Counter-Terrorism: Combined Task Force 150 Off Yemen


February 22, 2006: When 23 convicted al Qaeda terrorists escaped from a Yemeni prison earlier this month, the Yemeni police weren't the only ones who went looking for them. Combined Task Force 150, composed of American and other NATO warships, moved in to monitor the waters off Yemen. While the escapees could flee to the north, into Saudi Arabia or Oman, this would be difficult. The border area is desert, and the neighbors are just as keen on putting the al Qaeda convicts back in jail. Escaping by air is difficult, because the few airports are monitored as well. Getting out by sea is the best bet, because there are a lot of small craft coming and going along the Yemeni coast. Combined Task Force 150 has spent the last few years honing its skills in monitoring and checking this traffic. But Combined Task Force 150 can't search every boat moving in and out of Yemen, so they will need some good intelligence to narrow the search.


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