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.
This article was posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 4:15 am