By Cody Curran, James Gallagher, Courtney Hughes, Paul Jarvis, Adam Kahan, Patrick Knapp, Matthew Lu
December 15, 2011
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has conducted numerous attacks throughout Yemen, with the highest concentration of attacks occurring in the southern governorates. AQAP’s campaign of violence reached the level of an active insurgency in June 2010. Most of AQAP’s targets in Yemen appear to be government targets, with a particular focus on the state’s intelligence and security apparatuses.
Identifying the group responsible for attacks in Yemen – especially in southern Yemen – can be an extremely difficult task, as the government in Yemen is quick to attribute most attacks to AQAP, even without corroborating evidence. The reality, however, is that several groups exist with the capacity to execute small scale attacks in the country. Most notably in southern Yemen, there is a secessionist movement – known as the Southern Movement – that is generally peaceful, but does have violent elements associated with it. The Yemeni government has made attempts to conflate the Southern Movement with AQAP, but, at this point there appears to be little, if any, operational cooperation between the two entities, despite their shared enemy and common geographic location.
The Critical Threats Project has produced this tracker to provide information on al Qaeda’s continued insurgency in Yemen. The tracker includes both attacks for which AQAP has taken credit and incidents attributed to AQAP by the government.
This tracker will be updated with new developments. The Critical Threats Project is tracking al Qaeda’s advances in south Yemen during the recent unrest in its Yemen situation reports.
DECEMBER 9, 2011: A tribal source reported that unidentified gunmen attacked an oil pipeline using rocket-propelled grenades in Aslan region in Shabwah governorate on December 9. The pipeline connects the oil pipelines in Ma’rib governorate to oil export facilities on the Red Sea. AQAP is suspected to be responsible for the attack, according to a local government official.
NOVEMBER 30, 2011: A security official reported that gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle in Khormaksar district in Aden. Two soldiers were killed in the reported assassination attempt of a police commander. Government officials reported that al Qaeda is suspected to be responsible for the attack.
NOVEMBER 21, 2011: An improvised explosive device (IED) blast killed two tribesmen and wounded five others in Mudia in Abyan governorate on November 21. Al Qaeda-linked militants are reportedly responsible for the attack. The attack was reportedly in response to the killing of six al Qaeda-linked militants by security forces.
NOVEMBER 16, 2011: Yemeni security forces arrested five suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in a hotel raid in Sheikh Othman district in Aden. The militants may be linked to the recent attacks against Yemeni security officials in Aden. The raids came after Yemeni authorities received a tip about the presence of hotel guests with links to al Qaeda. The militants reportedly snuck into Aden from neighboring Abyan governorate.
NOVEMBER 11, 2011: Al Qaeda-linked militants publicly lashed five Yemeni youths in a large field in front of dozens of witnesses on November 11. The youths, who each received 80 lashes, were accused of taking “narcotic pills.”
NOVEMBER 9, 2011: Sources reported that suspected al Qaeda-linked militants exploded a remote-controlled car bomb targeting Said Ashal, a Yemeni political activist, while he was shopping in Mudia in Abyan governorate. Ashal survived the attack.
NOVEMBER 9, 2011: A local police officer reported that suspected al Qaeda-linked gunmen riding on a motorbike opened fire on a security patrol killing at least two policemen and injuring three others on a coastal road in al Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate.
NOVEMBER 3, 2011: Tribal sources reported that suspected al Qaeda militants attacked a car carrying Yemen’s consultative council member Mohammed al Haithami Ashal and army Colonel Ahmed Naser Ashal in Dhamar governorate. The source said that the militants opened fire on their car as it was heading towards Sana’a, wounding Ashal in the leg and the army colonel in the head.
OCTOBER 30: Yemeni police arrested five al Qaeda suspects in connection with the October 28 assassination of Colonel Ali al Hajji, in Aden. Police reported that the suspects were found with a remote control device in a vehicle close to the site where the car bomb that killed al Hajji exploded.
OCTOBER 28, 2011: A Yemeni security official reported that a car bomb killed the head of the anti-terrorism police force for Abyan governorate, Ali al Hajji, in Aden. The bomb blast also wounded three others.
OCTOBER 15, 2011: Al Qaeda-linked militants attacked a major gas pipeline in two places between Ma’rib and Belhaf. The pipeline links the gas fields in Ma’rib to a Total Liquefied Gas Plant (LNG) in Belhaf in Shabwah governorate.
OCTOBER 11, 2011: Police reported that a suicide bombing killed one policeman and injured two more in al Tawahi district in Aden governorate. The bomber detonated his explosives outside the local Ministry of Tourism office. Witnesses report that intense gunfire followed the attack.
OCTOBER 11, 2011: A car bomb killed Colonel Amin al Shami, a Yemeni air force commander after he left Anad base in Lahij governorate. The two people who were riding in the car with Shami survived the attack.
OCTOBER 8, 2011: A security official reported that a bomb exploded at the police station headquarters near the coastal highway in al Qawla district in Aden. The blast killed one soldier and injured seven others.
