Since that guy who detonated his underwear on a plane on Christmas Day claimed to have been sent by the al-Qaeda network in Yemen in retaliation for US/Saudi bombing raids inside Yemen, Saudi policy analysts are popping up in the Globe and Mail to report that Yemen is now more dangerous to the West than Afghanistan:
The botched attack on the U.S. plane came a day after Yemeni forces, with the help of U.S. intelligence, launched the second of two major air and ground assaults on major al-Qaeda hideouts in Yemen. [Ed : Odd coincidence, that]
Anwar Eshki, the head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, said al-Qaeda in Yemen “is stronger than it was a year ago and is turning Yemen into its base for operations against the West."
Yemen is al-Qaeda's last resort,” Mr. Eshki said. “There's no doubt that al-Qaeda's presence in Yemen is more dangerous than its presence in Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, home to 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hi-jackers, has been helping the US-backed Yemeni president with his Operation Scorched Earth assault against the minority Shiite Huthis, using "fighter-bombers, helicopters, heavy artillery and special forces" and shelling well into Yemen.
Once again the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies was on hand to explain :
"From the Saudi point of view the existence of a Huthi 'state' with the support of Iran is intolerable. They are going to squeeze the Huthis, to shut them down," he said.
The Saudis seek to create a permanent 20-kilometre (12 mile) wide no-go zone straddling the border, and has vacated scores of villages on the Saudi side to that end, according to regional security expert Anwar Eshki.
"The problem in Yemen gave us a good chance to fix our border problem," said the former Saudi general, head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah.
Hundreds of al-Qaeda militants are planning terror attacks from Yemen, the country’s Foreign Minister said today.
“They may actually plan attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit.
There are maybe hundreds of them — 200, 300.”