Militant Groups in Yemen Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth) a.k.a. “the Houthis” Southern Secessionist Movement
Jihadism in Yemen Historical Context –Conservative, tribal society –Bin Laden’s ancestral homeland –Use of religion by Saleh –Blowback
Jihadism in Yemen First jihadist attacks against U.S. interests USS The Sullivans’ Attempt USS Cole Attack Role in 9/11 Attacks –Ramzi bin al Shibh Limberg Attack
Jihadism in Yemen U.S. Strikes Back –Abu Ali al-Harithi –Muhammed Hamdi al-Ahdal –Haitham al-Yemeni –Many Arrests in Yemen and elsewhere –Period of decline
Jihadists in Yemen Jihadist resurgence –2006 prison escape –Al-Wahayshi assumes control of al Qaeeda in Yemen –String of attacks Mortar strikes US Embassy Attempt
Jihadists in Yemen Emergence of AQAP Saudi al Qaeda refugees Consolidated Yemeni groups under one banner Closest regional franchise outside of AF/PAK in terms of relationships, targeting philosophy and ideology Really almost a mini-AQ – self contained in terms of operational capabilities, propaganda arm and ideological support.
AQAP Innovative and imaginative Focus on the far enemy Some ties to al-Shabaab Tied to tribes via marriage. Some differences between AQAP and tribes can be exploited.
Nasir Abd al-Karim al-Wahayshi, a.k.a Abu Basir Current emir of AQAP 33-year-old veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan and former personal secretary to Osama Bin Laden Organization’s strongest connection to AQ-p in Af-Pak
AQAP Leadership Said al-Shihri, a.k.a. Abu Sufyan al-Azdi The 36-year-old deputy emir. Former al-Qaeda facilitator in Iran and GITMO inmate Fought in Afghanistan ~2000 Graduate of Saudi Arabia’s rehabilitation program
AQAP Leadership Qasim Yahya Mahdi al-Raymi. a.k.a. Abu Hurayrah al-San'ani 32-year-old Yemeni military commander, considered one of the organization’s most dangerous individuals. Brutality has has caused some to compare him to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Former Afghanistan veteran who trained at the al-Faruq camp Thought to spearhead AQAP’s hard-line faction.
AQAP Leadership Anwar al-'Awlaqi U.S. born Yemeni cleric Reported to be involved in recruitment radicalization of operatives for AQAP Direct links to Major Nidal Hasan and Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Connections to AQ core go as far back as 1999.
AQAP Leadership Other Notable Individuals –Ibrahim Hassan Tali al Asiri, a.k.a Abu Saleh –Ibrahim al-Rubaysh –Muhammad al-'Umda –Jamal al-Badawi
Shabab al-Moumineen “The Houthis” Followers of the Shi’a Zaydi Muslim cleric, Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi Located primarily in Yemen’s north/northwestern provinces, especially Sadaa
Shabab al-Moumineen “The Houthis” Rebellion in 2004 – Hussein al Houthi killed Sayyid Abd al-Malik al-Houthi, replaced his dead brother Recent battles were the sixth round of fighting and the most brutal Truce declared on Feb. 11
Shabab al-Moumineen “The Houthis” Links to Iran Links to AQAP? Outlook