Drone attacks kill dozens of AQ operatives in Yemen following confab

posted at 10:01 am on April 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, CNN reported that an al-Qaeda conference took place in Yemen, headed by the number-two man in the global structure, and that the US appeared to have missed it. If so, we may be making up for lost time. A series of drone attacks in Yemen has killed dozens of terrorists from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most dangerous of the constituent networks in the AQ umbrella:

An operation targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is under way in Abyan and Shabwa, Yemen, a high-level Yemeni government official who is being briefed on the strikes told CNN on Monday.

The official said that the scale of the strikes against AQAP is “massive and unprecedented” and that at least 30 militants have been killed. The operation involved Yemeni commandos who are now “going after high-level AQAP targets,” the official said.

A day earlier, suspected drone strikes targeted al Qaeda fighters in Yemen for the second time in two days, killing “at least a dozen,” the government official said.

CNN’s Mohammed Jamjoom reports that the Yemenis are a little skeptical of these operations, and that the embarrassment of missing the convention last week may be driving the claims now:

But other Yemeni officials, who asked to remain anonymous as they are not authorized to speak to the media, said there was growing frustration within the government about the lack of clarity and expressed concern that some of the information being reported by the military may be propaganda.

“I’m worried this is an attempt to convince Yemenis that the U.S. and Yemen have turned a corner and are in the process of destroying AQAP,” one of those other officials said. “At this hour, the numbers of militants being reported as being killed keeps changing, and we still aren’t sure if any civilians have been killed or wounded in these strikes.”

“Yemenis are smart enough to doubt initial reports of this type,” he added. “If this does turn out to be exaggeration, it will make the people here trust their government even less than they do and fuel growing anger over the drone program.”

It’s also possible, as I noted last week, that the US (and Yemen) had in mind a longer operation from the beginning. They may have wanted to see where all of these operatives went after the meeting in order to identify harder-to-find cells that would later metastasize on their own if left undisturbed. In that case, it makes sense that the operation would take place now — especially after AQAP began bragging about the meeting on social networks.  Or it could very well be that the drone strikes are just a semi-impotent reaction to the bragging.

It may be a while before we can tell which was which. The meeting gave US and Yemen a chance to take out AQAP leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, who also serves as Ayman al-Zawahiri’s #2 in the global network. If the drone strikes leave him undisturbed after this very public demonstration, it’s not going to be seen as a success no matter what strategy prompted it.


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While I support killing these people – you have to wonder when/where the blow back with come?

jake-the-goose on April 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Obimbo heard a lot of these guys had their goats grazing on federal lands . . .

SoRight on April 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Problem being, I can’t trust anything Dear Liar’s regime is saying.

rbj on April 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

liberals – Bush drone strikes – war criminal. obama drone strikes – THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT!!!

But hey, from a concerned private citizen, thanks for killing Al Qaeda members.

Now.

Why are you supporting these guys in Syria again?

(OT, is anyone else convinced the “Not Logged In” message phenomena is orchestrated by Jake-The-Goose to prevent other deserving commenters from scoring Bishop points?)

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Obama needed some fresh drone video war porn

Roy Rogers on April 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Yemen crisis
1h
Yemeni security officials and tribal chiefs say that a suspected US drone strike has killed several al-Qaida militants in the country’s south – @AP
read more on abcnews.go.com

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/yemen-airstrike-targets-al-qaida-training-camps-23399780

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Nobel Peace Prize update…

Galtian on April 21, 2014 at 10:10 AM

That’s what happens, infidels, when you are late with a contribution to Obama’s war chest.

Rix on April 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Excellent,…..AQ,…DOA,

er,…Dead On Impact!!

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Stand by for the dead-baby-wedding-party-photos.

Wander on April 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM

liberals – Bush drone strikes – war criminal. obama drone strikes – THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT!!!

But hey, from a concerned private citizen, thanks for killing Al Qaeda members.

Now.

Why are you supporting these guys in Syria again?

(OT, is anyone else convinced the “Not Logged In” message phenomena is orchestrated by Jake-The-Goose to prevent other deserving commenters from scoring Bishop points?)

