e. where you would be suspected of buying followers), I quickly started blocking the fakes.

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However, rather than use an API (3rd party application) to bulk block, I chose to manually audit followers list and individually review/block. It’s a cumbersome tasking, but a safer bet than relying on an API’s algorithm where I already knew rules they applied to identify and filter through fake accounts. Basically, accounts with no tweets, no profile/header images, alias/name and handle were randomly generated gibberish, and with a huge gap in following/followers proportion, were likely fakes.

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So far blocked about 3,000 suspected fake accounts. I say “so far” because such accounts are still coming in waves. I’m referring to as “suspected” because it turned out that an extremely small percentage (1-2%) of accounts I blocked were legit and soon DMd from other accounts to unblock. This minority group, I learned, were people who though had all signs for profiling a fake, did so because were passive users and on Twitter to solely get updates/news from folks they followed, but almost never tweet nor care to personalize their profiles.

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I also soon learned that I was not the only experiencing the surge in fake followers, and that more than a few other Yemen Twitterati were targeted and around same period of time I did. This got me thinking that this was not a random glitch in matrix, and could probably be some form of coordinated attack that at first glance seems to be targeting Yemen Twitterati, but possibly others too. While many had several theories and understood some of the risks of rapidly gaining fake followers, no one really knew what was happening or exact goals of attack (if at all an attack).

Accordingly, while naturally took all necessary measure from upping security to continuing to block, decided to research a bit and dig deeper in trying to figure out nature of such surges, risks and ramifications associated, and scenarios planned if indeed a coordinated attack. While the research was neither exhaustive nor conclusive, it was both enlightening and exposed me to a parallel universe on Twitter that I never knew existed.

 

Millions of Fake Accounts

Thousands of fake accounts are created a day. No, not referring to random individuals creating fakes accounts in seeking anonymity, to harass, or play pranks. Daily increase of such newly created accounts, pale in comparison to ones created by dedicated parties employing IT sweatshops and automated programs to use en masse and for multiple sinister schemes. Given sheer scale and seeming coordination of activity in question, I, like many others, suspected administration or at least indirect involvement of state level entities or parties. Much to my surprise, diving into the dark side of the web, found endless independent individual and group led enterprises carrying out such activities. Where essentially a black market, enterprises competed for anonymous and paid cyber attack requests (that could have been anonymously put forth by legitimate/official parties), contracts for classified information, hacking servers or individual accounts, etc.

However, the nature of business and transaction trend is not always passive. Proactive enterprises would often pursue such ventures without an existing contract/request and for many reasons ranging from financial incentives (i.e. stealing information/data & selling to highest bidder), to blackmailing/extorting an entity or an individual targeted, to proving worth and superiority of skills among peers. At times, just out of mere boredom & in process of honing own skills, or in an act of vigilante justice and sending a message/making a statement. But all of this seems to be a bit too complex, for sensitive and high value data and information, and where Twitter is, well, just Twitter. Is it even worth the trouble?

Twitter Business

Just as in any other market, regardless of nature or size, there’s always a layer of bottom feeders, upstarts, and rookies who given limited skills/resources, would settle for little and operate within niches at the fringe. For Twitter, black market merchants are mostly small-time but numerous, not really considered hackers nor respected, and there’s little money to be made. Where the products and services offered are generally divided into two tiers of “General” and “Special” contracts, aforementioned group of merchants deal in former, while latter picked up by heavyweight hackers.

General Tier

Products on sale range from passive accounts to simply increase followers size, to active accounts for shaping/influencing opinions, and shell accounts to spam, hijack conversations, or other activities where an en masse attack is used to cripple a targeted account, hash tag, or a campaign.

This also includes “ReadyGo” accounts, where you can procure an account already prepped with thousands of followers, and where pricing varies by followers size. I’ve been on Twitter for years but only know noticed that some accounts had “20K”, “30K”, so on and so forth, and featured in the name of the account; that’s basically the current followers size of that account. A rather bizarre way to needlessly show off followers size when such information prominently featured on any given public profile, which all of these were. But soon discovered that although such accounts seemed legitimate and active, albeit largely re-tweeting and posting material that is at best considered spam, the reality was they were shell accounts animated enough to justify follower size and avoid Twitter’s suspension radar, and the “xxK” in name is for marketing where akin to the price tag you see on windshields of long lines of cars parked in a dealership.

