Counter-Terrorism: Yemen Rounds Up The Usual Suspects

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June 3,2008: The al Qaeda branch in Yemen suffered a major blow when police arrested eleven terrorists last month. The local al Qaeda crew, calling itself the Jund Al Yemen Brigades, has set off bombs near the U.S. and Italian embassies, and a housing compound for foreigners, over the last year. Al Qaeda in Yemen operations had actually peaked in 2000, when a suicide bomber took a boatload of explosives into Aden harbor and badly damaged a U.S. destroyer (the Cole). That attack killed 17 U.S. sailors, and brought down the wrath of Yemeni security forces. Since September 11, 2001, the pressure has been steady, and hundreds of al Qaeda members and supporters have been arrested or killed. That has thwarted many attacks, and none of the ones that were carried out were as effective as the attack on the USS Cole. On the downside, convicted terrorists have been able to bribe their way out of jail, although they are often recaptured.

 


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