LONDON – Britain and the United States are assisting a counterterrorism police unit in Yemen amid fears of an increasing threat of international terrorism emanating from the country, the British government said Sunday.
said that he and President Barack Obama agreed to "intensify joint U.S.-U.K. work to tackle the emerging terrorist threat from both Yemen and Somalia" in the wake of the failed Detroit terror plot.
"Amongst the initiatives the PM has agreed with President Obama is U.S.-U.K. funding for a special counter-terrorism police unit in Yemen," the statement said.
The U.S. embassy in Yemen closed on Sunday, citing ongoing threats by the branch that has been linked to the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner headed to Detroit. The embassy would not say if there was a specific threat.
The confrontation with the terrorist group's branch in Yemen, at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has gained new urgency since the 23-year-old Nigerian accused in the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told U.S. investigators he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. President Barack Obama said Saturday that al-Qaida's branch in Yemen was behind the attempt.
A cushy Saudi Arabian "rehab" center where terrorists are encouraged to express themselves through crayon drawings, water sports and video games is under scrutiny after one of its graduates re-emerged as a leader in the al Qaeda branch claiming responsibility for trying to blow up an airliner on Christmas.
Said Ali al Shihri -- a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who now heads the terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- obviously didn't get to the bottom of his America-hating issues while undergoing the controversial rehab for jihadists.
Inmates like Shihri are supposed to while away the days playing ping-pong, PlayStation and soccer in hopes that the peaceful environment will help them cope with their jihadist rages.
Bomb-makers and gunmen participate in art therapy to help them explore their feelings non-violently.
In between tasty picnic-style meals of rice and lamb and snacks of Snickers along with dips in the pool, participants practice Arabic calligraphy, produce dizzying Jackson Pollack rip-offs and imagine the aftermath of car bombings in crayon.
Some 1,500 al Qaeda terrorists have "graduated" from the program, including 108 former Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Washington Post reported.
"The Saudis talk about a success rate of 80 to 90 percent, but when you look at what those numbers mean in reality, it all falls down. There is no criteria for evaluation," John Horgan, a Department of Homeland Security consultant, told the New York Post.
In 2009, Horgan visited several of the Saudi terrorism rehab centers to report on the programs for Homeland Security.
"These guys are not being de-radicalized. They are being encouraged to disassociate from terrorism, but that doesn't mean their fundamental views changed," said Horgan, director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State.
"There are guards and gates and barbed wire but it's not quite prison," Christopher Boucek of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has visite
d the center, told ABC.
"It's a communal living environment that's more like 'Hogan's Heroes' than 'Escape From Alcatraz.' "
A team of shrinks works with the inmates in managing their emotions, and they are given lessons in Islam from imams, who warn them that jihad is only acceptable when sanctioned by the state.
Toward the end of their stint, some inmates are allowed to make unescorted visits to family members.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is insanity. Idiot liberals who wanted to 'feel good' about themselves and prove how 'progressive' they are have put in charge of this country a man who barely ever made a decision, but rather voted 'present' in his almost half a Senate term served before he began campaigning. We have in charge a man who has no military experience, indeed, I believe he hates the military with a passion.
COPENHAGEN — Police shot a Somali man wielding an ax and a knife after he broke into the home of an artist whose cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban outraged the Muslim world, the head of Denmark's intelligence agency said Saturday.
Jakob Scharf said in a statement that a 28-year-old man with ties to Al Qaeda entered Kurt Westergaard's home in Aarhus Friday night. But Westergaard pressed an alarm and police arrived minutes later.
The attack on the artist, whose rendering was among 12 that led to the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in predominantly Muslim countries in 2006, was "terror related," Scharf said. He said the man would be charged with attempted murder.
Westergaard, whose 5-year-old granddaughter was in the home on a sleepover, sought shelter in a specially made safe room when the suspect broke a window of the home, said Preben Nielsen of the Aarhus police.
Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an ax at a police officer. The officer then shot the man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Nielsen said the suspect was hospitalized but his life was not in danger.
"The arrested man has, according to PET's information, close relations to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab and Al Qaeda leaders in eastern Africa," Scharf said. PET is Denmark's intelligence agency.
Scharf said without elaborating that the man is suspected of having been involved in terror-related activities in east Africa. He had been under PET's surveillance but not in connection with Westergaard, he said
The man, who had a permit to stay in Denmark, was to be charged Saturday with attempted murder for trying to kill Westergaard and the police officer, Scharf said.