CTP’s Threat Update series seeks to provide you with a weekly analysis and assessment of the al Qaeda network and Iran
Below are the takeaways from the week:
Hardliners are preparing to impeach a senior President Hassan Rouhani administration official after capitalizing on grievances over misgovernance voiced during the merchant-class protests in late June 2018. Parliament will question Finance Minister Massoud Karbasian during plenary session within the coming days and may move to impeach him soon after.
Read Nicholas Carl’s “Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the first Winners of the Protest Movement.”
The UAE will assault al Hudaydah port despite UN efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the al Houthis. Emirati and Hadi government officials rejected the proposal the UN envoy secured from the al Houthi movement to have the UN administer the port facilities. The UAE may advance its timeline for the offensive in response to al Houthi forces fielding new sophisticated weaponry likely obtained with Iranian assistance. The Saudi-led coalition asserts that Iran uses al Hudaydah port to transfer sophisticated weaponry to al Houthi forces.
Read CTP’s latest Yemen Crisis Situation Report for why an offensive on al Hudaydah may jeopardize U.S. interests.
Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Mali may be preparing to disrupt presidential elections in late July. JNIM conducted two complex attacks in Mali in response to French participation in the African Union summit in early June. JNIM has previously criticized the Malian elections and condemned French support for the Malian government.
See “The Salafi-Jihadi Base in the Sahel” for a laydown of al Qaeda affiliates in Mali and revisit “Warning from the Sahel: Al Qaeda’s Resurgent Threat” for more on al Qaeda’s objectives in West Africa.
A battle for control of Libya’s wealth is disrupting the economy and derailing the UN-led peace process. Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control key oil ports in eastern Libya, is holding oil production hostage in a bid to gain influence over Libya’s central bank. Haftar’s gamble may lead to armed backlash from rival factions that see his rise as an existential threat.
See “Warning Update: Oil Battle Returns Libya to the Brink” and “The General’s Trap in Libya.”