Al Qaeda threat to American interests

Reuters

Pedestrians walk past the US embassy in Tel Aviv August 2, 2013. US embassies that would normally be open this Sunday will be closed that day because of unspecified security concerns, the US State Department said on Thursday. CBS News said US embassies would also be closed in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Article Highlights

  • Is AQAP testing America's security posture abroad?

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  • Unlikely AQAP planned to conduct attack on August 4.

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  • Most embassies and consulates will remain closed through August 10.

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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may be in the final stages of preparing an attack on American interests in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on August 7, 2013.  A number of factors suggest that the attack widely expected for Sunday, August 4, may, in fact, be planned for Wednesday, August 7.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Worldwide Travel Alert on August 2, 2013 warning of an increased threat of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region until August 31. The Department of State then announced the closure of over 20 U.S. embassies and consulates Sunday, August 4, following credible intelligence that the attack would occur on that day. An update announced that most of the posts will remain closed through August 10 as a security precaution.

It is possible that AQAP intentionally tipped-off the American intelligence community (IC) to test America's security posture abroad. If this is the case, it is unlikely that AQAP planned to conduct the attack on August 4.

To read the full text, please visit www.criticalthreats.org

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About the Author

 

Katherine
Zimmerman
  • Katherine Zimmerman is a senior analyst and the al Qaeda and Associated Movements Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Her work has focused on al Qaeda’s affiliates in the Gulf of Aden region and associated movements in western and northern Africa. She specializes in the Yemen-based group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, al Shabaab. Katherine has testified in front of Congress and briefed Members and congressional staff, as well as members of the defense community. She has written analyses of U.S. national security interests related to the threat from the al Qaeda network for the Weekly Standard, National Review Online, and the Huffington Post, among others. Katherine graduated with distinction from Yale University with a B.A. in Political Science and Modern Middle East Studies.


     


    Follow Katherine Zimmerman on Twitter.

  • Phone: (202) 828-6023
    Email: katherine.zimmerman@aei.org

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