al qaeda yemen mental unrest
Photo Credit: European Pressphoto Agency

I don’t work for US intelligence,  so I don’t have access to the info that led the US to believe an imminent Al-Qaeda attack on Americans overseas is real or that the threat should prompt the closure of US embassies across the Middle East, North Africa and parts south of the Sahara Desert, but you have to understand why I view this news as suspect.

While Americans warm up to the idea of Edward Snowden being a whistle-blower who wants to spark a dialogue about whether or not the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs breach the US Constitution, the Guardian and Reuters news groups dropped two respective bombshells about XKeyscore, an NSA surveillance program that almost makes Prism look like a cheap thrill, and the Drug Enforcement Administration‘s operation that parcels out intelligence gathered by the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency for distribution to local law enforcement for everyday criminal investigations. The latter is especially shocking since the US has to cover-up the way it “discovered” this information to hide the fact that it’s violating the Fourth Amendment!

And yet, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul considers the current Al-Qaeda threat – albeit absent of date, place, target and scope  – among the most specific and credible received since 9/11?


On a separate note, break down the quote by Senator McCaul and you’ll quickly get how ridiculous it sounds.

It was only last week when President Obama, flanked by Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, didn’t appear worried about al-Qaeda being in a position to pose problems for Yemen – or at least not the kind of problems that would prompt the closing of the US embassy in Yemen along with 18 other embassies. Didn’t President Obama tell us last October that Al-Qaeda is on the run?

Where is this attack supposed to happen? Oh, that’s right – the threat was not specific.

Let’s pull out a map and examine a few possibilities.

Iraq? Perhaps. While a threat against the US is possible, they have two other competing priorities – moderating its image and fighting President Assad’s forces in Syria.

Libya? Hell no. Al-Qaeda’s already macked that country, either directly or through affiliates. Otherwise, they’re likely thinking about Syria.

Well, what about Syria? Likely not a target since there’s no operating embassy in Syria! Probably has something to do with the civil war over there and Team Obama’s demand for Assad to step down. By the way, Al-Qaeda is attempting to do the US a favor by toppling Assad.

Egypt? Nope. The country’s junta has that place locked down.

Israel? Stop taking drugs. Al-Qaeda wouldn’t dare. Not even when Bin-Laden was alive. Besides, The US embassy in Israel isn’t on the closure list.

Pakistan? Possible, but I think Al-Qaeda has learned – thanks to the drone-charred bodies of its brothers – that it’s safer to hang out in the tribal areas and shut the hell up.

Jordan? Not sure. I’ve read stories about Al-Qaeda and the CIA using Jordan to train rebels for battle with the Syrian government, but that wouldn’t explain why the US closed embassies from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. Besides, the Al-Qaeda guys in Jordan seem to have Syria as the top priority.

Djibouti? Maybe. It’s the home of a US drone base, but that doesn’t explain why all those embassies were closed…

Yemen? (Insert sarcastic statement) Of course not. Don’t you remember that Al-Qaeda is in retreat? (Laughing) An enemy in retreat, but managed to recently to cook-up a plot to blow up oil pipelines and seize ports in Yemen.  Even Yemen is beefing about the embassy closure, and they are the ones who also said they thrawted Al-Qaeda’s latest plan!

I have nothing on Madagascar, Mauritius and Rwanda. I doubt intelligence analysts and Al-Qaeda would have much either.

It’s funny how Democrats routinely accused Republicans of screaming “Jihadist” in crowded airports, but now tells Americans “This time, it’s real!”

Regardless of the political party calling the shots, the homeland security industry is worth more than USD 200 billion a year, and needs fresh threats to stay alive.

But, I’m not an intelligence analyst and I don’t see what Team Obama sees.

song currently stuck in my head: “i want you for myself” – george duke

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