On Tuesday evening, PBS's "Frontline" aired, "Inside Al Qaeda in Yemen," a shocking documentary that explores the Al Qaeda stronghold that exists in the Arabian Peninsula, a large landmass northeast of Africa. The film provides a first-hand view of the bizarre and troubling power that the terror group yields in an area that The Atlantic's John Hudson says is "widely-considered the most dangerous Al Qaeda stronghold."
Here's a preview of the program:
In the film, Iraqi-born reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who works for The Guardian, is able to work his way into the territory to capture interviews and explore the situation at hand. What makes the Arabian Peninsula different from other localities that the Al Qaeda is dominant in is that, according to U.S. ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein, it is the first location in which the terror group is actually trying to capture and retain territory.
"The fact of the matter is that they continue to try to find ways to attack not only here in Yemen, but in the United States, in the neighborhood against Saudi Arabia, against Western Europe and the U.K.," Feierstein told Frontline. "So they have global aspirations, and we consider that they still present a very significant challenge."
Yahoo! News' "The Upshot" has more about the shocking documentary:
In recent years, the most significant terrorist plots against the United States have emanated from Yemen. This little known country on the Arabian Peninsula has become the hottest front in the war against al Qaeda. Last week, a suicide bomber killed about 100 soldiers in the country's capital, Sana. Earlier this month, news broke of a foiled plot by al Qaeda in Yemen to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner. [...]
In dangerous areas of southern Yemen where few journalists have traveled, Ghaith found members of al Qaeda, describing themselves as the group Ansar al-Sharia, in control of cities and towns and winning both support and recruits among some in the local population by administering scarce resources. [...]
In the rest of Al Qaeda in Yemen, Ghaith explores the tension between al Qaeda's brutal tactics and its efforts not to alienate the Yemeni populace. Ghait travels to the town of Lawdar, where he discovers that al Qaeda had been driven from power by local residents after assassinating a tribal leader.
If there's any doubt that the Al Qaeda has qualms with the American way of life, a man named Fouad, a spokesperson for the group, makes the terror group's stance clear. In the documentary, the leader proudly proclaims, "We are at war with America and its allies."
Watch the film, below (caution: disturbing images and themes):
(H/T: The Atlantic)