Yemen: Al Qaedas Next Fortress


  • Terry Rydz Florida State University


international affairs, Al-Quaeda, Yemen, Afghanistan, political science


For many Americans, the United States’ war with Al-Qaeda began on September 11, 2001 and focuses on the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, in the eyes of Al-Qaeda, the war against the U.S. started nine years earlier in Yemen. Al-Qaeda has never lost sight of its strong connection to Yemen and the U.S. has slowly learned a valuable lesson from this: Al-Qaeda in Yemen possesses an equal, if not greater, direct threat to the U.S. and its allies than Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan currently does.

This paper examines the rise and evolution of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Specifically, it investigates the crumbling socio-economic and political conditions in south Yemen that have allowed for Al-Qaeda to flourish there, and presents potential counter-terrorism policies the U.S. can take to undermine the group’s ability to function globally or within Yemen itself.

Author Biography

Terry Rydz, Florida State University

Terry Rydz is currently an undergraduate at Florida State University, double majoring in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies. His hopes are to work for the U.S. government as a counter-terrorist expert. He plans on attending law school after graduation.






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