The Islamic Army of Aden (IAA) emerged publicly in mid-1998 when the group released a series of communiques that expressed support for Usama Bin Ladin and appealed for the overthrow of the Yemeni Government and operations against US and other Western interests in Yemen. IAA’s assets were frozen under E.O. 13224 in September 2001, and it was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in the same month.
Engages in bombings and kidnappings to promote its goals. Kidnapped 16 British, US, and Australian tourists in late December 1998 near Mudiyah in southern Yemen. Since the capture and trial of the Mudiyah kidnappers and the execution in October 1999 of the group’s leader, Zein al-Abidine al-Mihdar (a.k.a. Abu Hassan), individuals associated with the IAA have remained involved in terrorist activities on a number of occasions. In 2001, the Yemeni Government convicted an IAA member and three associates for their role in the bombing in October 2000 of the British Embassy in Sanaa. The current status of the IAA is unknown. Despite the appearance of several press statements attributed to the IAA and released through intermediaries and the Internet in 2002, Yemeni officials claim that the group is operationally defunct.
Operates in the southern governorates of Yemen—primarily Aden and Abyan.