Al-Qaeda looks to set up safe havens in Yemen

      Al Quada is exploiting the poverty, conflict and corruption in Yemen to set up safe havens in the country. "The threat level from al-Qaeda is now critical," one diplomat said. Yemen, the homeland of Osama bin Laden's father, has long been an al-Qaeda recruiting ground and foreign militants are being brought to the country to attend its training camps. "It is very possible al-Qaeda are bringing people from outside Yemen and then sending them back to train others. We have seen this in Somalia, Palestine and Algeria and there is also some co-ordination with Afghanistan. In other countries al-Qaeda is in the decline - here, it is growing," The Times quoted Mohamed Haidar, of the Sheba Institute for Strategic Studies in Sanaa, as saying. For the past two months, fighter jets have roared over capital Sanaa to bomb al-Houthi militants who are fighting against economic discrimination and want recognition of their status as descendants of the Prophet. Tens of thousands have been been displaced by the conflict, the report said. "Al-Qaeda has always looked to take over ungoverned spaces and there are a number in Yemen - there is potential for a far wider problem here," one diplomatic source was quoted, as saying. According to local journalists, terrorists have bomb-making laboratories and libraries of extremist literature in the country. They have safe houses in Sanaa where messages are spread on CDs and digital memory sticks and jihadi videos are screened in homes, the report said.

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