Un breve profilo del gruppo terroristico che ha rivendicato la paternità del fallito attentato a Detroit.
An al Qaeda Node's Limited Strategic Significance
"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit Monday for the Christmas Day attempted attack on Northwest Airlines flight 253 to Detroit. In a statement posted on a jihadist Web site, the Yemeni-based jihadist group lauded the attacker, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, calling him a “brother” and describing the attack as “heroic.” That an al Qaeda node is once again targeting U.S. airliners has driven headlines in the mainstream media. But the Dec. 25 attempt does not rise to the strategic threat level suggested by such headlines.
AQAP has set itself apart from other al Qaeda nodes in recent months, demonstrating more complex tactical operations that have relied heavily on tactical innovation and expert operational commanders. Attempts such as the one on Dec. 25 and an unusual attack against Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef highlighted that innovative spirit, though each ultimately failed.
Tactically, AQAP has not proven to be a very effective threat. Its only successful attacks to date have been suicide bombings directed against tourists in Yemen’s hinterlands. But even strategically, the group does not pose a coherent threat to Saudi Arabia, much less the United States.
AQAP started as al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Its objective was to destabilize the Saudi government as part of al Qaeda’s larger strategic goal of creating an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East. After Riyadh cracked down on jihadists beginning in 2004, the group lost most of its ability to operate in Saudi Arabia. By January 2009, the remnants of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia were forced to relocate to Yemen, where they joined forces with al Qaeda in Yemen. This new group, AQAP, continued to pursue the goal of destabilizing the Saudi government, but it now faced the challenge of being hunted and the additional challenge of attempting to destabilize a government from which it was geographically isolated."