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3 American Missionaries Slain in Yemen

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3 American missionaries slain in Yemen

Gunman sneaks rifle into Baptist hospital

NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES

JIBLA, Yemen, Dec. 30 — A gunman described by authorities as a Muslim extremist entered a Baptist missionary hospital Monday and opened fire on American employees attending a staff meeting, killing three and seriously wounding a fourth. The killer was able to sneak a rifle into the building by hiding it under his coat “as if he were cradling a baby,†Jerry Rankin, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, said at a news conference in Richmond, Va.

THE SUSPECTED ATTACKER, a Yemeni identified as Ali Abdul Razak Kamel, was arrested moments after the shooting at Jibla Baptist Hospital, Rankin said.

The White House condemned the attack, but said it was too soon to tell if it was linked to al-Qaida terror network.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh sent a message to President Bush, condemning the shootings as “criminal and disgraceful†and pledging to punish the perpetrators, the official Saba news agency reported.

Saba described Kamel only as a Muslim extremist, but one official quoted by Reuters said the

30-year-old man “confessed to being a member of the Islamic Jihad group,†a Yemeni group unrelated to the Palestinian movement also called Islamic Jihad.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suspect told police he shot the Americans because they were Christian missionaries and he wanted to “cleanse his religion and get closer to God.â€

A Yemeni security official, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Kamel was part of a terrorist cell made up of five to eight people targeting foreigners and secular leaders in Yemen. He did not provide further details.

The three slain missionaries, from left: Dr. Martha Myers, hospital administrator William Koehn and purchasing agent Kathleen Gariety.

Saba reported that Kamel said during interrogation that he plotted the shooting in collaboration with Ali al-Jarallah, a man who was arrested for shooting dead a senior Yemeni leftist politician on Saturday. Yemeni officials also called him a Muslim extremist.

VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board identified the dead as hospital director William E. Koehn, 60, of Arlington, Texas, who had planned to retire next year after 28 years of service; purchasing agent Kathleen A. Gariety, 53, of Wauwatosa, Wis.; and Dr. Martha C. Myers, 57, of Montgomery, Ala.

Wounded pharmacist Donald Caswell

A statement said that pharmacist Donald W. Caswell, 49, of Levelland, Texas, was shot in the abdomen. Caswell was in critical condition after undergoing surgery to remove two bullets but was expected to recover from his wounds, the statement said.

“We just thank the Lord that he is alive,†his father, 71-year-old D.C. Caswell, said from Texas. “He’s alert and talking and everything’s going to be all right, they’re thinking.â€

Americans at risk overseas

Rankin, speaking at the news conference, said the gunman entered the 35-year-old hospital in Ibb province, 125 miles south of the capital, San‘a, with “a rifle under his coat as if he were cradling a baby.â€

He walked into a room where a staff meeting was taking place and opened fire, killing Koehn, Gariety and Myers, the mission board said in a statement. He then moved to another room where he shot Caswell. He also attempted to shoot a Filipino worker there, but the weapon didn’t fire, the statement said.

NO EVACUATION ORDER

Rankin said there were no plans to evacuate other workers at the hospital, which the mission board described as an 80-bed facility that treats more than 40,000 patients a year. It said in addition to their work at the hospital, missionaries taught English and clinical skills at a nearby Yemeni nursing school.

Rankin said that staff there have reported receiving occasional threats, but there were no specific threats prior to the attack.

He added that the missionaries are aware of the risks of working in Yemen. “It goes not only with being a Christian missionary but with being an American,†he said.

Jack Graham, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the three victims “martyrs†who were “killed in the line of duty.â€

Speaking from Plano, Texas, Graham said that aside from providing humanitarian aid, the missionaries were “there because they’re Christians and they have no doubt been sharing their faith.â€

But Rankin said the missionaries were “very respectful†of Yemen’s largely Muslim populace and were prohibited from trying to convert Yemenis to Christianity.

Americans have been repeatedly warned to take care in Yemen, a largely lawless country known as a haven for Muslim militants.

EMBASSY CAUTIONS AMERICANS

In San’a, U.S. Ambassador Edmund J. Hull told the AP that U.S. officials did not envision a general evacuation, but “we will assist American citizens in Jibla if they wish to leave.â€

The embassy also is urging Americans to take steps enhance their security. About 30,000 U.S. citizens, most of Yemeni origin, live in the country, according to the embassy.

