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  • Al-Qaeda Targets Detroit Through Yemen

    The foiled bomb plot to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight as it descended over Detroit on Christmas day has focused new attention on the al-Qaeda franchise based in Yemen. The radicalized Nigerian Muslim who failed to destroy the airliner, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, reportedly has told the FBI that he was equipped and trained by al-Qaeda operatives while he lived in Yemen from August to early December. News of this Yemeni connection has spawned a spate of media reports about a “new front” in the war against terrorism. But those who follow terrorism issues know that Yemen long has been a stronghold of al-Qaeda and a staging area for many past terrorist attacks.

    In fact, al-Qaeda’s first terrorist attack against Americans came in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden’s father, who had migrated to neighboring Saudi Arabia before the birth of the al-Qaeda leader. In December 1992, bin Laden’s followers bombed a hotel in Yemen that was used by U.S. military personnel involved in supporting the humanitarian food relief flights to Somalia.

    In October 2000, seventeen American sailors on board the USS Cole, were killed in an al-Qaeda bombing in the harbor of Aden, Yemen’s main port. An earlier attack on another U.S. naval vessel, The Sullivans, had failed in January of that year when the attackers’ boat sank under the weight of its own bomb. In 2002, al-Qaeda bombed the French oil tanker Limbourg off the coast of Yemen. Later that year, a senior al-Qaeda leader was killed in Yemen in one of the first publicly revealed Predator drone attacks.

    Al-Qaeda grew much stronger in Yemen following the February 2006 escape of 23 imprisoned al-Qaeda suspects, including some of the terrorists responsible for the bombing of the Cole, from a Yemeni prison. U.S. intelligence officials told the Washington Post that the well-organized jailbreak was assisted by members of Yemen’s intelligence services sympathetic to al-Qaeda.

    The weakness of Yemen’s government and the escape or release of terrorists imprisoned in Yemen has been a factor that has led the United States to drag its feet on releasing more Yemeni prisoners from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, where they form the single largest group of remaining prisoners.

    In fact, ABC News reported yesterday that two of the planners of the Northwest Airlines bombing were al-Qaeda members who were released from Guantanamo in 2007. The two Saudi nationals had been sent home to Saudi Arabia, where they were enrolled in an “art therapy rehabilitation program” that had little known effect on their murderous ideology.

    The two later found sanctuary in Yemen, where the Saudi and Yemeni branches of al-Qaeda announced last January that they had merged to form “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” Yemen has become increasingly important as a base of operations for al-Qaeda as the global terrorist network has sustained losses in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in recent years. Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries, has been torn by a civil war in the northern part of the country and chronic secessionist activity in the south. The government’s control over Yemeni territory also has been undermined by fractious tribes that have fiercely guarded their independence in Yemen’s mountains.

    The United States has prodded the Yemeni government to take stronger action against al-Qaeda, which it previously perceived to be less of a threat than Shia rebels in the north or secessionists in the south. The launching of two missile strikes against terrorist targets this month suggests that the Yemeni government has stepped up cooperation against al-Qaeda. But the transnational terrorist organization is likely to remain a force in that troubled country for many years to come.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Al-Qaeda Targets Detroit Through Yemen

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      Hmm…slips through open doors! Hmm

      Isn't there a law for neglect of duty? All the way to the president?

      Thank goodness for the courageous actions of the passengers! If we weren't in the middle of a governmental transition and we were under Obama plan now, no one would think to move from their seat to save themselves. They'd wait for government.

      When is someone going to stop this government of atrocious, neglects? They're killing us. And trying to. This way and that.

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      It's frustrating that the Obama administration has returned full circle to a 9/10 mindset treating Muslim terrorist acts as isolated criminal events. Our military and intelligence communities have known for decades we're at war.

    3. Dave, Laguna Niguel says:

      The young man caught is but one of thousands who are sworn to kill Americans anywhere they find them, because we support Israel, as well as Egypt, Jordan and so many other Arab countries! These terrorists are being brainwashed by evil Imams who are too chicken to do what they inspire others to do, kill innocent people. They get these people when they are young and STUPID, easily controlled, just like the democrats have done in this country, get our children while they are young and STUPID!Its not a laughing matter that ONLY LUNATIC LEFT policies are taught in this country and our children are brainwashed that their's is the only way and no dissent is allowed. Man-made global warming anyone?!

    4. Chris, Houston, Texa says:

      I love your reporting but if I may make one respectful comment: A 'foiled attempt' would have required intercession, i.e. "Drats, foiled again". A failed attack is one that didn't go off as planned. This terror attack was a failed attack not a foiled attempt. I also believe that a properly run Air Marshall program, with better leaders in Washington, that listens to input from the men in the field who really know how to do their jobs, would have been very effective in an preventing an attack such as this. Change is needed in Washington but not the kind they want to give us. We need to get rid of the incompetence that perpetuates itself for the sake of power and control.

