News / Middle East

A Look at Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Soldiers stand by a burned out military vehicle at the site of an attack in Aden, Yemen, July 24, 2011. A suicide attacker driving a pickup truck packed with explosives blew himself up outside an army camp in Yemen's coastal city of Aden, killing at least
Soldiers stand by a burned out military vehicle at the site of an attack in Aden, Yemen, July 24, 2011. A suicide attacker driving a pickup truck packed with explosives blew himself up outside an army camp in Yemen's coastal city of Aden, killing at least

Fighters with al-Qaida's Yemen-based affiliate, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, originated in the ranks of the mujahedin veterans of the anti-Soviet war in the 1980s in Afghanistan.

Originally, the militants operated in separate branches out of both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  But beginning in 2003, Saudi authorities cracked down on al-Qaida and many of the Saudi militants fled across the border to Yemen, taking advantage of the civil unrest there and the safehavens provided in Yemen's large areas of ungoverned territory.

The Saudi and Yemeni branches of al-Qaida officially merged in January 2009 to form the present day's al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

Following the merger, the United States issued an open declaration of war against the group, and the Yemeni government started its own crackdown on the jihadist movement.  Over the years, the U.S. military has been coordinating with the Central Intelligence Agency and Yemeni authorities to attack AQAP targets, usually by manned aircraft or cruise missiles.

In late 2009, AQAP expanded its operations outside of Yemen, most notably by sending Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a botched attempt to detonate an explosive device aboard a U.S. flight on December 25.

U.S. authorities also accused one of the group's leaders, U.S.-Yemeni citizen and radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, of being in contact with a U.S. Army psychiatrist who allegedly went on a shooting spree in November 2009 at an American military base, killing 13 people.

In addition, Awlaki helped expand the group's outreach in English, by using online sermons to galvanize followers.  AQAP also publishes an English-language magazine online, called "Inspire," to preach its message and describe its attacks.

Ties between Osama bin Laden's original al-Qaida, believed to be based in Pakistan's tribal regions, and AQAP are assumed to be strong.  But most analysts believe that the terror network affiliate conceives and orchestrates attacks on its own.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid