Posted by Wordsmith on 6 June, 2016 at 12:31 pm. 9 comments already!


Bottom Line Up Front:

• On June 2, the U.S. State Department released its 2015 Country Reports on Terrorism, including an estimated strength for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) at up to 4,000 members

• The previous four Country Report estimates on AQAP numbers ranged from ‘several hundred’ in 2010 to ‘approximately one thousand’ in 2014

• The quadrupling of the estimated size of AQAP is a direct result of the years of political vacuums and military campaigns that have brought ruin to Yemen

• Photographs of a massive AQAP gathering in Mukallah in March, along with the group’s gains in the conflict, suggest that even the new estimate is likely too low.


One of the more consequential details in the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism for 2015, released on June 2, received very little notice. The estimated strength of the group long-described by the U.S. government as the most capable and worrisome al-Qaeda affiliate has quadrupled since the last report. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has swollen in size and made enormous financial gains since Yemen’s political crisis turned into the ongoing war in March 2015.

The 2015 Country Report posits that AQAP had 4,000 members as of last year. The estimated AQAP strength in the 2014 report was approximately 1,000 members, as in the 2013 and 2012 reports. The first year the group was listed in the annual report was 2010, when it was said to have ‘several hundred’ members. The 2011 report said AQAP had ‘a few thousand members,’ and attributed the growth to the chaotic Arab Spring demonstrations in Yemen and the government’s suppression of resistance.

Read the rest from The Soufan Group

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x