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Yemen expelled 16,000 al Qaeda suspects?

On Sunday, Yemen’s defense minister told reporters that his country has expelled some 16,000 suspected al Qaeda members since 2005. If true, that’s an astounding and disturbing figure. What are we to make of his claim? I see a couple possibilities: Yemen is/was crawling with potential terrorists. Yemen’s definition of who constitutes al Qaeda member ...

On Sunday, Yemen’s defense minister told reporters that his country has expelled some 16,000 suspected al Qaeda members since 2005. If true, that’s an astounding and disturbing figure.

What are we to make of his claim? I see a couple possibilities:

  1. Yemen is/was crawling with potential terrorists.
  2. Yemen’s definition of who constitutes al Qaeda member is extremely broad.
  3. Struggling to handle an influx of refugees from Somalia, Yemen finds it convenient to classify people as potential terrorists in order to deport them.

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