Does anyone think about al-Qaeda anymore?
You remember them….the USS Cole, 9/11 and all that stuff…..ring any bells?
Of course not…..there is another “bad boy” on the corner and all our interests and focus has been on them and let AQ slide for the time being….
Last year Saudi Arabia in their paranoid state decided that the Houthis (a shia sect) was becoming too powerful and dangerously close to the Sacred Sites of Islam. Well what to do if you are Saudi? Start a war and make your point….after all you have a protector ion your back pocket….the US.
The Saudis have always had a hard on for Yemen….why? (you guessed it….a historical perspective)……..
Back in the day Mecca in Saudi Arabia,a trading center , was in competition with Sana’a in Yemen….well things got hot when the king of Yemen, Abraha al- Ashramm attacked Mecca….well the war did not go well for Yemen and their army was defeated….all this in the year 560CE…..to this day the Saudis are still pissed about the war even though they won.
Now back to the present……for over a year the Saudis have been attacking by air Yemen and causing a huge humanitarian crisis for the civilians…..but in all the time the war has been going on…..which was started to protect SA from the “bad guys”……..but all this conflict has done nothing to control the Houthis and has had another aspect that was unforeseen……AQ HAS GROWN STRONGER!
One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes.
…….Al Qaeda fighters there have abolished taxes for local residents, operate speedboats manned by RPG-wielding fighters who impose fees on ship traffic, and make propaganda videos in which they boast about paving local roads and stocking hospitals.
The economic empire was described by more than a dozen diplomats, Yemeni security officials, tribal leaders and residents of Mukalla. Its emergence is the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.
Now that AQ is on the back burner….how will this effect their operations against the West?
The all consuming hatred of ISIS has made it possible for AQ to once again arise from the ashes left by ISIS.
If the US is playing chess then they are in serious jeopardy.