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Flag of Yemen
  1. Yemen Main Page
  2. New Nation Falls into Civil War
  3. Militants Strike in Yemen
  4. Regional Violence and the Strengthening of al-Qaeda Make Yemen a Volatile State
  5. Cease-Fire Tentatively Ends Six-Year War
  6. Protests Push President Saleh to Announce He Will Not Run for Reelection
  7. American-born al-Qaeda Leader Killed by U.S. Drone
  8. Saleh Cedes Power and Is Given Immunity
  9. Officials Say They Thwarted an al-Qaeda Terrorist Attack
  10. Houthis Take Over Capital; President Hadi Resigns
  11. Yemen-Based Al Qaeda Cell Linked to France Attack; High-Ranking Al-Qaeda Leader Reportedly Killed
  12. The Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Mosque Attacks as Violence Escalates in Yemen
Officials Say They Thwarted an al-Qaeda Terrorist Attack

Yemeni officials announced in August 2013 that they had foiled a plan for a large-scale terrorist attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Officials said they were alerted to the plot by intercepted communications between Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the organization, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the group in Yemen, in which Zawahiri reportedly ordered Wuhayshi to launch the attack, and by the recent arrival to the capital, Sana'a, of dozens of militants. Officials said the militants planned to target Western embassies and offices, the Yemeni military headquarters, and oil and gas pipelines. They did not, however, indicate how they prevented the attacks. The announcement came days after the Obama administration shut down 19 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa, including posts in Yemen, in response to the intercepted communications. Some analysts were skeptical that Yemen actually thwarted attacks, suggesting instead that Yemen's announcement was politically motivated—an attempt show it could maintain security and that the move by Obama to close the embassies was alarmist. Indeed, after U.S. personnel were evacuated from Yemen, the Yemen embassy in Washington released a statement saying, "Yemen has taken all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and security of foreign missions in the capital."

The National Dialogue Conference, which was part of the November 2011 agreement, opened in March 2013 to recommend provisions for a new constitution, ways to shore up the economy, end corruption, and discuss how to curb the secessionist movement in the south. The conference was made up of 565 representatives from political parties, women's groups, youth movements, and other civil organizations. It ended in January 2014, several months behind schedule. While the conference fell short of expectations, it agreed to establish an anti-corruption board, end childhood marriage, improve the rights of women, implement a federal system of government, and work to reduce the marginalization of southerners. In response to the conference, a presidential committee laid out a plan in February for Yemen to become a federation of six regions.

Next: Houthis Take Over Capital; President Hadi Resigns
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