Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 2, 2011

Brennan in Riyadh regarding Yemen

Filed under: Radicalization,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on June 2, 2011

I’ve been in meetings all day, so perhaps the following is already well-known.  But if not, it strikes me as especially important.  For several months the al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen has been identified as the source of the single most significant asymmetrical threat to the United States, primarily due to its effectiveness at recruiting in the United States.  This report is reprinted from The Guardian, more of the story is available by selecting the link.  It was posted at 7:42 PM London time.  I am posting at 5:26 PM Eastern time.


The US is stepping up efforts to persuade Yemen‘s veteran president to step down before escalating fighting between the government and tribal rebels develops into fully-fledged civil war.

Diplomats said that Washington was now pressing hard to convince Ali Abdullah Saleh to reconsider his rejection of a peace plan brokered by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states alarmed by the prospect of growing instability in the region.

John Brennan, Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser, held talks in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where the government has strong ties with Yemeni tribes but has been slow to act. It has been accused of sending mixed signals to Saleh, who is seen as desperate to cling on to power after 32 years.

Brennan has previously worked closely with Saleh on fighting al-Qaida – a key US and western concern. MORE.


Certainly the situation in Yemen seems to moving from bad to worse.  Ishaan Tharoor, reporting this afternoon for Time, writes, “In Yemen, over three decades of authoritarianism are unraveling in a bloody maelstrom. The regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has brutally staved off protests against its rule, fueled by frustrations over a lack of political freedoms in the country and the perceived graft of Saleh’s family and cronies. At least 350 people have died in violence since the upheaval commenced early this year.” MORE

Al Jazeera is blogging live in English from Sanaa with reports from other locations in Yemen.  A Yemeni physician, Dr. , is also blogging occasionally in English at LateNightSurgery.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 2, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

Basically the USA has been chewing KAT for years in Yemen! The choices seem to me all bad with no good ones because of USA ignorance of tribes and culture and languages in YEMEN! But is a strategically located country so guess boots on the ground again for USA this decade. WOW! We are really trapped in our ignorance!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 3, 2011 @ 3:35 am

Did I mention the use of drone strikes (the USA loves its technology even when failing or violating international legal norms) helped destabilize YEMEN!

And John Brennan, Mr. Homeland Security, will not be able to put HUMPTY DUMPTY back together or back on the wall.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

June 3, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

While we need not embrace one another, it might be nice if the “ignorant” reach out by learning about another and sharing genuine interest in learning more about one another and what cultural differences we share with another and vice versa.

Let’s all wake up!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 6, 2011 @ 11:15 am

Brennan still floating around in MENA even while DHS gets whacked on HILL!

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