OCTOBER 5, 2011: Al Qaeda-linked militants planted a roadside bomb near a checkpoint controlled by pro-government tribesmen in the Lawder district in Abyan governorate. The tribal chief reported that at least two tribesmen were killed and seven others were injured in the bombing.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011: Yemeni Defense Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed survived a suicide attack on his convoy outside of Tawahi in Aden. The attacker detonated an explosive-laden car near the convoy as it passed along the coastal highway. Security officials reported that militants riding motorbikes threw hand grenades at the motorcade as well. Security officials also reported that at least three soldiers were killed and at least ten others were injured.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2011: Fighting between al Qaeda-linked militants and Yemeni forces in Zinjibar killed 14 people; 12 of them are reported to be militants. A military official reported that the militants were trying to sneak into the city in order to carry out a suicide bombing attack, but were killed by army snipers before they were able to enter the city.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: In a village west of Aden, army Colonel Naji Aitha survived an apparent assassination attempt when militants detonated explosives outside his home.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: A roadside bomb killed two Yemeni soldiers and wounded four others in the eastern part of Zinjibar. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack on a jihadist forum posted September 30.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2011: A Yemeni security source reports that al Qaeda militants, in cooperation with Islah-affiliated militants, abducted medical doctor Colonel Ali al Aghrabi and his guards at gunpoint near al Mil checkpoint. The doctor was on his way from Sana’a to Ma’rib. The militants demanded the release of an al Qaeda operative who was detained by security officials last month in Sana’a.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2011: A suicide car bomber struck a military checkpoint on the road between Aden and Abyan governorates. Gunmen stormed the checkpoint after the bomb detonated. Six soldiers were killed and eight others were injured.
AUGUST 15, 2011: AQAP bombed an al Houthi meeting in a government administration complex in al Matama in al Jawf governorate. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued on September 12. The statement noted that the suicide bomber was Abu Bakr Muhammad al Najda and claimed that the attack killed over one hundred al Houthis.
AUGUST 12, 2011: Locals supporting armed tribesmen arrested a cell of fifteen al Qaeda-affiliated militants in Lawder. The fifteen militants were arrested after they reportedly “placed a bomb inside the car of member of one of the popular committees to blow up the hospital where the car was parked.”
JULY 25, 2011: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden truck near a convoy of soldiers, who were headed toward Zinjibar, outside of an air force base in al Mansura district in Aden. At least nine soldiers were killed and another 21 wounded in the blast. AQAP claimed responsibility for this attack on the Ansar al Mujahideen jihadist forum on July 27, 2011.
JUNE 16, 2011: Masameer district was attacked by alleged Islamist militants. The militants briefly took control of the local government and security headquarters before being forced to withdraw by the Yemeni army upon running out of ammunition. In al Mansura area of Aden, militants ransacked the town. It is reported that ten suspected al Qaeda militants were arrested during the unrest on charges of violence against civilians.
JUNE 15, 2011: A police officer was killed and six others were wounded when suspected al Qaeda militants attacked security and government buildings at dawn in the town of Hawta in Lahij governorate.
JUNE 7, 2011: A heavily armed AQAP militant attempted to cross into Saudi Arabia’s Najran province from Yemen. He opened fire on Saudi border guards when they tried to stop him, killing a colonel and a sergeant. Another guard was injured and the man was shot dead.
JUNE 6, 2011: AQAP militants ambushed a Yemeni military reinforcement convoy en route to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, from Aden. Six soldiers were killed. Militants attacked a second convoy in the same area, killing three soldiers and reportedly injuring over 36 others.
MAY 16, 2011: Local Yemeni officials reported that AQAP militants killed six soldiers and injured seven others in an attack on a checkpoint in Rada’a, a city in al Bayda governorate. Security officials reported that more than twenty militants in two cars attacked Lamsan security checkpoint with small arms before detonating “several bombs” and fleeing the scene.
MAY 3, 2011: One police officer and one AQAP militant were reportedly killed in Hudaydah, according to Yemeni Defense Ministry website 26sep.net. The militant, Adel al Awlaki, was reportedly trying to throw a grenade at a police car when the grenade exploded, killing Awlaki and a nearby policeman. The Yemeni Defense Ministry site reports that al Awlaki is “an affiliate” of defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s First Armored Brigade.
MAY 2, 2011: Yemeni police clashed with AQAP militants in Aden who were blocking a major road; one militant was killed in the clash. In Sayun, Hadramawt, at least four soldiers were killed and four others were wounded when AQAP militants reportedly attacked a government patrol guarding the telecommunications headquarters; security officials reported that that the gunmen sped past in a car and opened fire on the soldiers. In Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate, three soldiers were killed and five others were reportedly injured when AQAP militants attacked a government complex.
APRIL 27, 2011: AQAP militants killed two Yemeni soldiers and wounded five others in Abyan governorate. AQAP militants attacked a military vehicle with rocket-propelled grenades at the Masameer military checkpoint on the road to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. AQAP militants also captured the intelligence headquarters in Lawder in Abyan governorate. The 111th brigade, which mans the Masameer checkpoint, had reportedly reached a one-month truce with AQAP forces through the help of local tribes. A security officer said that the attacks violated the terms of the truce.
APRIL 16, 2011: AQAP militants attacked and “seriously wound[ed]” a Yemeni army officer in Lawder, a town in Abyan governorate. A military spokesman said, “Two Al-Qaeda gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the car of” the officer.
APRIL 11, 2011: Suspected AQAP militants assassinated Yemeni intelligence officer Colonel Hussein Gharma in Lawder in Abyan governorate. Witnesses report that the two men, whom they suspected to be AQAP gunmen, drove a motorcycle past Gharma’s house and opened fire while the intelligence officer and his son were outside.
APRIL 5, 2011: An unnamed Yemeni security official reported that two soldiers kidnapped by tribesmen outside of the town of Lawder in the Abyan governorate were found dead in what security sources described as an al Qaeda-style execution. 
MARCH 28, 2011: Explosions in an ammunitions factory in the Abyan province town of Jaar killed at least 150 people. The source of the blasts is unknown, but officials suspect a cigarette ignited the explosion. The day before the blast, 30 hooded unidentified gunmen raided the factory and drove off with weapons. Local residents said that the militants belonged to the southern separatist movement that is known to be active in Abyan. Yemeni security officials dispute this account, suspecting al Qaeda militants took control of the building along with several others after confrontation with government military forces, setting a deadly, explosive trap for local looters rushing into the factory after militants withdrew from the factory.
