The U.S. military released and then quickly removed what it said were clips from instructional videos seized in last weekend's Yemen raid that appear to be old al-Qaida training footage made public about 10 years ago.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis asserted Friday that the video was “definitely” taken in the raid, along with “significant, actionable intelligence” taken from electronic media that the Pentagon was not able to release to the public.
“It does not matter when the video was made; that they had it is still illustrative of who they are and what their intentions are,” Davis said.
A U.S. military official told VOA that officials were tasked with quickly providing some information gathered from the raid in Yemen’s al-Bayda province that could be unclassified and released to the public.
The official said they honed in on an instructional video taken from the compound and, in their haste, failed to realize the age of the selected video.
U.S. Air Force Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, acknowledged that the videos, which were removed shortly after they were released, appear to be older.
A U.S. military official said the clips were taken down from a website due to concerns that they would be misinterpreted as an attempt by the military to “repackage” old intelligence.
A fierce firefight ensued during the raid, and airpower and aerial gunfire was called in to help the Navy SEAL team exit the mission.
Navy SEAL Ryan Owens and 14 militants, including operational planners and weapons experts for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, were killed in the fighting, Central Command said.
The Pentagon is now investigating the incident, which Central Command has said “likely killed” civilians, including children.
The video clips released as examples of intelligence gathered during the raid showed a lab-like setting with man in a white coat talking about “how to destroy the cross with explosives."