Tags: CIA | Yemen | Africa | terror

CIA Plans to Expand Africa, Yemen Operations

Friday, 08 January 2010 11:39 AM

WASHINGTON — The Central intelligence Agency said on Thursday it plans to increase the number of analysts looking at Yemen and Africa, after an attempt to blow up a US airliner was blamed on Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen.

The CIA announced the move as part of several measures designed to disrupt terror plots, after intelligence agencies failed to uncover a bid to blow up a jet bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.

"The CIA will increase the number of analysts focused on Yemen and Africa, areas that have been of concern to the agency for a long time," spokesman George Little said in a statement to AFP.

Growing concern that Yemen has become a haven for Al-Qaeda was confirmed when a Nigerian man allegedly trained in Yemen was charged with trying to set off an explosive in a US-bound, Northwest Airlines jet.

The botched Christmas Day attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which also urged attacks on Western interests in Yemen.

CIA Director Leon Panetta also ordered the agency to "formally" distribute information on possible terrorists within 48 hours and to expand records on those suspects.

Panetta instructed the agency to review information on individuals in "countries of concern" and to recommend if their status on terror watchlists should be changed, Little said.

Panetta's orders were issued on Tuesday, he said.

The CIA statement came after US President Barack Obama ordered spy and security agencies to carry out urgent measures after the Al-Qaeda attack exposed serious intelligence failures.

US authorities have charged 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with attempted murder and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction aboard a US plane.

While pledging to take immediate steps to bolster security efforts, the CIA defended its role prior to the attempted attack.

"Before the Detroit incident, the CIA collected and shared information about Abdulmutallab with other agencies," Little said.

"The CIA has taken a close look at how we can do even more to support our government?s efforts to disrupt terrorist plots."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

1Like our page
Friday, 08 January 2010 11:39 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved