Tags: Iran | War on Terrorism | intelligence | network | yemen | compromised | files

LA Times: Iran Gains Control of US Intelligence Files in Yemen

By Jason Devaney   |   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 06:46 PM

A U.S. intelligence network in Yemen has been compromised after files were taken by Iranian-backed militia leaders amid violent protests in the Middle Eastern country.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, officials from the Yemen government have given other files about American intelligence operations in Yemen to Iranian advisers as well.

Houthi militias took over Yemen's capital of Sana last fall and overthrew the government, with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi being placed under house arrest. He eventually fled to Aden, a city in the southwest corner of the country.

On Wednesday, Hadi evacuated Yemen by boat as militants closed in on him, the New York Times reports. A reported $20 million bounty had been issued for his capture.

The theft of the files deals a significant blow to intelligence activities in the region. The L.A. Times reports the program had been implemented to track down and kill operatives from Al-Qaida. A facet of the terror group, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is based in Yemen and is considered by the U.S. to be the most dangerous branch of the group.

When Houthi forces recently gained control of Yemen's National Security Bureau office, it became clear the identities of local agents working for the Americans were uncovered, the L.A. Times reports.

Some of the files were burned before Houthi forces got to them.

The L.A. Times report does say it doesn't appear militants took files about U.S. intelligence operatives, only the names and contact information of Yemeni agents the U.S. had been using to disable the terror network in Yemen.

The U.S. presence in Yemen is quickly fizzling out, with the U.S. Embassy in Sana emptied last month and 100 special operations troops evacuated over the weekend.

Saudi Arabia is growing nervous at the chaos taking over its neighboring country and is now moving military equipment to the border it shares with Yemen.

Last week, dozens of people were killed in an attack on Yemen's capital that involved multiple suicide bombers.

The U.S. suspended its counterterrorism operations in Yemen two months ago after the government collapsed.

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A U.S. intelligence network in Yemen has been compromised after files were taken by Iranian-backed militia leaders amid violent protests in the Middle Eastern country.
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