A June 7 report from Amnesty International offers photographs of US-made cluster bombs that it says were used in a December attack against suspected Al Qaeda members.
The findings, which confirm what many analysts have long suspected, could quiet American fears that the US hasn't been active enough in cracking down on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest airliner. But the assertion of US involvement also could give Yemen-based militants a powerful new recruiting tool.
“It is incredibly dangerous what the US is trying to do in Yemen at the moment because it really fits into AQAP’s broader strategy, in which it says Yemen is not different from Iraq and Afghanistan,” says Mr. Johnsen of Princeton University in New Jersey, who adds that AQAP can recruit militants from outside Yemen as well. “They are able to make the argument that Yemen is a legitimate front for jihad… They’ve been making that argument since 2007, but incidents like this are all sort of fodder for their argument.”