Monday Aug 12, 201308:48 PM GMT
US claim of al-Qaeda terror threat 'had no basis in fact'
Embassy of the United States in Sana
Embassy of the United States in Sana'a, Yemen
Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:16PM
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The al-Qaeda threat also served to justify National Security Agency surveillance, leading some to suggest that the alleged plot was being hyped to distract from the US government’s spying scandal.

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The recent unspecified al-Qaeda terror threat by the United States that led to the closures of American embassies had "no basis in fact," a high-ranking Yemeni security official revealed.


The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told McClatchy that the claims of the foiled plot aimed to reduce opposition to drone attacks in Yemen.

The source also attributed “media reports about imminent terror strikes to a single official’s comments, which he cast as a misguided attempt at shifting public opinion in the face of increasing and unpopular American drone strikes.”

Last week, the United States closed several embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa for one week, warning that al-Qaeda may be planning to conduct attacks by the end of August.

“Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the US State Department said in a statement.

However, the recent remarks show that Washington has been trying to dampen opposition to drone attacks in Yemen. The Obama administration has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen over the past two weeks.

The al-Qaeda threat also served to justify National Security Agency surveillance, leading some to suggest that the alleged plot was being hyped to distract from the US government’s spying scandal.

The US has launched numerous drone attacks in Yemen that have killed many innocent civilians over the past few years.

Washington claims it is targeting militants but witness reports and figures provided by local officials indicate that civilians are the main victims of the attacks.

According to figures, 50 civilians are killed for every one terrorist taken out by a drone strike, which means that 95 percent of the victims are innocent men, women and children.

In an interview with Press TV, political analyst Dr. Kevin Barrett said that the recent global terror alert by the United States shows that Washington needs to keep the so-called war on terror going.

“There is a hidden agenda of course behind it and that is to keep the so-called war on terror going and to do that they need to periodically check and see if people still believe this kind of nonsense,” he said.

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