CIA chief: Yemen Qaida affiliate most dangerous

September 13, 2011 16:51

WASHINGTON - Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, has emerged as the "most dangerous" affiliate of the extremist group as the terrorism threat shifts to outside South Asia, CIA Director David Petraeus said on Tuesday.

The threat from a weakened core al-Qaida remains a concern for the United States a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, but the group's vulnerability offers a window of opportunity, Petraeus said in prepared testimony for a joint House-Senate intelligence committee hearing.

"Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has emerged as the most dangerous regional node in the global jihad," Petraeus said in his first congressional testimony as CIA chief.

AQAP was behind the December 2009 plot to blow up a US airliner as it approached Detroit and a 2010 effort to send bombs hidden in computer printers on two cargo aircraft, he said.

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