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CIA Preparing Secret Drone Strikes in Yemen


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Fox News:

The Central Intelligence Agency is planning to use armed drones to target Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, where growing instability poses a national security threat.

A U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that the secret plan has been in the works for months, as leaders have eyed the power vacuum left by anti-government protests and an assassination attempt on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

While the U.S. has conducted military strikes with Yemen’s permission since 2009, the CIA has different legal restrictions that allow the agency to conduct operations even if Saleh reverses past approval or leaves power, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Additionally, CIA drones use smaller warheads, which officials hope will lower the risk of civilian deaths and anti-American backlash in Yemen, the newspaper said.

In the wake of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, jihadists have moved from other safe havens to Yemen. Al Qaeda leadership in the country is viewed as “the trifecta,” as it includes American cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, a former protégé of bin Laden and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.snip
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