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Islamic Army of Aden


The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) emerged publicly in mid-1998 when the group released a series of communiques that expressed support for Usama Bin Ladin, appealed for the overthrow of the Yemeni Government, and called for operations against US and other Western interests in Yemen. Designated under EO 13224 in September 2001.


Engages in bombings and kidnappings to promote its goals. The group reportedly was behind an attack in June 2003 against a medical assistance convoy in the Abyan Governorate. Yemeni authorities responded with a raid on a suspected IAA facility, killing several individuals and capturing others, including Khalid al-Nabi al-Yazidi, the group’s leader.

Before that attack, the group had not conducted operations since the bombing of the British Embassy in Sanaa in October 2000. In 2001, Sanaa found an IAA member and three associates responsible for that attack. In December 1998, the group kidnapped 16 British, American, and Australian tourists near Mudiyah in southern Yemen.

Although Yemeni officials previously have claimed that the group is operationally defunct, their recent attribution of the attack in 2003 against the medical convoy and reports that al-Yazidi was released from prison in mid-October 2003 suggest that the IAA, or at least elements of the group, have resumed activity.


Not known.

Location/Area of Operation

Operates in the southern governorates of Yemen—primarily Aden and Abyan.

External Aid

Not known.

Sources and Resources

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Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated May 28, 2004