Jihadists have long discussed Yemen’s suitability as a base for jihad. In this regard, recently declassified documents found in Usama bin Ladin’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, reconfirm Yemen’s importance, rather than provide a reinterpretation of its role in the global jihad.[1] While jihadist strategists have frequently debated the benefits of maintaining Yemen as a “reserve” force for the global jihad, or haven for jihadists,[2] others have argued that Yemen could be the vanguard of the global jihadist movement, citing innumerable conditions that they believe make success there more likely.[3] Irrespective of strategic orientation, both sides of this debate concur: conditions in Yemen are especially favorable for establishing an Islamic state through violent jihad.[4]

Of the 17 declassified documents released to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, four have substantive sections on Yemen or al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[5] Yet a review of these documents suggests that while AQAP’s local leadership may have been optimistic about their chances for success, Usama bin Ladin had innumerable concerns about Yemen in general and AQAP in particular.[6] In a lengthy letter authored by Bin Ladin and written to Abu `Abd al-Rahman (known as `Atiyya), Bin Ladin noted,

“I reviewed your opinions   regarding the issue of establishing an Islamic state before the elements of success have been completed and the issue of escalation in Yemen. I wanted to share with you my opinion on these two matters in order to establish a fruitful and constructive discussion, God willing. However, the matter is complex…To begin I would say that Yemen is the Arab country most ready for the establishment of an Islamic state, but this does not mean that the necessary fundamental elements for success for such a project have yet been realized.”[7]

This article explores the question that results from this seemingly contradictory logic: if conditions in Yemen are so propitious for jihadists, especially in the south,[8] what were the “necessary, fundamental elements” that Bin Ladin felt had yet to be realized in Yemen? First, the article will examine southern Yemen, where Bin Ladin saw conditions as being particularly favorable for `idad (preparations) and da`wa (outreach) but not expansive military operations. Second, it will inspect the motives behind Bin Ladin’s cautious approach in Yemen, and discuss two aspects of the Iraqi experience which appear to have greatly influenced Bin Ladin’s guidance regarding Yemen: tribal engagement and “conditions.” The article concludes by briefly examining the gap between Bin Ladin’s guidance and outcomes in Yemen and the possible implications of this divergence for AQAP’s future.

The South
In marked contrast with the deliberate tone that characterized much of Bin Ladin’s analysis of events in Yemen, there is a sense of opportunity with regards to developments in southern Yemen. “The situation in the south cannot sustain a truce,” Bin Ladin wrote. “This is due to the people’s intense anger toward the government and the huge amount of injustice inflicted on the people by the government, in addition to the mobilization conducted by al-Hiraak [Yemen’s southern secessionist movement].”[9] In another demonstration of the south’s importance, Bin Ladin advised Nasir al-Wahayshi, the leader of AQAP, that “it is crucial that one of the organization’s prominent leaders be from the south.”[10]

Escalating tensions in southern Yemen demonstrated the accuracy of Bin Ladin’s assessment. The Hiraak al-Janubiya (Southern Movement) was founded in late 2006 when a group of retired southern military officers began to protest what they perceived as unfair discrepancies between northern and southern military pensions. From this modest beginning, a mass movement grew to encompass a wide range of grievances, ranging from concerns over land deals to northerners, unfair division of political patronage, distribution of revenues from Yemen’s dwindling natural resources, and widespread complaints about corruption and impunity.[11] By the time Bin Ladin’s letter to `Atiyya was written, likely sometime in late May 2010, a tense situation had developed between the `Ali `Abdullah Salih regime and a wide cross-section of southerners, including former allies of the regime, tribesmen, members of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) government, as well as regular citizens disillusioned with unification. Even from his safe house in Pakistan, the documents suggest that Bin Ladin recognized the opportunities present in the smoldering tensions of southern Yemen:

“Large segments of the people in the south dare to revolt, prepare for armed confrontation, and fight against the government…We do not seek a truce in the south, as it goes against the people’s movement to lift themselves from oppression. It will lead to us losing [the support] of those who oppose the government. We should not follow the lead [of the southern opposition] but we benefit from the tense atmosphere in spreading our call to the truth among the ranks of Muslims in the south.”[12]

