Current Terrorism In Yemen Criminology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The current terrorists' acts committed in the Republic of Yemen demonstrate a risky challenge to the government. The terrorists usually plan different terrorist activities to shake up the mainstays of protection, steadiness and social peace. This paper entails intend of terrorists to place Yemen among the areas targeted in the world's fight against terrorism. In addition to this, this paper elaborates the history of terrorism in Yemen and the ways through which this terrorism affect its surrounding countries and its neighbour countries. Along with the discussion of terrorism in Yemen, this paper concentrates on the world's most prominent terrorist organization Al-Qaida, its movement from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, its activities and future prospects. In this way, this paper is an all-inclusive source regarding terrorism and its history in Yemen.


Terrorism is an issue that is affecting almost every country of the world today and it has become a global threat. [1] Terrorism in Yemen has been an issue since many years and US government and governments of other nations have kept vigilance on the terrorists' activities in Yemen. [2] 

This essay will explore the evolution of terrorism and politically motivated violence especially in Yemen, considers the motivations of terrorists and terrorist groups, and assesses trends in terrorist methodology. The essay would also focus on how the world's Al-Qaida organization has moved from Saudi-Arabia and taken position in Yemen and analyse the organization's activities and future prospects. Also this essay will cover impact of Yemen based terrorist groups on surrounding countries and other western countries such as training terrorists to fight in Iraq/Afghanistan and to commit terrorist acts in western countries, such as the one which occurred over Christmas in the USA when a Yemeni trained boy was found with explosives on an airplane.

Terrorism in Yemen

Throughout the last decade, Yemen is suffering from various challenges and hardships because of the outgrowth of terrorism. This terrorism in Yemen is characterized by acts of violence, kidnappings, car bombings, attacking U.S. concerns and sabotage. All these terrorism acts had severally affected on the successfulness of the national economy, the international repute of the country and its relations with other countries. [3] In addition, terrorism has directed the economic sector by bombing oil pipelines in Yemen. Number of terrorist acts has been committed by different terrorist groups in Yemen.

The different terrorist attacks in Yemen has alarmed the situation but Yemen post 2008 period was more severe due to increasing affect of terrorism. The attention of western government has refocused on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the likely dangers exhaling from Yemen after the unsuccessful attempt by Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to destruct a Northwest Airlines commercial aircraft on Christmas Day. [4] The magnitude of this event repelled British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to announce concisely after the failed attack that London would host a conference committed to battling with al-Qaida in Yemen.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also repeated Brown's pertains after some days by describing the situation of Yemen a threat to the whole world. But Yemen's troubles are neither novel nor obscure. The Christmas Day attempt by terrorist was the coherent expansion of AQAP's aspirations to date, but they get failed due to their incapability at that time. AQAP and its forerunner, al-Qaida in Yemen, have rapidly passed through the levels of evolution in their bid to be able of such an attack. [5] 

The Christmas attack also exemplifies the degree to which Nasir al-Wahayshi, the present amir of AQAP, has patterned not only his own leadership style on that of Osama bin Laden, but also forged his organization's ends on the guide built by Bin Laden in Afghanistan. [6] The prominent reason that allowed al-Qaida to reorganize in Yemen was lapsed vigilance. The group's merger of January 2009 was also a substantial step in this direction and in its final decision to attack the U.S. homeland. [7] 

The offshoot of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, functioning in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, has developed into an aspirational organization capable of employing non-traditional inscribes to launch attacks in opposition to American targets within the Middle East and outside. [8] Its activities were running from last several years but demonstration of its potential became evident after a young Nigerian trained at one of its camps in Yemen attempted to destroy a passenger aircraft bound for Detroit on Christmas Day. [9] 

The United States only commenced paying substantial tending to the threat laid once again by al-Qaida in Yemen in late 2008, and particularly after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in September. [10] The main concern emerged in present now is that the group has developed more grievous by taking benefit of the weakened central government of Yemen, which is contending with civil disputes and slumping natural resources.

In addition to the development of terrorist group, U.S. high law enforcement authorities are also worried by the training camps constituted in remote parts of Yemen by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). These remote area camps are being managed by previous prisoners and veteran fighters from Afghanistan and Iraq and U.S. citizens who have transmigrated to Yemen to marry local women or after changing over to Islam in American jails. [11] Estimates of the Yemen demonstrates that in Yemen and other countries in the region 36 American ex-convicts have arrived in the past year, apparently to learn Arabic and some them had vanished and are imagined of having moved out to Al Qaida training camps in uncurbed portions of the deprived country.

