Yemen a Haven for Retired Jihadists
Bin Laden bodyguard among many still loyal to al-Qaeda
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jan 6, 2010 7:37 AM CST
Osama's former body guard a host of former fighters are now living in Yemen.   (AP Photo, file)

(Newser) – Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard, Nasser al-Bahri, is one of thousands of former fighters living openly in Yemen and still loyal to the cause. "America is still a legitimate target," Bahri, now a business consultant, tells the Washington Post. This cadre of ex-jihadists makes American engagement in Yemen risky, and helps create a haven for the likes of would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. "These people are already angry," explains one analyst. "The only option they will have if fighting starts is to join al-Qaeda."

Bin Laden's one-time spiritual adviser, Abdul Majid al-Zindani, is a powerful religious figure in Yemen. And Bahri, once nicknamed "the killer," still speaks fondly of his old boss: "Whatever mistakes he has made, he has a very pure personality," he says. "He's simple, holy and sacred."