Source: AEI's Critical Threats Project

July 25, 2012

Chart: The Awlaki Tribes

The Awlaki tribe is one of the strongest in south Yemen. Anwar al Awlaki and Fahd al Quso, two of the most well-known members of AQAP, are members. Anwar al Awlaki, a radical Islamist cleric and operational leader in AQAP, was a member of al Farid bin Naser, an Awlaki “sheikhly family” that traditionally produces tribal leaders.[1] Fahd al Quso, an al Qaeda operative linked to the USS Cole bombing and later AQAP operative, belonged to the Abdullah bin Daha tribe, which is a part of Shabwah’s Upper Awlakis. Tribal affiliation does not determine stance toward the government or AQAP, however. Other Awlaki tribesmen hold prominent positions in government and the private sector.[2]

Source: AEI's Critical Threats Project

“Al Awlaki tribes warn of consequence of cooperating with America in killing Awlaki,” Mareb Press, April 8, 2010 [Arabic]. Available:

“Source close to al Awlaki denies his death to al Masdar Online and warns against compromising his safety because of its dire consequences for the conditions in the South,” al Masdar Online, December 25, 2009 [Arabic]. Available:

“Sheikh Farid bin Abubakr bin Farid al Awlaqi...the knight who walks,” Aden al Ghad, September 26, 2011 [Arabic]. Available:

“Sheikhs of the Upper Awlakis from al Farid bin Naser from1842 until now,” Koor al Awaleq, May 8, 2011 [Arabic]. Available:

Abdullah bin Daha Homepage, Facebook, Accessed July 17, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:

Nasser Arrabyee, “Al Qaeda threatens to strike back American, Saudi and Yemeni interests,” Nasser Arrabyee Blog, May 10, 2012. Available:

View Citations
[1] Paul Dresch, Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen, Clarendon Press, 1989: p. 89.
[2] Sudarsan Raghavan, “In Yemen, U.S. airstrikes breed anger, and sympathy for al-Qaeda,” Washington Post, May 29, 2012. Available: