By Idrees Ali
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid questions about a raid in Yemen earlier this week, in which a U.S. Navy SEAL and some civilians including an eight-year-old girl were killed, the Pentagon on Friday said good intelligence was collected and released clips of video retrieved in the raid.
One of the five short clips released by the U.S. Central Command shows a man in a lab coat and a black mask in front of a white board talking about how to "destroy the cross with explosives," according to the translation in the video.
It then cuts to a clip of unidentified liquids being mixed in a scientific beaker, and ends with some material catching fire and a small explosion."The videos 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," an accompanying statement from Central Command said.
Despite multiple attempts to kill him with drone strikes and other attacks, al-Qaeda's most feared bomb designer, Ibrahim al-Asiri, is still believed to be in Yemen, and there is a U.S. reward of as much as $5 million for his capture.
U.S. officials have said he has been trying to develop liquid explosives that could be implanted in the human body, but it is not known if he was a target of the raid. For 15 years, al-Qaeda and other groups have been using bombs made with an explosive made from hydrogen peroxide.
Central Command added that among those killed in the raid were two al Qaeda operations planners and weapons experts.
The U.S. military said on Wednesday it was looking into whether more civilians were killed in the raid on al Qaeda in Yemen on Jan. 29, in the first operation authorized by President Donald Trump as commander in chief.
U.S. Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens was killed in the raid on a branch of al Qaeda, also known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, in al Bayda province, which the Pentagon said also killed 14 militants. However, medics at the scene said about 30 people, including 10 women and children, were killed.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by John Walcott and Bernadette Baum)