Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for a missile attack on Saturday, saying it launched a missile aimed at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, and had injured guards and damaged a vehicle.
A high ranking member of AQAP said on social media, the attack was revenge for a drone strike Friday that is believed to have killed two Al Qaeda militants in the northern al Jawf province.
The U.S. State Department could not confirm AQAP’s claims that the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen was the target of the attack, and said none of the embassy staff were wounded.
In May, 2014, United States officials temporarily shut down public operations at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, after a credible terrorist threat against American interests.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement on August 6, 2013, warning Americans in Yemen to leave the country immediately after two drone strikes killed at least four suspected terrorists.
According to the U.S. State Department website, in March 2012, AQAP claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an American citizen in Taiz. Over the past couple of years, several kidnappings of Westerners have been reported.
U.S. senior intelligence officials said in August 2013, chatter intercepted linked Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri with Nasir al-Wahishi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for the first time, a significant development in fighting the global war on terrorism. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as al-Qaeda in Yemen had been largely considered an al-Qaeda affiliate rather than part of the terrorist organization.
Several homeland security and terrorism experts argued that al-Qaeda was a weak link after the death of Osama bin laden and lacked both the leadership and resources to carry out any large scale attacks such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
However, soon after the reports found that al-Qaeda was much much less of the threat, AQAP emerged as a strong coordinated al Qaeda affiliate with much more success in staging attacks against American interests than Al-Qaeda central. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s highly skilled Saudi bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan Al-Asiri is believed to be responsible for the construction of the explosive device in which the “underwear bomber” attempted to ignite during a Christmas Day 2009 flight over Detroit.
The Khorasan, a subgroup of the al Nusra front, is described as an al Qaeda cell in Syria with highly skilled bomb making technicians trained by al Qaeda’s master bomb builder, Ibrahim al-Asiri.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said last week that the al-Qaeda offspring is a larger threat to the homeland than ISIS.