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CTP’s Threat Update series is a weekly update and assessment of Iran and the al Qaeda network. CTP’s Iran team follows developments on the internal politics, nuclear negotiations, and regional conflicts closely. The al Qaeda network update includes detailed assessments of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Maghreb and Sahel.
Below are the top three takeaways from the week:
1. UN-led Yemeni peace talks collapsed as both sides continued to take offensive actions on the ground. Coalition-aligned forces seized key territory in northern Yemen and al Houthi-Saleh forces fired a Tochka missile at a coalition camp in Taiz, killing a Saudi officer.
2. The December 17 signing Libyan Government of National Accord agreement and establishment of a new unity government is unlikely to unite factions on the ground and will probably further fracture the state. Delegates from Libya’s two rival governments, the Tripoli-based General National Congress and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, signed the accord, but did not represent their constituencies. Some Libyan armed groups may re-align themselves with the new government in order to increase their legitimacy among international observers.
3. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) media arm countered the emergence of an Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham presence in Algeria with propaganda showing AQIM militants proselytizing to locals. Al Qaeda affiliates continue to build a base within populations through local outreach campaigns.