Anti-terror attacks in Yemen

News that Al Qaeda and the like in Yemen are once again being targetted is fraught with concerns.

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Published: Tue 22 Apr 2014, 8:44 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:26 PM

One of the most populous but poverty-ridden countries of the Arab world for long has been experiencing rise in militancy, as efforts to expel the elements of terror have been unsuccessful. The reasons for this failure are many and the prime among them is its tribal origin and the fact that its northern and southern flanks are politically too divisive. Lack of a centralised administration and political instability are other issues that have provided enough grooming space for unscrupulous elements. The latest twist has come as the dreaded terrorist organisation’s leadership had, of late, moved into this impoverished country after being shunted out of Iraq and Afghanistan. That is why Pentagon-conducted drone strikes are a regular feature in Yemen, and have been quite successful in eliminating a number of high-value Al Qaeda figures.

It is little known how destructive is the new spree of full-fledged operation targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in the hideouts of Abyan and Shabwa. But officials have termed them as ‘massive and unprecedented’, and thus could invoke a backlash from the fugitives on the run. Scores of Al Qaeda men have been killed in the new onslaught, though the terrorist organisation is yet to comment on the latest strikes. The training camps in the village of Wadi Al Khila, near the capital Sanaa, were reportedly the theatre of action.

Apart from going the militaristic way, authorities concerned in Yemen and the international community should focus on ending marginalisation of its inhabitants so that anti-social elements cannot thrive on sympathy grounds. Widespread parochial feelings have provided terrorists with an opportunity to recruit hapless people in their ranks. If this perception is addressed, Yemen can be well off in fighting the terror nexus on its own.

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