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

+1

gwelf on April 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Well said sir

jake-the-goose on April 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Dead Al-Q…I just love it so much.

Dead people never meant so much to me as dead Al-Q. They even smell better.

thejackal on April 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

(OT, is anyone else convinced the “Not Logged In” message phenomena is orchestrated by Jake-The-Goose to prevent other deserving commenters from scoring Bishop points?)

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Who me?

jake-the-goose on April 21, 2014 at 10:16 AM

If true about these strikes, has the military taken the battle in their own hands?

Obitchy is way too busy with golf, photo ops, etc. to oversee these petty details.

jarhead0311 on April 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM

My guess is we had an agent at that meeting.

Critic2029 on April 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

My guess is we had an agent at that meeting.

Critic2029 on April 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Interesting thought.

jake-the-goose on April 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Wait a second. I call BS on this. We all know that AQ was “decimated”, “on the path to defeat”, and “on the run” years ago. Barky told us so and he wouldn’t lie. So this can’t possibly be AQ.

Trafalgar on April 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Maybe they should consider a safer place for next years convention. How about on our border with Mexico?

jmtham156 on April 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM

While I wish I could believe door number 1, history says that this is merely CYA catch-up.

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Maybe they should consider a safer place for next years convention. How about on our border with Mexico?

jmtham156 on April 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Dingy Harry’s ranch?

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM

My guess is we had an agent at that meeting.
Critic2029 on April 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

“I gotta run to the store. You all stay here.”

Akzed on April 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Or maybe Alumni Hall at Brandeis.

jmtham156 on April 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM

There is a third option.

This started out as a AQAP meeting highly watched by intelligence sources. The plan was indeed to follow participants back to their cells and contacts, perhaps including AaZ himself.

But our illustrious political leadership, feeling the need to cover their asses, ordered the strikes to occur too soon. Which leaves us without AaZ and other participants on the business end of a Hellfire.

I’m betting that’s what happened. Somebody got nervous about their approval rating and jumped too soon. It just smells way too political and unprofessional.

Marcus Traianus on April 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

(OT, is anyone else convinced the “Not Logged In” message phenomena is orchestrated by Jake-The-Goose to prevent other deserving commenters from scoring Bishop points?)

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Depends on your op-sys and/or browser, maybe.
When my Chromebook automatically logs me out of HA after a period of time without activity, my screen still claims I am logged in; however, when I try to post a comment, HA comes back and tells me I’m not logged in.

I didn’t know Jake’s evil empire was so widespread.

AesopFan on April 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

CNN’s Mohammed Jamjoom reports that the Yemenis are a little skeptical of these operations…

“Mohammed Jamjoom”? Sounds like an islamic rapper.

KS Rex on April 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I didn’t know Jake’s evil empire was so widespread.

AesopFan on April 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It’s terrifying the width and breadth of his influence over just the internet. Don’t even get me started on his control of this last years record cold winter.

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM

liberals – Bush drone strikes – war criminal. obama drone strikes – THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT!!!

But hey, from a concerned private citizen, thanks for killing Al Qaeda members.

Now.

Why are you supporting these guys in Syria again?

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

That covers everything I wanted to say.

David Blue on April 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Let’s remember as far as the lazy stupid rat-eared bastard is concerned. He’s never walked back the idea that he put on his Captain Kickass costume and decimated AQAP back before the 2012 elections. So just who the hell had to die here to make the idiot look Presidential in light of his massive failure.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Last week, CNN reported that an al-Qaeda conference took place in Yemen, headed by the number-two man in the global structure, and that the US appeared to have missed it.

Call me skeptical. I think that footage of the mass meeting along with the news coverage and resulting catcalls from the GOP got a little under Emperor-has-no-clothes Obama’s skin. Nice to see him wipe out the bad guys, but it took a CNN report to get this shitehead to walk and chew gum at the same time.

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

AQ selfies + party video = Fatal

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

“Mohammed Jamjoom”? Sounds like an islamic rapper.

