June 15, 2011
The United States is building a secret CIA air base in the Persian Gulf region to target terrorists in Yemen, preparing for the possibility that an anti-American faction may take over Yemen and ban U.S. forces from hunting a lethal Al Qaeda faction there.
The effort against al-Qaeda reportedly directed by Pentagon dinner guest Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen is being run by the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA.
The new CIA base provides a backstop, if Al Qaeda or other anti-American rebel forces gain control, one senior U.S. official explained. The White House has already increased the numbers of CIA officers in Yemen, in anticipation of that possibility. And it has stepped up the schedule to construct the base, from a two-year timetable to a rushed eight months.
The American al-Awlaki and al-Qaeda wasted little time providing an excuse for the Pentagon and the CIA to move operations into Yemen and then across the Gulf of Aden into Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Islamic militants emboldened by months of turmoil in Yemen launched a surprise dawn attack Wednesday on a southern city, seizing entire neighborhoods after gunfights with government forces, security officials said.
The militants include al-Qaeda, according to the Associated Press.
The attack came a day after a senior U.S. official said Washington was worried that the ongoing unrest in Yemen could fuel connections between al-Qaida-linked militants in the Arab nation and al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia. Witnesses in Houta said some of Wednesday’s attackers had Somali features and did not speak Arabic. Lahj is home to a refugee camp housing several thousand Somalis who escaped the violence in their country across the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa.
Pakistani intelligence is directly involved in al-Shabab terrorism. In July of 2010, after a bombing attributed to the group that killed 76 people watching the soccer World Cup final, a number of Pakistani nationals were arrested.
In July of 201, the Christian Science Monitor reported “veteran insurgents from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have relocated to the chaotic country of Somalia in large enough numbers to spark worry inside the international community, according to Kenya’s foreign minister.”
Pakistan’s ISI and the CIA have worked together since the early 1980s to create terrorist organizations and radical Muslims like the Taliban movement. It looks like they are now repeating the pattern in Africa.
The script-reading corporate media has lately insisted there was a falling out between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence, but this is not the case.
“Actually, contrary to public perception, CIA and ISI are the best of partners,” Pakistan’s envoy to the U.S. Husain Haqqani said in April.
“Just as there are people who don’t want to believe the birth certificate even if it exists, similarly, there are people who don’t want to believe that the ISI is a partner of the CIA.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 6:40 am