Now here’s kicker, trade in such accounts is openly conducted on Twitter. Moreover, there are countless groups, on Twitter, specializing in ramping up follower size of such accounts and prepping them for sale, while others in pricing, marketing, and conducting sale transactions. Generally referred to as “Promotion Groups”, these groups of Twitter users run auctions, compete against each other, direct members of own group and freelance agents to tasks like beefing up accounts with followers, re-tweeting, spamming, etc. They also announce competitions within their community of promo groups where winners receive thousands of Twitter followers, put up sales ads with full information and contact information including phone numbers, and celebrate accounts reached high numbers of followers. And all of this is done publicly and openly on Twitter and using dedicated hash tags!

Special Tier

The second tier products include hacking accounts, publicly embarrassing original owner by immediately declaring account hijacked, and tweeting opposing views/political statements. Did you ever notice that even though hackers tweet out a lot of stuff using hijacked Twitter account, they very rarely release or discuss trove of info that surely must’ve been available in inbox and Direct Messages of account compromised? That’s because whatever valuable information found there, is either delivered to contract owner, if an ordered hit, or sold on black market if otherwise.

They also include stealth eavesdropping, where a high value  account is hacked but owner/followers not made aware. Apparently this is done for quite a few reasons including that of silently monitoring and collecting information of account and private conversations it has, to sell to interested parties, or if more lucrative and when opportunity presents itself, announce presence to owner and access to sensitive information to blackmail and extort.

Conclusion

I’m sure I have only scratched the surface and may have even gotten a few things wrong. I’m no expert and research above was done by basically following back trail of followers swarmed my account, digging through conversations of their rather vibrant community online, which amusingly were public. It also included sifting through blogs and forums on subject, thanks to Google, where websites and links research led to were a dark part of the Internet I never want to ever visit again.

Nevertheless, where research was prompted by suspicions of a possible coordinated action targeting Yemen Twitterati, now almosr certain that it indeed was. Though less sure of culprit’s identify or specific group carrying it out, the action can and should by all definitions be considered an attack because fake followers do damage your account’s credibility and could compromise it.

A few colleagues offered theory that it may have been a philanthropist bought followers for the various accounts tweeting on Yemen. That, is both overly simplistic and stupendously naive. A gradual increase in real followers is one thing, SPIKE in fake followers is another. Former is natural, increases reach and engagement rate, and tweets get read by REAL people, which is the whole point and goal for tweeting. The latter decreases all of the aforementioned, reduces credibility where anyone can quickly audit followers of an account, AND puts an account at risk of suspension because procuring fake followers is a serious violation of Twitter’s rules. And Twitter DOES monitor for unusual spike in an account’s follower numbers. 

Admittedly, many accounts with fake were not suspended, yet. Perhaps for reasons such as proportion of real vs. fake on any given account still being within reasonable limits, difficulty to figure if spike a spam campaign or procurement of followers, and if latter, by account holder or another party attempting to sabotage, or whatever other reasons. But accounts DO get suspended, for far less reasons, and Twitter clearly states that fake accounts are considered a major reason to suspend. We’ve all heard stories or know someone where his/her account suddenly got suspended, and where reasons for suspension weren’t always clear, it was a bureaucratic nightmare attempting to figure out and reinstate. You do NOT want to be in that position.

Moreover, where and when now the credibility and reach of Yemen Twitterati exceedingly and respectively on a knife’s edge and limited (especially the past two years since the start of the war), whoever that imaginary philanthropist supposedly only now decided to buy tens or hundreds of thousands of fake followers for a yet unkown number of Yemen Twitterati, surely he/she must’ve known action will do more harm than good. 

Though as far as I know, no accounts were suspended by time of writing this, many of Yemen’s Twitterati reacted by blocking the fakes, and some even self locked their accounts and protected tweets; fearing it could be compromised and/or for feeling harassed by the nothing but damaging waves of fake followers. I myself temporarily locked my own account to up its security and get brief respite from now daily chore of blocking fake accounts that are both endless and relentless.

Whatever the real intents of the culprit(s) are, all the end scenarios of the possibly General Tier contract put out on Yemen’s Twitterati, are simply bad. Fakes overwhelm and marginalize the Twitterati by either reducing credibility, keeping them busy fending off fakes, forcing them to lock accounts, and in worst case scenario, may ultimately lead to suspension if their accounts.

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Yemen’s 99 Problems

The 99 Problems according to each of the main Yemen conflict parties.

Ex President Saleh:
I got 99 problems & Saudi behind all of them.

