Well, there seems to be a bit more to the mass releases...
The Saleh regime seems to have cut a deal recruiting said fighters into the cause of fighting the two movements against the government.
Quoting the always excellent Jane Novak (bold added for emphasis):
President Saleh deployed Fahdli and other Afghan Arabs against southern Socialists in 1994’s civil war. Some bin Laden loyalists were rewarded with high positions in the administration and military after the 1994 civil war. More recently, General al Ahmar incorporated Sunni extremists into military ranks during the 2004-2008 Saada War against Shiite “Houthi” rebels. Militants legitimize both the 1994 and Saada deployments by referencing the “apostate” nature of the enemy. This task is made easier by the official media’s description of both Socialists and Shiites as satanic.Let's see if I have this right...
...this is the regime to which the current American administration wants to release more GTMO detainees too?
Previously here at CompHyp on Yemen: The Weekly N&C for January 26th, 2009.