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Under the Constant Watch of Al Qaeda

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“As a woman you have specific concerns with Al Qaeda,” Safa al-Ahmad, who journeyed deep into Al Qaeda-controlled territory to film tonight’s broadcast, Al Qaeda in Yemen,tells The World‘s Marco Werman. “It just take one wrong move for them to possibly feel offended and decide that’s it.”

In the audio embedded below, al-Ahmad described how she and reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad were under the constant watch of their Al Qaeda handlers as they investigated how the group has gained control of territories in southern Yemen — where the government is largely defunct — over the last year.

She describes how Al Qaeda is trying to win over “the hearts and minds” of the local population. “They made a point of telling us they are providing water and electricity, they abolished taxes — they were really into running the town.” But she also warns about what is to come.