Ten years after 9/11: al Qaeda's reemergence in Yemen

The September 11, 2001 attacks refocused attention on Yemen’s role in the al Qaeda network; however, ten years later, Yemen now hosts one of al Qaeda’s most virulent franchises, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP has attacked the United States twice in the past two years; both times, bombs were successfully placed on planes destined for American cities. These attacks serve as reminders that despite progress made against core al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the al Qaeda network remains strong elsewhere. This year, Yemen’s entry into the Arab Spring presented AQAP and like-minded al Qaeda affiliates with a new opportunity to exert control in south Yemen, and possibly to pursue a strategy that would put AQAP in position to attack targets in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Ten years distanced from the September 11 attacks, al Qaeda in Yemen is stronger and perhaps better positioned than it was to launch attacks against American targets.

Please read the full text at the Critical Threats Project.

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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 Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN Global Public Square, 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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