The PNAC War Expands: Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Whatever the connection between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried to blow up an airliner last week, and al-Qaida (whatever that is), it appears a concerted effort is being made to establish a new hotbed for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The press has begun using the moniker "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula" to indicate an actual organization.

First, the airliner attack is being attributed to "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula":

"al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the thwarted attack as retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen. Yemeni forces, helped by U.S. intelligence, carried out two airstrikes against al-Qaida operatives this month in the lawless country that is fast becoming a key front in the war on terror. The second one was a day before 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit.

Yemen has long been an al-Qaida stomping ground. But officials fear that deepening instability in the Middle Eastern nation may be giving new opportunity for the terror group to establish a base to train and plan for attacks on the West."

The Obama Administration contests the claim that the attempted attack was retaliatory.

Second, the Associated Press tells us this "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula" has "expanded" its operations:

"Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit, is led by a Yemeni who was once a close aide to Osama bin Laden.

The group formed in January this year, when leader Naser Abdel Karim al-Wahishi announced a merger between operatives from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Al-Wahishi, who goes by the alias Abu Basir, was among 23 al-Qaida figures who escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006. He is on Saudi Arabia's most wanted list, which includes many militants currently in Yemen.

The group has been blamed for a series of attacks in Yemen, including an assault against the U.S. embassy in San'a, and suicide bombings targeting South Korean visitors.

Recently, the group indicated it was ready to take its fight beyond Yemen. The government there said the Nigerian accused in the Christmas day attack on the U.S. airliner visited Yemen this year."

Third, Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter hit Fox News to promote pre-emptive war on Yemen.

According to the NY Times, the US has covertly been at war with Yemen for the past year:

"A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country, according a former top agency official. At the same time, some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, senior military officers said.

The Pentagon is spending more than $70 million over the next 18 months, and using teams of Special Forces, to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and coast guard forces, more than doubling previous military aid levels."

For those of you keeping score at home and wondering about

Yemeni oil, here you go:

"Yemen is a small oil producer and does not belong to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Unlike many regional oil producers, Yemen relies heavily on foreign oil companies that have production-sharing agreements with the government. Income from oil production constitutes 70 to 75 percent of government revenue and about 90 percent of exports. Yemen contains proven crude oil reserves of more than 4 billion barrels (640,000,000 m3), although these reserves are not expected to last more than 9 years, and output from the country’s older fields is falling, a concern since oil provides around 90% of the country's exports[2].

The World Bank predicts that Yemen's oil and gas revenues will plummet during 2009 and 2010, and fall to zero by 2017 as supplies run out, and UK's Royal Institute for International Affairs warns that instability there could expand a zone of lawlessness from northern Kenya to Saudi Arabia, while describing Yemen's democracy as "fragile" and pointing to armed conflicts with Islamists and tribal insurgents. Thus western and other diplomats and leaders are concerned to preserve Yemen's stability and to avert adverse outcomes[2]. According to statistics published by the Energy Information Administration, crude oil output averaged 413,300,000 barrels per day (65,710,000 m3/d) in 2005, a reduction from 423,700 bbl/d (67,360 m3/d) in 2004. For the first eight months of 2006, crude oil output was flat, averaging 412,500 bbl/d (65,580 m3/d)."

December 17, WashPo

Yemeni forces, backed by airstrikes, killed at least 28 al-Qaeda militants and captured 17 others Thursday in a pre-dawn assault on an alleged training camp and other areas in this Middle East nation, where al-Qaeda's presence is of growing concern to U.S. officials....

It was unclear what role the United States played in Thursday's operations. American drones and operatives have targeted al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, Somalia and the Horn of Africa in the past. When asked by reporters Thursday if the United States was involved in any operations in Yemen, State Department spokesman Robert Wood declined to speak specifically about Thursday's operation, saying "we cooperate with the government of Yemen and other governments around the world in fighting al-Qaeda and others, you know, practicing terrorism."

Wag the Dog

As serious and disturbing as all this is,
it's rather kind of the intelligence agencies to give us an opportunity to LOL
once in a while.
"Al Queda In the Arabian Peninsula"?????
That's hilarious. How can they make it sound so obvious??
It sounds like some special soccer league.
Ya see, they have to use the words "Al Queda" in the title...
or it wouldn't have the proper propaganda effect.

I can just imagine the people in the Middle East: as soon as some resistance
to the vassal government arises, all-of-a-sudden they're part of some vast 'Al-Queda'

"Huh? What's an Al Queda?"

I can just imagine the boys in the lounge-room at Langley, coming up with
this shit... no doubt holding back laughter under their breath...
as in this clip of George B. senior.

Wag the Dog.

Yemen and Fort Hood

Things aren't looking good for Yemen at the moment. Lieberman is presumably giving the official line: Yemen's next. So don't be surprised that not only the lap bomber, but also the massacre at Fort Hood, is now connected to Yemen.