American Morning

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November 1st, 2010
06:44 AM ET

Scheuer on al Qaeda: 'They're more sophisticated than we thought they were'

This morning on American Morning, Michael Scheuer, Fmr. CIA counterterrorism analyst, weighs in on the Transportation Security Administration sending six inspectors to Yemen to help improve cargo security.

Scheuer, who headed CIA's Osama Bin Laden unit, talks about al Qaeda's growing force in Yemen and what the United States and its allies can do to increase security on passenger and cargo travel.

Scheuer says terrorism forces have geographically expanded since 9/11.

“In 9/11 we had the enemy coming at us out of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Scheuer said today on American Morning. “Now we have that theater, have Yemen, have Somalia, have Iraq and have North Africa. So the geographical dispersion of the enemy has increased very significantly in the last ten years.”

Scheuer says billions more dollars will need to be spent on counter terrorism.

How do you think the U.S. is doing on its counter-terrorism efforts?

Filed under: Al Qaeda • American Morning • Terrorism
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Somalia is a lost cause, if you think Afghanistan is hard, that is nothing compared with trying to stabilize Somalia. The goal is to isolate Yemen and Somalia from each other. Break the transnational link and contain al-Qaida in each geographical area. Somalia can be dealt with via a containment policy. By increasing international aid and training to Kenya and Ethiopia for border security and CT operations, airport security etc. While the CIA run interdiction out of Djibouti, drones and using indigenous forces to contain al-Qaida inside Somalia. Yemen will need direct intervention the use of conventional military forces to deal with al-Qaida and the situation that allows them to operate from that country, so the first stage is to soften them up with covert operations until troops are freed up. Yemen is different to both Afghanistan and Iraq as we are not invading to overthrow a government, at some stage the Yemeni Government will require assistance as the government will lose control and be toppled, this will occur around 2013 if the current trend continues, the longer they wait the harder it will be. Yemen is similar to Iraq in that their are 3 different insurgencies going on at once, like Iraq some of that can be dealt with politically as the Government becomes weaker they will be more open to a compromise with these parties. That will help stabilize the country and means we are not stuck between a sectarian civil war/insurgency like in Iraq. Iran would like the Shiite to fight us in Yemen, but the border with the Kingdom of Saud can be sealed (no safe haven) and the logistics from Iran cut via the Gulf of Aden they will be encircled and the ring will get tighter and tighter. So Iran is not in the same position to create problems for us as they have done in Iraq and are in Afghanistan. By incorporating Shiites in those areas into the Yemeni security forces under a political solution would stabilize that area, so we are not seen as an occupation force and not caught up in a Shiite insurgency. al-Qaida are located in a specific quadrant of the country, so any invasion forces will seek to encircle the area and then squeeze al-Qaida by making the ring tighter and tighter that can occur now with between 25,000 to 50,000 troops. If we take our time say 12 months al-Qaida will be destroyed and not be able to escape the encirclement and regroup into other areas of Yemen or cross into Somalia via Gulf of Aden. That is a key lesson of Afghanistan victory is not achieved by simply routing the enemy from an area, for long term security they must be destroyed. While the counter piracy operations are not seen as affect, preventing al-Qaida moving between Yemen and Somalia under a containment and isolation policy is possible. Now if Afghan Government can function in the manner it was intended to deny al-Qaida an operational base in that country (I am doubtful) that leave the FATA, Pakistan has conducted numerous operation in the FATA in the end in North Waziristan also. Now once those operation have been compete it will take around 5 years, it has been 2 years since Pakistan started their offensives, with increased international aid the Frontier Corp can be expanded to assert Pakistani Government control and authority in those areas, with the return of refugees and militants back to Afghanistan this will lift some of the burden on Pakistan in gaining control of the FATA. Once that occurs CT operations can be used to contain any al-Qaida that tries to operate out of the FATA. That is the four main AO of the transnational Jihad that would have been isolated and contained. While terrorism will always be a factor that the west has to deal with, this enhances security and reduces the threat give us some form of normality. Something like that.

    November 1, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  2. will

    we are doing good it could be better but atleast they are being detained before they make it to america

    November 1, 2010 at 8:43 am |