These estimates demonstrate that the negative effect of this AQAP terrorist group on Yemen's neighbour countries and other Americans. A smaller group of Americans were preceded to Yemen, acquired a radical form of Islam and married local women. [12] As yet, the officials said they have no manifest that any of these Americans have undergone training, but they are on intensified alert due to the likely threat from extremists carrying American passports and the concerned gainsays tangled in discovering and ceasing home-grown operatives.

The failed Christmas Day plot was also attempted by a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who had outstayed in Yemen on an education visa and had undergone explosives training at one of the outside Al Qaida camps. [13] This shows that the activities of Al Qaida is making a sever effect on surrounding countries and other western countries and their individuals. The Yemeni inceptions of the bomb plot, the Nigerian homeland of the criminated bomber, and the flight path from the Netherlands underlined the reality that American counter-terrorism attempts cannot concentrate solely on a single country or area as an attack could come from anyplace.

These pertains law-enforcement officials are more compounded by developing grounds of efforts by Al Qaida to inscribe American residents and citizens in Yemen, Somalia and within the United States. [14] In this critical and alarming situation, the thing which is required is a measured, strategic judgement of the threats that exist today, wherever they spring up. The intelligence and law enforcement agencies of U.S. have exercised efficaciously at home and abroad to break up threats and enhance vigilance.

The U.S. military has mostly forced Al Qaida out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Although the military efforts are applicable of prise but unfortunately they have not eradicated the threat. [15] Numerous fighters assorted with Al Qaida and other militant groups have carried refuge throughout the Afghan border in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Authority, which stays a key safe retreat. Simultaneously, intelligence and counter-terrorism officials believe that hundreds and possibly thousands of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled to other places, in the main Yemen and Somalia. [16] This in turn posing significant threat to these deprived countries.

In present if a thorough analysis is undertaken in concern to the issue of terrorism, it can be said there are parallels among Pakistan and Yemen. Nowadays both have become harbours for substantial numbers of Al Qaida fighters once active in Afghanistan. Both have imperfect central governments that have trouble in assuring vast belts of their own territory and populations that are often antagonistic to the United States. [17] 

The most significant reason of increasing and developing terrorist groups in Yemen is its weak central government and alarming socioeconomic changes. All these aspects of Yemen provide substantial opportunities to different terrorist groups to build and exert their presence. The government's offset-terrorism attempts are further staggered by the fights in the northern and southern divisions of the country. [18] Yemen demonstrates a number of traits that trouble counter-terrorism and intelligence functionaries. Exasperating socioeconomic trends have the potency to overcome the Yemeni government, back up endangering domestic constancy and security throughout the region.

If appropriate measures are not undertaken by Yemen's law officials and intelligence than its oil-the origin of more than 75 percent of its income-will run off by 2017, and the country will be not having any evident way to conversion to a post-oil economy. [19] The country also confronts one of the world's most eminent population's growth rates, 3.4 percent a year, which distorts the government's power to allow for services and ads to an illiteracy rate of more than 50 percent.

Movement of Al-Qaida from Saudi Arabia to Yemen

In recent times there have been great and developing concerns that al-Qaida forces are confronting altering pressure in Pakistan and Afghanistan and due to this they're anticipating to regroup or move towards places like Yemen. A number of theological and circumstantial evidence is available to support this fear of Al-Qaida and some people believe that the prominent reason for this regrouping or movement is U.S. pressure, which is not true in reality. Al-Qaida has certainly regrouped and reorganized itself in Yemen, but this is not solely due to U.S. pressures as it is a direct result of U.S. and Yemeni disorders.

The movement of Al-Qaida from Saudi Arabia to Yemen was due to the counterattacks of Saudi governments which made significant affect on its activities. On May 12, 2003, the Al-Qaida Organization in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) established three concurrent car bombing attacks on Western compounds in Riyadh, slaughtering 35 civilians and short-circuiting the induction of a long-planned terrorist campaign within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [20] All these attempts of group were reacted quickly by the Saudi government and they opposed a tough counterterrorism campaign during 2003 and 2004, abbreviating violence to an enduring level from 2005 onwards.

