USS Mitscher: heightened activity in Yemen

Heightened U.S. air activity in Yemen — and those being conducted in nearby Somalia relate to a Somali insurgent group even conducting the occasional air strike, fired from a ship offshore, or dropped from a jet. Military and intelligence officials have long argued in favor of attacks against al-Shabab camps in Somalia, which have been under overhead surveillance for years. The United States determined this year that AQAP, as the Yemen-based group is known, poses a more significant threat to the United States than the core al-Qaeda group based in Pakistan. The administration has also concluded that AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] has recruited at least a portion of the main insurgent group in Somalia, al-Shabab, to its anti-Western cause. Drone strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen intended targets must be drawn from an approved list of key members of AQAP deemed by U.S. intelligence officials to be involved in planning attacks against the West.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), communicates with a SA-330J Puma helicopter from the helicopter control tower. 110911-N-XQ375-391 GULF OF ADEN (Sept. 11, 2011)

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