    5. Slick - Nebraska says:

      Gosh . . . do I hear another Czar about to be appointed? How about an "Underwear Czar" . . . we already have a Homeland Security Chief, Czars for our current "man made incidents or wars" so it stands to reason that the SOLUTION to our current problem is another Czar, someone who earns $150,000+ a year to tell the President that the other related Czars are not doing a very good job!!!

      I don't know about anyone else but I sure don't feel very safe these days!!! We no longer call terrorists by the name they have earned – they are persons of interest or suspected extremists, incidents are not organized by al-Qaeda but are planned and acted on by lone individuals. All this name changing is nothing but more smoke and mirrors to distract us from what our government is NOT doing about the terrorists coming to our country!

      Maybe THAT is our problem . . . here in America we no longer call things what they are: a terrorist is NOT a terrorist, Jihad is not an attack on America; bombing of American buildings or airplanes are not terrorist acts but man-made disturbances.

      I am sure that al-Qaeda is thrilled that we appear to have learned NOTHING from NUMEROUS previous attacks and that we are still doing business as usual . . . and they can AGAIN attack us in the same way as they have previously because NOTHING has changed!!!! How much training does it take to teach new recruits how to do the same old thing?????

      It appears to me that our government is totally inept when it comes to keeping America safe . . . their solution is to make American citizens comply with more restrictive behavior instead of doing a better job of controlling those who enter our country. They want to spend more money when the solution does not come from spending more, it comes from doing better with what we have. No matter how much money we spend, if information is not shared and preventive actions coordinated, we will never stem the murder of our citizens. How much longer will it take before the average American has had enough and decides to remedy the problem themselves???

    6. RLV Phila.Pa. says:

      Al Qaeda partially completed its mission,"They terrorized The USA",The CIA was put into the pre 9-11 mode by the Obama Admin.Why should they stick there necks out,when Obama is getting ready to put them on trial.I have been afraid for this country since Obama was elected.I hate to say this but a lot more Americans are going to Die because of the Obama Admin. incompetence,or maybe they sympathize with the Jihadist.

    7. Normca says:

      Hey – the would be bomber is charged with trying to destroy an aircraft. That's what the fake in the White House really thinks of citizens. We would not want to charge him with Terrorism. That would make Obama look bad in th world. The "brief" bomber did not attempt to kill the passengers; just destroy the plane. They did partially complete the mission – now we will be screened further. Needed ? Yes, however it would not have happened if it were not for the plane thief. Instead of GPA – Grand Plane Theft; charge him with Grand Theft Auto; Holder and give him probation. CNN did a piece on this guy to make him the victim. I am sad to say too that now that the enemy knows their opponent, they will become active in our country [just so the fake can blame it on Bush, again, again and again]. Where are the conspiracy theorists to say its Obama's fault; that Obama planned this ?

    8. Kevin Lewis, Alexand says:

      This administration and this President have lost their way…or should I say they had a different way in mind from the outset?! He raised his hand to protect this nation from all enenies, foreign and domestic. That is his first duty. It has now become tertiary at best…and that is being kind. I'm afraid it is going to take another catastrophic event before it rises to his primary priority. Who will he blame then…the system? He has forgotten that when he raised his hand, he became the owner and caretaker of the system. His name is on the title…he better wake up to that fact.

    9. Pete, Houston says:

      The executive branch is pretty pathetic in leading this country. The lack of practical experience is very evident in almost everything that they do. Three years is along time to wait for another "Change". Pretty sick of the blame on the system excuse. People are in charge of these divisions in the government and the President is ultimately the man in charge. Currently we have a weak and inexperienced man in the position. He can only blame the last president so many times before that excuse becomes the excuse of his replacement.

    10. Jill Hetherington says:

      The only blaming of a previous president I will tolerate is the next president blaming this one. He or she will certainly have a lot to complain about.

    11. Drew Page, IL says:

      No such thing as a "terrorist", or so says B.O., just an isolated extremist allegedly attempting a man-made disaster.

      I certainly hope this person is receiving full and proper medical care after he has been given his Miranda rights. I want him to be in good shape to meet with his court appointed, tax payer funded defense counsel.

      It's been said already that this poor individual has been depressed and lonely. He's probably suffering from a negative self-image due to a poor relationship with his father. Perhaps his defense team can use these facts to prove that while his actions can't be condoned, they can certainly be understood. This person needs our understanding and help. I suggest he be afforded the same art-therapy that proved so successful with the Guantanimo detainees released to Saudi Arabia.

    12. Pingback: WaPo Swallows Obama Line on Guantanamo and Yemen | National Review Institute Blog

    13. Magician says:

      Awesome Site! Carry on the awesome work!

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