The issue that is causing most concern among the West’s leading intelligence agencies is the growing strength of al-Qaeda in Yemen, and its ability to conduct terror attacks both against Western targets in Yemen and against the West itself.
The emergence of Yemen as a major al-Qaeda terror hub in recent years is in part due to the success of Nato’s mission in Afghanistan, which has seriously disrupted the activities of Islamist militants, and also Pakistan’s contribution, which has recently launched a military offensive to clear the Taliban and al-Qaeda from its North West frontier.
Somewhat alarming, element in al-Qeda’s revival in Yemen has been the arrival of several former GuantanamoBay detainees who were released to Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they had renounced the struggle, but then immediately made their way to Yemen to rejoin the jihad against the West.
The suicide bomb attack on the British Ambassador’s convoy in the middle of the Yemeni capital underscores how far the Yemeni Government and its Western backers have to go in combatting terrorism in the country.
The only good thing that can be said about this most unwelcome development is that hopefully it will persuade the Obama administration not to do anything hasty when it comes to fulfilling the president’s promise to close the Guantanamo facility.