— -- Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said this morning that he was alarmed by the chaos that has engulfed Yemen, which has led to the withdrawal of U.S. special operations forces from the war-torn country.
The Texas congressman also cited the blurring of lines between the various Islamist extremist groups operating in the country as a threat.
“I think these developments in Yemen greatly disturb me, because of the – their potential to attack the United States,” McCaul told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday.
Yemen, which is engulfed in a civil war, endured a string of attacks across its capital this week that left over 130 people dead, including at two Shiite mosques.
The U.S., which recently closed its embassy in Yemen, also decided to pull its remaining special operations forces from the country this weekend because of the escalating violence.
McCaul said the move leaves the U.S. with no intelligence resources in the country, which has been a critical hot spot in the U.S. fight against terrorism.
“I think the problem is that we're not going to have any intelligence in Yemen. Yemen is one of the most dangerous spots in the world. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the largest external operation force within al Qaeda,” McCaul said.
“Good intelligence stops plots against the homeland. Without that intelligence, we cannot effectively stop it. That's what I'm most concerned about,” he added.