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Al Qaeda Threat Escalates

Leia aqui o artigo completo da edição on-line de 04JAN10.

The Yemeni government ordered an "unprecedented" number of troops into a region controlled by a branch of al Qaeda, as the U.S. and Britain, concerned about the threat of terrorism, both closed their embassies in the capital of Sana. The Obama administration increased the pressure on Islamic militants in Yemen Sunday after the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda claimed responsibility for plotting the failed attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. The White House's top counterterrorism official didn't rule out U.S. military action. Yemen deployed troops into provinces east of the capital to combat a growing al Qaeda presence in the area, an aide to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told The Wall Street Journal Sunday. The move, targeting the group identified as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, follows pledges of increased U.S. and British aid to finance Yemen's effort to fight Islamic militants. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said officials decided to close the embassy following recent and rare on-camera threats against U.S. targets by two unmasked al Qaeda representatives in Yemen. The threatening remarks, saying AQAP's fight was with the U.S. and not the Yemeni government, came in the wake of two recent Yemeni government strikes against the group. "Our security folks here determined the threat was considerable enough to close the embassy," the spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it would require more thorough screening of all passengers traveling to the U.S. from or through 14 countries listed by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism or "countries of interest."

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