Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operates out of Yemen, a fragile state plagued by a myriad of socio-economic and security challenges. The population of Yemen faces high levels of poverty and unemployment, a low literacy rate, and an addiction to a drug called “qat.” Furthermore, Yemen’s natural resources are depleting. The al Houthi movement in the north has increased its influence substantially since 2011. The Southern Movement leadership is calling for secession and the re-establishment of a South Yemen. Both pose an existential threat to the government and place a significant strain on its resources and security apparatus. The combination of these factors creates an environment in which AQAP finds shelter, allowing it to train and prepare for attacks. This section provides analysis and background information on the security challenges in Yemen.
Update on the Crisis in Yemen, May 16, 2011
Al Qaeda and its Affiliates Exploit Yemen Unrest, April 4, 2011
Yemen Protests Update, March 28, 2011
Anwar al Awlaki - Militant Islam's Global Preacher, March 12, 2010
A Missed Opportunity in Yemen? February 4, 2010
Yemen, AQAP, and a Way Forward, January 21, 2010
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Obama's Counterterrorism Strategy is Already Failing, U.S. News and World Report, September 11, 2014
He's Back: Implications of Saleh's Return to Yemen, AEI Center for Defense Studies, September 23, 2011
IN THIS SECTION
The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is attempting to expand its footprint in Yemen. A Timestream case study reveals insights into ISIS's reach inside of Yemen.
The al Houthi movement, an armed Zaydi Shi’a group that fought six wars with the Yemeni state between 2004 and 2010, expanded its influence in Yemen considerably in 2014.
The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) claimed a coordinated attack in Yemen’s capital hours after it occurred. The timing of ISIS’s spectacular attack may mark the beginning of an ISIS Ramadan offensive in Yemen.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) ability to produce and train new leaders remains unabated despite years of Yemeni and U.S. counterterrorism operations. AQAP’s resilience stems from its formalized mid-level leadership structure with three components: a chain of command, a training and education program, and a consistent promotion process.
An archive of the 2015 Yemen Crisis Situation Reports.
Saudi military deployments to the Yemeni border since Operation Decisive Storm (now Operation Restoring Hope) was launched on March 25, 2015, are drawn from both Royal Saudi Land Forces and Saudi Arabian National Guard units.
Groups claiming loyalty to the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) are emerging throughout Yemen. It is unknown whether these pro-ISIS groups have ties to ISIS in Iraq and whether they operate together or independently. The groups call themselves wilayats (provinces) following standard ISIS practice. There are seven known wilayats operating in ten Yemeni provinces: Sa’ada, Sana’a, al Jawf, al Bayda, Taiz, Ibb, Lahij, Aden, Shabwah, and Hadramawt.
This Order of Battle (ORBAT) describes the structure and placement of the Saudi-led coalition forces involved in Operations Decisive Storm and Restoring Hope in Yemen.
Mohsen Rezaei, Iran's Expediency Discernment Council Secretary and former senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, praised the leader of Yemen’s al Houthis, Abdul Malik al Houthi, in an open letter on March 28.
Just when Yemen looked like it couldn’t get any worse, this week the Houthis, a Zaydi Shia rebel group from northern Yemen that already controls much of the country’s capital, advanced toward the southern port city of Aden, reportedly forcing the U.S.-recognized Yemeni president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee and prompting Saudi Arabia to begin military operations.