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Navy Warns of Al-Qaeda Threats to Yemeni Waters

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By William Tucker
The Office of Naval Intelligence is once again warning that al-Qaeda intends to strike out at ocean traffic in the waters between Yemen and Somalia. Threats to waterborne traffic in the waters off Yemen are not new and the Navy reissues warnings to all sea traffic in the area when chatter picks up. In fact, a similar warning was issued about six months ago over the same region. What makes this warning stick out is its timing. Al-Qaeda in Yemen has suffered several setbacks as of late, especially coming on the heels of the failed Christmas day airline bombing, and it is not a stretch to believe that they may launch an attack to stay relevant. We must keep in mind that Somalia piracy has been effective even with a large international naval presence operating in the area. Furthermore, these pirates have managed to highjack ships by pulling their skiffs next to the target vessel in order to board – a similar tactic used to hit the USS Cole in 2000 and the M/V Limburg in October 2002.

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