16 March 2011
The next base? Concerns about Somalia and Yemen
By Lydia Khalil
As the al-Qaeda organisation in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to suffer serious setbacks, two important regional affiliates—Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), headquartered in Yemen, and Somalia’s al-Shabaab movement—are growing stronger.
One of the most dangerous things they could cooperate on is the training and exchange of foreign fighters, Australians included.
Australian passport holders who travel to either one of these destinations for training pose a serious threat to national security interests and domestic safety. Although intelligence cooperation with key allies like the US is important, Australia will also need to adjust its domestic counter-terrorism focus as the al-Qaeda threat migrates from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and Somalia.