MARCH 27, 2011: AQAP militants were suspected in an attack at a military police checkpoint in Ma’rib governorate. Six people were killed, including three officers and three soldiers, and eight others injured. The AQAP militants managed to make away with two armored vehicles, a tank, and several machine-gun mounted pick-up trucks.
MARCH 26, 2011: AQAP militants seized control of a weapons factory, Jaar town, al Husn town, and Khanfar mountain, which has a radio station and a presidential guest house. Thirty armed and hooded militants seized four vehicles loaded with weapons from a munitions factory in Batige.
MARCH 22, 2011: Fighting killed two AQAP militants and injured five Yemeni soldiers in Lawder in Abyan governorate. A security official reported that the militants had surrounded a Yemeni army unit.
MARCH 17, 2011: Yemen’s Defense Ministry reported on its website that three AQAP militants had been killed when the militants attacked a checkpoint near Safir in Ma’rib governorate. Three soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the attack. A second vehicle of militants managed to escape.
MARCH 13, 2011: A Yemeni soldier was killed and three others were injured as another attack occurred on security patrolling the Zinjibar area. The attack is believed to have been carried out by al Qaeda gunmen as well.
MARCH 11, 2011: Attackers believed to be al Qaeda members shot and killed four security officers in the southeastern Mukalla region while they were patrolling on Friday. The gunmen were not found.
MARCH 6, 2011: AQAP militants killed four Yemeni Republican Guard soldiers in al Rudha district of Ma’rib governorate. The militants ambushed an officer’s vehicle, which was delivering supplies to the city of Ma’rib. Suspected AQAP militants also assassinated Colonel Abdulhamid al Sharaabi in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. He was in the market when he was shot by two men on motorbike. A second officer, Colonel Shayef al Shuaibi, was assassinated in the same manner in Sayun in Hadramawt governorate.
FEBRUARY 28, 2011: Suspected AQAP gunmen killed two soldiers in separate attacks in the city of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. The Yemen Observer reported that two AQAP gunmen dressed in Central Security uniforms attacked the station on foot, killing one soldier before fleeing. After the initial assault, AQAP fighters followed and ambushed the military vehicle carrying the wounded to the hospital, killing another soldier. A third attack in Hadramawt killed Mohamed Hassan al Qerzi, a senior political security officer. Yemeni Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri told SABA News that the soldiers were killed while suppressing protests across the country.
FEBRUARY 23, 2011: The Yemen Post reported that AQAP militants have begun massing in Lawder in preparation for an attack on military headquarters in the region. A security source said that AQAP fighters are out in the open and are equipped with automatic weapons, RPGs and shoulder-fired missiles and warned that they will likely attack the 111th Brigade.
FEBRUARY 22, 2011: Ali Naji al Zaidi, governor of Ma’rib governorate, announced that security personnel arrested AQAP leader Mohamed Abdullah Maouda while he was en route to Shabwah province. Soldiers at a checkpoint stopped the car in which Maouda was travelling, leading to a shootout that killed five people before Maouda was apprehended.
FEBRUARY 17, 2011: Militants believed to be connected to AQAP assassinated Colonel Mohamed al Ezzy, a regional deputy director in the Political Security Agency, as he drove through the city of Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate.
FEBRUARY 6, 2011: Major Saleh Bhadris, an officer in the political security office of Hadramawt governorate, survived a suspected AQAP assassination attempt. Gunmen on a motorcycle attacked Major Badhris’s car, following him to his house where they continued to fire before fleeing.
JANUARY 29, 2011: Yemeni security forces arrested six suspected AQAP militants believed to have been behind a January 26, 2011 attack in Hadramawt governorate in which gunmen killed four soldiers and a postal official before making off with approximately $50,000.
JANUARY 29, 2011: Gunmen believed to be loyal to AQAP fired on a security patrol in the al Erqain district of Ma’rib governorate, killing one soldier and injuring four more before escaping in a vehicle.
JANUARY 28, 2011: Ahmed Ghaleb Rahawi, a senior security official in Abyan governorate, was the target of an ambush carried out by suspected AQAP militants. Rawahi was not actually in his vehicle when gunmen opened fire, although his son and eldest daughter were injured.
JANUARY 26, 2011: Suspected AQAP militants in Hadramawt governorate ambushed a convoy transporting money belonging to Yemen Post en route to Hami, killing four soldiers and the financial manager of Hadramawt Post. The attackers fled with an estimated 10 million Yemeni riyals.
JANUARY 23, 2011: Suspected AQAP militants attacked a hospital in Lawder, in Abyan governorate, freeing the “wanted al Qaeda suspect Amin al Sayed” and injuring a policing officer. Al Sayed was under arrest for his involvement in an earlier shootout in which a security official was killed.
JANUARY 22, 2011: Suspected AQAP gunmen killed Lieutenant Colonel Nabil Aklan, a top Yemeni security official, as he walked in Ma’rib province. An anonymous source in the Yemeni security service told Xinhua that “the attack bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda.”
JANUARY 17, 2011: Suspected AQAP militants assassinated Colonel Atiq al Amri, a high-ranking security officer in the criminal investigation unit, according a Yemeni official. Gunmen armed with rifles attacked Amri and a soldier while they were walking in Shabwah governorate’s Azan district, killing the colonel and seriously wounding the soldier.
JANUARY 7, 2011: AQAP militants ambushed a military convoy transporting water supplies to a military camp in Lawder in Abyan governorate. The militants fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and machine guns at the convoy and burned two military vehicles. Sources report the casualty rate to run between five and ten soldiers with up to three additional soldiers wounded. AQAP militants executed a second attack on a military convoy Friday after having conducted a similar attack that morning. The Yemeni army’s brigade commander in Lawder in Abyan governorate was in one of the vehicles in the convoy. Four soldiers were killed and an additional two others were injured.