Houthis:
I got 99 problems dealing with a Zionist conspiracy where US & Israel using Saudi and local goons such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Daesh to ruin Yemen and enslave the region.

Yemen Government:
I got 99 problem & though not sure what they are, I’m most certain that  Saleh/Houthis are definitely behind them all.

Anti Saleh/Houthis Resistance (North):
I got 99 problems but all shall be swell when I take back the capital Sana’a from Houthis next week. Perhaps maybe week after. Well, will inevitably do, damn it. Just wait and see.

Anti Saleh/Houthis Resistance (AlBayda):
I got 99 problems & Qaeda ain’t one. Yo Bin Laden, any AQAP here? “NO”. See, told ya!

Anti Saleh/Houthis Resistance (Taiz):
I got 99 problem & all because of the Houthi siege of Taiz. Shut up, no AQAP here.

South Resistance:
I got 99 problems & all because of the Northern occupiers. Viva secession from North. Viva Independence of PDRY.

alQaeda (AQAP):
I got 99 problems & it’s because domestic infidels, whom I’ve helped fight Saleh/Houthis by the way, are not only colluding with heretic western powers to serve Satan, but also denying I ever came to their aid. Incredulous ingrates. 

Islamic State:
I got 99 problems launching the Islamic State in Yemen while softy “oh Daesh you’re so brutal” AQAP still in town.

Tribes:
I got 99 gambling predicaments; which side to back based on risk vs. gains. Oh well, let’s play’em all & milk as possible.

Pro Saudi “Independent” Voices:
I got 99 reports proving Saleh/Houthi crimes but none even remotely hinting at any Saudi wrongdoings. 

Pro Saleh/Houthis “Independent” Voices:
I got 99 arguments why anyone with shred of nationalistic decency should back Saleh/Houthis against Saudi’s aggression.

Independent Voices:
I got 99 reasons why y’all suck.

President Hadi:
Wut! Problems? What Problems? Rubbish propaganda. Saudi took care of everything. Thank you Salman. Oh right, almost forgot, Saleh, duh! That no good tyrant and his Houthi minions behind 9,99 Yemen problems and then some. But luckily for Yemen, I’m the legitimate El Presidente. Confetti everywhere. Rejoice. Yaay.

Saudi:
I got 99 legitimate Yemeni officials virtually governing-ish the 90% -ish of liberated-ish Yemen, from Riyadh. Impressive no? Being on the ground is so overrated. Hey Iran, tough luck on Yemen. Beat ya fair and square. Hey world, welcome to the age of Salman. A brave new world.. sorry, got carried away and stared singing. Hey Iran, tough luck on Yemen

UN/International Community:
Yemen has 99 problems and I’ll be damned if had slightest clue of any solutions.

Yemen Public:
We got 99 corrupt and self-serving leaders, and THAT is the problem.

Smallest Coffins are the Heaviest – Yemen Child Soldiers

A bit quiet today in Sana’a. Fighter jets flew by a few times, but didn’t drop any bombs as far as I can tell, and sky was clear for most of day. Knock on wood, please. 
It was a beautiful day. A bit of clouds but with warm rays of sun shining through and making for a rather gorgeous weather. So saw no harm in standing with my eldest son by door of our house to chat with the neighbors. 

One of the often cheerful and normally very social neighborhood guys straddled by without paying any attention to our now small mob of neighbors. Mob whom were a moment ago loud in sharing stories & cracking jokes but suddenly quiet when noticed him.

You could easily tell from way he carried himself now that he was broken. A big part of him died after he lost his son to an airstrike. He was a healthy man in his mid forties but seemed to have aged a decade since his loss just a few weeks ago. 

Everyone knew him, everyone knew his story. The rowdy mob falling into a sudden pin drop silence was in a way an acknowledgment of the pain he had suffered but also a show of respect and solidarity by not disturbing and leaving him be.

The community had stood by him at the time of the incident and still do now. It’s a closely knit community and they went the extra mile in supporting him as he mourned. But now was time to simply give him some space to deal with his own demons.  

Now was the time for him to deal with the fact that his son’s death is partly if not mainly his fault.

He didn’t greet me or neighbors as he walked by but did quickly glance at my son for a second that seemed like an eternity. His sunken eyes spoke volumes of agonizing emotions, mostly of deep regret. 

His son was only 14 years old when picked up an AK47 and boosted would “join battle font-lines to defend the honor of the nation”. To which and for whatever temporary insanity, he cheered and encouraged, when as a father should’ve smacked the living lights out of his son and indefinitely grounded in his room. 

