Elite security forces carried out multiple raids on Al Qaeda hideouts in Yemen earlier today, a government official told Fox News.
The raids, the latest in a major crackdown on the terror group's Arabian Peninsula faction, came in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a and suburbs. Multiple elite branch security personnel took part in the simultaneous raids, the source said, killing and detaining some militants who were described to Fox News as "dangerous operatives," though not high value targets, the term used for the AQAP leadership.
The series of raids, with U.S. drone strikes, since last weekend, including today's raids in the capital, are described by the Yemeni government official as the "most aggressive" since 2012.
Asked what precipitated the raids, the official said there was intelligence suggesting a plot targeting an energy facility in Yemen, adding the intensity of the raids reflects "solid intelligence" gathered over a "significant" period of time.
The raids in the south last weekend, a rugged area akin to the tribal areas of Pakistan, was possible in part because the Yemeni government official said AQAP had become "very comfortable" even "relaxed" which led to security errors.
Earlier this week, Fox News reported that recent AQAP propaganda video was a "gold mine" of intelligence, according to the same official, revealing faces, likely locations, vehicles even license plates.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.