JANUARY 3, 2011: Armed men, suspected to be al Qaeda militants, attacked the building of General Security and Central security in Ataq district in Shabwah governorate. Witnesses report that the men fired heavy weapons at the building and wounded three soldiers at the building’s gate.
JANUARY 1, 2011: AQAP has said it was responsible for 49 attacks since June and that 36 of these attacks targeted security headquarters and checkpoints. The statement added that it conducted at least 13 military operations against Yemeni security personnel in five different governorates.
DECEMBER 22, 2010: In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that its fighters fired mortars at a group of soldiers stationed along the highway between al Ayen and al Khadirah in Abyan governorate, killing seven soldiers.
DECEMBER 19, 2010: AQAP operatives claimed credit for planting a bomb in a military camp in Lawder, in Abyan governorate, that destroyed a military truck and set fire to tanker of oil. AQAP claimed credit for this attack in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine, Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011.
DECEMBER 17, 2010: AQAP operatives fired mortars at a brigade of soldiers stationed along the highway between al Ayen and al Khadirah in Abyan governorate, injuring an unknown number of soldiers. AQAP claimed credit for this attack in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine, Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011.
DECEMBER 17, 2010: In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that a group of fighters attacked a checkpoint in the city of Zanzibar in Abyan governorate, killing two soldiers and destroying an armored vehicle.
DECEMBER 16, 2010: Reports say that four U.S. embassy personnel in Sana’a were attacked at a restaurant often frequented by foreign nationals. Their armored Toyota Hilux exploded while they were in the restaurant, likely from an explosive placed in or underneath the truck. The Yemeni police reportedly arrested a Jordanian suspect believed to be an al Qaeda member. A senior Interior Ministry source denies that al Qaeda targeted the Americans. The U.S. State Department confirmed that a U.S. embassy vehicle was attacked in Hadda, a Sana’a suburb, while parked in front of a restaurant frequented by Westerners. The four embassy personnel were in the car and were not injured during the attack.
DECEMBER 15, 2010: In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that eight soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while driving on the highway between al Ayen and al Khadirah in Abyan governorate.
DECEMBER 14, 2010: General Ahmed Madred, the deputy director of political security in Abyan governorate, escaped an assassination attempt. Sources report that a bomb exploded near his car. Madred was on al Qaeda’s most-wanted list.
NOVEMBER 29, 2010: Two soldiers were injured, one critically, when al Qaeda militants attacked a military vehicle in Lawder in Abyan governorate. In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that its operatives also fired an RPG at a group of soldiers in the city of Lawder.
NOVEMBER 28, 2010: A terrorist was killed and two people were wounded in a failed suicide bombing in Aden on Sunday. The bomber was en route to the al Mimdara police station in a taxi to plant the bomb, which detonated prematurely, killing the bomber and injuring his taxi driver and one other person.
NOVEMBER 26, 2010: At least two Shiites were killed and eight more wounded in an attack on their convoy heading to Sa’ada to attend a funeral. The mourners were members of a group that supports the Shiite Houthi rebels. The funeral was for Badr al Din al Houthi, the spiritual leader of the al Houthi rebel group to which the victims belonged. In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that this attack killed over 142 people.
NOVEMBER 24, 2010: 26 supporters of the Shiite al Houthi rebels were killed and others wounded by a suicide car bomber on their way to a religious ceremony in al Jawf governorate. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack the following Sunday. This is believed to be AQAP’s first direct attack on the Shiite minority in Yemen. In the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, AQAP claimed that this attack also killed Badr al Din al Houthi, spiritual leader of the al Houthis.
NOVEMBER 24, 2010: A landmine explosion in Lawder in Abyan governorate left one soldier dead and three others injured. Sources believe that the mine may have been planted by al Qaeda, as the Yemeni soldiers exchanged gunfire with unidentified gunmen directly following the explosion.
NOVEMBER 23, 2010: One soldier was killed and three were injured by attackers on motorcycles in Lawder in Abyan governorate. Officials blame al Qaeda for the attack, which took place outside of the security cordons established during the 20th Gulf Cup.
NOVEMBER 23, 2010: One soldier was killed and two more were injured when an army patrol car hit a roadside bomb in Lawder in Abyan governorate. Soldiers clashed with gunmen following the explosion. AQAP claimed credit for this attack in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011.
NOVEMBER 14, 2010: A teenage girl was killed and her brother injured by an explosive clock their father received in the mail. Qayed Muhammed Abdullah al Amri, headmaster of a school in Juban city in Dhaleh governorate, received a package of toys and a clock from an unknown sender. The clock exploded as the girl was connecting it to a power source. Yemeni security forces are investigating the incident.
NOVEMBER 9, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying security officials in Ataq in Shabwah governorate, killing high ranking Yemeni officer Colonel Ali Thawaba and severely wounding another officer.
NOVEMBER 6, 2010: Masked gunmen blew up a military vehicle in Abyan governorate on Saturday morning. The vehicle was carrying water to a military camp in Jaar. Although the identity of the attackers is unknown, sources say the attack “bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda.”
NOVEMBER 5, 2010: AQAP fighters clashed with Yemeni security forces in the town of Jaar in Abyan governorate, killing several soldiers while one AQAP militant was killed. AQAP claimed in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011, that local residents also joined the fight against security personnel.
NOVEMBER 5, 2010: AQAP released two communiqués on jihadist forums on Friday concerning October attacks. In the first, they reported clashes between al Qaeda forces and Yemeni troops in Mudia district in Abyan governorate on October 14 and 16. According to the statement, AQAP militants killed several soldiers, destroyed their vehicles, and executed a suicide mission. They also claimed that the Yemeni troops bombed a civilian locale and blamed it on AQAP. In the second statement AQAP denied any connection to the October 11 bombings at a sports club in Aden, saying they would never intentionally harm a Muslim.
