Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern
Islamic Army of Aden (IAA)
Updated August 24, 2007
From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.
a.k.a. Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (AAIA)
The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) emerged publicly in mid-1998 when the group released a series of communiqués that expressed support for Usama bin Ladin, appealed for the overthrow of the Yemeni Government, and called for operations against U.S. and other Western interests in Yemen. IAA was first designated under EO 13224 in September 2001.
The IAA, a group with established connections to al-Qaida and whose membership includes veteran fighters from the Soviet-Afghan war, in the past has engaged in small-scale operations such as bombings, kidnappings, and small arms attacks to further its agenda. The group reportedly was behind an attack against a medical convoy in June 2003 in the Abyan Governorate. Yemeni authorities responded with a raid on a suspected IAA facility that killed several individuals and captured others, including Khalid al-Nabi al-Yazidi, the group's leader. The IAA's previous involvement in terrorist attacks includes the throwing of a grenade into the British Embassy compound in Sanaa in October 2000. In 2001, Yemeni authorities 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 claimed that the group is operationally defunct, their attribution of the 2003 attack against the medical convoy and reports that the group's leader was released from prison in October 2003 suggest that the IAA, or at least elements of the group, may remain active.
Location/Area of Operation
Operates in the southern governorates of Yemen, primarily Aden and Abyan.