[Guest post by DRJ]
The United States and Britain closed its embassies in Yemen today because of security threats from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula:
“President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, cited “indications al-Qaida is planning to carry out an attack against a target” in the capital, possibly the embassy, and estimated the group had several hundred members in Yemen. Security reasons led Britain to act, too; it was not known when the embassies would reopen.”
The government also announced a plan to target people traveling from predominantly Muslim countries for special screening:
“The Transportation Security Administration announced Sunday that, starting Monday, passengers flying into the United States from Nigeria, Yemen and other “countries of interest” will be subject to enhanced screening techniques, such as body scans and pat-downs.
Yemen is a poor, decentralized and predominantly Muslim country on the Arabian Peninsula. It is the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and the site of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. A 2008 attack on the U.S. Embassy killed one American.
Given the active threat from al-Qaida, “we’re not going to take any chances,” Brennan said from Washington during appearances on four Sunday talk shows.”
The Presidential candidate who vowed to meet with America’s enemies is now effectively profiling people from Muslim and other countries.
UPDATE — Yemen will be even more dangerous in the coming weeks and months since the White House still plans to release the Yemenis at Guantanamo back to Yemen:
“Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brennan explained that, “Of the recent batch that we sent back, about six, many of them are in custody within the Yemeni system right now.” He did not elaborate on the meaning of “many.” “We will decide and determine when, when we should send additional people back,” Brennan continued. “But we’re going to do it in the right way, because Guantanamo should be closed. It was used as a propaganda tool by al-Qaeda, and the president is still committed to it.” The message was clear: Guantanamo inmates are going back to Yemen.”
This would almost be funny if it weren’t so serious.