NOVEMBER 5, 2010: In a statement posted on jihadist forums on November 5, AQAP claimed responsibility for the UPS plane that crashed in Dubai in September and for the recently foiled parcel bombs discovered in Dubai and London. In the statement, the group wondered why the U.S. did not attribute to them responsibility for the September plane crash, positing that it might have been a way for Obama to retain support leading up to the midterm elections. The statement warned President Obama, “We struck three blows to your aircraft within one year. Allah willing, we will continue to strike blows against American interests and the interest of America’s allies.”
NOVEMBER 4, 2010: A bomb placed inside an intelligence official’s car in Dhaleh city exploded outside a security building, killing a pedestrian and a policeman and wounding 22 others. AQAP claimed credit for this attack in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011.
NOVEMBER 4, 2010: Fighting broke out between Yemeni army forces and suspected terrorists in Jaar in Abyan governorate after army troops were dispatched to a house where suspected al Qaeda militants were thought to be hiding. One terrorist suspect was killed, along with two army troops, during four hours of fighting. By the end of the clash, authorities had arrested three terrorist suspects.
NOVEMBER 2, 2010: An oil pipeline in Shubaika in Shabwah governorate was bombed by unknown gunmen. The explosion resulted in the leakage of large quantities of oil; however, no injuries were reported. The pipeline bombing has caused the loss of at least 5,000 barrels of oil. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, although the media attributed the attack to al Qaeda. The South Korean foreign ministry says the explosion may have been the result of a fire started by a leak in the pipeline. AQAP claimed credit for this attack in the 16th issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics), released February 15, 2011.
OCTOBER 29, 2010: Two powerful bombs hidden in packages were discovered aboard cargo planes in Dubai and London on Friday after a tip from Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef set off an investigation. The packages were shipped from Yemen and were addressed to synagogues in Chicago, although the intended location of the explosions is as of yet unknown. While the plot unfolded, concerns that there may be more explosives onboard prompted American military jets to escort a passenger plane onto the tarmac at John F. Kennedy airport in New York and search all of the passengers and their luggage. No bomb was found onboard. The bombs discovered in Dubai and London were discovered hidden inside Hewlett-Packard desktop printer cartridges, and American officials are operating under the assumption that the explosives were the work of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan Asiri. Asiri was responsible for manufacturing the explosives intended to detonate on a flight to Detroit last December 25. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also reported that the bombs may be associated with the Yemen-American Institute for Languages-Computer Management or the American Center for Training and Development, deepening concerns of the involvement of foreign participants in the attack. American officials believe that American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki is likely behind the plot, one official saying, “We know Awlaki has taken a very specific interest in plotting against the United States, and we’ve found that he’s usually behind any attempted attack on American targets.” U.S. counterterrorism advisor John Brennan says authorities “have to presume” that there may be more bomb plots similar to the ones foiled this weekend that haven’t yet been uncovered. According the Brennan, the explosives were very sophisticated and could be remotely detonated, leading him to believe that the person who assembled them is “clearly someone who has a fair amount of training and experience and we need to find him and we need to bring him to justice.” In a move to increase security, a team of U.S. TSA officials are going to Yemen to monitor their cargo security and TSA is increasing screening for all flights through November 8. New information has revealed that the man who might be responsible for alerting authorities to the al Qaeda bomb plot is a repentant al Qaeda member who turned himself in to authorities in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. Following a stint at Guantanamo, Jabir Jubran al Fayfi went through rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia and then rejoined AQAP.
OCTOBER 28, 2010: The vehicle of an intelligence services officer in Zinjibar, capital of Abyan governorate, was bombed early Thursday morning. Unidentified militants bombed the car of Abyan intelligence officer Ahmed Shunai’a. Shunai’a’s name was on the targeted list of security and intelligence officials released by AQAP in August. The bomb was placed inside the engine of the intelligence officer’s vehicle while it was parked outside his home. No casualties were reported.
OCTOBER 25, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda militants killed Yemeni intelligence Lt. Colonel Abdul Aziz Abu Abed on Friday in front of his home in Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate. This attack is the latest is dozens in recent weeks against local security and government officials throughout Yemen.
OCTOBER 25, 2010: Ali Abdullah Wahan, Deputy Director of Investigations, was killed in Kushr district in Hajjah governorate on Monday morning by unidentified gunmen. Wahan was killed outside of the police compound in Hajjah on his way to his office.
OCTOBER 20, 2010: Obaid al Yramsi, a former director of the Political Security Organization, and an explosives expert were wounded in front of the Political Security building in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. The attack is attributed to al Qaeda.
OCTOBER 18, 2010: 30 armed militants believed to be members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ambushed a military convoy en route to Mudia district in Abyan governorate Saturday. The militants attacked the convoy with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and automatic guns. Two soldiers were killed and others were injured. There are reports that two tanks and three military vehicles were destroyed in the attack. The Yemeni air force responded by executing airstrikes on al Dhama’a village in Abyan governorate, causing residents to flee to nearby towns.
OCTOBER 18, 2010: Two suspected al Qaeda militants were killed on Saturday when they tried to attack a military convoy on its way to reinforce troops searching for AQAP operatives in Mudia in Abyan governorate. Yemeni troops destroyed the militants’ explosive-laden car, killing the two men before they could execute a suicide attack.
OCTOBER 15, 2010: Four people died and three soldiers were kidnapped during a series of militant attacks Thursday in Mudia and Lawder in Abyan governorate. These attacks followed the assassination of Mudia’s security chief and an assassination attempt on Abyan’s governor earlier in the day. Deputy police chief in Abyan Brigadier Saleh al Shamsi said the situation is “very dangerous.”
