June 10, 2011
WASHINGTON: Yemen’s “scary” turmoil has not halted cooperation with the United States to battle extremists, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), CIA chief Leon Panetta said Thursday.
“While obviously it’s a scary and uncertain situation, with regards to counter terrorism we’re still very much continuing our operations,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Panetta, whom President Barack Obama has nominated to succeed outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, said Yemen had been “destabilized” since protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster flared in January.
“It’s obviously a dangerous and uncertain situation,” said Panetta. “And yet we are continuing to work with those individuals in their government to try to go after AQAP. And we are continuing to receive cooperation from them.”