Al-Qaeda Wing Declares Emirate in East Yemen

Locals Warned to Obey Strict Version of Sharia Law

Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), apparently not to be outdone in the wake of ISIS founding The Islamic State (TIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra declaring an emirate in Aleppo, has declared its own emirate in the eastern desert of Yemen.

AQAP had at one point been considered the largest and most dangerous of al-Qaeda’s subsidiaries, though it has mostly fallen out of the headlines in the midst of Iraq and Syria falling apart.

AQAP’s allies, a group called Ansar al-Sharia, but not the same one as in Libya, had briefly had an emirate of their own in the southern Abyan Province, but has lost that in a military offensive.

Eastern Yemen is the poorest part of one of the region’s poorest countries, and locals were given leaflets warning them to follow AQAP’s harsh interpretation of Shariah law.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of