Al-Qaida expands in Middle East with car bomb attacks in Yemen
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
SANAA, Yemen — Under a heavy fog, al-Qaida militants disguised in military uniforms conducted car bomb attacks on three security and military posts in southern Yemen on Friday, killing 38 soldiers in the group's biggest assault in the country since last year.
The coordinated attacks point to how al-Qaida is exploiting the continued weakness of Yemen's military to rally at a time when the group's branches across the region grow more assertive. More than two years after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, factions of the group he led are taking advantage of turmoil in multiple Arab nations to expand their presence and influence.
In Syria, foreign jihadists linked to or inspired by al-Qaida have become such a powerful force in the rebellion that the Syrian opposition on Friday accused them of being opportunists hijacking the uprising against President Bashar Assad. After the coup in Egypt toppled the Islamist president, al-Qaida leaders have called on sympathizers to join militants' fight there against the military. Iraq's al-Qaida branch has stepped up attacks in that country and extended operations into neighboring Syria.
Last month, the United States temporarily closed 19 diplomatic missions across the Middle East and North Africa when intelligence agencies intercepted a message between al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasser al-Wahishi, also a one-time confidant of bin Laden who leads the Yemen branch, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
“I think there's been a promiscuous rush to write al-Qaida's obituary, and it's always been presumptuous,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.
Experts in extremist networks see no clear evidence of coordination between groups under the al-Qaida banner. But gains by one serve as powerful encouragement and recruiting tools for others.
‘The lateral connections — relationships between al-Qaida groups — create a latticed structure that adds to the resiliency of the network,” Katherine Zimmerman, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute told a hearing of a House subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence on Wednesday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 284 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster
- Ukraine bares teeth as troops repel rebels
- U.N. Security Council views purported photos of Syrian war dead
- Iran blasts ambassador visa denial
- French sweep school’s males for DNA to try to solve rape
- Russian military spending increases
- Matisse’s cutouts make exuberant display in London’s Tate
- Journalists: Egypt trial a joke
- Vienna Philharmonic to return Nazi-looted painting
- 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria; militants blamed