WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida activity in Yemen suggests U.S. energy security is at risk because of imports bound for New England ports, a lawmaker said.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, is suspected of targeting oil and natural gas pipelines in the country. Militants in April struck an oil pipeline in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa using rocket-propelled grenades.
U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said unrest in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East meant the United States should look to domestic supplies for energy security.
"The disturbing connection between American energy demands and violence in the Middle East is one that we must work to eliminate," he said in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Markey's office said about 18 percent of the shipments of liquefied natural gas that arrived at a facility in Massachusetts last year came from Yemen.
AQAP activity in Yemen is said to be in response to U.S. strikes against al-Qaida targets in the area. This week, a strike allegedly fired by a U.S. drone killed Fahd al-Qusa, indicted on terrorism charges for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in a Yemeni port. Intelligence officials this week added they uncovered an al-Qaida bomb plot in Yemen meant for a U.S.-bound plane.