"As I've said time and time again, that we will go after al-Qaeda wherever they are and wherever they try to hide. And one of the places that they clearly are located is Yemen," said Leon Panetta, US Defence Secretary.
He said that the country's intelligence and military have gone after al-Qaeda and will keep doing that, when questioned about the recent terror threat from Yemen."The recent threat that concerned all Americans about the possibility of another effort to take down an American airliner has come out of Yemen. It's for that reason that we will continue to take all of the steps necessary to try to go after those who would threaten our country and threaten the safety of American people," he said.
"We have operations there. The Yemenese have actually been very cooperative in the operations that we have conducted there. We will continue to work with them to go after the enemies that threaten the United States," he said.
The comments come after a terror bid to blow up American plane or any plane heading towards Western country by an "underwear bomb" was foiled by the US.
"There's no consideration of that. Our operations now are directed with the Yemenese going after al-Qaeda," he said.
"With regards to our efforts and our operations, we have been very successful at going after the leadership and those that are directly involved with regards to trying to make those kinds of plans. And I think the fact that we continue to be successful with regards to these kinds of threats is an indication of the effectiveness of the operations that we have there," he said.He further said that the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) posed a threat in Yemen.
"But they (al-Qaeda) are a threat. No one in any way underestimates the fact that all of them represent a concern for the United States in terms of our national security. But I do believe that we are making effective progress at going after those specific targets that represent real threats to the United States," said Panetta.