Missiles fired from U.S. drone aircraft struck a militant training camp in the Pakisani village of Pasalkot in a remote area of North Waziristan on January 14. Pakistani security officials say the atack killed 12 Taliban militants.
China is facing a population crisis — a tremendous gender imbalance in its population of young people. A report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) predicts that by 2020 one in five young men will not be able to find a bride. That amounts to 24 million bachelors.
The town of Garmsir in southern Afghanistan exploded in violent protest on January 12, fueled by rumors spread by the Taliban that members of the U.S. military had desecrated a Koran and defiled local women in a nearby village two nights before.
Mainland Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on January 12 that China has successfully carried out a test of military technology to shoot down missiles in mid-air. Jiang says the January 11 test of "ground-based, mid-course missile intercepting technology" had what she described as "the expected result."
The CIA has forged an alliance with Ba'athist exiles from Saddam Hussein's Iraq for intelligence in Yemen, according to the London Daily Telegraph for January 6. In an article entitled "US forges alliance with Saddam Hussein officers to fight al-Qaeda," the Telegraph for January 6 also noted that this already-existing alliance with former enemies is on the upswing: "Co-operation with the former Baathist officers, who fled Iraq in the wake of the US-led invasion and the fall of Saddam, is expected to grow further in the wake of the failed terror attack in the skies above Detroit."
Following the failed attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 by Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab — a man with ties to al-Qaeda in Yemen — the United States is asking the Arabian Peninsula nation for help in restricting the terrorist organization’s activities.
The Times of London reported December 29 that in the wake of the botched airplane Christmas day bombing Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has claimed there may be hundreds of terrorist plots against the West planned by al-Qaeda from Yemen. Specifically, al-Qirbi said: “Of course there are a number of al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and some of their leaders. We realize this danger. They may actually plan attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit. There are maybe hundreds of them — 200, 300.”
As has been widely reported, al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch is proudly claiming responsibility for the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day in Detroit. The alleged attempted perpetrator and therefore al-Qaeda co-conspirator, Umar Abdulmutallab, is a well-born Nigerian educated in London with an expressed affinity for another advocate of terrorism against America, the radical American-born imam, Anwar al-Awlaki.
In the twilight of the pre-dawn on Thursday, bombs dropped on the home of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born, Yemeni-based cleric. Yemeni Air Forces carried out the attack in an effort to kill al-Qaeda militants reportedly gathered there to plan attacks on Western concerns. At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether the controversial imam was actually killed in the early morning air strike.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, upon completing a two-day visit to Afghanistan on December 22, pledged that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is committed to staying in the country until the Afghan government and military are ready to take over their own defense and that there would be no deadline for the exit of allied troops from the country.