OCTOBER 14, 2010: Abdullah al Baham was shot dead during clashes between armed Southern Movement demonstrators and Yemeni security forces in Mudia in Abyan governorate. A Southern Movement official, Abbas al Assal, denied any involvement in the shooting and attributed the violence to al Qaeda. Assal said that the security forces fired on “peaceful protestors.” He added, “We are peaceful and reject violence. The Southern Movement is holding mass demonstrations to mark the 47th anniversary of the beginning of the south’s rebellion against British colonial rule.
OCTOBER 14, 2010: Gunmen fired on the convoy of Ahmad al Maisari, the governor of Abyan, as it was on its way to investigate the death of Baham. Maisari’s security guards returned fire. Two guards were injured.
OCTOBER 12, 2010: Two security personnel were injured when after a group of gunmen ambushed a police car in Lawder in Abyan governorate on Friday. Although he was not sure of the attackers’ identities, a security official said that he doubted that the Southern Movement was involved.
OCTOBER 11, 2010: Ghazi al Samawi, the criminal investigations officer in Abyan governorate, was gunned down in Zinjibar Sunday night. Samawi was on AQAP’s list of 55 Yemeni officials targeted for assassination. Two attackers on a motorbike executed the assassination – one drove while the other opened fire on Samawi, reportedly both were yelling “Allahu Akbar.” AQAP has also claimed to have assassinated Colonel Abdul al Karim al Baan in Lahij governorate, the head of investigations, and al Hashidi, an intelligence officer in Lahij.
OCTOBER 11, 2010: Two timed bombs exploded one after the other in Aden on Monday, killing two people and injuring 12 more. The first bomb exploded outside of a sports club, injuring four people, and the second exploded once the police and the medical team had arrived. Bombs timed at an interval in order to harm the medical and security teams responding to an attack were a trademark of al Qaeda militants in Iraq.
OCTOBER 11, 2010: A tribesman was killed and two security forces were hospitalized after fighting broke out Monday between security forces and tribesman in the Beer Ali district in Shabwah governorate. Although it has not been confirmed, the fighting has been blamed on al Qaeda.
OCTOBER 9, 2010: AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack late last month on a political security bus in Sana’a that killed 14 senior officers from the counterterrorism unit and injured others. The officers were targeted after completing a training intelligence course taught by U.S. trainers.
OCTOBER 6, 2010: Unknown assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a convoy carrying Fiona Gibb, Britain’s deputy ambassador, in Sana’a on Wednesday. The car was taking five staff members, including Ms. Gibb, to the embassy when it came under fire. One embassy official is undergoing treatment for minor injuries sustained in the attack and all others were unharmed. British foreign secretary William Hague said the “shameful attack…will only redouble Britain’s determination to work with the government of Yemen to help address the challenges the country faces.”
OCTOBER 6, 2010: Unknown people threw a grenade at the home of Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar from a car on Sunday, revealed official sources. The blast occurred some distance away from the intended target, and no casualties or damage were caused.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010: Al Qaeda militants ambushed a convoy of cars on Wednesday that was carrying Ali al Ahmadi, governor of Shabwah governorate. Although Ahmadi was not injured in the struggle, one soldier guarding his convoy was killed and six others were injured. The convoy was also carrying senior Defense Ministry officials and Army chief of staff General Salem Qutn.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2010: Two al Qaeda suspects and one police officer were killed when a grenade detonated in the Mathbah neighborhood of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, on Monday, reported a security source. The explosion took place as the police officer was trying to disable the grenade, which was in the possession of one of the al Qaeda militants, during a raid on a home believed to be a hideout for the al Qaeda cell in Mathbah.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2010: Two al Qaeda militants attacked a bus carrying security personnel in Shamlan district in Sana’a on Saturday, injuring 10 people and killing one. The incident occurred after the Sana’a chief of police received a tip on Friday that al Qaeda was plotting an attack on security bases in the capital.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2010: Security officials found an explosive-rigged vehicle in Hawta in Shabwah governorate on Sunday, according to the Interior Ministry. The security source, which claimed that the car was intended for an al Qaeda suicide attack, said, “the security authorities found explosive dynamites, detonators, rocket-propelled grenades, as well as documents of the ownership of the vehicle of a person from the province of Hadramout.”
SEPTEMBER 20, 2010: Clashes between the army and suspected al Qaeda militants in Mayfaa in the Shabwah governorate left two civilians and two soldiers injured. Clashes between the army and suspected al Qaeda militants have forced over 8,000 residents in Hawta in Shabwah province to flee their homes. On Saturday, the deputy governor of the Abyan governorate escaped an alleged al Qaeda assassination attempt.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2010: AQAP issued three communiqués issued on jihadist forums on September 7, 2010 claiming credit for a series of attacks in Abyan and Ma’rib governorates. The first communiqué listed six attacks on Yemeni security elements that were part of what AQAP called its “Rejection of Malice” campaign in Abyan. The second communiqué claimed credit for the assassination of the deputy director of the criminal investigation unit in Ma’rib, Muhammad Faree. AQAP credited the provision of information linking Faree to investigations of AQAP to Bassam Suleiman Tarbush al Sharjabi, the Head of Intelligence in Ma’rib who was captured by AQAP militants, interrogated, and executed in 2009. AQAP declared, 2010: “This is the fate of every spy or agent who stands on the side of the Crusader campaign in the land of Islam. The swords of the mujahideen will reach them sooner or later. . . .” The third communiqué reported on the three-day clash between AQAP militants and Yemeni security forces in the city of Lawder in Abyan governorate.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010: One soldier was killed and another injured Friday in Abyan governorate when al Qaeda militants attacked the soldiers’ vehicle, security officials reported. Security forces are currently searching for those responsible.
AUGUST 28, 2010: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed credit for an attack on a Yemeni checkpoint outside of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. Militants targeted the army post at sunset and attacked with rocket-propelled grenades. Eleven soldiers and a civilian were killed.