The Associated Baptist Press reported earlier this year that the Richmond, Va.-based International Mission Board, to save money and sharpen its focus on evangelism, was preparing to transfer control of the hospital to a local charity founded by Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kerbi, who is a Canadian-trained doctor.

Under the proposal, Southern Baptist medical missionaries would continue working at the hospital. The handover was due to occur soon, mission board officials said.

A HAVEN FOR EXTREMISTS

Impoverished, factionalized Yemen has for years been a haven for wanted Muslim extremists and is the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida terrorist chief Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden enlisted thousands of Yemenis to fight alongside the mujahedeen of Afghanistan in their U.S.-backed war against an occupation Soviet army in the 1980s. Many returned when the Soviets withdrew, and they are a powerful political force here.

Reaction to Yemen slayings

December 30, 2002 — Faris Sanibani, editor of the ’’Yemen Observer’’ newspaper, tells ‘Today’s’ Soledad O’Brien that the man suspected of killing 3 American missionaries is a well-known Muslim extremist.

On Oct. 6, an explosives-laden boat rammed a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, killing one member of the tanker’s crew, tearing a hole in the vessel and spilling some 90,000 barrels of oil. An intelligence official in Washington has said U.S. experts believed the Limburg attack was the work of unspecified operatives with links to al-Qaida. Statements attributed to bin Laden and his network’s “political bureau†hailed the explosion on the tanker but wouldn’t confirm al-Qaida’s responsibility.

The French tanker scenario recalled the Oct. 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole, which was rammed by a small, explosives-laden boat in the southern port of Aden.

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in that attack, which was blamed on al-Qaida. Al-Qaida also is held responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

NOMINAL U.S. PARTNER

Yemen has signed on as Washington’s partner in the war on terrorism launched after the Sept. 11 attacks.

U.S. and Yemeni agents have worked together in a counterterrorism center in Yemen equipped with sophisticated intelligence gathering facilities. The Americans also have trained Yemeni troops to fight militants. Yemen allows U.S. warships free use of its waters and U.S. warplanes use of its air space.

Yemeni security officials, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, say up to 3,000 U.S.-trained Yemeni troops have been deployed recently in areas known to harbor wanted al-Qaida members.

In November, a CIA-operated Predator drone fired a missile that killed bin Laden’s top lieutenant in Yemen, Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, and five other al-Qaida suspects in Yemen.

Many people carry firearms, knives and machetes in the impoverished state where deeply traditional tribal and clan customs often take precedence over government regulations, especially in the north.

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This should be a lesson, never do anything good for anyone. those poor people were trying to help and this is the thanks they get. I think this should go to show you tree huggers that there is no reasoning with these bastards, they are dogs and should be treated as such.

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interesting how you two are quick to talk shit about "towel heads" (btw, stop using that word or i'll delete the post you wrote it in), but how do you think innocent people all over the world felt when american troops destroyed their homes, killed their families, and helped corrupt governments take away any chance they had for a good life?

please refer to what has happened in the past 30 years...vietnam, nicaragua (we had no business there), panama, haiti, and now......iraq. there's quite a lot of people in the world who have many reasons to be pissed off at this country. but God forbid, anyone talks shit about it, because we are invincible and not towelheads :rolleyes:

it's a shame that an entire country has to suffer because they're forced to live under a madman, (who i honestly think the US can take out in a day by sending in some trained snipers and trackers to iraq, problem solved= no war, no senseless deaths, no devastation, but of course the US gov't has invested billions already into the military and don't want to see their money go to waste)yet the sad thing here i see is that people aren't educated enough to realize that and not use offensive slurs which cannot apply to them all. if you have a good reason for saying what you say, please back it up. otherwise, don't bother writing nonsense.

thank you.

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Originally posted by sassa

interesting how you two are quick to talk shit about "towel heads" (btw, stop using that word or i'll delete the post you wrote it in),

See how these "liberals" wanna sensor me? where is normal noises and his clan of tree huggers, when I need them to defend my right to freedom of speech?

