Al Qaeda in Yemen seeking Western recruits

Members of the Yemen cell, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have flooded Islamic fundamentalist websites with recruiting messages specifically targeted at sympathizers in the West, according to CNN. 

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"Corresponding with those who yearn for martyrdom operations and the brothers who are searching to execute an operation that would cause great damage to the enemies [our] goal now is to activate those brothers who reside in the land of the enemy," according to one of the AQAP online postings. 

The terror group is considered by U.S. military and intelligence officials as the most active and dangerous al Qaeda cell, responsible for several attempted terrorist attacks inside the United States and across the globe.  

Another posting called for volunteers to carry out future attacks the United State, Israel and Western Europe. Aside from the United States, AQAP recruiters listed possible strikes in France, Britain and other "apostate" governments around the world as top priorities for incoming operatives. 

This recruiting push comes less than a month after American, British and Saudi intelligence foiled an AQAP attempt to blow up a commercial airliner in U.S. airspace. 

The would-be bomber, who was actually a double agent working with U.S. and Saudi intelligence, was a native of the Mideast country and a naturalized British citizen. 

Posing as an Islamic fundamentalist willing to fight for AQAP, the double agent was reportedly given a new type of explosive that was undetectable by current forms of airline security, according to news reports at the time. 

After being ordered to board any plane destined for the United States from Yemen, the informant passed the deadly ordnance to American and Saudi intelligence. After turning over the bomb, he was taken to Yemen and moved to Saudi Arabia. 

The CIA and Pentagon have been coordinating an aggressive airstrike campaign via unmanned drones against AQAP targets since 2009, following another failed attempt by the group to blow up an American airliner above Detroit. Yemeni forces are also in the midst of a massive ground campaign to flush out AQAP elements from their strongholds in and around Abyan province, in the southern part of the country. 

Hundreds of government troops and al Qaeda fighters have been wounded or killed during the nearly two-month-long offensive. 


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