Analysis

Yemen: Al-Qaeda ‘Hit List’ Could Wipe Out US-Backed Security Gains
Yemeni army soldiers outside the home of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi during a demonstration against terrorism and assassinations in Sanaa, the capital, on September 12, 2012. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Yemen's capital to denounce violence a day after a failed attempt to assassinate the defense minister killed 12 people. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/GettyImages)
October 18, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
The recent assassinations of a Yemeni intelligence officer and a Yemeni citizen working at the U.S. embassy are propaganda victories for al-Qaeda and its associated groups. The killings also raise the possibility that terrorists have a list of Yemeni officials that they intend to target. If true, the existence of such a list could undermine perceived security gains made by the United States and Yemen..
 
Last week, following the assassination of a Yemeni reportedly working with the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, a State Department official was asked by a reporter if al-Qaeda has a list of Yemenis it wants to kill. Islamist terrorists then reportedly assassinated a Yemeni intelligence official. That prompted The Associated Press to again raise the question. The attacks by al-Qaeda, combined with new uncertainty over the safety of Yemenis themselves, signal a setback for the Yemeni government.

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