The United States' decision to close its embassy in Yemen came after intelligence suggested that four al Qaeda operatives may be planning an attack on the compound, a senior administration official said Monday.
The United States had information that a group of eight terrorists had been planning an attack, the official said. Three were killed by Yemeni forces in recent days and another was captured wearing a suicide vest, but the other four were believed to be at large, the official said.
Earlier Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the situation in Yemen a possible threat to regional and global security. However, Clinton commended Yemen for taking action against al Qaeda networks and added: "We are reiterating our commitment to assist in those efforts."
The United States and Britain closed their embassies Sunday. Britain's Foreign Office also cited security concerns.
If policy remains consistent, that terrorists are to be rooted out for the potential threat they pose, the next pre-emptive war looks like it will be in Yemen. From CNN:
"The weakness of al Qaeda in Pakistan has forced them out of Pakistan and into Yemen and Somalia," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a BBC interviewer over the weekend.
As they move into Yemen, terrorists find a nation with dwindling economic fortunes -- oil output will drop to zero in seven years, according to one estimate; a rapidly growing population with rampant unemployment; and limited fresh water to support that growing population.
So, the fly in the ointment is that attacking terrorists wherever they are just doesn't work. they cannot be eliminated. Attack them in Iraq, they go to Pakistan. Attack them in Pakistan, they go to Somalia or Yemen. Endless war.
Time to evoke George Washington again, regarding foreign adventures and peaceful commerce.