His son was only 14. Not just a minor, but also barely a teen. He had no comprehension of what grave risk and horrors fighting in a real war would entail for a child his age. With neither his frail body nor his weak psychological state of mind prepared to bear brunt of brutal battles, he had no business fighting in a war that many adults wouldn’t.

Now that it’s too late, the father is torn between a whole host of “what if’s” and “it was meant to be’s” as he tries to come to terms with the fact that he did indeed foolishly lead his son to his own demise. 

Pity the father having to go through that and fighting such demons now when no path for a recourse. But far more do so the poor child whose life was entrusted to such a father to protect and safeguard.

There are 10 million children in Yemen, that’s almost 40% of the population, and where majority are food insecure, out of school & struggling to survive. 82% of the population need all sorts of urgent aid according to the UN. That’s a humanitarian catastrophe.

According to the UNICEF, there have been at least 747 child deaths in past few months of a still raging war in Yemen. That’s a conservative number considering not all deaths are registered and accounted for. 

It is further estimated that 1/4 of fighters are underage. Information on and number of fighters killed in battles is scant. Now take that into account and add to all of the above, and you get a sense of the very ugly reality that is Child Soldiers and where the smallest coffins are the heaviest.

Saudi-led Coalition’s Spokesman on France 24

Here are the main questions and answers in an interview with Saudi led coalition’s spokesman Asiri on France 24 regarding the war in Yemen (my comments in Italics)

Q) What were the main objectives of Saudi led coalition’s war in Yemen? Success level?

Asiri: 1) Reinstating legitimate Yemen government.
2) Protection of Yemeni citizens.
3) Protection of Saudi-Yemen border.
Today, the legitimate government is back in Aden and controls 70% of Yemen.

Comment: Government not back in Aden. Hadi is back, and mostly staying on a coalition ship offshore because neither he nor government have full control of Aden, let alone allegedly 70% of Yemen. Moreover, “objectives” many and kept changing during past 10 months of war, but will admit that the 3 mentioned today are broad enough to incorporate other specific ones under each. Yeah, still & generally not achieved.

Q) 10 months of war so far, what’s expected time frame to end?

Asiri: No schedule ever set or announced. Focus is on strategy achieving objectives and goals, not time. But keep in mind US & NATO spent 11 years in Afghanistan against Taliban, and Taliban’s strength nowhere near Houthis & Saleh’s.

Comment: Quick, calculate ratio of strength difference between Saleh/Houthis and Taliban. Hold on, since Saleh/Houthis stronger at any rate, whatever that numerical value ends up being, end of war unlikely to be less than 11 years! What!?

Q) What are the current goals?

Asiri: Push back the Houthis, rebuild government institutions, and rebuild the Yemen army which Saleh & Houthis dismantled. One of main goals was also to increase aid delivery, which was achieved, but as evident in UN reports, that aid is piling up on cities entrances because Houthis are blocking passage.

Comment: A) Push back Houthis to where, the sea? B) I don’t know, but seem to vaguely remember that the army was dismantled by Hadi and the Saudi led GCC initiative through what was called a “restructuring of the Yemen army”, no? C) Somehow doubt there’s much chance of any aid piling up at entrances of “cities” and wasted when 21.5 Million, 80% of population in need of it. Perhaps he meant one “city” and referring to Taiz; where Houthis indeed blocking passage, but yeah, still no aid piling up there either.

Q) What about the reports of civilian casualties?

Asiri: International organizations have no presence on the ground hence reports are not accurate; their data/stats are based on and collected from Twitter and Houthi correspondents in Yemen. The Saudi led coalition’s strikes are very precise and it never targeted residential areas nor infrastructure. On other hand, Houthis yesterday attempted to launch a missile from Sana’a but it ended up exploding midair and over the city, which unfortunately killed & injured many in the capital Sana’a.

Comment: I could’ve sworn those shady organizations had hundreds of own staff and local offices sprawled across Yemen. Wait a minute, didn’t Yemen authorities & just yesterday complain about such offices WITHIN Yemen and wanted to shutdown? Weird. Perhaps Asiri employing reverse psychology and actually encouraging such organizations to collect their information from Twitter & “pro Saudi/Yemen government approved” local sources? You know, since it is evidently clear those organizations were misled; apparently the civilians killed, residential areas and infrastructure destroyed, are all due to thousands of failed Houthi ballistic missiles that exploded over cities and infrastructure across Yemen during the past 10 months? Who knew!

