Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: Behind the Christmas Bomber

(New Republic) Michelle Shephard - Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab claims that he received training and the explosives used in the attempted attack from the Yemen-based group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. "The group's growing ambition and increasing strength really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention," says Princeton's Gregory Johnsen, one of the U.S.'s foremost experts on Yemen. "Just because people in the West haven't been focused on Yemen, doesn't mean Al Qaeda has not been active there." In August, the group narrowly failed to assassinate Saudi Arabia's security chief. While the group may have ties to "Al Qaeda central," the organization appears to act independently.

2010-01-08 08:39:23

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