WikiLeaks benefiting AQAP?

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Yemen's al-Qaida franchise could use portions of the latest WikiLeaks dump as a recruiting tool, an expert on Yemen says.

Internet watchdog group WikiLeaks sent the U.S. diplomatic community scrambling to save face after thousands of documents from embassy staff were sent to various media outlets.


Cables describing a meeting between U.S. Gen. David Petraeus and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh could be fodder for the recruitment efforts of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, National Public Radio reports.

AQAP stormed onto the radar of the U.S. intelligence community after its ideological leader Anwar al-Awlaki contacted the suspects in at least two plots targeting the United States.

The cable describes the Yemeni president telling Petraeus that his government would take credit for attacks on AQAP targets in December, though it may have been U.S. missiles used in the strikes.

Gregory Johnsen, an expert on Yemen at Princeton University, said the WikiLeaks cables don't reveal much new information to those who monitor events closely.

"But when you get outside, in some of the tribal areas where al-Qaida is really attempting to recruit people, having something like this where the president and his ministers are on the record talking about lying and deceiving Parliament and the Yemeni public, I think it will have traction," he told the broadcaster.


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