Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Frances Fragos Townsend appears frequently on CNN as a terrorism expert and has recently written in the Washington Post of the need for the US to issue an ultimatum to Yemen that sounded like very much like a threat of an invasion. Since the Detroit bomber trail leads to Yemen, the issue of how terrorism in Yemen got energized is going to be much discussed.
The fact that the backbone of al-Qaeda in Yemen comes from Guantanamo detainees released to Saudi Arabia under George Bush -- for whom she worked as counter-terrorism coordinator -- will certainly be relevant and is something that can be brought up when she is discussing terrorism and Yemen now.
But there's another issue. On 26 May 2009, she met with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh, as shown above. For a foreign private citizen to get a meeting with the King is not easy. One hopes that she is not pulling punches or tailoring messages so as not to interfere with any ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia.