US shuts embassy in Yemen in anticipation of attack

Newly emboldened al-Qaeda in Yemen is posing such a threat the the U.S. is closing its embassy there, according to the BBC:

The US has indications that al-Qaeda is planning an attack in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser has said.

John Brennan was speaking after the US and UK announced their embassies in Sanaa had temporarily closed.

The US has accused a Yemen-based offshoot of al-Qaeda of being behind the alleged Christmas Day bomb attempt on a US jet flying to Detroit.

There are mounting fears that Yemen is becoming a leading al-Qaeda haven.

Mr Brennan, the U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, told ABC's This Week TV programme that the group had "several hundred members" in Yemen and was posing an increasing threat there.

"This is something that we've known about for a while," he said. "We're determined to destroy al-Qaeda, whether it's in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or in Yemen."

Mr Brennan added: "We know that they have been targeting our embassy, our embassy personnel."

We are supplying almost as much counterterrorism aid to Yemen as we are to Pakistan. But, if anything, the domestic situation is even worse:

Correspondents say the security situation in Yemeni is complicated by an abundance of firearms, an insurgency in the north and a secessionist movement in the south.

Unlike Pakistan, the Yemeni government appears ready and willing to take on al-Qaeda. Let's hope they can turn the tide soon.