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Office of Naval Intelligence Warns of al-Qaeda Threat

The Office of Naval Intelligence recently released a special advisory to those operating “within the maritime domain” in order to promote safety and security against a potential terrorist attack likely led by al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack upon the USS Cole in 2000 which left 17 Navy personnel dead and another 39 wounded and is believed to have coordinated the attack against the French supertanker Limburg two years later. In each of the previous instances, the attacks occurred near Yemen, and the Office of Naval Intelligence has acknowledged that “information suggests that al-Qaeda remains interested in maritime attacks in the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Yemen.” Saudi Arabia and the United State’s western allies suspect that al-Qaeda operatives are exploiting the political and economic instabilities that have plagued Yemen in recent years. The special advisory published by the Office of Naval Intelligence, relying in part on information provided by the Transportation Department, may unfortunately, yet accurately predict that the next maritime attack on the United States by al-Qaeda will take place somewhere close to the shores of Yemen.

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