Embassies in Yemen Close as Security Forces Step Up Offensive Against Al Qaeda

"Instability in Yemen is a threat to regional stability and even global stability," Clinton today said at a joint press conference with Hamad Bin Jassim Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minster and Foreign Minister of Qatar. "This is a difficult set of challenges but they have to be addressed."

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Training and providing assistance to locals will be the key to fighting the war against terrorism but Americans shouldn't expect U.S. military action in Yemen, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said today,

"It's confusing, I think, to the average person," he said on "Good Morning America. "We've got these ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but al Qaeda sanctuaries are in Pakistan, in places like Yemen, we don't have ground wars going on.

VIDEO: TSA puts extra layers of security in place following Christmas bombing attempt.
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"The president there has taken a very aggressive stance in going after al Qaeda -- the key to this ground operations by other countries, quite frankly," Woodward told "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos.

And it is not only in Pakistan and Yemen where alleged terror groups are breeding.

"Somalia ... is another place of worry," Woodward said. "In fact, there are dozens of places of worry where there are al Qaeda cells around the world."

Obama, who cut his vacation short, plans to hold an inter-agency meeting Tuesday to discuss missed intelligence signals and security failures in the case of the 23-year-old Nigerian national who attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound airplane on Christmas day. Yemen and future security measures are also likely to be the subjects of discussion.

Christmas Day Terror Plot

Officials, both in the United States and in Yemen, are trying to dig deep into the botched Christmas Day terror plot, where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane with the explosive PETN strapped to his underwear.

In Yemen, officials are hoping to trace the steps of the Nigerian national who studied at an Arabic language institute there months ago. A student there told ABC News that while he was religious, Abdulmutallab never struck him as an extremist.

"He definitely believed with all his heart in religion but there was nothing extreme, there was nothing fundamental about it," Canadian student Matthew Salmon said.

But officials say as soon as Abdulmutallab left the language school, he met up with al Qaeda operatives who gave him training and the bomb with which he tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas day. It is that kind of training, officials fear, that other suicide bombers preparing for attacks have received.

The Obama administration has issued new security directives to combat threats of terrorist attack. Starting today, passengers coming to the United States from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, or Yemen, or designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, will be subject to enhanced screening.

"TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening," a statement from the agency read. "The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights."

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