Al Qaeda Fears Grow In Yemen After Over A Hundred Die In Ammunition Blast
"Security officials say the weapons factory and adjoining warehouse were seized on Sunday by al Qaeda-affiliated gunmen known to operate in the southern province of Abyan, one of the strongholds for the Islamist terrorist organization in the rugged Yemeni countryside," reported the Wall Street Journal.
But verification of al Qaeda involvement was hard to nail down. The Wall Street Journal acknowledged this murkiness, writing that "residents contacted by telephone in the town of Hasn in Abyan, where the factory and warehouse are located, denied that the band of militants who stormed the plant on Sunday were al Qaeda. Instead, the militants appeared to be armed members of the southern separatist movement that also flourishes in the area, they said."
BBC reports unidentified "authorities" as the source for information that "fighters from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group raided the factory on Sunday, stealing carloads of weapons."
While some sources report that al Qaeda is capitalizing on the opposition movement in Yemen to create instablilty, other analysts think that embattled incumbent President Saleh may be using the threat of an al Qaeda takeover to enforce support of his crumbling regime.