Around the World

Yemen: Al-Qaida Hotbed for Terror 101

This week on Around the World, Christiane Amanpour speaks with David Ignatius of the Washington Post to discuss the foiled Al-Qaeda terror plot targeting an overseas jetliner and the country of origin of the plot, Yemen.

Yemen is one of the regions poorest countries and Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of their political unrest to gain influence and set up a home base of operations. This is where bomb builder Ibrahim Al-Asiri has set up shoo, working to to construct an undetectable bomb to take down airplanes heading towards the United States.

These developments come a week after the released private papers of Osama Bin Laden, a year after his death. These memos provide unique insight on the inner workings of the much diminished Al-Qaeda infrastructure. David Ignatius reveals why Al-Qaeda's current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is the just the person U.S. officials were hoping would assume leadership of the terror organization.

In the released papers, Ignatius was fascinated to learn that unlike previous homicidal mass-murderers like Stalin or Hitler, Bin Laden was open to advice and criticism from those around him and was willing to admit when he made a mistake.

Bin Laden eventually came to understand that he turned much the public against him and made serious mistakes in allowing Al-Qaeda affiliates to kill so many Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I found it fascinating that he was honest enough, self critical enough, to realize what huge mistakes he made."

But while Bin Laden may have made some serious mistakes in alienating Muslims, he was an effective leader, someone who could attract followers and get them to buy into his message.

That's not so for the current leader. U.S. officials told Ignatius that if they could pick someone to lead Al-Qaeda it would be current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. They believe he is a divisive figure within the organization and has a hard time rallying Al-Qaeda's diverse membership. From the released papers we also learn that Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri fought over all kinds of issues including broad strategies and tactics.

Loading...
  • Justin Bieber apologizes after Japan shrine visit sparks Asian anger

    By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, whose tumultuous life has landed him in trouble more than once, on Wednesday apologized for a visit to a Tokyo shrine at the center of a bitter international row over Japan's wartime aggression. Bieber, 20, posted a picture on social media of himself visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine with the heading, "Thank you for your blessings". The picture was later deleted, although it was republished elsewhere on the Internet, including by a Bieber fan group, and drew criticism from South Korea and China. The shrine honors 14 Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals after World War Two along with Japan's war dead, and visits to the shrine by Japanese politicians anger victims of Japan's past aggression, including South Korea and China.

  • Cow-milking robots make farmers, animals happier
    Cow-milking robots make farmers, animals happier

    The cows, it turns out, are perfectly capable of deciding when they need to be milked. A new trend in farm-based robotics has dramatically changed the way cows are cared for and milked at farms in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York, according to a report from the New York Times.

  • John Turturro replaces Robert De Niro in HBO's 'Criminal Justice'
    John Turturro replaces Robert De Niro in HBO's 'Criminal Justice'

    Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro for the lead role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Attached to headline "Criminal Justice" since September 2013, Robert De Niro was forced to step down due to a scheduling conflict, according to the Hollywood news website. The star will be replaced by John Turturro, the New York actor frequently seen in the films of Spike Lee and the Coen brothers. The role was initially developed for "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, who died in June 2013.

  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Affirmative Action 'Opened Doors in My Life'
    Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Affirmative Action 'Opened Doors in My Life'

    In a dissent to today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding Michigan’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action programs in its public colleges, Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks from experience about the complex impact of such programs on her own life. Sotomayor’s 58-page dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader...

  • Scholars analyze bones of Swedish medieval king
    Scholars analyze bones of Swedish medieval king

    UPPSALA, Sweden (AP) — Researchers from Uppsala University on Wednesday opened a small gilded box containing the skull and bones of Swedish King Erik IX, who became a national saint after he was murdered in 1160.

  • New York teen gamer latest victim of 'swatting,' police say
    New York teen gamer latest victim of 'swatting,' police say

    A hoaxer who triggered a massive police response was engaged in an increasingly popular prank called "swatting," authorities there say.

  • Ferry Diver Describes Searching Inside Dark, Capsized Ship
    Ferry Diver Describes Searching Inside Dark, Capsized Ship

    Water is Murky and Current is Strong, Scuba Diver Says

  • Soldier in battle to rid home of squatters, Florida sheriff’s office says it can’t do anything
    Soldier in battle to rid home of squatters, Florida sheriff’s office says it can’t do anything

    Soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago and asked a friend to watch over his house in New Port Richey, Florida.

Loading...