Yemen’s Political Fruit Basket

I get asked a lot about impressions of various parties in current conflict. So here’s a sarcastic take. List not exhaustive, so chill with the “Aha! You missed so and so”. Enjoy!

Houthis: We be sent by God to fight the Zionists disguised as Americans, Saudis, alQaeda, yeah, basically everyone who’s not us..you no question, you just believe, you disagree, I kill you too.
Saleh: I know it all, control it all, boss of all, so smart, so supreme, so fly, all credits to me. Negative points? Hater’s rubbish. Factual negative points! Well duh..it wasn’t me.
Resistance (South): We don’t necessarily know what we want, but we sure damn know what we don’t, wait, we’re a bit divided on that too..screw it, viva PDRY, viva secession.
Resistance (North): To be or not to be, is an existential question..ninja mode.
AQAP: Houthis are heretics, WE were sent by God..god damn it Islamic State, not now.
Islamic State: Move aside AQAP, you’ve had your chance, watch and learn how it’s done..lit that fuse brother, let’s blow it sky high.
Islah Party (Opposition): We used to be the main partner of regime, then the regime, all was going well and peachy, da bloody hell happened!?..it’s all Saleh’s fault.
Saudi Arabia: Hey Iran, think you can move in south of our borders and hijack our unkempt backyard, think again..watch us soak in gas and burn to a cinder, haha.
Saudi led Coalition: Dearest dear Iran, you know Saudi forced us into this, right? Hope it doesn’t affect our bilateral relations, we be cool, right?..crap, here comes Saudi, bad Iran, bad.
Iran: Dafuq Saudi!? Hello, we’re up here, NORTH of your border!
Int’l Community: Hi there Saudi, would you like some gas?
UN: Alright, everyone calm down, give a sec while I consult with the voices in my head.
Pro Government in Exile Forces: Government loyalists, Hadi loyalists, national army..unicorns.
Hadi: Why isn’t anyone listening to me..I AM THE LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT!

Why Important to Know Difference between AQAP & IS

AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is NOT ISIS.

In fact, the name ISIS/ISIL (Daesh) is no more. The organization has rebranded and now known as the Islamic State (IS). So a single “I” and a single “S”.

Yeah, IS not as catchy or melodic as ISIS. Deal with it. And please stop referring to anything Islam+radical, including alQaeda or suspicious crazy beards with funny phonetics, as ISIS.

