Yemen's Elite Female Counter-Terrorism Force Takes On Al Qaeda

June 12, 2010

Author: Sarah A. Topol

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Kneeling on the ground, a row of women in black face masks squint their eyes, taking aim with their AK-47s before releasing rounds into stationary targets at a shooting range eight miles outside the capital, Sanaa. The female contingent of Yemen’s elite Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) trains here five days a week alongside the men, running drills and target practice.

In the conservative Muslim country, the 42 women of the CTU do jobs only women can. They conduct house, family, and female body searches as the Yemeni government battles the increasing threat of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.