Despite the Hiraak’s success and increasing southern dissatisfaction, it is important to note that by mid-2010 any comparison of the Hiraak and AQAP was necessarily a study in contrasts. AQAP was a small group with limited popular support, committed to political change through jihad alone; the Hiraak was a broad-based, largely non-violent popular movement, and an umbrella group for a mélange of different actors with little in common beyond disgust for President Salih and a desire for increased autonomy or outright separation from northern Yemen.[13]

Bin Ladin’s attention to events in the south appeared to coincide with the efforts of AQAP, which had already produced multiple videos targeting southern grievances.[14] Although not mentioned specifically in the documents, both sides likely viewed the governorate of Abyan, where numerous jihadist groups dating back to the early 1990s have been active, as a particularly promising location for operations.[15]

Lessons from Iraq: Tribes
Despite the fact that Bin Ladin viewed the south as ripe for exploitation by AQAP, his emphasis remained firmly on media efforts, `idad (preparations) and da`wa (outreach)—not increased military operations.[16] Why was Bin Ladin so cautious? The documents suggest that Bin Ladin’s guidance for all of al-Qa`ida’s “affiliates” were colored by the failures of al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI), particularly their attacks on the security forces, which led to the deaths of many tribesmen who had enlisted in the military after the Anbar Awakening. This preoccupation with not repeating the failures of Iraq was implicit in his analysis of the situation in Yemen, particularly regarding tribes:

“Not declaring a truce does not mean that we escalate against the government in the south and enter into an immediate fight against the military, as it would not bring the desired outcome. This is because the sons of the northern tribes will be targeted in the fight [i.e., tribesmen who are members of the Yemeni military would inevitably go to fight in the south and would be attacked by AQAP]. Some of these tribesmen do not realize that the military are apostates. So the tribes will think that we increased the bloodshed, and people will talk among the tribes saying that al-Qa`ida kills a lot. This would distance many people from us and might lead to a tribal uprising to fight against us in revenge for their sons. This also means that we do not jump to establish an Islamic state in the south at the first chance of the government losing control in the south. The reason for this is what we mentioned earlier, that we are not yet ready to cover the people with the umbrella of Islamic rule.”[17]

Bin Ladin’s argument returned to yet another theme found throughout the documents released to the Combating Terrorism Center but not discussed in detail in Letters from Abbottabad: tribes and tribal relations.[18] While Bin Ladin made no mention of any specific Yemeni tribe in the documents, it is clear that he viewed the tribes as a key constituency in Yemen.

Across the documents pertaining to Yemen, Bin Ladin’s guidance was consistent: AQAP must not repeat the mistakes of AQI. “The killing of a greater number of tribesmen generates shock amongst the tribes, and provokes them [to fight against us],” he wrote.  “[It also] fosters strong motives to attack us out of a desire for revenge. Therefore the mujahidin must study their [own] operations and past efforts to identify mistakes and learn from them.”[19]

AQI’s strategic miscalculation in Iraq appeared all the more damning in Bin Ladin’s eyes because he viewed tribesmen as generally predisposed toward supporting al-Qa`ida. “The foreign enemy [the United States] invaded the country [Iraq] making a mistake and exposing its gross ignorance of the area and the nature of the Iraqi people, [this] stirred up the tribes and united them together [against the United States]; which led to the people supporting the mujahidin,” Bin Ladin explained.[20] Bin Ladin seemed hopeful that the United States would repeat this strategic error in Yemen, noting,

“American pressure on the Yemeni government caused it to err in dealing with the tribes by bombarding their sons in al-Mahfad and Shabwa.[21] Continued pressure makes the government prone to bigger mistakes which [may] lead to the incitement of some tribes against the government. If the mujahidin treat the tribes well, the tribes will lean towards [supporting] the mujahidin.”[22]

