Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Al-Qaeda plot to seize oil facilities in Yemen thwarted

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 8th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A plot by alleged al-Qaeda operatives to take over an oil export terminal and gas export facility in Yemen has been thwarted by Yemeni security forces. A government official has declared that extra security forces around the targeted facilities, along with the banning of all entry stopped the attempt.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Press adviser to Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa, Rajeh Badi says the plot involved dozens of al-Qaeda members dressed in Yemeni army uniforms. The disguised operatives had planned to storm the facilities this past Sunday, on the 27th night of Ramadan.

"The plot aimed to seize the al-Dabbah oil export terminal in Hadramout [province] and the Belhaf gas export facility, as well as the city of Mukalla," Badi told journalists, referring to the Hadramout provincial capital.

It's not yet known if the alleged plot was linked to threats which prompted the United States to close diplomatic missions across the region and withdraw many of its personnel from Yemen.
In a related development, a U.S. drone strike killed at least six people in southern Yemen. It was the fifth such attack in less than two weeks. Vehicles in a remote area about 70 kilometers north of the provincial capital, Ataq. Both vehicles were destroyed. Residents who rushed to the scene found only charred bodies, they said.

The editor of the Yemen Post, Hakim al-Masmari told Al Jazeera that local sources indicated at least one of the people killed in the U.S. drone strike on Wednesday was "an al-Qaeda member."

At least 20 people have been killed in drone strikes since July 28, when a strike killed at least four members of Ansar al-Sharia, a local armed group affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most active branches of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.

Intercepted communication by U.S. officials indicate that in between bin Laden's successor as al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, and the Yemen-based wing was one part of the intelligence behind the alert last week that prompted the closure of the embassies.

The international situation is Yemen has flared over the past several weeks. In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany have also closed their missions, and other European countries have taken extra precautions. Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands have since advised their citizens to leave.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)