News / Middle East

US Concerned about Al-Qaida's Yemen Branch

US Concerned About al-Qaida Branch in Yemeni
X
August 08, 2013 10:25 PM
The State Department says the U.S. still maintains a presence in Yemen, after ordering nonessential personnel at the U.S. Embassy to leave the country due to the "extremely high" potential of a terror attack. Nineteen U.S. embassies and consulates will remain closed through Saturday. VOA’s Carla Babb has more from the State Department.
Carla Babb
The State Department says the U.S. still maintains a presence in Yemen, after ordering nonessential personnel at the U.S. Embassy to leave the country due to the "extremely high" potential of a terror attack. Nineteen U.S. embassies and consulates will remain closed through Saturday. 
 
As non-emergency staff quietly left the country, a suspected U.S. drone snuck in, killing four alleged members of al-Qaida.  
 
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has thrived in Yemen for years. The United States calls AQAP the most active and dangerous group plotting against America, as reaffirmed by State Department Spokeswoman Jan Psaki. 
 
“The fact that they continue to pose a serious threat to the United States and its interests, we consider this to be one of the foremost national security challenges we face,” she remarked. 
 
Yemen is said to be the poorest Arab country and it suffers from political instability. 
 
The instability breeds terrorists, according to former ambassador James Jeffrey, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 
 
 “They operate in areas where you do not have the best of border controls.  They operate in areas where you don’t have the best of modern security forces plugged into Interpol and international intelligence channels.” 
 
In a region where attacks can sometimes be as frequent as the morning call to prayer, terror groups aim high.
 
“The only propaganda that really counts in the Middle East is when you take down an embassy," noted Jeffrey. "When you sink or almost sink a ship or when you otherwise show America is weak and vulnerable.”
 
But the U.S. and its allies know that even though terror groups plan big attacks, these attacks can be foiled. James Carafano, with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said terrorists depend on predictability.
 
“They want to know how many guards, they want to know what time they change, they want to know what the traffic patterns are like," Carafano explained, "they want to know what people are doing that day. So, when you make an announcement, oh we’re closing things or ramping up security, you have changed the conditions.”  
 
State Department officials say Yemen continues to work closely with the United States to fight terror groups like AQAP.  Secretary John Kerry has spoken with Yemen’s president to thank him for his efforts during this latest threat. But it is still unclear when the departed staff will return and when the embassy will reopen.  
 

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid