Posted by Ryan Mauro on Dec 30th, 2009 and filed under FrontPage.
The narrowly missed terrorist attack on Christmas Day is causing the West’s attention to shift to Yemen, a country currently fighting two insurgencies led by different extremists of different ideologies but with common linkages to Iran. The Al-Qaeda portion of the forces fighting the Yemeni government has been strengthened by the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, making any move to send Yemeni detainees held there back to their homeland a very dangerous move.
Al-Qaeda has been building a base in Yemen for many years, facilitated by the willingness of the government to cut deals and negotiate truces with the organization in a way not dissimilar to Pakistan. President Saleh has used Arabs that fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets as soldiers in the 1994 civil war and against the extremist Shiite Houthi rebels in the north and has recruited from Salafi tribes, and many of these fighters have since received positions in the government and security forces.