Terrorism: October 18, 2000

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Monday-morning quarterbacking over the attack on the USS Cole began within hours. Critics noted that the Navy was stretched too thin, with ships sent to sea without full crews or completely working systems, a situation that has gone on for five years. The Navy has 101 of its 315 ships deployed at sea, and its 23 tankers are not enough to provide every ship on detached duty with a tanker all its own. Buying fuel and other supplies in various ports is something navies have done for thousands of years. Yemen is known to be an unstable country with many areas not under government control. There is an active anti-western guerrilla/terrorist group, and at least two international terrorist groups (Islamic Jihad of Egypt and the group led by Osama bin Laden) have working cells there. The US "military engagement" with Yemen is based partly on attempts to convince the Yemenis to allow the US to establish a signals intelligence station and military storage depot on the

 

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