CIA: Al-Qaeda’s Yemen Offshoot More Urgent Threat than al-Qaeda Itself

AQAP Tops Core Group as Threat to Security

The latest assessment from the CIA shows a disturbing growth in the capabilities of al-Qaeda’s various offshoots, and the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) group in particular.

According to officials the CIA’s report for the first time ever has designated AQAP as an even more urgent threat to America’s security than al-Qaeda’s core group itself, and has prompted more calls for US escalations in Yemen.

The US has been providing aid to the Yemeni government for quite some time, and has launched a few missile strikes of its own in the nation, including a failed attempt to assassinate US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki on Christmas Eve.

Ironically it was a day later that the failed bombing attack of the Christmas Day Underbomber brought renewed attention to Yemen and calls for the US to start launching a more formal war against the AQAP in the nation.

The endless “calls to action” against Yemen come as the Yemeni government is contending with two distinct separatist movements on opposite sides of the country and a crumbling economy. The US military aid to the government has grown considerably under the Obama Administration, but with fighting on so many fronts it seems that they are fighting a losing cause.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.