Last week, the Obama administration urged Saudi Arabia to halt its air campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have wrested control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The White House’s professed concern was that Riyadh’s Operation Decisive Storm was killing too many civilians. Unfortunately, that’s hardly surprising since Iranian proxies, like Hezbollah and Hamas, typically stash their missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Presumably, the Houthis have read from the same playbook.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on the situation with Yemen and how it plays into the pending nuclear deal with Iran.Read more
The Obama administration once pointed to Yemen as the proof that the application of what it calls “smart power” works.Read more
Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
House Homeland Security Committee chair Mike McCaul said on CBS that he expects to "see more and more" of the Paris style attacks take place around the world:Read more
President Obama issued this statement after the death of photojournalist Luke Somers, who was held hostage in Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in a rescue attempt.Read more
In an address Wednesday night to the nation, President Obama held up America’s strategy in Yemen as a model for the counterterrorism strategy he intends to pursue in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, he committed to a strategy of targeting terrorists from the air and supporting local security forces in their counterterrorism fight.Read more
In talking about defeating ISIS, President Obama will cite the examples of Yemen and Somalia as models of success.
"This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama will say, according to an except released in advance of tonight's address to the nation.Read more
A video of a large al Qaeda gathering in Yemen has raised eyebrows in the press. Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as general manager of al Qaeda’s global network, can be heard saying to a crowd of more than 100: "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"Read more
Earlier this week, the State Department designated the al Nusrah Front in Syria as an “alias” for al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). The head of AQI, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi al Husseini al Qurshi (a.k.a. Abu Du'a), “is in control of both AQI and al Nusrah.” The designation says a lot about our knowledge, or lack thereof, of al Qaeda’s clandestine international network.Read more
Last night, President Obama defiantly declared that "al Qaeda is on its heels." The president made this claim at a fundraiser at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.Read more
On and around September 11, 2012, al Qaeda attacked multiple American assets around the world. The attack that has received the most attention is the deadly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the U.S. consulate in Libya was not the only diplomatic facility assaulted by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in September. Terrorists with ties to al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, were involved in at least three other U.S. embassy sieges in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and possibly elsewhere.Read more
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released a martyrdom statement for Anwar al Awlaki, the al Qaeda cleric who was killed in a U.S. drone strike last month. AQAP claims – like many critics of the strike – that slaying Awlaki violated American law because the U.S. government “did not prove any crime” and “never presented any proof against” Awlaki and Samir Khan, who was also killed in the strike. The argument goes that, as Americans, Awlaki and Khan were deprived of their right to due process.Read more
Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh survived a rocket attack on the presidential palace in Sana’a today, and he is reportedly planning to address the country sometime soon. This latest episode is more evidence that the country where the most active al Qaeda franchise has found sanctuary is sliding toward civil war.Read more
Katherine Zimmerman, of the American Enterprise Institute's Critical Threats program, offers an update of what's going on in Yemen. "Heavy fighting between government forces and tribesmen outside of Yemen’s capital has broadened the conflict," Zimmerman finds. "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has gained operating space as Yemeni security forces have pulled out of al Qaeda strongholds to protect the regime’s interests."Read more
AEI's Critical Threats team will be hosting an important conference on Yemen tomorrow, titled, "Crisis in Yemen, the Rise of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and US National Security." Here are the event details:
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