WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida terrorists based in Yemen are "unique" because their core is made up of released Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, terror detainees, a U.S. lawmaker says.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the threat posed by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is "kind of a unique" because the core of the group "is formed by former Gitmo detainees. These are people that were held in Gitmo, have been returned, and have now gone back to the battlefield."
Hoekstra said the terror group is being abetted by a former U.S. Islamic imam now living in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, whom officials say was in contact with Fort Hood, Texas, mass shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. He also noted that President Barack Obama has directly linked the suspect in a Christmas Day terror attempt aboard a U.S. flight, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
"These people have moved an attack on the U.S. homeland to their priority list," Hoekstra said.
He added that he and the White House "are now all on the same page. We recognize the imminent threat."