US, France, Middle East concerned over Yemen becoming al-Qaeda base: Wikileaks

April 10th, 2011 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 10 (ANI): The whistleblower website ‘Wikileaks’ has revealed the concerns of a number of countries like France, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt that Yemen is becoming a stronghold base of the al-Qaeda.

Two influential French senators had earlier warned that there was still time to “save Yemen so that it does not become the next base for Al Qaeda,” while diplomats in Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt used words like “frightened” to highlight that al-Qaeda was flourishing as Yemen faltered, The Washington Post reports.

The strongest comment, however, came from Saudi Arabian officials who said that Yemen would become a more hospitable environment for terrorists than even Afghanistan, and that it was already so infested that it should be considered al-Qaeda’s “main home.”

The surge in demonstrations against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have heightened the U.S. concerns about his country, disrupting counterterrorism operations involving U.S. Special Operations forces, aerial surveillance from armed Predator aircraft and clandestine CIA operations.

The documents reveal a level of disagreement and dysfunction in U.S.-Yemeni counterterrorism efforts that helps explain why the campaign against al-Qaeda appears to have stalled after a series of early, high-profile strikes.

The cables also raised new questions about the United States’ reliance on Saleh, an autocrat who has been ruling Yemen since 32 years.

The cable issued by the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa last year noted that elite Yemeni counterterrorism units built with extensive American help to target al-Qaeda were instead being used by Saleh to subdue Houthi rebels in the country’s north. (ANI)

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