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Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in ‘extraordinary’ Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Al Qaeda has released a video of the largest known gathering of the terrorist organization's members in years, and it appears as though the intelligence community didn't know about it or couldn't get a drone there in time to take out its members, CNN reported.

Al Qaeda's "crown prince," Nasir al-Wuhayshi, is shown right out in the open, essentially mocking the U.S. with the move. Experts believe the video is recent.

"We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!" the terrorist organization's No. 2 man said to a crowd of more than 100 in Yemen, the video shows.

"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," said Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst.

"This is quite an extraordinary video," Paul Cruickshank, CNN terrorism analyst, said. "His message to the United States [...] was very much the same as [former al Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden's: 'We're coming after you.'"

The video worries analysts because al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has a bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, who can produce bombs that cannot be detected. Americans know al-Asiri from his involvement with the failed 2009 Christmas Day attack by "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

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