Officials worry refugees will be recruited to a unified, regional al-Qaeda
KHARAZ, YEMEN - Thousands of Somali boys and teenagers fleeing war and chaos at home are sailing to Yemen, where officials who have long welcomed Somali refugees now worry that the new arrivals could become the next generation of al-Qaeda fighters.
As it quietly wages war against extremists in the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa, the Obama administration could find itself confronting a unified, regional al-Qaeda on two continents. This would further stretch U.S. resources as Washington fights major conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It could also push Yemen — beset by mounting internal strife, poor governance, extreme poverty and dwindling resources — even deeper into a downward spiral.
After 20 days of training, he was sent to the front lines. Within hours, he said, a battle erupted; Ahmed was shot in the leg. He managed to crawl to his house. His father took him to a hospital. When Ahmed regained consciousness, his father gave him $100 and ordered him to flee to Yemen.