This discussion of past experiences suggests that Bin Ladin viewed tribes as a key constituency that could be won over by the mujahidin, especially when the tribes were attacked by the enemy. But these relations were not always so easy. An incomplete and mysterious letter that touched on many areas of strategy, including tribal relations, included a revealing passage that discussed some of the incompatibilities between tribal customs and the jihadists’ interpretation of Shari`a: “Amongst us there were some committed mujahidin who upon returning to their countries [encountered] pre-Islamic [jahiliyya] tribal war, between their own tribe[s] and others, and some of them joined in, unable to resist their custom of blood feuds.”[23]

Here tribal loyalties were presented as an almost deterministic force. Even devout mujahidin were helpless to resist the pull of tribal conflict and the “pre-Islamic” customs of their own people.  While Bin Ladin’s concern about tribal relations indicated that he did not believe that AQAP automatically enjoyed tribal support, he clearly viewed the tribes as al-Qa`ida’s constituency to lose.[24]

Lessons from Iraq: “Conditions”
The dangers of accelerating operations before the proper conditions and resources are in place represent a second hard-learned lesson from Iraq that Bin Ladin did not want AQAP to repeat. The reader can almost sense the confusion of AQAP’s leadership were they to have read the strategic guidance that immediately followed Bin Ladin’s discussion of conditions in the south. Despite his favorable assessment of the south, rather than encouraging AQAP to seize a unique opportunity, Bin Ladin urged caution. In a stinging comparison, Bin Ladin suggested that were AQAP to prematurely expand their operations, they would fail exactly like the socialists had failed in southern Yemen years before, an error the Salih government stood precariously close to repeating. Bin Ladin warned,

“The reasons are that the people have needs and requirements, and the lack of these requirements is the main reason for their revolt against the ruler. We cannot provide for these needs in light of the battle and siege of the whole world against us [and attacking us] at this pace. It is human nature that they will align with whoever better meets their needs and requirements. The animosity of the world and its siege against the mujahidin is well known to the people, so no matter how much they love the mujahidin, the few amongst them will not stand beside the mujahidin under these circumstances.”[25]

Bin Ladin’s reasoning is consistent with commentary elsewhere in the documents on AQAP’s lack of resources and preparedness to withstand pressure from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Yemeni military itself.[26] In his eyes, given AQAP’s lack of both money and men, expanded operations were irresponsible and risked precipitating a worse outcome than the status quo. “We should not begin to attempt to establish a government in Yemen, even if the people revolted against the government and toppled it, either in south Yemen or the rest of the country,” Bin Ladin advised. “This is regardless of how bad the candidates to rule the government, because the outcome will be more damaging to Islam and Muslims, if we commence in a matter (establishing a state) without the elements of success. [And this] will put us in trouble with the people and will put the mujahidin there under enemy fire.”[27]

Bin Ladin’s response is consistent, almost to a fault, with his statements on operational sequencing and conditions elsewhere, and it is noteworthy that this commentary does not appear in the letter eventually addressed to Abu Basir (the kunya of Nasir al-Wahayshi).[28] It seems likely that `Atiyya spared al-Wahayshi the entirety of Bin Ladin’s discussion of “escalation,” which would have been a major disappointment given al-Wahayshi’s ambitious plans for Yemen.[29]

The Head of the Snake
If Bin Ladin opposed escalation against the Yemeni state and viewed seizing territory as counterproductive even when he acknowledged promising signs for the mujahidin, especially in the south, where did he want AQAP to focus its efforts instead? Bin Ladin’s strategic vision for Yemen matched the cautious tone of his discussion of developments in the south.[30] In Bin Ladin’s mind, Yemen was to remain a source of manpower for fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan—both battlefields approved by Bin Ladin for open combat[31]—a refuge for operatives,[32] and a base for “international operations” as it had been in the 1990s.[33] Bin Ladin left no doubt as to where he wanted these “international operations” to take place: “Concentrate on the Yemeni emigrants who come back to visit Yemen and have American visas or citizenship to conduct operations inside America as long as they have not given their oath not to harm America. We need to extend and develop our operations and plans in America and not limit ourselves to blowing up airplanes.”[34] Rather than scheming about how to take Sana`a, these are the outcomes Bin Ladin wanted al-Wahayshi to achieve.