KS Rex on April 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM

You’re thinking of Lil’ Jamjoom Mohammed. ;0

Serious question for any liberal or Paulbot isolationist out there that is doing the whole Michael Savage thing and whining that the US should stay the hell out of Ukraine. Why in the hell are we sending drones into Yemen against AQAP? The US hasn’t been attacked by radical Islam since the atrocities of 9/11/01.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Maybe they should consider a safer place for next years convention. How about on our border with Mexico?

jmtham156 on April 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I understand Brandeis University has some excellent facilities to support meetings of any size. And, as a bonus, since AQ won’t be plagued by pesky allegations of Islamphobia, there won’t be any whining from the faculty or student body.

dreadnought62 on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

AQ selfies + party video = Fatal

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Rule #1 of AQAP, What happens in Abyan stays in Abyan.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

They may have wanted to see where all of these operatives went after the meeting in order to identify harder-to-find cells that would later metastasize on their own if left undisturbed. In that case, it makes sense that the operation would take place now — especially after AQAP began bragging about the meeting on social networks.

Hope this is the case and we were able to see where the cockroaches went. Hopefully this is the first of several.

As much as I dislike this administration, I support assisting jihadi(s) to accomplish their goal of martyrdom by hellfire or other US ordinance.

abnormal_1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I understand Brandeis University has some excellent facilities to support meetings of any size. And, as a bonus, since AQ won’t be plagued by pesky allegations of Islamphobia, there won’t be any whining from the faculty or student body.

dreadnought62 on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Might even get CAIR as a corporate sponsor. Because if any group more epitomizes tolerance and respect for all faiths more than AQAP it would be CAIR.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Why in the hell are we sending drones into Yemen against AQAP? The US hasn’t been attacked by radical Islam since the atrocities of 9/11/01.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Playing Drone Whack-a-Mole is cheap and, even if there is collateral damage, no one really cares because those damaged weren’t ever going to be on our side in the first place.

Playing Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Bear requires some real strategizing (Are we wholly against the Russian Empire reassembling? If so, are we willing to deploy resources to not only Ukraine, but Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc.? Do we want to allow Russia to have a sphere of influence in their former turf? Are we willing to pay for this strategy? Can we pay for this strategy?) and may put us at odds with an adversary that can not only take a beating but deliver one as well. And all of that is just really tiring 19th century stuff and we really need to look forward to 21st century stuff like where are the transgender bathrooms going to go on our next class of nuclear submarines. Plus it cuts into some quality time out on the links.

However, I suspect your question was rhetorical.

dreadnought62 on April 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Might even get CAIR as a corporate sponsor. Because if any group more epitomizes tolerance and respect for all faiths more than AQAP it would be CAIR.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Oh, and the swag in the give-away bag! The can of “I can’t it tasts just like bacon” bacon substitute. The latest issue of Cosmotaliban. A coupon for a free blade sharpening at Yasir’s Scimitar Shop.

Good times.

dreadnought62 on April 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM

“If this does turn out to be exaggeration, it will make the people here trust their government even less than they do…”

My, that sounds familiar… How many Obamacare signups have there been, and how wonderfully low is that unemployment calculation again?

And boy, won’t we be astonished when the ‘new’ census calculations tell us how brilliant Obamacare is?

Midas on April 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

“Serious question for any liberal or Paulbot isolationist out there that is doing the whole Michael Savage thing and whining that the US should stay the hell out of Ukraine. Why in the hell are we sending drones into Yemen against AQAP? The US hasn’t been attacked by radical Islam since the atrocities of 9/11/01.”

AQ declared war on the US in the 1990s but it wasn’t until 9/11 that we took them seriously. We have been at war with them for more than ten years. If they sign an unconditional surrender I’m sure we’ll be happy to stop killing them. Until such time, their operatives are legitimate targets, subject to immediate death whenever and wherever found.

As for the Ukraine, I believe we should start slapping on as many diplomatic and economic sanctions as we can while ramping up our military to make it clear we will defend actual NATO members. But direct, conventional war with Russia? Over a country to which we are obligated to nothing more than complain to the security counsel? Over a multi-thousand-mile supply line that’s Russia’s next door neighbor? That’s insane.

pendell2 on April 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM

However, I suspect your question was rhetorical.

dreadnought62 on April 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Mostly. But also pointing out that the same folks out there screaming that we need to stay the hell out of Ukraine for all the reasons you listed along with taglines like “not the world’s policeman” seemingly have no problems with drone attacks on an organization like AQAP.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Stand by for the dead-baby-wedding-party-photos.

