Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have been battering al-Qaeda terrorists wherever they have found them. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, everywhere. What used to be safe havens have now become graveyards. But other bastions have emerged in the meanwhile. Somalia and Yemen are two of them.
Al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate was bolstered by its merger in 2009 with the Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda affiliate forming al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This merger poses a significant destabilization threat throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
Though Yemen still maintains vestiges of its tribal history, they are less pronounced than in Somalia. This allows al-Qaeda to utilize Yemen as an ideological base.