AQAP attacks in 2012. Source: AEI's Critical Threats Project

February 21, 2012

Map: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Attacks in Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has expanded its areas of control in Yemen. The Critical Threats Project has mapped out the locations of AQAP attacks between 2007 and 2011 to reveal this trend. The growth in AQAP activity in south Yemen in 2010, particularly in Aden, Lahij, and Abyan continued into 2011, when AQAP took advantage of the Yemeni government’s distraction by mass protests resulting from the Arab Spring.

The maps only depict AQAP attacks in Yemen, which are not a true proxy for areas of control. Areas under control either by the government or by insurgents tend to be peaceful. Violence generally denotes that the area is contested. The patterns of violence in Yemen show expanding areas of contestation, including the movement of serious contestation into important places like Aden. Attacks undertaken by AQAP's insurgent wing, Ansar al Sharia, have not been included in these maps.

Locations of enemy attacks on these maps are approximate.

Brian Riedy and Jared Sorhaindo contributed to the research behind these maps.