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The Battle for Yemen

Al-Qaeda and the Struggle for Stability

Edited by Ramzy Mardini

The Battle for Yemen is a comprehensive analysis of the facets of instability that currently plague Yemen. Combining indigenous sources with original insights, the book offers a detailed account of Yemen’s struggle for stability, the various movements that shape the security environment, and the radical personalities that strive to undermine the Saleh government and its partnership with the United States.

On February 3, 2006, in the capital city of Sana’a, 23 high-level al Qaeda militants escaped from the country’s most guarded prison, despite being in the custody of Yemen’s intelligence community. The event was a major blow to Yemen’s fight against terrorism, as many of the escapees were involved in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in October 2000. Since then, al Qaeda’s so-called “Great Escape” in Sana’a has played a pivotal role in the group’s increasing influence in the Arabian Peninsula.

In addition to combating this rejuvenated al Qaeda branch in Yemen and the economic hardships that favor its rise, President Ali Abdullah Saleh also faces independently motivated insurgencies within Yemen, from the Houthi rebels in the north to the secessionist movement in the south. These security challenges have captured the attention of the international community and are likely to keep Yemen in the headlines for the foreseeable future.

Contributors include Rafid Fadhil Ali (BBC World Service), Abdul Hameed Bakier (intelligence expert on counterterrorism, crisis management and terrorist-hostage negotiations), Daniel Benjamin (Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State), Christopher Heffelfinger (specialist on militant Islam and Islamist ideology and radicalization), Michael Horton (independent analyst specializing in Yemen and the Horn of Africa), Gregory D. Johnsen (Princeton University), Mark N. Katz (George Mason University), Mohammed Al-Maitami (Sana’a University, Yemen), Munir Mawari (Yemeni American journalist), Andrew McGregor (Aberfoyle International Security and Jamestown Foundation’s Global Terrorism Analysis), Brian O’Neill (freelance analyst), Shaun Overton (independent analyst), Sarah Phillips (Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University), Babak Rahimi (University of California–San Diego), Bruce Riedel (Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution), Michael W. S. Ryan (independent consultant and researcher), Michael Scheuer (formerly with the CIA Counterterrorist Center), Charles Schmitz (Towson University), Murad Batal al-Shishani (analyst of Islamic groups and terrorism), John Solomon (World-Check), Michael Taarnby (independent terrorism researcher and consultant), Stephen Ulph (Jamestown Foundation), Eric Watkins (foreign correspondent based in Yemen), and Chris Zambelis (Helios Global).

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