Following President Barack Obama's promises to step up security measures after intelligence officials failed to prevent the Christmas Day bomber from boarding a Detroit-bound flight, Yemeni officials warned the U.S. of overstepping its military powers. Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al-Alimi said in a statement, “If there is direct intervention by the United States, it will strengthen al Qaeda. We cannot accept any foreign troops on Yemeni territory.” Yemen has faced intense scrutiny in the wake of the attempted bombing, but many are concerned that too much cooperation with the U.S. would aggravate unrest within the country and weaken government influence. In the same press conference, al-Alimi confirmed that accused Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had likely met with Anwar al-Aulaqi, the Yemeni-American cleric who also served as a major influence to Nidal Hasan, the gunman charged with November’s Fort Hood shootings.
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