January 4th, 2010
06:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton says Yemen instability a threat to global security

Secretary Clinton held a press conference at the State Department Monday in Washington.
Secretary Clinton held a press conference at the State Department Monday in Washington.

Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday called the situation in Yemen a possible threat to regional and global security.

"We see global implications from the war in Yemen and the ongoing efforts by al Qaeda in Yemen to use it as a base for terrorist attacks far beyond the region," Clinton said after a meeting with the prime minister of Qatar.

Clinton's comments came as the U.S. Embassy in Yemen remained closed a second day due to what Clinton called "ongoing threats by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."

The threats "certainly pre-date this holiday season, and they are aimed at American interests in Yemen," Clinton said, adding a decision on reopening the embassy will be made "when the security conditions permit."

Great Britain also closed its embassy in Yemen, while France, Spain, Japan and Germany made changes to enhance embassy security.

Senior administration officials told CNN on Monday that the U.S. Embassy was closed after a "specific and credible" threat.

One official said the government had information that eight al Qaeda operatives in Yemen were planning an attack on the embassy. Three were killed and a fourth, wearing a suicide vest, was wounded in a recent air strike by Yemeni authorities, but the other four were believed to still be at large, prompting the embassy's closing, the official said.

Clinton commended Yemen for taking action against al Qaeda networks and added: "We are reiterating our commitment to assist in those efforts."

Last year, Yemen received U.S. development and security assistance totaling $40.3 million. For the current fiscal year, the appropriation for total direct assistance to Yemen is $52.5 million.

In addition, Yemen could receive additional U.S. funding dedicated to counterterrorism efforts.

On another issue, Clinton said Monday that the State Department "fully complied" with existing requirements for screening potential terror threats in the failed Christmas Day bomb attempt on a U.S. airliner.

The suspect, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, had a multiple-entry U.S. visa. His father, a leading banker in Nigeria, warned U.S. authorities before the attack that his son might be involved with Islamic extremists, but the information failed to prompt a response such as canceling the visa.

Clinton acknowledged her team was examining whether its procedures should change as part of a government-wide review ordered by President Barack Obama.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • State Department • Terrorism
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    You can add the tea party to that list, I like many other Americans are afraid of them and should be.

    January 4, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    Secretary of State Clinton is willing to call this "the war in Yemen" and to warn us of global implications.
    President Obama has spoken of failed attempts at attacks.
    It sounds as if we may be back to Candidate Hillary Clinton's question about the 3:00 AM phone call, and I'm pondering "who'd you rather."
    Secretary of State is sounding brave, realistic, and strong without stepping on any toes.
    Shows experience, doesn't she.

    January 4, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. annie against biased news

    So be sure you idiots close gitmo and send more terrorist there! Isn't it nice we are sending millions to a country to support terrorism.

    January 4, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Joe Fattal

    Iraq is been invaded, we still there but plan to withdraw our troops someday. Afghanistan is been invaded, we plan to be there for awhile. Now Yemen. We haven't invaded it yet, but leaving it to Hillary it will be hers in no time. While we are so preoccupy with Al-Qeada in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Yemen, our young Nigerian terrorist that came from nowhere, and that everyone knew about in the intelligence agencies, decided to scare to light out of 300 people with his homemade firecracker. And what our government in charge is doing, blame it on Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Yemen. The government needs to take all the troops and stationed them in our airports, instead of having them sitting like ducks waiting to be shot.

    January 4, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Ms. Callahan....just sayin'

    I think a wise politician would keep their eyes on the alliance that Turkey and Iran are forging....that is a Bibical unification (see last 2000 years fortold). You wonder sometimes how big this club of decievers is getting.....the stories just spin more than the yarn can strech...

    January 4, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    And that must be the reason why the Obama administration proposes to return some of the terrorists now held at Gitmo to Yemen.

    Idiocy reigns supreme in this White House.

