AQAP remains high level of concern for U.S.
Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Monday during a daily press briefing. Abu Basir al-Wahishi, the head of AQAP, recently addressed a message to his followers in prison that they would eventually get out of prison. Harf said the U.S. is working closely with Yemen to prevent prison breaks and to cooperate on counterterrorism.
"We've repeatedly said we're concerned... about prison breaks," Harf said. "We've talked about them in Yemen before. So clearly, it's an ongoing concern for us. I would reiterate that we and the government of Yemen work very closely and cooperatively together on counterterrorism issues. We've been clear that we're going to take steps to protect our people, our interests, or our facilities from potential threats from AQAP and others."
On Sunday, the U.S. reopened 18 of the 19 posts it closed due to the threat of terrorist attacks from AQAP. It kept the embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, closed due to an ongoing threat.
Harf also said the State Department condemned recent attacks by al-Qaida in Iraq and said the perpetrators were a shared enemy of the U.S., Iraq and the international community.
"We condemn in the absolute strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks that took place in Baghdad, especially the fact that they were targeting families celebrating the Eid holiday," Harf said. "These terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community."
Harf said the U.S. will keep working with Iraq to overcome the threat of terrorism and bring the perpetrators of violence to justice.