Danger in the form of al-Qaeda has emerged in three provinces in southern Yemen after fundamentalist leaders warned they would "restore" the areas that the Yemeni army had previously liberated from the group's militants in the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa.
Yemeni forces were placed in a state of readiness in all southern provinces after security forces monitored the activities of the cells, particularly in the province of Hadramout. This province has recently witnessed attacks conducted by the Yemeni army against the group’s hideouts, which were raided by US drones.
Yemeni and US surveillance aircraft had flown over the province of Shabwa, whose residents said that they saw intensive air patrols by surveillance aircraft over the past two days. The aircraft have monitored Ansar al-Sharia’s stationary and mobile targets in many areas in Shabwa and the neighboring provinces, which it is believed that militants from Ansar al-Sharia — the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda — have infiltrated.
Resuming air patrols has raised concerns among the area’s residents, whose prominent figures demanded that Yemeni authorities assume responsibility for combating terrorism without resorting to foreign forces. They also called on President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to halt raids that target militants and cause civilian causalities.
In the province of Hadramout, security officials told Al-Khaleej that the security apparatus has monitored the activities of cells which gather many militants from Ansar al-Sharia that planned assassinations and terrorist attacks against vital facilities.
They added that in an irregular meeting, the security committee — headed by Governor Khalid al-Dini — discussed security reports on active terrorist-group members in the province and how to deal with them in Yemen's war to combat terrorism and track fleeing militants.
The security committee adopted several steps designed to unify security and military efforts and work as a team to confront any potential terrorist or subversive acts.