This echoes guidance found elsewhere in the declassified documents. By late 2010, Bin Ladin was considering a more centralized campaign of violence focused exclusively on the United States.[35] Bin Ladin wrote,

“Whatever exceeds our energies, or we are unable to utilize in attacks inside America, as well as on the open fronts of jihad, should first be used to target American interests in non-Islamic countries like South Korea. And we shall avoid carrying out attacks in Islamic countries except for the countries that fell under invasion and direct occupation [Iraq, Afghanistan].”[36]

By late 2010, Usama bin Ladin could have been forgiven for wondering if his letters were arriving in Yemen. AQAP’s continued attacks against the security forces stood in direct contradiction to Bin Ladin’s guidance, and it appears that Bin Ladin still judged “conditions” in Yemen as unsuitable for expanded military operations.[37] The documents suggest that these discrepancies were overshadowed by Bin Ladin’s and `Atiyya’s concerns about al-Wahayshi’s operational plans. While these concerns were of an entirely different nature than the blatant tactical errors of AQI or the weak religious and legal knowledge of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,[38] even before the Arab Spring Bin Ladin seemed specifically worried that AQAP’s ambitions might lead them to consider overly expansive operations.

Events in Yemen substantiated some of these doubts, especially after the Arab Spring. As in Iraq, when letters sent to Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi by both Ayman al-Zawahiri and `Atiyya were ignored or refuted outright,[39] strategic guidance, even from the “shaykh” himself, was either disregarded by AQAP or perhaps simply did not arrive in time. From 2009 until the present, AQAP has actually increased its operations against the security forces. Although the relationship between the two groups is still not perfectly clear, since May 2011 Ansar al-Shari`a, a group with strong operational linkages to AQAP, has been engaged in establishing their own “emirates,” mostly in Abyan governorate. This would seem to contradict Bin Ladin’s guidance to al-Wahayshi about holding territory in Yemen.[40]

These outcomes have pushed Yemen away from the role that Bin Ladin envisioned as outlined in the documents: either as a “safe haven” for jihadists or a “reserve” force for al-Qa`ida in Afghanistan or Iraq. While the chaos that engulfed Yemen after the Arab Spring has emboldened and empowered sub-state actors of all ideological orientations, including AQAP and Ansar al-Shari`a,[41] it has also been exploited by U.S. counterterrorism forces[42] through increased operations against AQAP and the resumption of direct support of the Yemeni military.[43] Instead of the reserve force for Iraq and Afghanistan that Bin Ladin desired, AQAP’s actions in 2011-2012 transformed Yemen into an open front.

Of course, al-Wahayshi and Qasim al-Raymi, al-Wahayshi’s deputy and AQAP’s lead military commander, could have had a compelling rationale to ignore Bin Ladin’s advice. Or Bin Ladin’s guidance may simply have been overtaken by events, especially after the surge in protests in late March that brought security forces back to Sana`a to protect the Salih regime. With the implosion of the political status quo, al-Wahayshi and al-Raymi could have seen a unique opportunity to transform their movement into a broad-based popular insurgency. Given Bin Ladin’s acknowledgement of Yemen’s “suitability” for jihad, could not this sudden shift of fortune have demanded that AQAP’s leaders disregard the “shaykh’s” advice? By seizing territory, administering Shari`a and providing services, was not AQAP taking the first steps toward realizing al-Qa`ida’s long-term goal of establishing an Islamic state?[44] Furthermore, these efforts do not appear to have negatively impacted the group’s willingness or intent to strike the United States. In May 2012, evidence emerged of a failed plot by AQAP to attack a U.S.-bound flight by smuggling explosives onto a plane in an “improved” version of the explosive device worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in December 2009.[45] AQAP clearly remains focused on attacking the “head of the snake.”

Time will tell whether this strategic shift was the right choice for AQAP, but the small selection of documents from the Abbottabad raid suggests two important points. First, while Bin Ladin viewed conditions in Yemen as favorable, he preferred a gradualist path toward establishing an Islamic state that focused its efforts on building consensus, conducting military operations against the United States, and exposing the hypocrisy of the Arab regimes. Second, Bin Ladin viewed governance and ruling, especially before AQAP had the resources to do so, as the fastest way to undermine al-Qa`ida’s reputation. Both of these critiques have significant implications for AQAP’s prospects for success in Yemen.

