The exploitation of a weak state Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen
Hedberg, Nicholas J.
Hafez, Mohammed M.
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Yemen is a weak state, as the government does not have the capability to assert effective control over the entirety of its territory. The Yemeni government faces three major challenges today including: the Houthi Rebellion, secessionists, and growing political unrest due to its failing economy and inability to provide basic social services to its people. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has recently made a resurgence in Yemen since its near destruction in 2003. Yemen's weak state characteristics, along with the failure of jihad in Saudi Arabia, and the lack of Yemeni political will to combat the threat of AQAP and their global jihadist agenda have made the state an ideal location for the regional organization. AQAP has been able to exploit Yemen's weaknesses and build strong ties with the Yemeni tribes in the areas of Yemen where the government has little control. The study argues that due to these circumstances, Yemen has the strong possibility of becoming a safe haven for transnational terrorism akin to al-Qaeda's base in Pakistan today. To prevent al-Qaeda from using Yemen as their next base for transnational terrorism, the international community must help Yemen address the factors that have allowed AQAP to exploit the country.
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