On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding a collapse of the government in Yemen and the warnings issued for U.S. citizens to evacuate.
Why is this of importance you AlertsUSA subscribers? Because as was reported last week and on several other occasions over the last few years, Yemen is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most active of al Qaeda's branches and the group responsible for numerous successful, as well as attempted attacks on the U.S. and it's citizens and interests abroad. AQAP is also highly successful at recruiting and motivating individuals to carry out lone wolf attacks here in the U.S.. Most recently, AQAP also took responsibility for this month’s attack against the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people. The more unstable and chaotic the situation in Yemen, the greater the difficulty in monitoring the terror group and the greater the potential for expansion of Islamic terror operations.
With the fall of the Yemeni government, which both the Pentagon and State Department describe as a strong counter-terrorism partner, concerns are growing as to the impact this will have on overall efforts to monitor and ultimately defeat the group.
AQAP RENEWS CALL FOR ATTACKS
Early this week, a senior AQAP leader and spokesman, Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, again urged Muslims to carry out lone-wolf strikes in Western countries. In a video interview distributed online Tuesday, when answering a question about whether those living "under the rule of the disbelievers" should immigrate to Muslim countries or "practice in an effective role in our place here," al-Ansi stated the following:
"If he is capable to wage individual jihad in the Western countries that fight Islam, such as America, Britain, France, Canada and others of the countries that represent the head of disbelief in waging war against Islam, and participate in this Crusader campaign — if he is capable of that then that is better and more harmful."
When asked why attacks have abated in the United States, al-Ansi replied:
"By the grace of Allah the great (and) the almighty, we have made efforts in external work, and the enemy knows the danger of that," al-Ansi said. "We are preparing and lurking for the enemies of Allah. We incite the believers to do that."
PENTAGON PUSHING FOR IMMEDIATE EVACUATION
There are media reports that while the State Department wants to keep the U.S. Embassy in Yemen open as long as possible, the Department of Defense is pushing for an immediate evacuation before the current situation worsens. To this end, the U.S. Navy has moved two warships into the Red Sea off the west coast of Yemen and close to the capital of Sana'a. According to U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima and the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry are on station, both filled with elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Between those two warships, there’s enough combat power to respond to whatever contingency may come up.
SAUDI KING DIES, SICK ELDERLY BROTHER SUCCEEDS
On Thursday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were some of the first in the nation to learn that Saudi King Abdullah had died. King Abdullah was 91 years old and had been hospitalized with pneumonia since December. His death comes at a critical time for the delicately balanced country and deeply troubled region.
According to state television. King Abdullah is to be succeeded by his brother, Crown Prince Salman, who is himself is reportedly in poor health and suffering from dementia.
SAUDIS BUILDING GREAT WALL TO COMBAT ISIS
Just last week, it was announced that the Saudis would be building a 600-mile long high tech security wall and ditch along its border with Iraq in effort to insulate itself from an increasing number of attacks by the Islamic State. While rarely touched on by the mainstream media, conquest of the Saudi Kingdom and the control of Islam's two holiest cities of Mecca and Medina is considered the grand prize for the Islamic State. Considering that Saudi Arabia has already indoctrinated its population (including it's military) with a strict religious ideology deeply sympathetic to ISIS, there is a distinct possibility that in the coming weeks and months we may see far more chaos in the region than has been seen to date.
And this chaos has direct implications for the U.S.. If ISIS presses forward with this golden opportunity to to move on Saudi territory en masse, there is a high probability that the U.S. military would become involved given the global strategic importance of the Saudi oil fields. The increased involvement of Western troops, particularly on Saudi soil, would then greatly increase the ability of the Islamic state to recruit additional fighters.
And around and around we go.
AlertsUSA continues to close monitor developments in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in the overall threat picture as it applies to U.S. citizens and interests, as events warrant.