Yemeni Officials Claim to Have Thwarted Major Al Qaeda Terror Threat
Yemeni officials claim to have successfully prevented a terror plot set to occur in their country early this week. Al Qaeda forces had reportedly planned to attack Yemen's major oil pipelines and seize two of the country's biggest ports.
The news comes after the U.S. closed 20 embassies in the Middle East and Africa this weekend in fear of such a threat. U.S. intelligence operations allegedly intercepted a conference call in which al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called upon his Yemeni associate Yemen Nasr al Wuhayshi and others to carry out attacks in coincidence with the end of the Ramadan holiday. The UK and France have also flown their diplomats out of several countries under heightened security.
In a press conference yesterday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the situation "one of the foremost national security threats we face."
The Yemeni government has been critical of the decision to evacuate Western officials from their country, claiming that this move only "serves the interests of the extremists and undermines the exceptional cooperation between Yemen and the international alliance against terrorism."
The Obama Administration reportedly authorized a slew of drone strikes in Yemen over the last ten days, killing an unknown number of militants. U.S. officials do not believe any senior al Qaeda officials have been taken out in the strikes.