This week the disintegration of Yemen appears nearly complete.
Long-time home of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemen has been an important area of operations for US, Saudi, and other counter-terrorist services. Earlier this week both US and British military advisers were withdrawn in the face of escalating violence.
Many in the CT community consider AQAP the most direct threat to the US homeland. Since 9/11 AQAP has been implicated in several successful and unsuccessful attacks against the United States.
The collapse of the Yemeni central government, which has cooperated in operations against AQAP, will — at least in the near-term — likely enhance the terror group’s freedom of operation. But AQAP may also be distracted by adversaries closer-at-home.
The current situation is fast-moving. Following is some background information that may be helpful to your consideration of how the emerging outcomes could impact US homeland security.
- BBC, January 2015: Yemen Profile
- Council on Foreign Relations, March 2015, AQAP Background
- New York Times, January 2015: At Risk of Fragmenting, Yemen Poses Dangers to US
- Christian Science Monitor, February 2015: Who are the Houthis?
- Chatham House, February 2015: Yemen and the Saudi-Iranian “Cold War”
The maps above were developed by The Fanack Foundation of the Netherlands. Other information on Yemen is available from the Fanack Chronicle.