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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: From Global Insurgent to State Enforcer?

Chatham House, London


Iona Craig, Freelance Journalist, Yemen

Martin Jerrett, Political Adviser on Yemen, UN (2014-16)

Dr Elisabeth Kendall, Senior Research Fellow in Arabic, Pembroke College Oxford

Chair: Nussaibah Younis, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is regularly cited as one of the most dangerous of the Al Qaeda franchises. Yet in over a decade since its inception, it has attempted just three failed strikes on Western targets outside of Yemen.

With President Trump's first overseas military action coming against AQAP in Yemen, Martin Jerrett, a former UN political officer to Yemen, believes that it is time for a radical reassessment of the group. He will argue that a more realistic understanding of the group should consider the huge volume of attacks and actions against Yemenis and should not be based, as it has been to date by many analysts, on its largely empty threats against the West.

Our panel will discuss Jerrett’s views and analyse the need for a shift in how AQAP is considered by the international community.

This event is organised in association with Hate Speech International.