Al-Qaeda hunted in Yemen
YEMEN deployed several hundred extra troops to al-Qaeda strongholds in the mountainous east where the suspected would-be Christmas airplane bomber may have visited, officials said yesterday.
The reinforcements were part of a stepped-up campaign by Yemen to combat al-Qaeda, with increased support from the US. The fight against the terror network gained new urgency after the failed attempt on Christmas Day to bomb a US airliner headed to Detroit.
US President Barack Obama said yesterday that al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen was behind the attempt.
A 23-year-old Nigerian accused in the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has told US investigators he received training and instructions from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen.
US and Yemeni investigators have been trying to track Abdulmutallab's steps in Yemen.
The Nigerian was in Yemen from August until December 7, ostensibly to study Arabic in San'a, but he disappeared for much of that time.
Yemen is the poorest nation in the Arab world.