    January 4, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Grrr-Awful-O

    Which way is up with this administration? They say Yemen is unstable (duh!) and close our embassy. But it's full steam ahead with sending back "enemy combatants" (or whatever the politically correct term for terrorists is these days) to Yemen. Despite its perfect record of releasing (or misplacing) all of the ones that attacked the USS Cole. Well... it all makes sense to me. I guess....

    January 4, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. bess

    and recent U.S. security failures are also a threat to global security.

    January 4, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    There was no "Al Qaeda in Yemen" until Obama and other Democratic war mongers came up with their Afghanistan surge!
    He and his generals created this problem.

    ( Yes, this is pure sarcasm but I couldn't resist.)

    January 4, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. Peter s

    Keep on the good Job Sen Hillary! and also keep an open eye on East Africa!! Pirates are buying property outside Somalia at will with pirated money colluding with corrupt Government officials!!!

    January 4, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Independent

    According to the Americans, in 1812 Canada was a global threat. Now there is a new decade, new country, new enemy. It will never end. I still think Iran will be next.

    January 4, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Oh dear God, here we go again. Why did we not take the advice of Eisenhower against the Military Industrial Complex? Oh, that's right. JFK did. Makes you wonder, huh?

    January 4, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. Slider

    Don't worry, Clinton, Obama has a "plan".

    First, he appoints a vice-president and lobbyist for Raytheon for his Deputy Secretary of Defense one day after saying he wanted no lobbyists.

    Then, he appoints Simpson, also from Raytheon, and a friend of yours, Hillary, who also was a delegate for you as well.

    I guess you socialists supported defense contractors before you were against them.

    Yeah. That line didn't work for Kerry either...

    January 4, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Wow!

    Interesting how Obama himself - as well as his cabinet members (such as Clinton) - focused on their holidays FIRST - and then came out to discuss REAL problems!

    "Party before Country" is their motto!

    January 4, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. Skeptical Hippo

    Why is this more of a threat than Al Qeada in Iraq, or Afghanistan or Pakistan or the threat from Iran or North Korea ?

    Next thing, we will be told that there are WMD in Yemen and we need to evade to liberate the oppressed population.

    Obama is becoming GWBush.

    January 4, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. ForThePeople

    She just now figured that out? I do admire her courage and perseverance through all she has had to deal with; but, of course instability there is a threat and has been for years. Remember the bombing of the Navy ship, USS Cole in 2000? That entire region is comprised of instability that requires strong diplomacy backed up by even stronger military options since our country has been at war since 2001.
    Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan should all be treated the same knowing that terrorists have trained or are training in these countries, as is evidenced by the latest attempted attack on Americans on Christmas Day. This is not a matter of party agendas, it is simply a matter of national security. Our nation needs to wake up to the realism that we are at war with terrorists, and that only when united in our resolve as one nation can we reestablish ourselves as a national power that will defend its interests and most importantly, its citizens.

    January 4, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Willy Brown

    Mrs. Bill Clinton is a liar.

    January 4, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    Oh, really? .............Hillary, we, well most Americans with brains anyway, have known that for years. When the heck is this incompetent administration going to wake up??????????

    January 4, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. racoco

    Obama is actually the threat to U.S. stability. Not sin 1861 has there been such a threat.

    January 4, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. MP

    Good for you, Ms Clinton. Yours is a calming strong welcome voice at a time where so much is at stake. Obama should make better use of the Defence Secretary's strengths.: she is not easily intimidated.

    January 4, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Scott, Tucson

    No lady, the threat to our security is the weak knee liberals like your boss.

    January 4, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. aware

    Lose the dem demagogues Hillary! Obama is a loser but you could be a winner in 2012! :)

    January 4, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. USN

    Fear not , obama will protect his Muslim brothers with the help of Holder.

    January 4, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. normajean

    At a time when intellegent, well thoughtout plans are made to handle this situation, we have a Secretary of State that can be depended on to come up with the right decision as to how to handle it and one who is not above consulting with experts in the field.We are fortunate to have Hillary Clinton on our team.

    January 4, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. Sharon

    Yemen's instability–Is that why our Government sent detainees from Gitmo back into the Yemen country?

    January 4, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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