Yemen’s protests just got a lot more radical: A powerful cleric who once served as mentor to Osama bin Laden joined the anti-government protesters in the capital Tuesday, saying, “An Islamic state is coming.” Until now, the presence of religion has been largely absent from the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, making Abdul Majid al-Zindani’s appearance at the rally even more unusual. The White House has expressed concern about Zindani’s presence—especially since al Qaeda in Yemen is considered a very real threat to U.S. security. Former American Ambassador to Yemen Thomas C. Krajeski, who just returned from a trip to that country, said Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has about a 50-50 chance of keeping power as demonstrations against him grow.
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