Now Yemen, what next?

YEMEN has launched a major operation against Al-Qaeda after reports that the organisation was taking foothold in its lawless areas and the militant group had threatened for strikes on embassies in that country. Al-Qaeda for sometime past had been building its capacity in Yemen and no responsible government can afford to allow sanctuaries to terrorists and particularly if such elements are waging war against other countries.

US has been warning of Al-Qaeda threat from Yemen after an attempt to blow up an airliner on Christmas day outside Detroit and a Yemeni based affiliate of the group claimed responsibility for planning the failed plot. After this incident and threats to embassies, thousands of Yemeni forces launched operations in three Provinces and detained five suspected fighters. In view of increasing threats the Yemeni forces have tightened security around the airport and foreign diplomatic missions in Sana. Stepped up pressure on militants by the US and its allies in Afghanistan has forced Al-Qaeda to relocate in Yemen. Yemeni government estimates that there could be up to 300 Al-Qaeda militants in the country planning attacks on Western targets. Yemen is an ideal place for Al-Qaeda for a number of reasons including armed tribal groups in outlying areas, porous borders and other factors. Thousands of Yemenis fought in Afghanistan or trained in Al-Qaeda’s camps there. Yemeni prisoners make up one of the largest contingents of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo. In our view the way the menace of terrorism is being tackled is giving birth to more terrorism and one can say that today it is Yemen and tomorrow it may be Somalia or another country where such actions can take place. Therefore the Government of Yemen and all those who are engaged in combating terrorism should give a serious thought how to stop the breeding grounds for terrorists. We are of the firm belief that the US should consider holding in-depth interaction with the OIC, the Arab League and the UN to ponder over the causes of terrorism and come out with a unified strategy to address the issues that motivate the people to adopt the path of extremism and terrorism as that is the only way to eliminate the menace. –Pakobserver


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