Since he was sworn in, President Donald Trump has given the U.S. military more power to fight terrorist groups including Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda is also known by its initials AQAP. A Defense official said that AQAP wants to attack the The Pentagon. The official also said that they believe Al Qaeda's allies in Yemen are a threat to the U.S.
AQAP is always at the top of the list of terrorist groups who are a threat to America.
The U.S. attacked the AQAP hideout for more than five days in March with more than 40 air strikes in Yemen. The attack was ordered by President Trump to raid the AQAP hiding place in January. The plan was to get the terrorists' computers, cell phones, and hard drives to learn more about the group and their bad activities.
A Navy SEAL died in the raid. Critics of Trump said the U.S. should not be sent to fight in an area where they face stronger enemies. Defense officials led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis answered back that the raid was successful because they got important intel from it like names and contacts. The new details will help the military plan future operations against the group.
U.S. officials said that ISIS remains the bigger threat for a long time. That terrorist group can also harm more countries. But AQAP as part of Al Qaeda is focused on attacking only the U.S. It has strong views against the West, especially the U.S.
AQAP was responsible for the attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris two years ago.