al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
a Yemen-based offshoot of al-Qaeda that grew out of a 2009 merger of al-Qaeda branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Members of AQAP orchestrated the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, in Aden, Yemen. The group has also launched several attacks in the region and has unsuccessfully tried to attack U.S. soil on multiple occasions. The U.S. intelligence community considers it the strongest and most dangerous of al-Qaeda’s regional groups.