Aden-Abyan Islamic Army

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Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
جيش عدن أبين الإسلامي
Participant in Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen
AQMI Flag asymmetric.svg
Active 1990s–present
Ideology Salafist jihadism
Islamic fundamentalism
Leaders Zein al-Abideen al-Mehdar [1]
Headquarters Abyan, Yemen
Area of operations Southern Yemen
Part of Al-Qaeda Emirate in Yemen

Ansar al-Sharia

Opponents  Yemen
Battles and wars Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen

The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (Arabic: جيش عدن أبين الإسلامي‎‎) is an Islamist militant group based in southern Yemen, led by Zein al-Abideen al-Mehdar (also known as Abu El-Hassan El-Mohader).[2] The group was responsible for attacks on Yemeni socialists prior to the 1993 parliamentary elections and the kidnapping of 16 foreign tourists in December 1998 in Abyan, in which four hostages and two kidnappers where killed, whilst the rest were either rescued or captured by Yemeni government forces after they attacked the place where the hostages were being held. The Aden-Abyan Islamic army was also believed by some experts[who?] to have been involved in the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Aden. The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by Canada and the United Kingdom.

The group is thought to have organized in southern Yemen in the mid 1990s, with members that include veterans from the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Their stated mission is to "promote jihad in the fight against secularism in Yemen and other Arab States; to establish an Islamic government in Yemen".[3]