In November 2016, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cited the bombings in New Jersey as a model for future attacks in the United States, the first time the group has highlighted New Jersey in its English-language magazine Inspire. AQAP uses Rahimi as an instructive case study on how to improve planning and execution in future terrorist operations.
AQAP remains a persistent threat to the West because of its proven ability to incorporate, train, and deploy operatives abroad; the group also has maintained a territorial foothold in Yemen, giving it space to plan and finance operations. AQAP has not attempted to attack the United States since 2012, when a foiled plot against a US-bound airliner, conceived by the group’s chief bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri, was disrupted.
The bombings in New Jersey and New York and the attacks in Orlando and at Ohio State University last year highlight the enduring influence of radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who was killed in a US airstrike in Yemen in 2011. Since 2011, Aulaqi has been named in over 20 terrorism cases in the United States. The most recent drone strikes in Yemen provide AQAP with an opportunity to revisit the death of al-Aulaqi and further their propaganda as well as increase recruitment.
Join Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Senior Intelligence Analyst Alyssa Potter as they explore recent developments in AQAP's tactics and their overall threat to the West.