Newsweek asks if the fundamentalist vigilantes (my term) who hit the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen included returnees from the fighting in Iraq. If the answer is yes, then it is a refutation of the right-wing US ‘flypaper theory’ and instead a vindication of those who feared a long US military occupation of Iraq would create a new generation of hardened terrorists whose skills were honed fighting the US military in al-Anbar, Diyala and
other Iraqi provinces.
Obsidian Wings and other bloggers have made the point about blowback, al-Qaeda and Iraq at some length. See also The Wonk Room.
AP agrees that returnees from Iraq may be among the perpetrators but concentrates on the way the weakness of the Yemeni government and a desire to buy off rather than confront the radicals has contributed to an al-Qaeda resurgence there.
Yemen is a poor fractious country and very rugged,that faces many challenges of which terrorists can take advantage.
For a fine overview of Yemen see this article by Linda Funsch.
See Borzou Daragahi’s excellent article on the Yemeni water crisis.
The Daily Star on the ignored causes of Yemeni instability.