Wikileaks Document Reveals Vulnerability of Yemen’s Nuclear Material

According to a cable sent by an un-named Yemeni official dated January 9, 2010 and sent to the U.S. Embassy, about a week went by with no security at Yemen’s National Atomic Energy Commission’s nuclear facility. “Very little now stands between the bad guys and Yemen’s nuclear material,” is a quote from the cable which was reprinted in the newspaper The British Guardian.

The cable stated that the one guard at the facility was removed from the site on December 30, 2009, leaving the nuclear facility completed unguarded. The one closed-circuit TV camera had not been functional at the facility for a period of six months previously. Yemen is the poorest of all the Arab countries, and they also play host to an especially active branch of Al-Qaida. The Yemeni branch of Al-Qaida has not only attacked the Yemeni government on numerous occasions, but it plotted, but failed, to attack and explode an airplane last Christmas in Detroit.

The cable urges the U.S. embassy to persuade the US government to secure the nuclear material.