Despite conflicting reports, the Special Operations mission in Yemen right after President Trump took office has been a source of large amounts of intelligence.
According to recent reports, the computers, cell phones, and devices that were taken in the raid by the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 have provided an inside glimpse of training tactics, new bomb making, and hidden explosives types, as well as targets that Al-Qaeda may be looking at in the future.
President Trump called the raid “highly successful” at the address to Congress, but many Democrats are saying that the raid netted little usable intelligence. A member of SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer William, “Ryan” Owens was killed in action, three other Americans were wounded and an aircraft was destroyed deliberately during a fierce 50-minute firefight with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists in Central Yemen.
On February 1, Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary said that the raid had “gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil.” Last Sunday, his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the mission “did yield a substantial amount of very important intel and resources that helped save American and other lives.”
Col. John J. Thomas, a spokesman for Central Command, responded this week to criticism leveled at the information’s significance, writing in an email: “The information that was gathered was part of an ongoing effort to build our understanding of AQAP. We are not expecting to find any particular fact or puzzle piece. We are looking to build our understanding of an enemy who exports and inspires terrorist acts around the world.”
Preliminary intelligence centered around the new explosive devices, non-metallic explosives that can be hidden in body cavities to deter detection, Al-Qaeda’s training techniques and the global network of terror organizations that may give clues to where they intend to strike next.
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Photo courtesy DOD
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