Despite a Nov. 7 announcement that a new inclusive Yemeni cabinet was formed in an effort to defuse the ongoing political stalemate in the country, there has been no indication of a deescalation of terrorist activity by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The Houthi rebels, Shiite Zaydi Muslims who hail from Yemen’s far north, swung down from their stronghold in Sa’ada province to take Amran in July and overrun the Yemeni capital in late September. Since then, AQAP has capitalized on the crisis by declaring an open war on the Shiite rebels and has escalated its terrorist attacks in conjunction with the rebels’ southward military advance.
The newly formed Yemeni cabinet, which includes Houthi representatives, marks the latest attempt to solve the crisis currently facing Yemen and to create a functioning government that can restore a semblance of peace to the country. However, over the weekend, AQAP carried out a series of high-profile attacks in central and eastern Yemen, including one targeting US ambassador Matthew H. Tueller, indicating that a political solution to the Houthi crisis will not readily translate into a deescalation of clashes between the Shiite rebels and AQAP. […]