- FYI April 17
A new video featuring Nasir al-Wahishi, believed to be the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has surfaced. In it, al-Wahishi is seen with dozens of fighters, some of whom likely escaped from a Yemen prison.
"The enemy crusader still has cards to play," he says in the tape, which is being analyzed by security officials. "We must remember that we are always fighting against the big enemy. We must eliminate the cross held by the cross bearer America."
An unidentified U.S. official told ABC News that the intelligence community believes it is an authentic video. "The depiction of such a large gathering of fighters and the appearance of senior leaders are atypical of AQAP's propaganda videos," the official said. The U.S. State Department agrees that this large gathering was "unusual," but doesn't believe that it correlates with the organization's power.
"I don't think we can make generalizations about their strength based on one video, quite frankly," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Wednesday. "We know they’ve been gaining strength." --Catherine Garcia
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