Patterico's Pontifications

12/26/2009

The Yemeni Connection

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 3:15 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC News reports the Northwest Flight #253 bomb plot was planned by al Qaeda in Yemen:

“The plot to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit was organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen who apparently sewed bomb materials into the suspect’s underwear before sending him on his mission, federal authorities tell ABC News.

Investigators say the suspect had more than 80 grams of PETN, a compound related to nitro-glycerin used by the military. The so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, had only about 50 grams kin his failed attempt in 2001 to blow up a U.S.-bound jet. Yesterday’s bomb failed because the detonator may have been too small or was not in “proper contact” with the explosive material, investigators told ABC News.”

Yemen’s ties to al Qaeda and terrorism go way back:

“As the birthplace of Osama Bin Laden’s father and the poorest country in the Arabic world, Yemen has always been a breeding ground for anti-western sentiment. But a few years ago a grouping of hardline Muslim insurgents in Yemen, said to be responsible for the attacks on the USS Cole in 2000 and the kidnap and deaths of western tourists two years earlier, appeared to have burnt itself out after a government crackdown.

However, earlier this year a group calling itself Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) emerged in Yemen. It combined jihadists from Saudi Arabia with homegrown activists and has been responsible for, or has influenced, multiple attacks in the Middle East and further afield.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the US army officer who killed more than a dozen people while running amok in Texas last month, was said to have corresponded with Anwar al-Awlaki. The radical cleric was born in the United States but moved in 2002 to Yemen, where he is said to be hiding with AQAP.”

Has al Qaeda returned to the regional safe haven of Yemen? It appears so, which may be why U.S. drones resumed targeting al Qaeda leaders in Yemen in early November with a CIA drone attack that killed six suspected members of Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

For more on Yemen, read this Christmas Eve Glenn Greenwald interview of Gregory D. Johnsen, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University specializing in Yemen and one of the contributors to the Waq al-Waq blog.

— DRJ

One Response to “The Yemeni Connection”

  1. Whatever they call SAC could probably use some practice in “carpet bombing”, and what better place to do it.
    Then, 24-hours after the last bomber departs Yemeni airspace, loose the Tomahawks with the “Boomer” warheads, which should catch whomever is left out looking at the damage.
    Put up a sign:
    Object Lesson #1!
    Who wants to be #2?
    In 100-200 years, we can open a glass factory.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3ace85)


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