Ansar al-Sharia (Yemen)

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جماعة أنصار الشريعة
(Jamāʿat Anṣār aš-Šharīʿa)
Partisans of Shari'a
Participant in the Yemeni Revolution, War on Terror, Yemeni Civil War,
and the Operation Inherent Resolve
AQMI Flag asymmetric.svg
Jihadist flag used by organization
LeadersQasim al-Raymi (killed in 2020)[3]
HeadquartersMukalla, Hadhramaut (2015-2016)
Area of operationsYemen; Sana'a and the Abyan region: Zinjibar, Ja'ar, Shuqrah and surrounding areas.
Part ofal-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
AlliesState allies:

Non-state allies:

Opponent(s)State opponents

Non-state opponents

Battles and war(s)Yemeni insurgency

Yemeni Civil War

Designated as a terrorist organisation by
 United Arab Emirates[12]

Jama'at Ansar al-Shari'a (Arabic: جماعة أنصار الشريعة‎; Jamāʿat Anṣār aš-Šharīʿa), also known as Ansar al-Shari'a, is a Yemen-based umbrella organization which includes units from several militant Islamic groups of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[13] In 2011, AQAP created Ansar Al-Sharia as a Yemen-based affiliate focused on waging an insurgency rather than international attacks on the West.[14] In the view of the International Crisis Group, AQAP is "an internally diverse organisation with varying layers of support among the local population" and many AAS members and allies are not committed to AQAP's international agenda.[14]

After the Battle of Zinjibar (May–September 2011), the faction had taken control of some cities in southern Yemen in which it has instated emirates. Ansar ash-Shari'a have also claimed responsibility for the 2012 Sana'a bombing and the 2013 Sana'a attack.[15] As of early 2017, AQAP and AAS were currently in a struggle for territorial control with the Houthi/Saleh forces in the governorates of al-Bayda, Shebwa, Marib, Jawf and Taiz.[14]

On 4 October 2012, the United States Department of State amended its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations to designate Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen as an alias for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, rather than listing it as a separate organisation. On the same day, the group was also listed by the United Nations 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.[16] New Zealand[17] also listed it as a terror group.[18]

In February 2015, it was reported that some members had split from the group and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[19]

In January 2020, the group's leader Qasim al-Raymi, who also served as the leader of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, was killed in a U.S. airstrike.[3]


  1. ^ "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)". Counter Extremism Project. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)". Council on Foreign Relations. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Al-Qaeda map: Isis, Boko Haram and other affiliates' strongholds across Africa and Asia". 12 June 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  5. ^ "The Failure of Counterinsurgency: Why Hearts and Minds Are Seldom Won". 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Report: Saudi-UAE coalition 'cut deals' with al-Qaeda in Yemen". Al-Jazeera. 6 August 2018.
  7. ^ "US allies, Al Qaeda battle rebels in Yemen". Fox News. 7 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Allies cut deals with al Qaeda in Yemen to serve larger fight with Iran". San Francisco Chronicle. 6 August 2018.
  9. ^ "US arms sold to Saudi Arabia and UAE end up in wrong hands".
  10. ^ "Yemen bomb: Suicide bomber hit's military parade in Sanaa". GlobalPost. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ "AFP: Yémen: l'armée, aidée par les Etats-Unis, progresse face à Al-Qaïda". Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Sudarsan Raghavan (22 February 2011). "Militants linked to al-Qaeda emboldened in Yemen". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  14. ^ a b c International Crisis Group (2 February 2017). Yemen’s al-Qaeda: Expanding the Base. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Al-Qaeda claims deadly Yemen suicide blast – Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Sharia as an Alias for Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula". Department of State. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Terrorism - New Zealand travel advice". GOV.UK. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  18. ^ Designated Entities 26-11-2014
  19. ^ "The War on ISIS".