The brazen attack of four suspected Al-Qaeda members on Yemen’s intelligence headquarters in Aden should resonate as a powerful warning that the movement’s march across the region is far from being halted, despite a recent surge to crackdown on the organization.
Since Al-Qaeda was brought to the world’s attention – with its attacks as bold as they come – the organization has spread across the region like wildfire. Al-Qaeda cells in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, and numerous other countries have been a painful thorn in the side of authorities that often already have a lot on their plates.
In Yemen, the country’s delicate geo-strategic importance raises the stakes to a much higher level. Off the coast of Yemen’s southern tip is the Bab al-Manbed strait, a passageway through which a critical portion of the Gulf states’ oil production travels to and from Europe. With the strait flanked on its western face by a country already infested by a strong Al-Qaeda presence, namely Somalia, the catastrophic scenario of a regional lifeline falling into the hands of a terrorist organization suddenly does not appear so implausible.
The prospect of the price of a barrel of oil tripling has probably motivated the US into action, pouring millions of dollars into the country to equip Yemeni forces with up-to-date military technology.
Since then, US authorities have fed their public with sound bites designed to reassure their constituencies that their dollars were well
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