Death of Qassim M. Aklan

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department SpokespersonOffice of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

October 11, 2012

We are deeply saddened by the killing of Qassim M. Aklan, a longtime employee of the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a. We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms possible and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. Mr. Aklan, a Yemeni citizen, worked as a Foreign Service National Investigator at the Embassy for the last 11 years. He was a dedicated professional who will be greatly missed. We are coordinating closely with the Yemeni authorities to investigate this attack and to help bring those responsible to justice. MORE.

Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Sharia as an Alias for Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 4, 2012


The Department of State amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and E.O. 13224 designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula to include the new alias, Ansar al-Shari’a (AAS). The Department of State previously designated AQAP as an FTO and under E.O. 13224 on January 19, 2010.

AAS – which is based in Yemen and is a separate entity from Ansar al-Shari’a in Libya – was established to attract potential followers to shari’a rule in areas under the control of AQAP. However, AAS is simply AQAP’s effort to rebrand itself, with the aim of manipulating people to join AQAP’s terrorist cause. AAS has publicly stated that the particular brand of shari’a they hope to implement is the same as that espoused by the Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group and designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that includes al-Qa’ida in Iraq.

AAS has taken responsibility for multiple attacks against Yemeni forces. One such attack, which took place in May 2012, killed more than 100 Yemeni soldiers in a suicide bombing during a parade. In March 2012, a series of attacks and armed assaults by AAS in southern Yemen killed 100 people, many of whom were Yemeni soldiers.

The consequences of adding the new alias for AQAP include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, Ansar al-Shari’a, and the freezing of all property and interest in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.

In addition, today the United Nations 1267/1989 Al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee listed AAS. As a consequence the group now faces a worldwide assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo. The actions taken today against AAS support the U.S. effort to degrade the capabilities of its parent organization, AQAP. We are determined to eliminate AQAP’s ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the United Nations Security Council session on peace and security in the Middle East, New York, NY, September 26, 2012.  You can read the Secretary’s full remarks here.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Yemeni President Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi in New York, New York on September 25, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Yemeni President Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi in New York, New York on September 25, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton comments on events in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, during the opening plenary of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C., September 13, 2012.

State Department Welcomes 2012 TechWomen to San Francisco

Sanae Baatti, a Moroccan mentee, and Taghrid Samak, an American mentor, participate in TechWomen 2012, an international exchange that leverages technology as a means to empower women and girls, in San Francisco, California, September 5, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Lee Satterfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Yesterday, the 2012 class of TechWomen arrived in San Francisco to participate in an international exchange that leverages technology as a means to empower women and girls from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia and Yemen. Forty-one female emerging leaders in the technology field from the Middle East and North Africa will be paired with American counterparts for a five-week mentoring program. Click here to learn more.

Launched by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011, TechWomen builds on her vision of “smart power.” It embraces the full range of diplomatic tools, in this case technology, to bring people together for greater understanding and to empower women and… more »

Secretary Clinton in Saudi Arabia

From left to right: United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Hamad bin Jassim, Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al-Thani, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, pose for a group photo before a U.S.- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 31, 2012. [AP Photo]

Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 30-31, 2012. While in Riyadh, she met with King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. During their meeting, King Abdullah and Secretary Clinton discussed the situation in Iran and upcoming plans for the P-5+1 meetings with the Iranians. They talked about Syria in advance of the second meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People, which is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey on April 1, 2012. They also discussed Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, global oil supplies, and… more »

Renewing America’s Global Leadership

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the Clinton School of Public Service as part of the Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series on Sept. 30, 2011 in Little Rock, Ark. [AP Photo]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks today for the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series in Little Rock, Arkansas. During her remarks, Secretary Clinton said:

"…Before I begin, I want to say a few serious words about events because we had a very significant event in Yemen earlier today, when we learned of the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader and chief propagandist of al-Qaida’s most active and dangerous affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. This is the terrorist group that tried to blow up an airplane filled with innocent people on Christmas Day in 2009, that attempted to bring down U.S. cargo planes in 2010. Awlaki took a leading role in those plots and in spreading an ideology of hate and violence. But today, like Usama bin Ladin and so many other terrorist leaders who have been killed or captured in recent years,… more 

DipNote: The Week in Review

Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at UNESCO event in Paris, France, May 26, 2011. [State Dept.]

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.

Last week, President Barack Obama embarked on a six-day trip to Europe, where he visited Ireland, the United KingdomFrance and Poland to engage our allies in the region and participate in the G-8 Summit. In remarks to the British Parliament, President… more »

Because of ongoing civil unrest and large-scale protests in Yemen, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs urges U.S. citizens to depart Yemen while commercial transportation is available, May 27, 2011.