Al Qaeda, al-Qaeda recuritment of Americans, Anwar al-Awlaki, AQAP, Arab Spring, Cathrine Herridge, DHS Senate Committee, Dir. Robert Mueller, FBI, Jihad, Matt Olsen, Middle East, National Counterterrorism Center, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, taking advantage of Arab Spring fallout, Yemen
Published September 14, 2011
Al Qaeda in Yemen is focused on attacks outside of the region, and as the Arab Spring unfolded across the Middle East the terror network’s most active and lethal affiliate took advantage of the political instability to further expand its operations in Yemen, senior Pentagon officials say.
“We are more concerned today than we were in December 2009,” a defense official said, referring to the failed underwear bomb attack by the Al Qaeda affiliate on Christmas Day.
The group, also known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, has found a way to pursue both its regional goals of establishing an Islamic state along with its external operations. “They are not seen as mutually exclusive,” the defense official added.