The Question Everyone’s Asking

(Other than “what’s going to happen to Conan?”)

Following revelations that the underwear bomber was fitted in Yemen, everyone is (or should be) asking: what is going on over there? The answer turns out to be… quite a bit.
So Yemen is finally front and center on the radar for the U.S. counterterrorism effort.
Not to pat ourselves on the back too hard, but the HPR ran an article about the growing threat of al-Qaida in Yemen a few weeks before the underwear bomber was exposed. Our own Robert Long on what makes the underlying situation so difficult to resolve:

Today, Yemen teeters on the brink of collapse: the army is battling an insurgency in the north, a southern secessionist movement is gaining momentum, and the economic downturn has exacerbated high levels of unemployment. Al-Qaida has reestablished itself with bomb attacks and assassinations that have targeted Yemeni officials, the Saudi government, and the American embassy in the capital city of Sana’a. As al-Qaida exploits Yemen’s growing lawlessness, it threatens oil-producing Saudi Arabia, vital Red Sea shipping routes, and security around the world.

Eight years after the Cole attack, Yemen’s deterioration and potential collapse poses a threat to international security that is increasingly difficult to ignore. The coming year will be a critical period in which countries targeted by al-Qaida in Yemen, particularly Saudi Arabia, will be under mounting pressure to ensure the stability of the government in Sana’a before it is too late.

Read the full article here.
Photo Credit: Flickr / Gerry & Bonni

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