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April 6, 2015

War in Yemen Good for Al-Qaida Franchise

Well that was quick: For years, the Obama administration claimed that al-Qaida was on the run in Yemen, but guess who’s back. The terrorist organization that has made it its goal to attack the West has issued political statements condemning mosque bombings, organized jail breaks, scuffled with Houthi rebels and begun to win the admiration of Sunni Muslims – y'know, the usual stuff that all decimated terrorist cells do. And because of the chaos, the U.S.‘s ability to strike the group with drones is severely hampered. The Washington Post reports, “The vacuum, U.S. officials say, appears to have allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to focus on rebuilding its strength after years of U.S. drone strikes against its leaders. A prison break in eastern Yemen on Thursday freed as many as 300 inmates – including a senior AQAP leader – in an operation seen as part of a broader effort by the group to shore up its ranks.” There’s some short-term good news, though: All the groups in Yemen are quite unlikely to adhere to the adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The Iranian-backed Houthis are enemies with ISIL, al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaida is enemies with both Saudi Arabia and the Houthis. But as the last few months have taught us all: Once you think the Middle East couldn’t get any worse, it does. More…

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