Daesh and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are working together in Yemen, the head of the CIA John Brennan said in an interview.
Speaking to CTC Sentinel, a publication from the West Point military academy’s Combating Terrorism Centre, Brennan explained that groups sometimes collaborate to maximise their efficiency in counteracting counterterrorism. He explained that this is more likely to happen in countries that are furthest from the Daesh heartlands in Syria and Iraq because they have less military strength than the original branches.
“The farther away you get from that [Daesh] heartland of Syria and Iraq, the more likely you’re going to see collaboration between Al Qaeda elements, [Daesh] elements, and others,” he said.
“We see it right now in Yemen…. There are indications that, in fact, they’re working together.”
He stated the main indicator that that AQAP and Daesh are working together in Yemen is that they are not fighting against each other, as opposed to the way Al-Qaeda branches and Daesh do in Syria. He also acknowledged that Daesh has supported AQAP against the Hadi government in its operation to push AQAP out of the Mukalla port in Hadhramaut.