Courtesy Reuters

Throughout Yemen's political crisis, the West's chief concern has been that spreading chaos in the country will offer al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) an opportunity to expand its operations. Now that Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is in Saudi Arabia for emergency medical treatment, leaving the country in uncertain hands, these worries have only become more urgent. Saleh has often argued that any political vacuum that would follow his rule could prove dangerously hospitable to al Qaeda and similar groups -- a warning that, in reality, is based far more on political posturing than on a real assessment

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