Gabriel Koehler-Derrick is an Associate at the Combating Terrorism Center and an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Mr. Koehler-Derrick holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.

[1] The author benefited enormously from the research and discussions with: Cadet Stuart Caudill, LTC Liam Collins, Nelly Lahoud, Muhammad al-`Ubaydi and Don Rassler. In addition, thanks to the author of the CTC’s recent report, A False Foundation? AQAP, Tribes and Ungoverned Spaces in Yemen, and Nelly Lahoud for providing extensive feedback and comments on drafts of this article.

[2] Egyptian Islamic Jihad, among other groups throughout the 1990s, used Yemen largely as a safe haven for operatives. The idea of Yemen as a “reserve” is clearly referenced in Ayman al-Zawahiri’s draft letter to the Egyptian people (Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000013) as well as by Bin Ladin in Harmony Documents SOCOM-2012-0000017 and SOCOM-2012-0000019. All Harmony documents mentioned in this article can be found at the Combating Terrorism Center’s website.

[3] Abu Mus`ab al-Suri is probably the most prominent strategically oriented jihadist to advance Yemen as a base for jihad. For a discussion of al-Suri’s commentary, see Gabriel Koehler-Derrick ed., A False Foundation? AQAP, Tribes and Ungoverned Spaces in Yemen (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, 2011), p. 20.

[4] The pages of the documents received by the Combating Terrorism Center are not all numbered in the original Arabic version. The English translation numbers the pages to correspond to the content of each page of the Arabic version. As a result, most Arabic pages take more than a single page when translated, so the reader will find that the page number of the Arabic version is included on a separate line in the text of the English translation. To avoid confusion, this article refers to the page number in the Arabic version so that the reader can easily find it in the English translation.

[5] Of the Harmony documents from the Abbottabad compound, the following have the most substantive sections on Yemen or AQAP: Harmony Documents SOCOM-2012-0000003, SOCOM-2012-0000015, SOCOM-2012-0000016, and SOCOM-2012-0000019.

[6] The vast majority of documents in the CTC’s collection are either from Usama bin Ladin or Abu `Abd al-Rahman (`Atiyya). The lack of letters from Ayman al-Zawahiri is striking, although he is referred to throughout many of the documents, often by the kunya “Abu Muhammad.” See, for example, Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000010, p. 2.

[7] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 18. The quality of the English translation provided to the CTC is not adequate throughout. When the translation was deemed inadequate, quotations cited in this article have either been amended or translated anew by Gabriel Koehler-Derrick with assistance from Muhammad al-`Ubaydi and Nelly Lahoud.

[8] Ibid., p. 27.

[9] Ibid., p. 27.

[10] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 4.  AQAP had already written multiple statements focused on conditions in the south and southern grievances. See “Ila Ahlina fi al-Janub,” Muasasa al-Malahim, May 15, 2009.  While this document likely came after Bin Ladin’s letter to `Atiyya, see also “Taqrir Ikhbari,” Sada al-Malahim 15 (2010), in which AQAP claimed 49 operations against the government, 36 of which were in Abyan. Abu Mus`ab al-Suri maintained that Bin Ladin’s operational interest in southern Yemen traced back to the 1990s.  See Abu Mus`ab al-Suri, “Da`awa al-muqawima al-Islamiya al-`alaamiya,” pp. 774-775.

[11] The International Crisis Group’s report, “Breaking Point? Yemen’s Southern Question,” provides an excellent overview of the Hiraak as well as a chronology of key events and actors.

[12] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 27.

[13] “Breaking Point? Yemen’s Southern Question,” International Crisis Group, October 20, 2011, pp. 5-10, 15-21.

[14] A statement by AQAP member Muhammad Ahmed  bin Salih `Umayr al-Kalawi al-`Awlaqi in Abyan after an alleged drone strike in December 2009 focused specifically on southern grievances as well as more general discontent with former President Salih. The video can be found on YouTube under the title “Awl Dhuhur `alini li tandhim al-Qa`ida fi Abyan—Janub Yemen.” Part of the statement was broadcast live on al-Jazira and al-`Awlaqi was killed shortly after making this speech. See his martyrdom video, “Shahid qasf al-ta’iraat al-Amrikiya `ala qaba’il al-yemen” (approximately minute four) for more appeals directed specifically to southerners.

