Local News

Nuland: The State is shocked by Aklan assassination

National Yemen


BY NY Staff

Victoria Nuland the spokesperson of Washington, DC said that her country are deeply saddened by the killing of Qassim M. Aklan, a longtime employee of the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a. We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms possible and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. Mr. Aklan, a Yemeni citizen, worked as a Foreign Service National Investigator at the Embassy for the last 11 years. He was a dedicated professional who will be greatly missed. We are coordinating closely with the Yemeni authorities to investigate this attack and to help bring those responsible to justice.

Officials on the ground had asked the State Department for increased security, but their requests were denied or ignored by a bureaucracy that still insists it had the correct number of “assets” in place. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice all claimed the attacks had been the result of outrage at an anti-Islam video–not premeditated terror attacks against weak defenses.

Today’s attack on the U.S. security official–likely the work of Al Qaeda, which is battling U.S. drone strikes and counter-terror operations in Yemen–has not been accompanied by similar rationalizations, but underlines the fact that terrorists are planning and carrying out attacks against U.S. diplomatic targets. Al Qaeda pursued a similar strategy in the late 1990s, before the U.S. shifted its strategy away from a law enforcement approach. Both the Bush and the Obama administrations have carried out drone strikes in Yemen against Al Qaeda.

The new attack is a reminder that there is more to the wave of anti-American attacks than an Internet video, and that the U.S. still faces a determined enemy in Al Qaeda despite the killing of Osama bin Laden last May.