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.
The Obama administration counts Somalia as a success story, but the rising death toll from al Shabaab's bloody attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall is a tragic reminder that U.S. strategy against al Qaeda, claims of success notwithstanding, is not working.
Join us on September 10 as Katherine Zimmerman of AEI’s Critical Threats Project, Jessica Lewis of the Institute for the Study of War, Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Studies program, and Representative Tom Cotton discuss Al Qaeda today.
Understanding which groups contribute to the al Qaeda network and how they operate within that network will better enable American policymakers and decision makers to develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat al Qaeda. Absent that understanding, the US will continue to engage in a tactical battle that promises only occasional battleground victories, but no real prospect of winning the war.