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Panetta: Obama’s Failure In Yemen Gives al Qaeda a ‘Free Hand’

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” President Barack Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta said his former boss’ polices have helped make Yemen “another failed state in the Middle East,” which in turn gives al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who have the capacity to “attack this country,” a “free hand to do what it wants.”

Panetta said, “I’m afraid Yemen has turned into another failed state in the Middle East. you know, I mean, we’ve seen a number of failed states throughout the Middle East. The problem is in Yemen, with the Houthis having taken over supported by Iran, by the way, what we have now is chaos. And what it’s doing is it’s giving al Qaeda a free hand to do what it wants to do in Yemen. And I have to tell you that when you look at terrorist threats around the world, the one you have to worry about the most is al Qaeda in Yemen, AQAP, because they have the bomb-making capability and they have the other capabilities to basically do what they have to do to attack this country. They are a real danger. That’s why we have operations there. That’s why we’re going after al Qaeda there. And as a result of what’s happened in Yemen, I think it’s going to impact on our capability to defend ourselves.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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