The May 21, 2012, suicide attack on Yemeni soldiers parading in Sana`a’s al-Sabin Square marked a turning point in Yemen’s struggle against al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] and its subsidiary, Ansar al-Shari`a. Coming two weeks after Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s pledge to purge terrorists from “every district, village, and place,” the perpetrators cast the bombing as a retaliatory strike. The bombing also revealed more parochial motives. In addition to retaliation, Ansar al-Shari`a claimed to avenge “the demonstrators and all Muslims who tasted the scourge of the Yemeni central security forces” during the Arab Spring protests. This emphasis on national struggle reflects a phase shift in al-Qa`ida’s messaging and methods.