The United States will more than double its security assistance for Yemen and Britain will host an international meeting this month to seek ways of preventing the poorest Arab state from becoming an al Qaeda stronghold.

The moves highlighted mounting Western concern over Yemen after a failed Christmas Day attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner by a Nigerian man who said he had received training and equipment in the country that borders Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen branch of Osama bin Laden’s network, has claimed responsibility for the attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear as his flight from Amsterdam approached Detroit. Reuters

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