Al Qaeda militants seize Yemen town… whoops

Yeah, so about that Al-Qaeda threat… 

Looks like a few analysts will have to reassess. In the wake of the Arab uprisings, and the assassinations of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Al-Qaeda-linked cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, in Yemen, everyone was quick to denounce the once global terrorist network as crippled, ideologically bankrupt and largely irrelevant. That's all probably true.

But in Yemen, which is on the verge of becoming the world's next failed state (or not?), Al-Qaeda (or Al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula) poses a real local threat. 

More from GlobalPost: Yemen’s Saleh warns US: It’s me or Al Qaeda

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that: 

Al-Qaida militants seized full control of a town south of the Yemeni capital on Monday, overrunning army positions, storming the local prison and freeing at least 150 inmates, security officials said. […]

Security officials said the militants threw a security ring around Radda, preventing residents from leaving or entering, and killed two soldiers and wounded a third in clashes with army troops.

That's about 100 miles from the capital, Sanaa, which itself is already carved into neighborhood fiefdoms by tribal warlords and saw pitched street battles between rival forces over the past 10 months. 

None of this looks good. 

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