News / Middle East

Drone Strikes Key as Terror Threat Keeps US Embassies Closed

Drone Strikes Key as Terror Threat Keeps US Embassies Closedi
X
August 08, 2013 1:32 AM
Several U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed as the U.S. works to counter potential al-Qaida attacks in the Middle East. VOA’s Carla Babb has more from the State Department.
Carla Babb
Several U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed as the U.S. works to counter potential al-Qaida attacks in the Middle East.

Another day of 19 U.S. embassy closings around the world...another day of drone strikes in Yemen.  The latest attack killed at least seven al-Qaida militants.

Anthony Cordesman, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says drones are crucial in the fight against terrorists.  

“Unless you basically are willing to tolerate the growth of terrorist networks without any U.S. action except trying to defend the borders of the United States, this is the best tool we have," said Cordesman.

Yemen remains a hub for al-Qaida, even as authorities there say security forces foiled an attempted attack on Westerners in the country’s south.  Defense Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmad:

"We can reassure you that the military forces will be acting with an iron fist and will maintain stability and security no matter what the sacrifices will be," said Ahmad.

  • Police stop cars at a checkpoint near the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, August 6, 2013. The State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country.
  • A police armoured personnel carrier is stationed at a checkpoint on the road leading to the Sanaa International Airport August 6, 2013.
  • A Yemeni soldier inspects cars on a street leading to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, August 4, 2013.
  • An image grab taken from an AFPTV video shows people heading to Sanaa International Airport as they prepare to leave Yemen on August 6, 2013.
  • A policeman checks a car at a checkpoint near the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, August 6, 2013.

But back in Washington, the State Department says that's not enough to bring its employees back to the capital, Sana’a.  Spokeswoman Jen Psaki:

“We are keeping it closed to keep our people safe and because we believe a threat remains," said Psaki.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

  • Formed by a 2009 merger of al-Qaida's Yemen and Saudi branches
  • Led by Nasir al-Wahishi, former assistant to Osama bin Laden
  • Established sanctuaries in Yemen, overrunning entire towns and villages
  • Was behind unsuccessful underwear bomb plot on Christmas Day 2009
  • Was behind foiled 2010 plot to send mail bombs hidden in toner cartridges to the US
The State Department’s threat warning has closed between 19 and 22 embassies and consulates at a given time. Daniel Serwer, an analyst at Johns Hopkins University, criticizes the move.

“It was a warning for a fairly substantial period of time in 22 countries. I mean, who can react to that? That’s not a useful kind of warning," said Serwer.

Anthony Cordesman disagrees.

“It isn’t just a matter of Yemen.  It isn’t just a matter even of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The guidance that was coming from al-Qaida central, al-Zawahiri in Pakistan, also affected areas in Iraq and the Maghreb," he said.

The global threat revived painful memories in Kenya and Tanzania, where al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. embassies there killed more than 200 people 15 years ago.

You May Like

Ferguson Grand Jury Expected to Reconvene

It remains unclear whether jurors will reach a decision by midweek Thanksgiving holiday on whether to indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid