Sunday, January 10, 2010

Al-Qaeda veterans 'flooding into Yemen'

Dozens of Saudi and Egyptian veterans of al-Qaeda's operations in Afghanistan have been pouring into Yemen, a senior official has warned.

In the gloomiest internal assessment of Yemen's security yet, he said jihadis from across the Arab world are hiding in the lawless hills of Shabwa province where the so-called Christmas Day "underwear bomber" is thought to have been trained, its governor, Ali Hasan al-Ahmadi, said.

"There are dozens of Saudi and Egyptian al-Qaeda militants who came to the province," said Shabwa's governor, Ali Hasan al-Ahmadi.

The names of al-Qaeda members who have openly advertised their presence in the country, and who include several former inmates of the Guantanamo Bay internment camp, show its appeal as a new base as the Americans step up their campaign in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border regions.