An air-strike in Yemen
targeted and is said to have killed
regional al-Qaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi and extremist imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who was earlier contacted
by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. This is the second recent air-strike in Yemen. American involvement in the earlier bombing raised concerns
about our escalating violence in Yemen. As is often the case with bomb
strikes in war-town regions, the deaths of the targets are difficult to
confirm. What should we think about this latest strike?
- Wuhayshi a Prime Target Long War Journal's Bill Roggio profiles al-Wuhayshi. "Wuhayshi is a top al Qaeda commander and a rising star in the
organization. Wuhayshi served as Osama bin Laden's aide-de-camp and was
one of 23 al Qaeda operatives to escape from a Yemeni jail in 2006. He
is considered to be a top contender to take command of the global
terror network if al Qaeda's central leadership based in Pakistan is
decapitated in Pakistan, a senior US military intelligence official who
closely tracks al Qaeda's network told The Long War Journal."
- Demonstrates Hasan's Terrorism Weekly Standard's Thomas Joscelyn argues, "This latest reported airstrike, whether it killed Aulaqi or not,
further demonstrates the underlying absurdity of the FBI’s 'analysis'
of Hassan’s ties to Aulaqi. Anwar al Aulaqi has played a prominent role in al Qaeda’s war
against the West and America – so much so that his home was an
appropriate military target." He laments, "For those who believe terrorists can be defeated primarily, or even
exclusively, by our law enforcement agencies and in the courts, the
story of the FBI's investigations into Anwar al Aulaqi is a striking
- Why Yemen Matters The Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan reports,
"Yemen's government, with assistance from the United States, has been
intensifying its crackdown on alleged hideouts of al-Qaeda, whose
presence in recent years has expanded in this poor yet strategic Middle
East nation where Osama bin Laden's father was born." He writes, "The
U.S. government is increasingly concerned that al-Qaeda could
create a haven in Yemen, whose weak central government is struggling
with a civil war in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and
a crumbling economy."
- Saudi-Yemeni Peace? Middle East blogger Gregg Carlstrom thinks
the long and destabilizing fight between Saudi Arabia and Yemeni
insurgents could be cooling. "On Yemen's northern front, a spokesman
for the Huthi rebels said yesterday
that they will withdraw from Saudi territory if Saudi Arabia ends its
cross-border attacks. Rebels have launched frequent raids across the
border, occasionally seizing territory for hours or days. They seized
the village of al-Jabri during the most recent raid, on Tuesday. And
Saudi officials appear to have accepted the offer: Saudi Arabia's
deputy defense minister, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, said yesterday that
the army will suspend major military operations against the rebels."
- Good For US To Get Tough Hot Air's Ed Morrissey nods, "This is the response that the US needed to give — and should have given Awlaki when he reappeared after 9/11.
Congratulations on a job well done and on answering Awlaki’s boasts
with a massive and eminently final response." He writes of al-Awlaki,
"Right now, they’re busy looking for the various parts of his body, but
really just the important ones."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.