U.S. gathered valuable intelligence from Yemen raid

U.S. gathered valuable intelligence from Yemen raid

U.S. gathered valuable intelligence from Yemen raid

Yet analysts cautioned that information about the group and its plots was substantially curtailed when US advisers withdrew from Yemen in March 2015, after Houthi rebels ousted the government of President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi, the United States' main counterterrorism partner.

Days into the Trump administration, Navy SEALs conducted a raid against AQAP in the al Bayda province.

None of the officials were authorized to discuss the matter publicly, so they spoke on condition of anonymity.

The group boasts one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, and AQAP has been a persistent concern to the USA government ever since a 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

The terabyte's worth of intelligence gathered from computers and cell phones is now being reviewed at the National Media Exploitation Center outside Washington, which analyzes documents, electronic media, cell phones, video and audio tapes seized on overseas missions.

The nighttime raid on January 28 conducted by SEAL Team Six in rural southern Yemen was intended as an intelligence gathering mission targeting a known AQAP compound, officials said.

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The US is working to locate and monitor hundreds of people, or "contacts", found as part of the intelligence retrieved during the raid last month in Yemen targeting an al Qaeda affiliate, several US officials told CNN.

Al-Qaida in Yemen, seen as the militant group's most unsafe offshoot, has seized large swaths of land and entire cities starting from 2011, the year the mass uprising started and ended with longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh leaving power.

The operation has come under fire from some lawmakers and Owens's father, who has asked for an investigation and questioned why the raid was carried out in the first place. Another official said four al-Qaida militants were killed in the airstrikes that targeted Shabwa's Saeed district.

Yemen has been wracked by a civil war between forces loyal to the government and Houthi rebels. The United States has also supported the oil-rich Saudi Arabia with military advisers, logistics and intelligence in addition to billions of dollars in arms.

Throughout the years, the USA has depended on drone strikes in hunting down al-Qaida's top leaders and operatives.

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