I am being sensored here is anyone gonna stand up to this "in the closet communist"? whatever happen to freedom of speech? freedom to hate or luv? this is a sad day in America people. It goes to show you communism still exist, even in this great country. :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by underwater

oh...whoops...i misread the post...i thought you admitted to calling people towelheads!!....sorry... :laugh: ...this is cracking me up...

I think I called them towel heads in the other thread.

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Originally posted by dnice35

See how these "liberals" wanna sensor me? where is normal noises and his clan of tree huggers, when I need them to defend my right to freedom of speech?

I am being sensored here is anyone gonna stand up to this "in the closet communist"? whatever happen to freedom of speech? freedom to hate or luv? this is a sad day in America people. It goes to show you communism still exist, even in this great country. :rolleyes:

you know what, maybe this is out of place, but if you said that shit while i was in earshot, i would seriously hit you.

it's not being censored, it's having respect for all human beings, no matter what their race or religion is. obviously, that concept is foreign to you since you seem to not have respect for anyone except yourself and your fellow trigger happy americans. well, that's nice, but that doesn't cut it. don't you dare say you're being censored, if anything, i am pointing out what an ignorant asshole you are.

:blown:

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Originally posted by sassa

you know what, maybe this is out of place, but if you said that shit while i was in earshot, i would seriously hit you.

it's not being censored, it's having respect for all human beings, no matter what their race or religion is. obviously, that concept is foreign to you since you seem to not have respect for anyone except yourself and your fellow trigger happy americans. well, that's nice, but that doesn't cut it. don't you dare say you're being censored, if anything, i am pointing out what an ignorant asshole you are.

:blown:

ignorance is bliss baby, and I do respect those humans who value life, not stupid asshole who blow up innocent people in the name of justice. and if you were to hit me cause you disagree with my opinions, that says alot about you dont it? If the kkk are still allowed to speak their beliefs, (as wrong as they maybe), I should be allowed too. so dont give me this double standard about how you have freedom of speech and then come telling me that I am asshole for exercizing my rights.

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Originally posted by dnice35

ignorance is bliss baby, and I do respect those humans who value life, not stupid asshole who blow up innocent people in the name of justice. and if you were to hit me cause you disagree with my opinions, that says alot about you dont it? If the kkk are still allowed to speak their beliefs, (as wrong as they maybe), I should be allowed too. so dont give me this double standard about how you have freedom of speech and then come telling me that I am asshole for exercizing my rights.

it says i have a bad temper and people like you just piss me off.

i understand you hate assholes who blow up innocent people, but what you're doing is calling the whole damn group names you are calling a small group of idiots who think they have all the answers. there's your mistake there.

second, i'm not saying you can't say certain things, i'm just saying i'm tired of seeing this racist shit all the time. if you want to continue with it, fine, but at this point, this forum is pissing me off....it's not fun posting in here anymore thanks to you and those like you.

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Originally posted by dnice35

See how these "liberals" wanna sensor me? where is normal noises and his clan of tree huggers, when I need them to defend my right to freedom of speech?

See how you conservatives tell us liberals to "shut up" and "deal with it" when WE defend OUR right to freedom of speech?"

How does it feel?

Isn't telling US liberals to shut up censorship too??

Oh it's censor, not sensor btw.

I am being sensored here is anyone gonna stand up to this "in the closet communist"? whatever happen to freedom of speech?

You have no room to talk.

this is a sad day in America people. It goes to show you communism still exist, even in this great country. :rolleyes:

It seems like conservatism wants to tell ppl to shut up when they say something negative about Bush. I never heard a communist tell ppl to shut up when ppl talk negatively (or postively) about the government.

ignorance is bliss baby, and I do respect those humans who value life, not stupid asshole who blow up innocent people in the name of justice.

But you actually are supporting stupid assholes who blow up innocent ppl in the name of justice. The US are the "assholes" killing innocent muslim civilians (Afghanistan and soon Iraq) in the name of justice (and God) and it's the terrorist "assholes" who are killing innocent ppl in the name of Allah.

Can you please seperate "terrorist" from Muslim for the first time in your life?

You don't make sense.

Ignorance is bliss, isn't it? Sounds like you like it. :rolleyes:

And next time, pluralize the word "asshole". It makes your sentence structure (last line) more phonetically grammatic.

And by the way, you weren't being censored. Taking from the words of Sassa, I have to agree you are being an ignorant asshole, all for your self and your gunloon friends with no regard to the diversity of other ethnic groups living in this country.

