The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

National News

September 14, 2012

Marines sent to Yemen to boost embassy security

WASHINGTON — An elite Marine rapid response team has arrived in Yemen’s capital in the wake of violent protests at the U.S. Embassy over a film critical of Islam, the Pentagon said Friday, as a nervous Obama administration watched anti-American demonstrations spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said the decision to dispatch about 50 Marines to Sanaa was partly in response to the violence and partly as a precautionary measure.

The Marines are members of a platoon from a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, a specially trained and configured group that makes short-notice deployments in response to terrorist threats and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies.

A similar team was dispatched to Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday in response to the deadly consulate attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans.

Little said no other such teams had been sent to Cairo or other Arab capitals, such as Tunis and Khartoum, where protesters have been demonstrating over the video that mocks the Prophet Muhammad.

A senior U.S. official said that since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence services have deployed extra surveillance equipment over Libya’s populated areas. That equipment was added to the surveillance drones that have flown over the region at least since the Libyan revolution last year.

According to U.S. officials, the drones include Predators and Reapers, which are being used for surveillance and are largely unarmed. While drones have been there consistently, officials have increased their coverage and cycles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Also, Navy destroyers often carry small Scan Eagle drones, although it’s not clear if they are on either the USS McFaul or the USS Jason Dunham, the two destroyers that are currently near the Gulf of Sidra, which lies between Tripoli and Benghazi.

The deployment to Yemen came as that Arab nation’s security forces were firing live rounds and tear gas into the crowd of about 2,000 protesters trying to march to the U.S. embassy.

At the State Department, another senior official said the agency was “working with our personnel and missions overseas and host governments to strengthen security in all locations and to respond effectively where protests have turned violent.”

U.S. diplomats were in particularly close consultations with the governments of Tunisia and Sudan to ensure that American lives and property are protected, the official said, adding that the Obama administration appreciated statements from leaders in the region who have spoken out against violence and called for calm.

Meanwhile, the official said, the State Department has set up a round-the-clock crisis monitoring team to coordinate information and responses to developments on the ground. The official said the department was also working with diplomatic missions abroad to protect Americans and warn them if violence is imminent or expected.


Text Only
National News

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security