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Tags: Yemen | Qaida | terror | bold

Yemen Now Key Al-Qaida Training Hub

Sunday, 27 December 2009 07:03 PM EST

WASHINGTON - Yemen is rapidly emerging as the new Al Qaeda hub, indicating that military operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas are forcing the militant group to look for new refuge, US officials and terrorism experts said on Sunday.

The debate followed the arrest on Friday of a 23-year-old Nigerian man recruited by Al Qaeda in Yemen where he was also taught how to make explosive devices and was directed to use one such device on a US plane.

On Saturday, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was formally charged with trying to blow up a Northwest airliner by setting off a device strapped to his body as the plane was approaching the Detroit airport.

“This could be a game-changer because it will be the first time since 9/11 that you’ve had a US-based plot driven out of somewhere other than the Pakistan-Afghan theatre,” said Juan Zarate, former US Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism.

“Yemen is a place where Al Qaeda is on the move, a strong movement there,” said former CIA acting director John McLaughlin.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Barack Obama wanted to “increase our cooperation with nations like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia,” places used by Al Qaeda to regroup and plan attacks at US targets.

The three were among half a dozen experts and officials who appeared on various US television channels on Sunday to talk about the failed attempt to blow up the airliner on the Christmas Day.

Mr McLaughlin warned that in the last two or three years Al Qaeda had changed its tactics and had now dispersed across the globe.

“They have safe havens of sorts in the tribal areas of Pakistan, one growing in Yemen. In Somalia, it can be claimed that they have a safe haven of sorts,” he said.

To read full DAWN story — Go Here Now.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, 27 December 2009 07:03 PM
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