Subsequent to the 2003 bombings and seven years later the September 11 attacks, the position of AQAP was difficult to assess due to the significant decrease in the number of major terrorist-inducted attacks in Saudi Arabia. Alternatively, there was substantial development in the efforts of the Ministry of Interior, for instance, they declared 701 terrorist-related apprehends on June 25, 2008, the continuation to other proclamations of mass arrests. [21] In addition to this, different Saudi ministries brought out a continuous flow of alerts to other government departments and main Western clienteles in the country and the diplomatic security community repeatedly amended its security suggestion.

By the end of 2004, with the breakdown of high pace terrorist action in Saudi Arabia, the government also looked for maintaining and improving public vigilance and preclude the onset of contentment about the terrorist threat. This success by the Saudi Government was attained by developing a chain of strong themes in its public communications. The first prominent theme in this concern developed was the affirmation that AQAP is invariably seeking to retrieve potentiality, restructure networks and plan and take on attacks within the kingdom.

With these different successful efforts one or two major planned attacks of Al-Qaida were blocked in Saudi Arabia each year since 2005. For countering these efforts of government, the most recent operation undertaken by terrorist group was the November 2007 plot to attempt an attack on an Eastern Province oil facility by engaging an assault team working together with a tactical rocket attack employing weapons smuggled in from Yemen. [22] The plot was also thwarted on November 25, 2007, just before its execution dates.

In addition to the above discussed attainment of the government a number of other major plots were uncovered in Saudi Arabia since 2005 that have manifested severe intent but missed capacity. In April 2007, Ministry of Interior spokesman Major-General Mansur al-Turki accepted that such groups lean to be impractical in their targeting intents and haphazard in their assemblage of weapons. [23] The coming down series of mass arrests and the tremendous infrequency of terrorist blockades made a substantial effect on Al-Qaida that forced it to regroup its group and move at some other haven place.

In addition to the detention of major terrorist, the country government also seized extensive networks of inexpert junior terrorist groups, which demonstrated terrorist groups that Saudi Arabia is broadly a more difficult place to build and assert covert networks. The second critical theme developed by the Ministry of Interior was the potency for a "military" threat envisioned inside Saudi Arabia by militants based beyond the kingdom.

Although at that time Saudi authorities was also having fear of an attack sponsored by al-Qaida's core leadership because the Sinjar Records demonstrate that Saudis compile the most prominent single national delegation among al-Qaida in Iraq fighters (41% of 606 profiled belligerents). [24] The major driver of the fear confronted is the experience endured by Saudi Arabia in the consequence of the breakdown of Taliban command in Afghanistan in 2002.

On the other hand, Yemen-based militants also presented a major threat to Saudi Arabia. Saudi-born belligerents of blended Yemeni descent played key roles in al-Qaida since the mid-1990s. Osama bin Laden's ancestral homeland is Yemen. With the subsequent failures in Saudi Arabia he started recruiting members comprehensively from the mixed demographic to encourage the delegacy of Saudi and Yemeni foot soldiers in al-Qaida's grades. [25] All these aspects directed a vision among Al-Qaida members to move to Yemen as there will be no threats from the governmental due to weak central government of Yemen.

In the March 2008, opinion polling in Saudi Arabia demonstrated reasonably strong opposition to the Iraq war beside exceedingly strong opposition to AQAP actions in Saudi Arabia. [26] In special edition of Sada al-Malahim, al-Qahtani explicated his grounds for agitating in the Arabian Peninsula in spite of Iraq or Afghanistan, demanding Saudi fighters to haven in Yemen.

The functioning coordination among Yemeni and Saudi-founded cells has sporadically been achieved with the case of the November 2007 attack cell. In that example, a Yemeni militant affiliated with Hamza al-Quyati employed Yemeni smugglers to shift rockets into Saudi Arabia. [27] Al-Quyati group afterwards attempted rocket attacks on an oil installation in Wadi Hadramawt in Yemen on March 29, 2008 as well as on a Yemeni Central Security Force base in Sayyun on April 22, 2008.

Subsequent to these attempts a number of terrorists were seized and the third theme that was explicated by the Interior Ministry was that the Saudi dominating family and government organizations like the oil and security sectors are more and more being pointed by militants. In terms of AQAP directing strategy, this might be differentiated as a conversion from the concentration on the far enemy (Western existence in the country) to the near enemy (the "House of Saud" and its spiritual, protection and economic underpinnings). [28] Attacking the oil and gas sectors, appropriates AQAP to direct far enemy concerns whereas at the same time affecting the near enemy facilitates Al-Qaida to realize success in both domains.

