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A nation must think before it acts.
Yemen has emerged of late as one of the more fertile locations for Al Qaeda activity. Al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, the Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan (IAA), has executed a number of spectacular attacks against Western interests in recent years. It was responsible for the 1998 kidnapping of sixteen Western tourists in the southern province of Abyan, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, and an assault on the French tanker the Limburg in 2002, among other attacks. Despite these international strikes, the IAA is the classic Al Qaeda affiliate: a local phenomenon that assists the larger jihadi network in its war against the West.