Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yemen the new training ground for terrorists

US President Barack Obama warned in his speech about Afghanistan this week that the world would face new threats as Al Qaeda established a foothold in other parts of the world. One of the countries he singled out was Yemen. It is the poorest state in the Arab world and is rapidly running out of oil and water. There are now growing fears that the impoverished nation could become an increasingly attractive Al Qaeda base.

During his speech, Mr Obama singled out Yemen and Somalia as two nations where Al Qaeda's influence was increasing "We'll have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power," he said. Where Al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold, whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere, they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships." For many years, Yemen has faced political and economic crises. With a population of 23 million people, it is the poorest Arabic nation and security is a growing concern.

Dr Sarah Phillips works at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. She has just written a paper on Al Qaeda in Yemen for the Lowy Institute and says the country is an increasingly attractive base for the terrorist group. "Yemen is quite a desirable operating environment in a number of ways," she said. "For one, there is a strong tribal structure there, which if approached sensitively by people affiliated with Al Qaeda can afford some opportunity, particularly with regard to refuge, being able to hide while they plan operations both within Yemen but also abroad.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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