Date of Graduation

Fall 2011


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Robert Joseph


AQAP, al-Awlaki, al-Wuhayshi, al-Zindani, al-Iman University, Committee for Dialogue, Strategic Communication, IRI, NDI, resources, madrassahs

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The terrorist group known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is a major threat to both Yemen and the United States. A branch of the infamous al-Qaeda terrorist organization, AQAP is growing in numbers, being trained, and exporting terrorists around the globe. AQAP is driven by religious ideals, and motivated to create a world adherent to those ideals. Those that do not, or oppose such, are the enemy. The United States is that enemy. To begin the process of combating AQAP, the U.S. must identify what sustains the group. This thesis examines those factors. It analyzes the history of the group's radical ideology, the history of Yemen, the failures and inadequacies of the state and its leadership, the shortcomings in strategy, and what is strategically necessary to combat the group in the future. This thesis will recommend that the best way to combat AQAP will come from adopting a soft power centered strategy. This strategy will promote and prove that theological dialogue, Strategic Communication, educational reform, and political encouragement, can be effective methods in combating AQAP. Keywords: AQAP, al-Awlaki, al-Wuhayshi, al-Zindani, al-Iman Univeristy, Committee for Dialogue, Strategic Communication, IRI, NDI, resources, madrassahs.


© Timothy Ryan Acevedo

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