December 16, 2007, 2:24 am
Where is al-Qaeda these days? According to at least one informed observer, the bin Laden network may be shifting its logistical base of operations from Afghanistan to the southern Gulf state of Yemen. The reason behind the change of scenery? "Al Qaeda believes that Yemen is an easy country; drawing evidence from the organization's frequent ability to hide in its mountains and exploit the existing tribal dissidents, in addition to the poverty of its economy and population density," explains Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, a leading Arab columnist. "As such, Yemen is fertile ground for the breeding of new generations of Al Qaeda cells — or an alternative haven to the desolate, remote and blockaded areas of Afghanistan."