Al-Qaeda Slowly Makes Its Way to Somalia and Yemen

After serious disagreements with Hezbollah and Hamas militants in Gaza Strip, Al-Qaeda does no longer consider itself a leader of the Arab resistance to the American influence in this region.

Al Qaeda has settled down in Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, currently the front of struggle against NATO and the Hindus, who are hated by Pakistan extremists no less than Israelis are hated by Bin Laden.

Besides, Al Qaeda is trying to gain access to Pakistani nuclear weapons to “use them against Americans,” a top commander of Al-Qaeda has recently said to Al Jazeera channel.

Although these nuclear weapons are well protected and, technically, disassembled and stored in different places, a possibility of Al Qaeda seizing the weapons should not be ruled out.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica suggests that Al Qaeda has its people in the Pakistani military. Amidst aggravated political instability in Pakistan, where the activity of Taliban militants close to Al Qaeda has been rising steadily, and anti-Americanism receives growing support of the general public, any incautious step can provoke a hair-trigger reaction.

However, the United States has been putting significant pressure on Pakistani leaders demanding them to activate the struggle against militant groups based in the regions bordering Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said that the government troops had killed at least 30 insurgents in the ongoing raid near Khyber Pass crossing, the so-called Tribal area encompassing the region near Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Khyber Pass is the main above-ground transportation corridor connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the 1980s, it was used for caravans supplying weapons for Mujahideens fighting against the Soviet Army. Today, similar caravans supply weapons to the militants recruited by Al Qaeda.

After Pakistani officials started seeing the Taliban as a threat and sent the army to fight them, combat actions in the area have become as severe as in some southern provinces of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban.

Despite certain successful operations of the Pakistan army, it is fare to say that Pakistani war has just started. Al Qaeda agents, who have a great trump card – money - will be the main participants in this war.

The funds are coming from Europe, mostly from the Arabian Peninsula. “The cash flow would probably be reduced if the countries that call themselves Islamic admitted that Taliban and Afghanistan are their problem, instead of wishing defeat to the unfaithful who dare to tread “the Muslim land”, ” La Repubblica wrote.

While Al Qaeda leaders are hiding in the tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the middle-tier of the extremist movement display heightened activity in Somalia and Yemen.

“We know that the South Asia is no longer their primary base,” a source in the US defense agency said to the Washington Times. “They are looking for a hide-out in other parts of the world and continue to expand their organization. “

In Somalia, Al Qaeda agents closely collaborate with the Shahab group, actively recruit children for suicide-bombers training, and export young people to participate in military actions against Americans at Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

This year, Al Qaeda’s division in Saudi Arabia has merged with the Yemeni wing to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula centered in Yemen.

Here terrorists take advantage of poor economy, demography and domestic security. In August they made the first assassination attempt against a member of Saudi Arabia royal dynasty in decades.

President Obama in his letter asked his Yemen counterpart Ali Abdullah Saleh to ensure closer cooperation with the USA in the struggle against the growing activity of Al Qaeda on Yemen’s territory, and promised to send additional international aid.

Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is unable to pay sufficient attention to Somalia and Yemen, which may cause the US some serious problems in the near future.

Ivan Tulyakov
Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov