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Al Qaeda branch in Yemen planning terror strikes: US

Posted by on March 26, 2011 0 Comment

Washington, March 26 (DPA) An Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen may be close to launching a terrorist attack, according to US intelligence agencies, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

US officials described the information about the plot as fragmentary, and did not have sufficient details to issue a public warning, the report said.

But they said the intelligence was credible. And one official said the new information pointed to “a current and concerning threat”, the Post reported.

The threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as the affiliate is known, comes at a time when counter-terrorism operations in Yemen have reportedly been disrupted by mass demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled for 32 years.

US officials have expressed concerns that the unrest sweeping the Arab world could hamper efforts to unravel the plot.

The US was last year patrolling above Yemen with unmanned Predator drones, and in the last 18 months deployed dozens of CIA agents and anti-terrorism specialists to track the Al Qaeda branch.

Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, last month described AQAP as “probably the most significant risk to the US homeland”.

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