Simuvac (user submission)
December 25, 2009
Whatever the connection between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried to blow up an airliner last week, and al-Qaida (whatever that is), it appears a concerted effort is being made to establish a new hotbed for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The press has begun using the moniker "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula" to indicate an actual organization.
First, the airliner attack is being attributed to "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula":
al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the thwarted attack as retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen. Yemeni forces, helped by U.S. intelligence, carried out two airstrikes against al-Qaida operatives this month in the lawless country that is fast becoming a key front in the war on terror. The second one was a day before 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit.
Yemen has long been an al-Qaida stomping ground. But officials fear that deepening instability in the Middle Eastern nation may be giving new opportunity for the terror group to establish a base to train and plan for attacks on the West.
The Obama Administration contests the claim that the attempted attack was retaliatory.
Second, the Associated Press tells us this "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula" has "expanded" its operations:
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit, is led by a Yemeni who was once a close aide to Osama bin Laden.
The group formed in January this year, when leader Naser Abdel Karim al-Wahishi announced a merger between operatives from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Al-Wahishi, who goes by the alias Abu Basir, was among 23 al-Qaida figures who escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006. He is on Saudi Arabia's most wanted list, which includes many militants currently in Yemen.
The group has been blamed for a series of attacks in Yemen, including an assault against the U.S. embassy in San'a, and suicide bombings targeting South Korean visitors.
Recently, the group indicated it was ready to take its fight beyond Yemen. The government there said the Nigerian accused in the Christmas day attack on the U.S. airliner visited Yemen this year.
Third, Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter hit Fox News to promote pre-emptive war on Yemen.