[15] By December 2010, AQAP had released a statement claiming 49 operations against the government, 36 of which were claimed to occur in Abyan. See “Taqrir Ikhbari.”

[16] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 5.

[17] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 28.

[18] Nelly Lahoud et al., Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined? (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, 2012).

[19] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000017, p. 2.

[20] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 12.

[21] This is almost certainly a reference to raids which took place on December 17 in Abyan, Arhab and Sana`a and airstrikes in Shabwa which seem to have caused high collateral damage. See Karen DeYoung, “U.S. Helps Yemen in Attacks against Suspected al-Qaeda Targets,” Washington Post, December 19, 2009; Sudarsan Raghavan and Michael Shear, “U.S. Aided in Attack in Yemen Thought to Have Killed Auluqi, 2 al-Qaeda Leaders,” Washington Post, December 25, 2009. See also “Yemen: Cracking Under Pressure,” Amnesty International, August 25, 2010, pp. 31-33.

[22] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 14.

[23] Harmony Document, SOCOM-2012-0000017, p. 2.

[24] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 13.

[25] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 28.

[26] Ibid., p. 20.

[27] Ibid., pp. 29-30.

[28] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016.

[29] Bin Ladin quoted from al-Wahayshi’s previous letter, “If you want Sana’a, today is the day.”  See Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 1.

[30] This careful, deliberate orientation is replicated in Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000017, pp. 1, 3-4, 5. This is notable because this letter was intended for an unknown operative who appears to have been considering opportunities in an entirely new area, one where al-Qa`ida does not appear to have an operational history. That Bin Ladin would use similar analogies and explanations between a new area of operations and Yemen, where AQAP had been active since 2006, is fascinating.

[31] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 20; Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000017, p. 5.

[32] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 3.

[33] Ibid. Bin Ladin was vague about what time period he was referencing here. While this could be a reference to current developments, it seems more likely that this was a reference to the 1990s when a variety of jihadist groups including Islamic Jihad in Yemen and the Islamic Army of Aden Abyan were conducting operations in Yemen while the planning for the USS Cole operation and the East Africa embassy plots were simultaneously taking place. For more details on these groups, see A False Foundation? pp. 18-26.

[34] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 4.

[35] Although intended for a different (and unknown) recipient, the guidance here mirrors much of the strategic direction provided in Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000017, pp. 1, 7. Also see Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 7.

[36] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000019, p. 5.

[37] By April 26, 2011, even though Bin Ladin recognized that the Arab Spring had brought “unprecedented opportunities,” he still asked `Atiyya to advise the “brothers in the regions” to be “patient” and avoid any “clashes” with Islamic parties,  and to focus their efforts on “da`wa” (outreach). See Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000010, p. 4.

[38] Lahoud et al., p. 22.

[39] These letters can be found at the Combating Terrorism Center’s website. For a discussion of their importance, see Brian Fishman, “After Zarqawi: The Dilemmas and Future of al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” Washington Quarterly 29:4 (2006): pp. 19-32.

[40] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, pp. 1-2.

[41] This was acknowledged in an interview by `Adil al-Abab. When asked about tandhim al-Qa`ida’s position on the revolution, he stated, “After things went out of the control of the central authorities in Sana`a, many places fell [into] the hands of a variety of different groups from Sa’ada to Abyan…” See “Abu Waqar hala taraktum li shaykh Aba Basir al-Tartusi,” Shumukh al-Islam, accessed March 15, 2012.

[42] Greg Miller, “Strike on Aulaqi Demonstrates Collaboration Between CIA and Military,” Washington Post, September 30, 2011.

[43] Greg Miller, “CIA Seeks New Authority to Expand Yemen Drone Campaign,” Washington Post, April 17, 2012.

[44] Harmony Document SOCOM-2012-0000016, p. 2.

[45] Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Rare Double Agent Disrupted Bomb Plot, U.S. Says,” New York Times, May 8, 2012.

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