AL-QA`IDA IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA 1
The Islamist militant group of the was formed in the year 2009 January which was a union between theSaudi and Yemen branches of the al-Qaeda. The jihadist antecedents inthe region existed since the 1990s. Thousands of mujahadeen afterfighting the soviet occupants in Afghanistan returned to Yemen. Thethreats of the group have disrupted operations in many of the U.Sdiplomatic facilities. The facilities are mostly based in the MiddleEast, Africa and South Asia which has inspired attacks in the UnitedStates and Europe. Al-Qaida had been effectively suppressed by theSaudi government which forced them to seek refuge in Yemen. The groupwhen shifting to Yemen had a few members, but by 2010 it was believedthey were several hundred members. The plots by the terrorist in theWest declined considerably as the years went by which originated fromPakistan. The group which was formed as a refuge group later wasdeclared illegal by the U.S government under Hillary Clinton as theyposed a lot of threat to the American government (Faulkner, 2014).
The organization according to the government of the United States hadsurpassed its parent organization which was formed by Osama bin Ladenwhich posed threats to the American government. There were argumentsand disagreements between the American government and Yemen. Yemenargued that the U.S government had exaggerated the size of theAl-Qaeda and also the issues of the danger that the group posed. TheYemen insisted that fighting the jihadist network was the role of theSanaa but not the U.S government.
There were predictions from Osama`s bodyguard who predicted that thegovernment would need intervention from outside sources to remain inpower and that there would be an escalation in fighting between theAl-Qaeda and the Yemen authorities. There was a sectarian conflict inYemen that helped AQAP be in a position to exploit the instabilitywhile expanding its territories among Sunni communities (Levin, etal. 2016). Al-Qaeda has been involved in fights with nations such asthe United States which saw many of its members killed and others putinto prison. There was a period when the Al-Qaeda seemed defeatedwhere most of its members were thrown into prison. However, inFebruary 2006, twenty-three convicted Al-Qaeda terrorists escapedfrom a high-security prison in Sana`a which was a turning point forthe Al-Qaeda (Titus, et al. 2015). The group was able to come outstronger and with better techniques to attack other nations. The urgefor the revenge for the many killings and imprisonment gave them themotivation to fight back. After the terrorist had escaped fromprison, they worked to resurrect the Al-Qaeda while launching a freshcampaign of attacks (Faulkner, 2014). After the crackdown by theSaudi Arabian government, the remnants of the local Al-Qaeda therewere forced to flee to across the border while uniting with theresurgent jihad in Yemen. Al-Qaeda later merged with Jihad in 2009.
The Al-Qaeda group has been increasing in number from an average oftwo hundred in 2009 to around a thousand members in 2014. TheAl-Qaeda group have been claiming responsibilities for severalattacks that have happened in different nations. The attacks thatmostly the group has been identified with include August 2009assassination attempt which was planned to assassinate Saudi PrinceMohammed bin Nayef, the attack on the embassy of the United States inSana`a which was in 2008 and attacks on embassies belonging to Italyand the United Kingdom. The group claimed responsibility for severalattacks which involved the death of so many innocent citizens. Therewere suicide bombings that targeted Belgian tourists in January 2008and that of the Korean tourist in 2009 March (Titus, et al. 2015).The primary goal of the Al-Qaida aims to purge the Muslim countriesof the Western influence while replacing secular governments withfundamentals in the Islamic regimes. The group recruits its membersthrough propaganda and media advertisements. The group has hadseveral leaders who get succeeded by their fellow leaders once theyget killed or die. The Al-Qaida has been getting its funding frombank robberies, drug selling businesses, and phony charities.