Ignorance is terrorism.

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Originally posted by underwater

i can't get enough of normalnoises picking people apart...sentence by sentence...a truly original way to reply on a message board....not that i agree with what you say...but i like your delivery...

No artifical ingredients, no artifical flavor, no artifical color and no preservatives. I come 100% natural. ;)

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Originally posted by normalnoises

I never heard a communist tell ppl to shut up when ppl talk negatively (or postively) about the government.

i hope ur kidding....i really really really really hope ur kidding on this comment...in fact i am gonna go get coffee and come back in a couple of minutes...i will let u have time to change that very very very stupid comment u have just made....:blown:

i am changing my ways in 2003, i am letting people "correct" their mistakes on the Current Events Message Boards

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Normalnoises there is just no boundary to your stupidity is there? communist dont tell people to shut up? you fucking moron at least have the decency to change your post, dumb ass and whats with this :

"No artifical ingredients, no artifical flavor, no artifical color and no preservatives. I come 100% natural. "

you also forgot 100% queer, so why dont you do us all a favor and shut that asshole you call a mouth.

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Originally posted by dnice35

Normalnoises there is just no boundary to your stupidity is there? communist dont tell people to shut up? you fucking moron at least have the decency to change your post, dumb ass and whats with this :

"No artifical ingredients, no artifical flavor, no artifical color and no preservatives. I come 100% natural. "

you also forgot 100% queer, so why dont you do us all a favor and shut that asshole you call a mouth.

I had enough of your trailer park trash! And how do you know I'm queer? See? when you knowingly get your ass kicked in a debate you resort to making assumptions that I'm queer and resort to petty insults. I am heterosexual! YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!!

As far as shutting up? Fuck no! You talk about censorship but yet when someone (like me) says something, anything all I get from you is "shut up"!

You know that attitude of yours only shows me two things; you are as unintelligent as much as you are ignorant.

I'll say what I want, anytime I want so go fuck yourself ok? Don't like it? Get the fuck off the board then!

PS if anyone here has an asshole for a mouth it's ignorant little peons named dnice.

And what are you gonna do about it if I don't shut up, huh???

Grow up little boy!!

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Originally posted by underwater

i would have to say that communists censor their people....didn't stalin kill anyone who would voice opinion against his government?....what about china?...they censor the shit out of their society.....

ummmm....just look 90 miles south of the Florida Keys....ask those people about censorship

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Originally posted by normalnoises

I had enough of your trailer park trash! And how do you know I'm queer? See? when you knowingly get your ass kicked in a debate you resort to making assumptions that I'm queer and resort to petty insults. I am heterosexual! YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!!

I wouldnt want to know your sausage smuggling ass... you two dollar whore.

As far as shutting up? Fuck no! You talk about censorship but yet when someone (like me) says something, anything all I get from you is "shut up"!

what do you mean "someone like you"? you mean a lesser man, homosexual, fag, queer, tree hugger, cross dresser.... WHAT??? be specific man.

You know that attitude of yours only shows me two things; you are as unintelligent as much as you are ignorant.

I am sure you proved your intelligence when you stated....

"Originally posted by normalnoises

I never heard a communist tell ppl to shut up when ppl talk negatively (or postively) about the government."

talk about stupid! you have shown your intellegence or lack of I should say with that idiotic remark.

I'll say what I want, anytime I want so go fuck yourself ok? Don't like it? Get the fuck off the board then!

you are right you can say what you want anytime, god forbid you send the aclu after me, *scared*

PS if anyone here has an asshole for a mouth it's ignorant little peons named dnice.

if I would have been in 3rd grade I might have been offended by that coment.

And what are you gonna do about it if I don't shut up, huh???

you have grown some balls finally, but I will gladly meet you next time I am in Boston, I will beat you to bloody pulp... wait let me rephrase that before you call "the proper authorities" on me.

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Originally posted by normalnoises

I never heard a communist tell ppl to shut up when ppl talk negatively (or postively) about the government.

That is because all the Communists that you know, sit safely inside a Starbucks sipping coffee while spewing their opinions. Let them try that outside the good old US of A. If Communism is such a wonderful form of Government, why don’t you move to Cuba?

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