In its war on terrorism in Yemen, the US government describes Yemen as “an important partner in the global war on terrorism“. There have been attacks on civilian targets and tourists, and there was a cargo-plane bomb plot in 2010. Counter-terrorism operations have been conducted by the Yemeni police, the Yemeni military, and the United States Armed Forces.
On October 2002, near the port of Mukalla, suicide bombers rammed an explosive-laden boat into the Limburg, a French oil tanker, killing a Bulgarian crew member and spilling 90,000 barrels (14,000 m3) of oil into the Gulf of Aden. Saudi born Abdulraheem al-Nashiri, prime suspect of the USS Cole bombing, paid $40,000 to fund the Limburg attack. With that money, the former Al Qaida leader Abu Ali al-Harithi bought the explosives and transported them from his house in Shabwa to Mukalla in Hadramut.
On 3 November 2002 there was an attack on a helicopter carrying Hunt Oil Co. Employees shortly after taking off from Sana’a. A missile and a machine gun were fired at the helicopter injuring two American citizens. One person was jailed for the helicopter attack as well as for bombing the Civil Aviation and Meteorological Authority building in Sana’a.