The Wall Street Journal reports the Obama administration is considering sending elite hunter-killer teams into Yemen to assassinate militants believed to be connected to al-Qaeda.
One plan being considered would see US special forces units from the Joint Special Operations Command being sent into Yemen under CIA control, which would give the US greater leeway to strike without the explicit blessing of the Yemeni government. The White House is considering adding armed CIA drones to the arsenal against militants in Yemen. The talks on widening the US role in Yemen come days after the discovery of a plot to ship two bombs hidden in computer printers from Yemen to synagogues in Chicago. On Friday, President Obama linked the plot to al-Qaeda.
President Obama:”Although we are still pursuing all the facts, we do know that the packages originated in Yemen. We also know that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens and our friends and allies.”
US officials have identified a Saudi man connected to al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch as a main suspect in the plot. On Sunday, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said the bombs may have been designed to explode mid-air.
John Brennan on CBS’s Face the Nation: “We’re looking at the potential that they would have been detonated en route to those synagogues aboard the aircraft as well as at the destinations. But at this point we, I think, would agree with the British that it looks as though they were designed to be detonated in flight.”