Bloggers ahead of mainstream media in reporting Yemeni-based terrorism

As the situation in Yemen & its implications for Western security continues to arouse media interest, online content offers real added value to mainstream media

As the situation in Yemen and its implications for Western security continues to arouse media interest, online content offers real added value to the mainstream media which due to budget and time constraints alike is often unable to explore the complexities of this most challenging of situations.

In terms of sensible and informed calls for restraint, Foreign Policy.com’s Marc Lynch warns against the dangers of overreacting and argues instead that the Obama Administration should continue doing:

“Pretty much what it’s been doing … Be patient, build intelligence and CT assets, strike against clearly AQ targets when available but only where the civilian costs will be minimal and the rewards high, search out local partners… the usual.”

The Yemen-focused site waq al waq draws attention to shortcomings in mainstream media coverage of the Yemeni situation, particularly the flawed reporting of the New York Times.

On the ground, Sana’a-based journalist Nasser Arrabyee was amongst the first to report the reopening of the US and UK embassies in the Yemeni capital.

Meanwhile, in the broader blogosphere, the jihadist monitoring sire Jihadica focuses on the suspicion that the suicide bomber responsible for the Dec 30th attack on the CIA in Kabul was a jihadist blogger – a revelation that has already caused considerable activity amongst online jihadists.

Overall, the reporting and anaylsis emphasises the need for a more cautionary approach then crisis headlines might indicate.

The West’s policy options are limited in a country as fragile as Yemen and policy makers would be well advised to pause for more sober and extended reflection in the context of both expert opinion and local analysis before racing to pubically promte a new major front in the struggle with al-Qaeda.

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