Washington, Aug 25 (ANI): CIA analysts have warned, for the first time since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, that one of the offshoots of al-Qaeda in Yemen has become the most urgent threat to U.S. security.
US officials believe that since al-Qaeda has been decimated by Predator strikes in Pakistan, the franchise in Yemen has emerged as a more potent threat, the Washington Post reports.
According to Philip Mudd, a former senior official at the CIA and the FBI, the AQAP and other affiliates have planned a proliferation of plots, similar to 9/11, to attack the US.
In the latest issue of CTC Sentinel, a publication of the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, he wrote, "The sheer numbers . . . suggest that one of the plots in the United States will succeed."
The CIA officials have said that AQAP grew more dangerous in the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day attack.
They further indicated that the terror group has shared its chemical bomb-making technology with other militant organizations, including Somalia-based al-Shabab.
A senior U.S. official familiar with the CIA's assessments said al-Qaeda was on the upswing in the Arabian Peninsula, and that the US was more concerned now about AQAP than it was before.
The Al-Qaeda in Yemen was seen as more agile and aggressive, officials said.
They also cited the role of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American-born cleric whose command over English and militant ambition have helped transform the Yemen organization into a transnational threat.
"The other leaders of AQAP are predominantly Yemenis and Saudis, and their worldview and focus is on the peninsula, Aulaqi brings a world view and focus that brings it back here to the U.S. homeland," a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said. (ANI)