Yemen Emerges as Base for Qaeda Attacks on U.S.
ROBERT F. WORTH
Oct 30, 2010
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Not long ago, most Americans had scarcely heard of Yemen, the arid, Texas-size country in the southern corner of the Arabian peninsula.
But on Friday, as news emerged of a plot to send explosives in courier packages from Yemen to synagogues in Chicago, the world’s attention was focused once again on the threats brewing  in Yemen’s lawless, strife-torn hinterlands, where American citizens appear to be helping the local branch of Al Qaeda take aim at the United States.
It was the second time in less than a year: on Dec. 25, a Nigerian trained in Yemen tried to detonate a bomb on a commercial flight as it approached Detroit, and Al Qaeda took credit for the attempt. The American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki had been in contact with the would-be bomber, and some analysts believe the latest effort may also be linked to Mr. Awlaki, a charismatic preacher who remains in hiding in Yemen and has issued threats by Internet.
In recent months, American intelligence officials have grown increasingly concerned about Yemen, despite a renewed cooperation on counterterrorism with the Yemeni authorities in the past year. Al Qaeda’s regional arm, which went quiet for several months after a series of American airstrikes in Yemen that began last December, has become more active since the spring, and has killed several dozen Yemeni soldiers and police officers.