An official in Yemen said Thursday that the sixth suspected U.S. drone strike in just two weeks had left six suspected al Qaeda militants dead in the group's former stronghold in the center of the country. The official told The Associated Press that a missile hit a car traveling in the central Marib province, causing the fatalities.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that Yemen has long been a haven for al Qaeda leadership, and the country claimed Wednesday to have, which may have exposed potential targets.
Yemeni government officials say security forces are turning up the heat on militants from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the global terror network's branch based in the nation, after foiling the plot to strike foreign embassies, gas and oil installations, and the country's port cities.
The government has even given a shoot-to-kill order on anybody who looks suspicious and refuses to identify themselves.
The alleged plot appears to have been similar to thewhich saw gunmen storm the Amenas gas plant, killing more than three dozen foreign workers.
The U.S. Embassy in Yemen has come under attack before, by furious protesters after the release of an inflammatoryonline.
AQAP is considered the most aggressive branch of the terrorist group, and the likely the most direct threat to the U.S.
The alleged plot the Yemenis say they foiled may be the reason for the stepped-up U.S. drone strikes, according to former FBI and CIA officer Phil Mudd.
"We've got defensive measures in place around embassies, but we've got to take out operatives if we want to disrupt this plot long-term," Mudd told CBS News.
In the meantime, Yemen remains a no-go area for Americans. Most have been evacuated and the embassy remains closed in Sanaa, along with 18 other embassies and diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as this perceived threat stretches beyond Yemen's borders.