Date of Graduation

Summer 2013


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

John Rose


terrorism, organizational learning, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is viewed as a serious threat to United States national security. One of the most influential factors in the effectiveness and survivability of a terrorist organization is the organization's ability to learn; this learning could be from their own activities or the activities of other organizations. The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of AQAP to learn as an organization, adapting their strategy and tactics in order to perpetuate its existence. This organizational learning is examined through the lenses of AQAP's external and internal operations. Another aim of this study was to determine counterterrorism measures which can be taken to disrupt and destroy AQAP's learning. This study demonstrates that AQAP's external operations branch is effective at learning, however the internal branch has been less effective following the death of Anwar al-Aulaqi on September 30, 2011. AQAP is, overall, an effective learning organization which will continue to pose a long term threat to the United States and whose learning ability must be targeted by counterterrorism measures in order to disrupt and destroy the organization's ability to target the United States.


© Lindsey Nicole Alazraki

Campus Only