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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/17/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Terrifying new video shows more than 100 terrorists meeting in Yemen

"This is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded terrorists in Yemen. He cuts to the chase: "We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!"

In the video, the nefarious 'crown prince' of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded terrorists in Yemen. He cuts to the chase: 'We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!'

In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded terrorists in Yemen. He cuts to the chase: "We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!"

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/17/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, Yemen, video, terror


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrorist authorities say the video appears to be the largest and most dangerous gathering of al-Qaeda in years. Both the CIA and the Pentagon were unaware of the meeting and unable to declare a drone strike. Every frame of the video is now being intensely analyzed.

In the middle of the clip, al-Wuhayshi greets his followers in Yemen. The second in-command of al-Qaeda globally and the head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, he says he wants to attack the U.S. He appears unconcerned that he could be hit at any moment by an American drone.

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Appearing on jihadist Web sites recently, the video has drawn the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. They believe it's authentic. It's acknowledged that the al-Qaeda leader took "a big risk in doing this."

U.S. officials worry the video signals a new round of plotting. "The U.S. intelligence community should be surprised that such a large group of al Qaeda assembled together, including the leadership, and somehow they didn't notice," Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst says.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP, is considered the most dangerous al-Qaeda affiliate. While both the CIA and the Pentagon have repeatedly killed AQAP leaders with drone strikes, the group has now been emboldened.

"The main problem about this group is that it has a bomb maker who can put bombs on to planes that can't be detected," Bergen said.

Bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is believed to be responsible for several attack attempts against the U.S., including the failed 2009 Christmas Day underwear bomber attack in Detroit. While he doesn't appear in the video, intelligence experts say he and other AQAP leaders have gone back to using couriers to communicate to avoid detection.

But the terror group leader's goal is clear, Cruickshank said. "His message to the United States," Cruickshank said, "was very much the same as (former al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden's: 'We're coming after you.'"

"I think they have these meetings more often than people realize," U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "It's difficult to get assets in position. You have to know where they are and where they meet at the right time in the right place with the right equipment. That's a lot to do."

One thing is certain: al-Qaeda remains a dangerous threat.

"We think that they're feeling empowered. The less pressure you put on them, the more they take that as a victory, the more that they believe that they can get away with plotting, planning, organizing as you saw there (in the video), finance, training," he said.

"All of the things that they would need to do to strike a Western target, they're going through that process."

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