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Yemeni al-Qaeda crackdown
Yemen crackdown.png
Area of crackdown operations
Date January 14, 2010 -
Location Yemen
Status Conflict Ongoing
 United States
Flag of al-Qaeda.svg al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Somalia Islamic Courts Flag.svg Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen[1]

Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemen Ali Mohammed Mujur
Flag of al-Qaeda.svg Nasir al-Wuhayshi
Flag of al-Qaeda.svg Said Ali al-Shihri
Flag of al-Qaeda.svg Qasim al-Raymi  
Yemen: 10,000[2]
USA: "several dozen"[3]
Casualties and losses
11+ killed[5] 34+ killed[6]
45+ Civilians killed[7]

The Yemeni al-Qaeda crackdown began in 2001 and escalated on January 14, 2010 when Yemen declared open war[8][9] on al Qaeda. In addition to fighting against al Qaeda in several provinces, Yemen is also battling a northern Shi'ite insurgency and trying to contain separatists in the south.



Yemen has come under pressure to act against al Qaeda since attacks on its two main allies, Saudi Arabia and the United States, by militants coming from Yemeni soil. Previous attacks linked to al Qaeda in Yemen include the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, the 2008 American Embassy attack, and several attacks against foreign tourists.

Yemen had already intensified operations against al Qaeda in late 2009 when a Yemen-based wing of the group claimed to be behind the failed December 25, 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner. News reports have indicated substantial American involvement in Yemeni operations against al Qaeda since late 2009, including training, intelligence sharing, and "several dozen troops" from the Joint Special Operations Command.[3]


  • December 17: Yemeni ground and air forces carried out raids in Sana'a (arresting 13), Arhab (killing 4 and arresting 4), and an alleged training camp in Al-Maajala, Abyan (killing 24-30).[10]
  • December 24: Yemen launched an airstrike against an alleged al Qaeda meeting in Shabwa, killing some 30 individuals. One target of the strike was Anwar al-Awlaki.[11]
  • January 4: Yemeni security forces killed two alleged militants a day earlier north of the capital.[12]
  • January 6: Yemeni forces arrested three suspected al-Qaeda militants who were wounded in a raid, that was carried out by security forces.[13]
  • January 13: The alleged leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen, Abdullah Mehdar, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces.[14]
  • January 14: A Yemen army air strike has killed at least six suspected al-Qaeda fighters in the north of the country, a Yemeni security official said.[9]
  • January 15: Yemeni security forces scoured rugged mountains for a second day using helicopters to hunt for some 25 suspected al Qaeda militants who fled raids the previous day in the southeastern province of Shabwa, security sources said.[15]
  • January 17: A radical Islamist Somali group claimed it was exchanging some of its fighters with those in Yemen. Yemeni militants are reportedly also sending fighters in return. This exchange in fighters shows the close links it has with the country of Yemen, an al-Shabab spokesman said.[16]
  • January 20: The Yemeni air force bombed the home of a suspected al-Qaeda leader, Ayed al-Shabwani, who the military had claimed was dead a week before this bombing. The attack on his home was reportedly met with anti-aircraft fire from his village. No figure on casualties has been released, for this latest attack.[17]
  • January 21: In order to "halt terrorist infiltration", Yemen decided to only issue visas through embassies, ceasing the practice of issuing visas to foreigners when they land at Yemeni airports.[18]
  • March 16: Two Al-Qaeda militants who were killed in Yemen due to air raids carried out by the Yemen airforce have been identified, goverment officials have said. A third suspected senior militant had also reportedly been killed in these raids. These bombing raids were carried out in the southern province of Abyan. It has been reported that these militants were connected to the failed bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner last year. However it is not clear how many other people were killed in these airstrikes.[20]


  1. ^ Plaut, Martin (2010-01-17). "Somalia and Yemen 'swapping militants'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  2. ^ "Yemeni troops target al-Qaeda". Al Jazeera. 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  3. ^ a b Priest, Dana (2010-01-27). "U.S. military teams, intelligence deeply involved in aiding Yemen on strikes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Yemen says may harbor up to 300 Qaeda suspects". Reuters. 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  5. ^ Yemeni government casualties: [1], [2]
  6. ^ al-Qaeda casualties: [3], [4], [5], [6]
  7. ^ Civilian casualties
  8. ^ "Reuters AlertNet - Yemen in war with al Qaeda, urges citizens to help". 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  9. ^ a b "Middle East - Yemeni al-Qaeda suspects 'killed'". Al Jazeera English. 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  10. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan (2009-12-18). "Yemen asserts 34 rebels killed in raid on Qaeda". The Washington Post (The Boston Globe). Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  11. ^ Healy, Jack; Shane, Scott (2009-12-24). "Yemen Says It Attacked a Meeting of Al Qaeda". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  12. ^ Yemen bắn hạ hai thành viên al-Qaeda (Vietnamese)
  13. ^ "Yemen 'arrests al-Qaeda suspects' wounded in raid". BBC News. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  14. ^ "Yemen forces 'kill al-Qaeda chief'". BBC News. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  15. ^ "Yemen Intends to Fight al Qaeda All Alone". Pravda.Ru. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  16. ^ Plaut, Martin (2010-01-17). "Somalia and Yemen 'swapping militants'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  17. ^ "Yemen 'bombs house of suspected al-Qaeda militant'". BBC News. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  18. ^ "Yemen 'stops issuing visas at airports'". BBC News. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  19. ^ "Yemen's al Qaeda calls for jihad in region: report". Reuters. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  20. ^ "Yemen says militants died in raid". BBC News. 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 

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