AUGUST 25, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda militants attacked a security patrol in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate Wednesday, killing three policemen and wounding another two. The gunmen fired small arms at the patrol near a market after evening prayers. Yemeni security authorities throughout the province tightened their guards around vital buildings and facilities to prevent sabotage. The attack comes two days after Yemeni security killed top AQAP official Adel Saleh Hardaba in Lawder in Abyan governorate.
AUGUST 19, 2010: A Yemeni security source said al Qaeda militants ambushed security forces at a souk in Abyan governorate, killing two soldiers and wounding at least one other. Authorities in the region tightened security and are searching for the assailants. The defense ministry claimed it captured an alleged senior al Qaeda operative, Anis al Oli, in Abyan. The ambush follows a week of unattributed attacks in the governorate. On August 18, at least five policemen were injured when an attacker threw a bomb at a police station, and 2 people were killed when a bomb exploded in the village of Al Maajalah.
AUGUST 16, 2010: Two masked gunmen attacked Qassem Ali Abdulkarim al Dhalee, a Yemeni intelligence officer, in a market in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. The men were carrying AK-47 assault rifles and fled the scene after the attack, according to security officials.  Yemeni officials blamed al Qaeda for the attack. Meanwhile, Mohammed al Mawery, director of the police station in Shaqra district in Zinjibar, was slightly wounded when gunmen opened fire on his car.
AUGUST 13, 2010: Gunmen assassinated Ali Abdul Kareem Fadhal al Ban, the director of intelligence in the district of Tuban in Lahij governorate, in an ambush that “bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda,” according to a provincial councilman’s assessment of the police investigation. Al Ban headed local investigations into al Qaeda suspects and separatists. On August 15, Yemeni security forces arrested a total of ten men in Lahij governorate on suspicions of involvement in the assassination.
AUGUST 10, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda militants attacked Haidarah Saleh al Shadadi, the General Director of Planning and International Cooperation, in Abyan governorate. The attack severely wounded Shadadi and two of his guards.
AUGUST 6, 2010: Three unidentified masked gunmen killed three Yemeni security officers in an attack near the intelligence headquarters in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. The gunmen rode up to the site on a motorcycle and opened fire on the officers before driving away. No group claimed responsibility, but the tactics and intelligence target mirror the July 14th attack in Zinjibar, which al Qaeda militants claim to have conducted. On August 9 Yemeni security forces arrested four suspected al Qaeda members for alleged involvement in the attack.
JULY 26, 2010: A group of suspected al Qaeda militants opened fire on the gates of the British Embassy in Sana’a late Monday from a moving vehicle and managed to evade capture by security forces. Officials said fragments of a rocket-propelled grenade projectile were found inside the embassy following the attack.
JULY 26, 2010: Alleged al Qaeda militants opened fire on soldiers posted near a foreign oil company site east of Ataq in Shabwah governorate. Yemeni forces reportedly killed three militants in the clash, including AQAP commander Zayed al Daghari. 
JULY 24, 2010: Al Qaeda militants ambushed a Yemeni army patrol, killing six soldiers in Shabwah governorate. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility on August 8 on Islamist websites. It acknowledged that two of its own militants had died in the attack. The fighters were identified as Talut al-Sana’ani, also known as Usama bin Ahmed Hafidhullah al-‘Amrani, and Sheikh Zayed Ahmed ‘Awadh al-Daghari. AQAP promised to continue attacks against the government of the “tyrant,” President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “Until they repent, Ali Abdullah Saleh, his government and his soldiers are a legitimate target for us. We also consider all those who support (Saleh) and the crusader campaign against the Muslim nation a legitimate target,” the message said. On August 10, the Yemeni Interior Ministry replaced two senior commanders for foresight failures relating to this attack, stating that the two had failed to reform the security apparatus to effectively combat the threat from al Qaeda.
JULY 22, 2010: Five Yemeni soldiers were killed and a sixth injured in an al Qaeda attack on their patrol vehicle in the city of Ataq in Shabwah governorate. The gunmen carried out the attack in coordination with southern separatists according to Yemeni security sources. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack in an August 8 announcement on Islamist websites. 
JULY 14, 2010: Twenty al Qaeda gunmen executed a coordinated attack on the intelligence and police headquarters in the town of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate, initiating clashes that left at least three people dead.  The attack involved multiple vehicles, motorcycles, and a sniper, according to reports. Seven suspects were arrested in the incident, which follows a similar attack in June against the security headquarters in Aden. AQAP released a statement saying that two battalions from the Brigade of the Martyr Commander Jamil al ‘Anbari conducted the attack in revenge for ‘Anbari’s death.
JULY 12, 2010: Gunmen opened fire on a government checkpoint in Ma’rib governorate. While no group took credit for the attack, the Interior Ministry said the attacks likely came in response to a Yemeni court ruling this past Wednesday sentencing two al Qaeda members to death.
JULY 6, 2010: Two security officers were killed in the southern town of Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate in a shootout after attempting to surround the home of suspected al Qaeda militants. The militants reportedly escaped.
JULY 2, 2010: A senior intelligence officer was shot and killed outside his home in Abyan governorate Thursday by two motorcycle gunmen. Authorities responded on July 3 by arresting four individuals, including two AQAP suspects.
JUNE 21, 2010: An explosion at 4, 2010:30 am at the military region leadership building in Zinjibar, the capital city of Abyan governorate, resulted in no reported casualties. Police accused al Qaeda of executing the attack.
JUNE 19, 2010: Four al Qaeda gunmen dressed in women’s clothing attacked an intelligence headquarters in Aden and freed several suspected al Qaeda militants.  On June 21 Yemen announced the arrest of the attack’s mastermind. Security forces investigating the attack made several arrests on June 25 in Aden during house-to-house searches.  On July 11, AQAP claimed that its Martyr Jamil al Anbari Brigade carried out the attack. An AQAP statement stated the attack killed 24 officers and soldiers, deviating from the government’s report of 11 killed. AQAP also denied that the government had captured those responsible for the attack.
