A large contingent of al-Qaeda fighters were videotaped meeting in the Yemen desert for a conclave aimed at strategizing for the future and rallying their ranks.
The video of the rendezvous, which was released onto Jihadi web forums and screened on CNN this week, shows a large group of armed men seemingly unconcerned by the possibility that they might be targeted from the air.
Many of the terror group’s leadership in Yemen have been targeted by American drones, making the meeting, with a number of high-ranking terrorists, all the more extraordinary.
In the video, the fighters are greeted by the man considered al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, according to a CNN report. Although some of the more than 100 al-Qaeda operatives in the video kept their faces covered, Wuhayshi is clearly seen as he addresses the men. The footage was edited in places to blur out the faces of some of those present, to hide their identities.
As he speaks to the gathering, Wuhayshi is seen labeling the US as a target for destruction.
“We must eliminate the cross,” he said. “The bearer of the cross is America!”