In addition to this the ministry of Saudi also highlighted the various targets of security forces and reasonable clerics who are charged of affirming the government's counter-radicalization plan. The active use of clerics by Saudi government to weaken jihadist recruitment in Saudi Arabia also strained the contempt of jihadist proponents and appears to have motivated plans to restrain or neutralize pro-government clerics. [29] In April 2007, for example, the Ministry of Interior declared the cops of 22 individuals concerned in planning the assassination of pro-government clerics and different senior security force officers. [30] 

With all these problems occurred in Saudi Arabia, the different terrorist groups started making use of Yemen as a haven for them and already Yemen was serving as a launch pad for attacks into Saudi Arabia. Certainly, Saudi and Yemeni terrorist cells previously share a sturdy co-dynamic relationship; it is noteworthy that the attack on Abqaiq in February 2006 was imitated intimately by the September 2006 car bombings on Yemeni oil facilities; in February 2007, the Saudi gunfire of four Frenchmen outside the Medina was as well reflected by January 2008outside shootings of expats in Yemen; and November 2007, indirect fire attacks undertook in Saudi Arabia become a basic of Yemeni terrorist cells in 2008. [31] 

The two theatres are hence generally matched but the stream may be tardily altering direction. Yemen already begin to serve as a launch pad for assails into Saudi Arabia. Though the slow whittling down of Yemen's Al-Qaida leadership, especially older Saudi-born militants, will importantly cut down the viewpoint of future attacks but it's not conformed as the conditions of Yemen are increasing opportunities for terrorists. [32] All these activities of Saudi Government and law enforcement authorities and Yemen conditions forced terrorists to move towards the remote areas of Yemen.

Al-Qaida's Activities & Future Prospects

Al-Qaida is multi-national organization, with members from various countries and with a global existence. The organization's senior leaders also serve in other different terrorist organizations as senior leaders admitting those assigned by the Department of State as foreign terrorist organizations, like the Egyptian al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya and the Egyptian al-Jihad. [33] Al-Qaida seeks for an international radicalization of subsisting Islamic groups and the origination of radical Islamic groups where not any exist.

This terrorist organization, Al-Qaida affirms Muslim belligerents in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen and Kosovo. In addition to this, it also develops members of terrorist organizations from such diverse countries as the Philippines, Algeria, and Eritrea. [34] It was founded by Osama Bin Laden in the late 1980s to bring together Arabs who contended in Afghanistan adjacent to the Soviet Union. It also assisted in finance, entering, transport and training Sunni Islamic extremists for the Afghan opposition.

The prominent goal of this organization is to combine all Muslims and to lay down a government which adopts the decree of the Caliphs. The only way to demonstrate the Caliphate, depicted by Bin Laden is by force. Overall, the aim of Al-Qaida is to bring down almost all Muslim governments, which are deemed dishonest, to impel Western influence from those countries, and finally to get rid of state boundaries. [35] In this way, it can be said that subsequent are the three substantial goals of Al-Qaida:

Radicalize subsisting Islamic groups and generate Islamic groups where it does not exist.

Demolition of the United States, as it the most significant obstruction in reformation of Muslim societies. [36] 

Corroborates Muslim belligerents in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Eritera, Kosova, Pakistan, Somalia, Tajikistan and Yemen. [37] 

Activities of Al-Qaida:

From the time of its establishment, this multinational organization has adopted and accomplished various activities. Some of them were highly destructive and some were failed due to the growing efforts of countries law enforcement authorities and international intelligence. In May 2003, this organization undertaken the assault and bombing on three expatriate housing structures in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 20 and hurt 139. This activity also facilitated in another activity of Al-Qaida in executing the bombings on 16 May in Casablanca, Morocco, of a Jewish center, restaurant, nightclub and hotel that murdered 41 and injured 101.

This activity affirmed the 5th August violence of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia that murdered 17 and wounded 137. This organization is also accountable for the assault and bombarding on 9 November of a housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 17 and wounded 100. [38] In addition to this, the Al-Qaida also carried out the bombings of two tabernacles in Istanbul, Turkey, on 15 November that ended life of 23 and injured 200 and the 20 November bombardments in Istanbul of the British Consulate and HSBC Bank that led in the end of 27 individuals' life and 455 wounded. The Al-Qaida is also involved in various assails in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This group is also responsible for the November 2000, bombing on hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. This activity of the group also supported another bombarding in a nightclub of Bali, on 12 October that finished life of about 180 people. This group also holds charges against an attack on US military employees in Kuwait. [39] On 11 September 2001, Al-Qaida suicide assailers hijacked and crashed four prominent US commercial jets. Among that four jets two were crashed into the New York's World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon near Washington, DC and a fourth into a ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, leaving approx 3,000 individuals dead or lost.

