8/7/2013 Plot Foiled
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Authorities foiled plots by al-Qaida to take over key cities in southern Yemen and attack strategic ports and gas facilities, a government spokesman said Wednesday amid a heightened alert that has seen Western embassies evacuated and a new suspected U.S. drone strike that killed seven alleged militants from the terrorist group.
Al-Qaida planned to target the cities of Mukalla and Bawzeer, then send militants disguised as Yemeni troops to attack two strategic oil ports in the impoverished country on the Arabian Peninsula, government spokesman Rageh Badi said.
A strike carried out by a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle on Aug. 7 killed at least six suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen's Shabwa province, Reuters reported, citing witnesses and local officials. At least six missiles were fired at two vehicles in an area about 70 kilometers (50 miles) north of the provincial capital, Ataq.
Yemeni tribesmen shot down an army helicopter with a rocket, killing eight soldiers, during a clash regarding repairs to a sabotaged pipeline, a tribal chief said, AFP reported Aug. 6. Tribesmen attacked the pipeline Aug. 4, stopping the flow of crude exports.
For the West, AQAP presents three dangers:
- locally, to western embassies and citizens in Yemen
- inspirationally, to potential jihadists around the world through its online magazine Inspire
- globally, by putting bombs on planes
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP; Arabic: القاعدة في جزيرة العرب, Al-Qaida fi Jazirat al-'Arab) is a militant Islamist organization, primarily active inYemen and Saudi Arabia. It was named for al-Qaeda, and says it is subordinate to that group and its now-deceased leader Osama bin Laden, a Saudi citizen whose father was born in Yemen. It is considered the most active of Al-Qaeda's branches, or "franchises," that emerged due to weakening central leadership.
Yemen i/ˈjɛmən/ (Arabic: اليَمَن al-Yaman) officially known as the Republic of Yemen (Arabic: الجمهورية اليمنية al-Jumhūriyyah al-Yamaniyyah), is an Arab country located in Western Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, theGulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east.
Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Its capital and largest city is Sana'a. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 354 km (220 mi) to the south of mainland Yemen. It is the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republican form of government.Yemen was the first country in the Arabian peninsula to grant women the right to vote. Yemeni unification took place on 22 May 1990, when North Yemen was united with South Yemen, forming the Republic of Yemen.
The majority of Yemen's population is divided into tribal groups, especially in the northern areas of the country where 85% of local residents belong to various tribesThere are also small groups of peoples of Turkish/Ottoman origin in urban areas.Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Ali Abdullah Saleh was the first elected president of the reunified Yemen. Since the 1990s, the Houthis (an armed Zaydi group) has attempted to establish Zaydi Shia principles in the country.