Wander on April 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM

If there are any, you’ll never see them under this administration. No way the media would run anything like that.

Midas on April 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM

“Yemenis are smart enough to doubt initial reports of this type,” he added. “If this does turn out to be exaggeration, it will make the people here trust their government even less than they do and fuel growing anger…..”

So the average Yemeni is politically smarter/savvy than the average American is about….. say the IRS or Benghazi for example?

HonestLib on April 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Drone attacks kill dozens of AQ operatives of people in Yemen following confab

I do not really trust that the government was on the ball here. I think they have killed some people. Since they are not American citizens or citizens of allies of our nation, I could care less who they are. But unless they can point to some reasonably low level credible evidence that the dozens were in fact Al Qaeda, then I do not believe it.

astonerii on April 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM

CNN just crapped on their AQ viewers, they got used. First CNN says (did US just miss an opportunity with the big meetin? then, OH this drone attack must be because they missed the BIG opportunity).

Goodie on April 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Hard to believe anything that comes out of this administration. But if dozens of AQ were killed, then great news.

Jack_Burton on April 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I’ll take this report with a lot of salt. Zero is so embarrassed over everything going wrong he desperately needs something. Even something manufactured. Oh wait. Isn’t that his first choice?

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

We’re arming them in Iraq too, by some accounts.

dogsoldier on April 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

We’re arming them in Iraq too, by some accounts.

dogsoldier on April 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Oh yeah. Jabhat Al Nusrah in Syria and ISIL from Iraq also fighting in Syria. They are seeing quite the resurgence in beheadings with all of their infighting and terror against Syrian civilians. And if you read any related site on line, the US is taking all the blame for supporting the rebels.

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

If the CIA were not the new CYA, they’d have killed all who gathered for that video, alas.

On these, may the virgins kill them again.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

My guess is we had an agent at that meeting.

Critic2029 on April 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

1. No, we didn’t.

2. If we did, and didn’t blow them all up, well then…

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Any one of you who assume that today’s CIA is more than the CYA, lawyered up and serving the PC idiocies of the admin., same as all the generals, are out of your minds.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

My guess is we had an agent at that meeting.
Critic2029 on April 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Was thinking the same thing. Why else would they not drone it?
The meeting was so blatantly out in the open during day light.

Or an al-qaeda insider high up in the Yemen govt. did a “no drone strikes today” order in cooperation with al-qaeda….

albill on April 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM

The loss of intelligence from these drone strikes is unreal.

Sven on April 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Perhaps BHO should hand the joystick to CNN. They seem to know the when and the where.

Carnac on April 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Depends on your op-sys and/or browser, maybe.
When my Chromebook automatically logs me out of HA after a period of time without activity, my screen still claims I am logged in; however, when I try to post a comment, HA comes back and tells me I’m not logged in.

I didn’t know Jake’s evil empire was so widespread.

AesopFan on April 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

You have to click on not logged in and it will go to the log in thingy. It happens to all of us now and then.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I can’t help but think if this were a Republican adminisration we’d be hearing a lot of whining about killing innocents. Strange quiet from the media.

It looks like the White House gang is trying to fill up the holes in their image. They are trying to “fix” the things they’ve been criticized for.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Poster girls for jihad

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM

CNN just crapped on their AQ viewers, they got used. First CNN says (did US just miss an opportunity with the big meetin? then, OH this drone attack must be because they missed the BIG opportunity).

Goodie on April 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Clearly Barry saw on CNN that there was a big AQ convention going on, so he fired up the Predator and took them out.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I heard those AQ conventions are nothing but a 3 day party to get away from the wife and kids.

jaywemm on April 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Can you imagine the honor of being hit by flying meat?!

If AQ were a rock concert, I’d want a front row seat!

EAT THE STINGER, B!OTCHEZ!

thejackal on April 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM