Lieberman: Yemen New Focus in War on Terror

Sunday, 27 Dec 2009 07:23 PM

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Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday that he believes Yemen could be the site of America's next overseas war if Washington does not take preemptive action to root out al-Qaida interests there.

Lieberman, head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that the U.S. must take an active approach in Yemen after multiple recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. were linked back to the Middle Eastern nation, according to Fox News.

"Iraq was yesterday's war, Afghanistan is today's war. If we don't act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow's war," Lieberman said, quoting an unnamed administration official on “Fox News Sunday.”

Lieberman pointed out that the two most recent attacks involving American targets had roots in Yemen and the growing al-Qaida presence there.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of attempting to set off a plastic-explosive device aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday, "reached out to Yemen" but was "not sure" if he contacted al-Awlaki, Lieberman said. Abdulmutallab reportedly told authorities he traveled to Yemen and met al-Qaida figures there.

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And Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan -- the Army officer who killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in November -- was linked to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric now based in Yemen.

The U.S. earlier this month launched cruise missiles at two al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. The attacks represented a major escalation of U.S. efforts against al-Qaeda in Yemen.

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