CAIRO — A storage facility housing Yemen's radioactive material was unsecured for up to a week after its lone guard was removed and its surveillance camera was broken, a secret US State Department cable released by WikiLeaks revealed Monday.
The message, dated Jan. 9, relates the worries of a Yemeni official, whose name was removed, about the unguarded state of a National Atomic Energy Commission facility. He pushed the US embassy to urge his own government to secure the material.
"Very little now stands between the bad guys and Yemen's nuclear material," the official is quoted as saying in the cable, which appeared on the website of the British Guardian newspaper.
Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, hosts a particularly active branch of Al-Qaida that has not only repeatedly attacked the Yemeni government but attempted several attacks against the US including last year's failed plot to blow up an airliner in Detroit on Christmas.