Video Emerges of 'Brazen' al-Qaeda Meeting

In attendance: Nasser al-Wuhayshi
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2014 10:41 AM CDT

A CNN analyst is calling it an "extraordinary video"; Washington Post reporter Greg Miller calls it a "brazen" scene: a lengthy clip of what appears to be the largest meeting of al-Qaeda members in years, an open-air gathering of some 100 militants somewhere in Yemen. The video (an untranslated version appears on YouTube) was recently posted to militant websites and was covered by CNN yesterday. What US officials would say: The video does seem to be recent and authentic, and it's being carefully reviewed. What they won't say: If they knew the meeting—which al-Qaeda's No. 2 attended—was taking place, or if the video is what tipped them off.

That honcho, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi, shows his face in the video and "looks unconcerned" about the possibility of a US drone hitting the meeting, notes CNN. He urges attacks against America. "We must eliminate the cross," he said, and "the bearer of the cross is America." Other faces, however, were digitally obscured; the Post suggests this may because those faces belong to Western recruits. It further sees Wuhayshi's prominence in the video as a move that could be designed to expand his following and cement his position as Ayman al-Zawahiri's successor. (Reports say Wuhayshi was groomed by Osama bin Laden himself.)

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