“Qasim al-Raimi, a top military commander for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the group that claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day attack, warned Americans in an article published in an online militant magazine that the group is planning new attacks on U.S. soil.
The phrase, “‘we will blow up the earth from below your feet.” is an interesting choice of words. One can’t help but wonder if this is a signal to launch an attack, or a clue to a type of attack, such as subways or maybe an underground parking garage similar to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It could also allude to the use of IEDs.
“You have attacked us in the midst of our household, so wait for what will attack you in the midst of yours,” al-Raimi said, according to a translation of the message from the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant Web sites. The United States is increasingly worried that Yemen is becoming a significant terrorist staging ground, amid signs that lower-level al-Qaida operatives have been moving into the country from the Afghanistan–Pakistan border region.
Washington has pressured Yemen’s government to crack down on the network, and the Pentagon has earmarked some $150 million in military assistance to Yemen to help combat the threat.
Al-Raimi claimed in the article that U.S. efforts have backfired, and only succeded in pushing more Yemenis into the militant fold. “You united us with our people, made our catastrophe one,” he said.
Al-Raimi is one of 23 militants who broke out of a prison in San’a in February 2006 and is at large. Yemeni authorities have said they believe he was involved in the July 2007 suicide bombing that killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis visiting a temple in central Yemen. He escaped a Yemeni military strike in December 2009 that killed a deputy commander and at least 30 other suspected militants. WASHINGTON POST