Pentagon pulls footage seized in Yemen raid | News | DW | 03.02.2017
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Pentagon pulls footage seized in Yemen raid

US defense officials have withdrawn footage released by the Pentagon, citing accusations of deliberate deception. A Pentagon spokesman said authorities "didn't know it was an old file."

The US military on Friday released footage from training videos seized during a botched raid on an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) compound in Yemen last week.

At least 14 militants, one US soldier and an unspecified number of civilians have been killed during the operation, US Central Command said in a statement. However, medics on the ground put the death toll at up to 30 people, including 10 women and children.

"The video released today are samples of a series of detailed, do-it-yourself lessons intended for aspiring terrorist bomb-makers and included an exhortation to use those techniques to attack the West," it added.

The raid marked the first of its kind under US President Donald Trump's administration, which has vowed to uproot "radical Islamic terrorism."

'We didn't know'

Shortly after releasing the footage on the website, Central Command pulled it due to concerns that video had already been available for a decade, local media reported.

"Central Command removed a video it claimed was intel gained from Yemen raid. The videos are 10 years old, news organizations have had them for years," Tara Copp of the defense department newspaper "Stars and Stripes" said in a tweet.

Central Command spokesman Colonel John Thomas said the video was pulled due to accusations that "we are putting out the information and trying to be deceptive ... that's not the case."

"We didn't know it was an old file," he added.

US authorities dubbed the AQAP the "most dangerous regional node in the global jihad" after American forces killed the militant group's leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

However, the "Islamic State" has proven a dangerous rival to al-Qaeda's strain of militancy in the region and abroad, claiming large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria as well as numerous attacks across the globe, including in Berlin, Paris and Brussels.

ls/gsw (AP, Reuters, AFP)