The Pentagon says Navy SEALs scooped up laptops, hard drives and cell phones in last month's Yemen raid, but multiple US officials told NBC News that none of the intelligence gleaned from the operation so far has proven actionable or vital - contrary to what President Trump said in his speech to Congress Tuesday...
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Al-Qaeda had taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct, and inspire terror attacks against America and its allies.
The strikes were conducted in partnership with the Yemeni government, Davis said.
Abu al Khayr al-Masri, the No. 2 man for al Qaeda behind leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been killed by a missile strike in Idlib, Syria, according to multiple sources.
The aftermath of the Yemen raid exists in two separate dimensions right now.
The 20 strikes, conducted over a several-hour period beginning 3 a.m. local time, targeted AQAP's "military, equipment and infrastructure", according to a Defense Department statement. An NBC News report Monday said that USA intelligence officials said the raid produced no real actionable intelligence.
The strikes follow a January 29 raid against AQAP by USA commandos, an operation that resulted in the death of 14 militants and a Navy SEAL, as well as civilians.
Adam Baron, visiting fellow at the Europe Council on Foreign Relations in Beirut, said the U.S. was trying to assert its authority in Yemen. According to media reports, the operation's goal was to capture or kill the group's leader Qassim Rimi, who is considered the third most risky terrorist in the world and a master recruiter.
The US lost a V22 Osprey aircraft due to ground fire from militants in fortified positions.
They said there were a number of casualties, including children.
One media official in Bayda said a total of 23 airstrikes were carried out by US jets. The ferocity of the firefight was another indicator of the information they were protecting, the official said.
Owen's father, Bill, has called for an investigation into the raid's planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing.