Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists have seized the town of Radda, about 105 miles south of the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. Sources in Sana'a said the terrorists entered the small town, located in al-Baiydah province, on Saturday night.
The move further expands the territory of the terrorist organization, which to a large extent already controls the southern Yemeni province of Abyan.
Radda, with a population of some 60,000 people, fell easily to the group, allegedly led by Tareq al-Dahab, with minimal resistance put up by its small police force.
Dahab is the brother-in-law of U.S.-born Muslim extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who was linked to Al Qaeda and killed in a U.S. targeted air strike in Yemen last year. Dahab himself was extradited to Yemen from Syria while trying to infiltrate into Iraq.
The Arabic-language Al-Arabiya news network quoted Yemeni Socialist Party deputy head Yahia Abu Usba as saying it appeared the terrorist group was aiming to take over the oil-rich Ma'arib province next, drawing closer to the capital.
Al Qaeda has systematically taken over several towns, one by one, since the tribal revolt against Saleh began early last year with the advent of the “Arab Spring' uprisings that swept Arab nations across the region.
At least four Arab governments were toppled in the ensuing revolutions, including those in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Others saw massive changes in their systems of government or in those who populated their parliaments. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is currently engaged in fighting for his the survival of his own regime at present as well.