JUNE 12, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda militants bombed an oil pipeline, killing a senior army officer and at least one other person in Ma’rib governorate.  The attack came after Yemeni security forces declared that they had thwarted an imminent plot in the oil-rich governorate after destroying an al Qaeda hideout. Suspects include two Saudis (Said al Shihri and Uthman al Ghamdi) and several Yemenis, including Qasim al Raymi, Said Ali bin Jamil, and Nasser bin Douh. 
JUNE 7, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda-linked gunmen killed a senior army officer, Mohammed Saleh al Shaief, and a soldier in an attack on their convoy in Ma’rib governorate. Two other officers and a soldier were injured. The convoy was returning from a security mission. Local tribesmen claimed Hassan al Aqli was the al Qaeda operative behind the attack. On June 9, Yemeni forces responded by raiding the home of al Aqili Wadi Abeida in Ma’rib governorate. The home may have also belonged to al Qaeda suspect Saleh Areydan. Tribesmen responded by fighting with the Yemeni forces, wounding ten soldiers and four civilians. The suspect managed to escape.
MAY 25, 2010: Local tribesmen in Wadi Abedia in Ma’rib governorate blew up an oil pipeline and attacked a government building in retaliation for a botched airstrike targeting al Qaeda militants. The airstrike killed deputy provincial councilman, Jabir al bin al Shabwani, and two of his bodyguards. Reportedly, Shabwani was conducting negotiations with the militants for their surrender to the government when a missile hit his car. An opposition newspaper reported the missile came from a drone.
MAY 21, 2010: A week after an AQAP official confirmed the death of militant Nayif al Qahtani, U.S. military officials now say he accidentally blew himself up in Abyan governorate while working with explosives. He initially had been reported to have died in April in a gun battle with Saudi forces. Qahtani, who had established AQAP’s media outlet and served as a link between the Saudi and Yemeni branches of AQAP, was designated as a terrorist by the State Department and the UN on May 11.
APRIL 26, 2010: The British Ambassador to Yemen survived a morning suicide attack in the capital city of Sana’a, which wounded three. The ambassador, who was unhurt, was attacked as his convoy passed through the city. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack. The group confirmed that Uthman Noman al Salwi carried out the attack. AQAP said the target, British Ambassador Timothy Torlot, is leading the war against Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula.
APRIL 19, 2010: Two suspected members of al Qaeda were killed in a gunfight with police in Hudaydah governorate. A third suspect was arrested. The three men were caught attempting to use fake identity cards to pass a checkpoint and reportedly opened fire as they tried to escape. Two policemen were also wounded.
APRIL 16, 2010: A retired Yemeni army colonel and a police officer were killed in separate bomb blasts four hours apart in Shabwah governorate. Both men were killed after explosives were placed in their cars. Yemeni officials believe the bombs were the work of al Qaeda.
MARCH 15, 2010: Yemen carried out three air strikes against alleged al Qaeda suspects in Abyan governorate for the second straight day, killing Jamil Nasser Abdullah al Ambari, the governorate’s al Qaeda leader. Samir al Sanaani and Ahmed Amzarba, both alleged member of al Qaeda, were also killed in the strike on a suspected al Qaeda training site in Mudia in Abyan governorate.
MARCH 8, 2010: Suspected al Qaeda militant Sharif Mobley, a U.S. citizen, killed one police guard and wounded another as he tried to escape a hospital in Sana’a where he was being treated for injuries sustained during his arrest. Mobley surrendered to authorities after being surrounded. When reached for comment, Mr. Mobley’s family in New Jersey denied that he was a terrorist.
MARCH 4, 2010: Yemeni security forces arrested 11 reported al Qaeda suspects in Sana’a. A raid on the home of an alleged al Qaeda member prompted a gunfight which killed the father of one of the suspects.
FEBRUARY 16, 2010: Alleged al Qaeda forces attacked the al Jabal presidential resort, located in the Abyan governorate, with three RPG shells and machine guns. Sources claimed security forces returned fire on the attackers, however no casualties were reported.
FEBRUARY 1, 2010: Yemeni police forces arrested a potential al Qaeda suicide bomber in the Hadramawt governorate. Abdulhabib al Shawish was arrested with explosives strapped around his body. Investigations revealed al Shawish was planning to bomb economic facilities in eastern Yemen.
JANUARY 26, 2010: Fighting between Yemeni military forces and unknown attackers in the Shabwah governorate left three soldiers dead. Fighting between the two forces broke out when unknown attackers opened fire on a military checkpoint in the governorate. Yemeni forces suspect the attackers had links to al Qaeda.
JANUARY 24, 2010: Security Officials claimed al Qaeda militants were responsible for the attack on a checkpoint in Sana’a, which left three soldiers dead. Tribal leaders in the Shabwah governorate are negotiating with al Qaeda members to turn themselves in to the Yemeni government.
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- AQAP leader’s brother reported killed in US drone strike (longwarjournal.org)
- Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 90 (arcanaintellego.wordpress.com)
- Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 27, 2011 (theromangate.wordpress.com)
- AQAP seizes another town in southern Yemen (longwarjournal.org)
- International AQAP suspects killed in south Yemen (cnn.com)
- Yemen’s president due to stand down (telegraph.co.uk)
- Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 110 (theromangate.wordpress.com)
- Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 28, 2011 | Critical Threats (theromangate.wordpress.com)
- Islamic militants build haven in southern Yemen (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- US airstrikes kill AQAP fighters in southern Yemen (longwarjournal.org)
- US airstrikes in southern Yemen kill 30 AQAP fighters: report (longwarjournal.org)