After initially warning of a terror plot “thought to have been one of the most serious against American and other Western interests since the September 11 attacks,” the US closed 20 embassies and consulates earlier this month, 18 of which reopened yesterday.
The announcement of the threat occurred as it was simultaneously acknowledged that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last year was linked to a clandestine CIA arms smuggling operation based in the Libyan city that was being used to transport arms to rebels in Syria, many of whom are allied with Al-Qaeda militants.
The announcement of the threat against US embassies also served to justify blanket NSA surveillance, leading some to suggest that the alleged plot was being hyped to distract from the Edward Snowden scandal. It was later claimed that the NSA had intercepted a “conference call” of Al-Qaeda members during which militants discussed an attack.
However, in a report entitled U.S. embassies in Muslim world reopen amid still-murky threats, McClatchy cites, “A high-ranking Yemeni security official speaking on the condition of anonymity,” who told the news outlet that the threat “had no basis in fact,” with the source bemusedly attributing “media reports about imminent terror strikes to a single official’s comments, which he cast as a misguided attempt at shifting public opinion in the face of increasing and unpopular American drone strikes.”
Dozens of people, labeled “suspected militants” by the US, have been killed in Yemen over the last two weeks as a result of at least eight drone strikes, attacks that have outraged Yemeni citizens. According to Princeton University professor and Yemen expert Gregory Johnson, the drone strikes are actually serving to recruit more terrorists.
“There are strikes that kill civilians. There are strikes that kill women and children. And when you kill people in Yemen, these are people who have families. They have clans. And they have tribes. And what we’re seeing is that the United States might target a particular individual because they see him as a member of al-Qaeda. But what’s happening on the ground is that he’s being defended as a tribesman,” said Johnson.
Figures show that 50 civilians are killed for every one terrorist taken out by a drone strike, which means that 95% of the victims are innocent men, women and children. …
When they own the information they can bend it all they want. We keep on waiting, waiting for the world to change.