Cover Story Overview

AQAP in Yemen and the Christmas Day Terrorist Attack

The failed attempt by Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to destroy a Northwest Airlines commercial aircraft on Christmas Day has re-focused Western attention on al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the potential dangers emanating from Yemen. This article will show why lapsed vigilance allowed al-Qa`ida to regroup in Yemen, explain the significance of the group’s merger in January 2009, identify the recent U.S.-Yemeni response, and finally examine AQAP’s decision to attack the U.S. homeland.

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