By Jim Kouri
Dozens of al-Qaeda terrorists Sunday morning seized a city in Yemen’s southeastern province of al-Bayda. The al-Qaeda members — backed by armored vehicles — stormed the al- Bayda province overnight, taking control over the Radda city from all surrounding entrances and directions.
A small security barrack in the city was unable to confront the storming campaign of the well-armed groups and the police forces didn’t show any kind of resistance, according to a report in the Israeli media.
Al-Baydda province, which borders the province of Abyan, is considered to be the latest stronghold of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist group.
In al-Baydda’s neighboring province of Abyan, the government forces backed by U.S. Marine troops and air force have been fighting militants of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for more than eight months after the terrorists took over Abyan’s capital city of Zinjibar in late May 2011.
The AQAP group has seized several cities and towns across the restive southern provinces, as the Yemeni government forces engaged in fierce clashes with militants over past months, leaving hundreds of people killed.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was formed in January 2009 by a merger between two regional offshoots of the international radical Islamist network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
It has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the two countries over the past 12 months, and has been blamed by U.S. intelligence officials for attempting to blow up a U.S. passenger jet as it flew into Detroit on Christmas Day.
A Nigerian man charged in the incident, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has allegedly told U.S. investigators that AQAP operatives trained him in Yemen, equipped him with a powerful explosive device and told him what to do.
He also warned there were others like him who would strike soon.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula first came to prominence in Saudi Arabia when it claimed responsibility for simultaneous suicide bombing attacks on three Western housing compounds in Riyadh, which left 29 dead.