Okay, here’s the 101 on AQAP and ISIS, er, I mean IS (see what you’ve done!), and why it’s of paramount importance to know difference. Will make this as simple and quick as possible so switch off Fox News and pay attention now.
AQAP is the flagship of the original alQaeda (AQ) and far older than IS. AQAP is  synonym with Taliban, Bin Laden, September 11, and Buckaroo Bush “Yeehaw! Let’s hunt Buffalo in Tora Bora (Afghanistan) & Baghdad (Iraq)” at turn of this millennia.
IS on the other hand popped on stage in 2014. IS is actually AQ’s rowdy bunch in Iraq, alQaeda in Iraq (AQI), recently tripped into path of gamma rays (i.e. Iraq mess gone supernova) then basically went “Hulk, SMASH!” on everything including their AQ club membership.
Not really. AQI more or less capitalized on growth in numbers, lucky streak/battle wins in Iraq and seized moment to declare own brand of ‘God’s Kingdom’. Turmoil in AQ HQ and ambitious AQI leadership may or may have not have contributed to mutiny and creation of IS. Not important. This crazy part is though a) they actually succeeded in carving out rapidly growing niche, and by niche I mean a friggin country (Iraq), and now exceedingly outnumber AQ b) met with the insane on steroids, quite a few now lamenting the good old days of AQ!
Anyway, AQAP and IS are now rival groups. Not enemies, but not friends or in cahoots either. They are adversaries competing for the leadership of the jihadist movement. No blood spilled between the two groups despite no lost love and both being armed to teeth and borderline psychotic.
A commendable level of self control & classiness if you ask me. Not sure if would last for long though. This convoluted ‘Pirates Code’ of sorts is far from being an actual attempt at brinksmanship.
At any rate, it’s understandable that the difference between AQAP and IS may not matter much to you. For all you care, they’re a bunch of ‘crazy beard’ growing, phonetically challenged, AK47 wielding religious radicals marooned on some desolate island called Arabia. Miles and miles away from you. Thank god for immigration laws.
It does matter to me though. You see, Mr. Crazy Beard lives next door.
And while both AQAP & IS are dangerous, identifying which is very important when chances of your survival are inversely proportional to craziness of beard. This is especially so when getting out of Dodge is not an option and your lovely neighbor not going anywhere anytime soon.
Hence the handy ‘Dangero-O-Meter’ (DOOM) to gauge how bad. Scale is from 1-6 where 1- ‘Keep low profile & may live’ and 6- ‘Quick, final prayers while you still can’.
AQAP is a 3-ish on Doom scale:
“Live by our way or hit highway”
AQ-Beard – Will change your way of life and govern every aspect of it. May subject to public lashing and even murder if you crossed, antagonized enough, or resisted (futile and frowned upon). Growing bear is optional.
IS is a 6-ish on..oh who the heck are we kidding, Doom is useless here, IS is Infinity-ish on whatever scale they use in Hell:
“Haha, you grew a beard! Cute but inconvenient. We need your head to be as round as possible. Now have to burn beard off your face before we behead anyway.”
IS-Beard – Will chop off head and play soccer with just because
a) Apparently Mega IS-Beard decided MOST of folks born beardless and ALL still beardless as adults should be promptly put to the sword.
b) A guillotine not practical, it’s French, foreign, Grrr, IS-Beard SMASH!
c) Soccer, much fun, need ball, Adidas is foreign, Grrr.
d) Yaay! Human head. Make sure it’s local/native, foreign heads reserved for ransom.
e) Not soccer day? Okay, is it burn alive day? Execution creativity day? Murderous rampage day? Rape & plunder day? What? WHAT? Where’s the blood, need NOW!
F) Hey, where’s your beard, off with your head too. Growing beard NOT optional.
Yeah, yeah, both AQAP & IS believe in the Quran and follow Islam. So, yeah, Muslims. But so are 1.6 billion others around the globe. Yup, that’s how many Muslims all over the place. Check your neighbor.
Calm down, only an infinitesimal percentage of those are out to get you. Even less with enough drive and means to do so. For now.
Thing is, just like any other religion, certain parts/text are open for interpretation. Hence sects. Hence AQAP and IS. Hence watch your six. Haha. Kidding, KIDDING!
Please put phone down. There are many types of Muslims, the good, the bad, and the ugly. A penguin is not an eagle, despite both being birds. And for god’s sake who keeps the FBI on speed dial? Paranoid much!
*Article above was shared via Whatsapp. Published on blog here with permission. Author lives next to Crazy Beard whom has Internet & could very well come across and read. So yeah, ‘Author Unknown’.

10 Facts About Yemen That Aren’t!

1- The war is only hurting Houthis
– 80% of Yemen population is suffering & in urgent need of humanitarian aid. That’s 21 million people whom cannot be possibly Houthi.
2- Houthis only represent 10% of Sa’ada (statistic courtesy of Yemen government in exile), which is but 1 out of 22 Yemen provinces
– Yet 5 months & an “intergalactic” coalition still couldn’t crush? That’s just embarrassing!
3- Saleh! It’s all ex president Saleh’s & his supporters doing
– Aha, he controls AQAP, ISIS, Secessionists, and Houthis..heck, heard coalition too.
4- The population split & divided in supporting the various warring factions
– The vast majority neither like nor trust any faction and are being held hostage to the current conflict by everyone.
5- Sectarianism rampant in Yemeni society
– Must’ve missed class! What’s difference between Sunni & Shiite again?
6- Yemen government in exile is legitimate & has many loyalists on ground
– Hello? “In exile”! And still are despite having “liberated” Aden & naming as new capital.
7- President Hadi enjoys popular support of Yemenis
– Wait, what? THAT Hadi is now president!? Oh God why!
8- Yemen, especially South, awash with AQAP & ISIS
– Doubt presence of 10s or 100s of AQAP & ISIS warrants use of “Awash”. And when did historically AQ hotbeds like alBayda, Marib, and alJawf provinces became “South”? Thees bern more AQ/IS action in Sana’a (North) than in Aden (South).
9- Yemen awash with Iranian Revolutionary Guard too
– Alright, apparently we have problem with the definition of “Awash”. So let’s just simplify via assertion of fact that there are more UFOs than Iranians in Yemen.
10- War will bring everlasting peace in Yemen
– Haha. You’re an imbecile.