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‘Core’ Al Qaeda Gathering in Yemen

11:42 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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AQAP built its own training camps in post-Qaddafi Libya. As documented in a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, the CIA reported in 2012 that AQAP, MJN and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) “have conducted training, built communication networks, and facilitated extremist travel across North Africa from their safe haven in parts of eastern Libya.” That same Senate Intelligence Committee report found that terrorists “affiliated” with each of these groups “participated in the September 11, 2012, attacks.” CNN previously reported that Yemenis from AQAP had been involved in the Benghazi attack.

But the Benghazi attack, the meeting in Yemen, and just about everything else done by al Qaeda outside of South Asia is supposed to be work of “affiliates,” or “local” jihadists -- not al Qaeda’s “core.” The facts show otherwise, that al Qaeda maintains an international terrorist network. And al Qaeda’s leaders are not tied to any one geographic location.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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