Shabwah is a sparsely populated governorate that contains many tribes and tribal groups

February 07, 2013

Map: Shabwah Tribes

Shabwah is a sparsely populated governorate that contains many tribes and tribal groups. The Upper Awalek tribes comprise one of the most powerful of these groups. Prominent members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula such as Fahd al Quso and Anwar al Awlaki were members of the Upper Awalek tribes, and have connections to Awlaki tribal territory in Shabwah.[1] Tribes in Shabwah are fractured and often become involved in skirmishes with the government over access to oil infrastructure and other resources.

Click graphic to enlarge.



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