How Dangerous is Al Qaeda in Yemen?

ABC News' Martha Raddatz reports on the connection between the Paris terror suspects and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
3:10 | 01/11/15

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Transcript for How Dangerous is Al Qaeda in Yemen?
now we turn to one group claiming responsibility for the attacks, Al Qaeda in Yemen. The terror group has been pummeled by U.S. Air strikes. The group's American born cleric Anwar Al awlaki was killed by a drone in 2011 but his followers continue to plot and inspire terror. ABC's chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz has traveled to Yemen several times. She brings us this report. Reporter: In the middle of Friday's dramatic siege on the two brothers who carried out that reign of terror in this week, one of them, cherif kouachi, boasted to a French television station that the men had been directed by aqap, Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, and that they had been financed by one of the group's top leaders, American born cleric Anwar Al awlaki. Soon after the deadly siege ended, a top leader of the yemen-based aqap praised the attacks calling France a beacon of blasphemy. A separate statement claiming aqap directed the attack in revenge for the honor of the prophet Muhammad who the French magazine had depicted in cartoons. U.s. Officials said at least one of the brothers had traveled to Yemen for terrorist training in 2011. The fact that he was in Yemen getting trained as a terrorist working with terrorists was grounds to arrest him. Reporter: This week's deadly attacks by the French terror cell carries on aqap's efforts to strike western targets with the group directly involved in previous attacks on the U.S. Including the attempted bombing of a U.S. Airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas 2009 by so-called underwear bomber mar farouk abdulmutallab who had been trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen. I traveled to Yemen just days after the attempted bombing visiting the school where abdulmutallab came to study arabic before being equipped with his explosives. This is the third floor room where abdulmutallab spent most of his time while he was at the institute here in Yemen, just a bed, a desk, a closet. And even with the american-born Al awlaki killed by a U.S. Drone strike in 2011, the cleric continues to inspire attacks in the U.S. And Europe. Aqap remains a lethal threat and a terrorist network that continues to threaten not just the region but the west. And Martha Raddatz joins us now. Martha, we just heard admiral Kirby say that aqap remains a lethal threat despite what you pointed out as about 100 air strikes by the United States against aqap. What exactly are they capable of right now? Reporter: Well, they've certainly been degraded over the years but still considered very capable, very dangerous. There are still training camps operating in Yemen and clearly as we said, Anwar Al awlaki is viewed as a martyr by some in the group, and they use him to inspire others to carry out attacks, but still the U.S. Very concerned about aqap and any kind of attack they could carry out, and they could do almost anything, George. Thanks, Martha.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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