Al-Qaida’s Yemeni Branch Initiated Plot Itself

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 9, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

The re­cently dis­covered Middle East ter­ror­ism plot was not ar­ranged and planned by al-Qaida lead­er Ay­man al-Za­wahiri, but rather by the head of the un­der­world group’s Ye­meni branch, Nas­ir al-Wuhay­shi, the Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted.

This rev­el­a­tion was among ad­di­tion­al de­tails offered by a seni­or U.S. of­fi­cial on Thursday re­gard­ing the threat that caused the White House to close 19 U.S. em­bassies.

The com­mu­nic­a­tion that the United States in­ter­cep­ted was a present­a­tion by the Ye­meni branch lead­er to Za­wahiri, who then gave Wuhay­shi his im­plied go-ahead, cur­rent and former U.S. of­fi­cials said in in­ter­views with the Journ­al.

“Za­wahiri isn’t dir­ect­ing the plot that we’re con­cerned about em­an­at­ing from Ye­men,” the seni­or gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said.

Dur­ing the ter­ror­ists’ con­fer­ence call, which in­cluded oth­er lead­ers of the cent­ral group and al-Qaida’s glob­al off­shoots, Wuhay­shi was also pro­moted to gen­er­al man­ager for al-Qaida’s op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Beast. He is now a sig­ni­fic­ant tar­get for the United States, ac­cord­ing to the web­site.

The Ye­meni branch, known as al-Qaida in the Ar­a­bi­an Pen­in­sula, has ex­pan­ded in re­cent months in­to a large and isol­ated east­ern province of Ye­men called Ha­d­ramaut, the Wash­ing­ton Post  re­por­ted. Ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per, AQAP wants to cre­ate a new haven in the re­gion that is the an­ces­tral home­land of al-Qaida’s founder, Osama bin Laden.