Critical Threats Today
A regular summary of al Qaeda operations in Yemen and Africa as well as major events in Iran.
These are the major events from April 27 for Iran and for al Qaeda operations in Yemen and Africa. Please see the Iran News Roundup, the Gulf of Aden Security Review, and the weekly Threat Update for more details.
The migrant crisis in Libya supports armed actors who prolong the civil war.
Libya’s increasingly institutionalized trafficking economy, which now includes slave markets, supports militia groups and warlords that benefit from continued instability. The EU recently pledged $95 million to support migrant and IDP camps in Libya, but these camps will not reduce—and may even facilitate—local militias’ control over human trafficking. Salafi-jihadi groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), also benefit from trafficking routes, which run through known Salafi-jihadi support zones in western Libya.
Citations & Links
The Tunisian government’s continued failure to address economic grievances is driving popular unrest.
Tunisian citizens protested against high unemployment and insufficient development in cities across the country. Negotiations between Tunisian Prime Minister Yousef Chahed and demonstrators in Tataouine governorate, southern Tunisia, failed on April 27. Protests may spread further as the Tunisian government struggles to stabilize its declining currency. The population’s unmet expectations will continue to drive recruitment for Salafi-jihadi groups. (Related reading: Warning Update: Escalating Protests Threaten Instability in Tunisia)
Citations & Links
The al Houthi-Saleh bloc offered to accept more rigorous screening of shipments through al Hudaydah port to preempt the Saudi-led coalition’s planned offensive on the city.
Al Hudaydah is the sole point of entry point for international aid to areas that the al Houthi-Saleh bloc controls. The Hadi government instead called for the UN to monitor the port, effectively rejecting the al Houthi-Saleh bloc’s concession. (Related reading: How the U.S. Should Re-engage in Yemen)