Other significant activities' of Al-Qaida includes attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, in 2000 that finished 17 US Navy members and injured another 39. In addition to the successful plans and activities of Al-Qaida there are also some unsuccessful activities of this organization which includes assassination of Pope John Paul II throughout his visit to Manila in late 1994. Murder of President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in early 1995 and explode a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport in 1999.

Al-Qaida also planned to undertake terrorist operations in opposition to US and Israeli tourists that visited Jordan for millennial celebrations in late 1999. In December 2001, surmised al-Qaida affiliate Richard Colvin Reid tried to combust a shoe bomb on a transatlantic flight from Paris to Miami. [40] This group also tried to shoot down an Israeli chartered plane in November 2002, with a surface-to-air missile as it left the Mombasa airport. Additionally, this organization has also attempted various other activities and in present also it is planning various activities.

Future Prospects of Al-Qaida:

From last several years, the organization Al Qaida has developed into a considerably different terrorist organization than the one that committed the September 11 attacks. At that time, Al Qaida was compiled generally of a core of veterans of the Afghan insurgency in opposition to the Soviets, with a leadership system made up largely of Egyptians and bin Laden, a Saudi of Yemeni descent. [41] Most of the organization's secret plan were either exhaled from or were sanctioned by the leadership. The Al Qaida organization of that period no longer subsists in present time.

Due to forces from U.S. and international intelligence and security organizations, it has transmuted into disseminate worldwide network and idealistic movement compiled of circulated nodes with deviating degrees of independence. [42] Previously the leadership, led by Bin Laden and Zawahiri was considered to be significant but nowadays Al Qaida cells or associated groups in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, North Africa and Southeast Asia constitute vital players in the outsized movement.

In present, it is believed that the course of Al Qaida focuses on less concentrated command and direct, no apparent center of gravity and possible growing and declining centres of gravity, contingent upon where the U.S. and the international concentration is for that period. [43] All these transformations of the group, its structure, operations and functioning demonstrate that the future prospects of Al-Qaida can be very effective for them and on the other hand can be very destructive for communities and its habitants.

In present, the Al Qaida network is constructed with semi-autonomous cells which habitually have only nonessential affiliations to either the management in Pakistan or affiliated groups somewhere else. [44] At times these individuals does not have to leave their home country as now they are radicalized with the aid of others who move abroad for developing and instruction. The July 2005, London bombers are a significant instance of semi-autonomous players in the Al Qaida world.

Another significant kind of nowadays Al Qaida movement is self-radicalized people, who do not have any link to the outsized network but correspond to Al Qaida's theological parameters and strategic ambitions. These kinds of individuals are providing substantial help to the activities of Al-Qaida that will also goes on in coming future at more prolific level. [45] On the other hand, Al-Qaida is managing its moneymaking front businesses, by tapping donations from similar supporters and illegally drawing off funds from contributions to Muslim sympathetic organizations.

In spite of Al Qaida's alteration in current years, its strategic objectives are not changed which entails attack on the United States and governments that affirms the Americans. With its present time transformations and alterations it is proved that this terrorist organization is reconciling and extremely flexible and stays as the most serious terrorist organization. [46] The assessments of U.S. intelligence community has evidenced that the Al Qaida is vigorously engrossed in operational scheming and continues enrolling, training and transporting operatives, to admit people from Western Europe and North America with advanced blowups and weapons which could make their future more effective if not managed appropriately.

The last two years deadly terrorists' attacks of Al Qaida demonstrate its leadership's efficiency and capability that in turn shows its future prospects. Although the organization is also confronting various challenges but still the efforts of international intelligence and various countries governments are not as effective as it should be. Without a planned approach to deal with terrorism, it would not be possible for world to deal with this growing threat.

Another major stand in regard to its effective future prospected can be assessed with its several thousand members and associates. Its extensive members from different countries are its biggest asset that assists it in attaining its different terrorist activities. Although the arrest of some senior-level al-Qaida operatives have disrupted some terrorist plots but this does not make any substantial effect on its future activities as it involves various members who are also ready to give their life without understanding the true aim of this terrorist organization. [47] In the end, of the discussion it can be said that a more prolific approach is needed to resolve this issue of terrorism.