The Al-Qaida has been involved in so many activities that have causeddeaths of so many innocent people. The actions in the group startfrom recruiting new members to join them and planning of attacks inmany of the government institutions that the group targets. The grouphas had taken responsibility for various acts of murder andassassination since it was started. In 2000, Al-Qaida tookresponsibility for the USS Cole bombing in October in the southernport of Aden. Various U.S sailors were killed who totaled toseventeen. There was another attack in 2002 in the Gulf of Aden whichdamaged a French supertanker. According to the global terrorismdatabase, the 2004 Khobar massacre was also attributed to thegroup (Levin, et al. 2016). Al-Qaida has had been using differentpeople to commit various attacks where they use strategic tricks notto be noticed. There was this incident that happened at the UniteStates military recruiting office in Little Rock where one of themembers came by shooting soldiers who guarded around the gate.
In the year 2010, their deputy leader who was called Said Alial-Shihri called for a regional holy war so that they could block theships ferrying items to Israel. The group has been calling for helpfrom the Somalia`s al-Shabaab so they can help them in the blockage.Al-Qaida has been funding attacks to many of the countries that tryto fight against them. A lot of young boys and some girls have beenrecruited into the movement where they are later trained.
Victimsof the attacks
The many attacks have seen so many people and countries suffer.The major victims of the attacks include the United States,Afghanistan Saudi, Ethiopia, and Iraq. The United States has suffereda lot due to the attacks planned by the group which has seen many ofits embassies attacked and a lot of people killed. Shippingactivities have been distracted which may be going in and out of theUnited States where pirates from the group attack and hijack theships. Some hostages have been undertaken where victims from variouscountries are held hostage and moved to the different location by thegroup where they are not easily detected. In an operation by the U.SNavy SEALs and Yemeni special forces attempted a rescue operationwhere they were able to rescue some of those held hostages. Thevictims are at times tortured, or their people asked to pay a lumpsum of money for them to be released (Titus, et al. 2015).
Themotivation of attacks
The Al-Qaida has been known to plan attacks which are severe. Themotivation of the attacks comes as a result of the revenge thesepeople have and the anger they have when their people are killed.Their plan to bring nations under the Islamic control also keeps themgoing hoping they will conquer the nations and bring them under theircontrol (Terrill, 2013). The funding that this group receives fromother parties and activities keeps the group on the move. Activitiessuch as drug trafficking ensure the group has sources of money andother attacks like bank robbery also brings them supportive finances.The leaders of the group have argued that some of the attacks aredriven more by the notoriety more than the religious fervor. Anexample of such a leader was Mohammed Atta who led the 11 Septemberhijackers acted because he felt he had no portion but organize a holywas to fulfill his religious duty.
In consideration to the many attacks that the Al-Qaida group havesubjected the various countries, counter measures have been employedto curb the acts. The governments of the involved countries and allover the world are trying to come up with the solution to thisproblem. Terrorist attacks have been of great threat to the economiesof the world as a whole (Faulkner, 2014). The governments havedecided to do away with any leader who may be funds terrorist or whoseem to work in collaboration with them. The Al-Qaida have manygovernment officials who help them plan on when and where the nextattack will take place. The United States government have stopped theimperial conquests for Arab oil which formed the basis of somearguments between the two nations. This probably supports the acts ofterrorism and to do away with it, the fight and arguments about oilshould be avoided. The governments have also pledged to stop tortureand humiliation of innocent citizens who may be thought to be amember of the Al-Qaida. Information has been put in the front line tohelp detect any possible threats that are posed by the group.
Faulkner, C. M., & Gray, D. H. (2014). The Emergence of Al Qaedain the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Effectiveness of USCounterterrorism Efforts. Global Security Studies, 5(1).
Levin, S., Kteily, N., Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., & Matthews, M.(2016). Muslims’ emotions toward Americans predict support forHezbollah and Al Qaeda for threat-specific reasons. Motivation andEmotion, 40(1), 162-177.
Terrill, W. A. (2013). The Struggle for Yemen and the Challenge ofAl-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLEBARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE.
Titus, M., & Gray, D. H. (2015). Suppressing the Growth of alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: An Examination of the Resurgence ofAQAP in Yemen and Policies the United States Can Employ to Mitigatethe Threat. Global Security Studies, 6(3).