Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is an extremist group based in Yemen that emerged in January 2009 following the unification of Yemeni and Saudi terrorist elements. AQAP’s stated goals include establishing a caliphate and implementing Sharia law in the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Middle East. AQAP has targeted local, U.S., and Western interests in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as abroad. The group has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts, including the January 2015 assault on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed 12 people.
AQAP is an AQ affiliate and the AQAP emir works closely with AQ leadership to plan attacks. AQAP bomber al-Asiri designed the 2012 Christmas day airline plot underwear bomb and also sent printer bombs to the U.S. via couriers.
On January 19, 2010, the U.S. Department of State designated AQAP as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended. As a result, all of AQAP’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with AQAP. It is a crime to knowingly provide, or to attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to AQAP.