- New allegations claim that an 8-year-old Yemeni boy who was abandoned by his biological family was then roped back into their clutches
- The boy's biological father works for the Yemeni Republican Guard, which helps U.S. forces, and they asked have an al Qaeda operative located
- That operative had been added to the U.S. 'kill list'
- The Republican Guard knew that one of their officer's children had been taken in by that target, Adnan al-Qadhi, so they called the biological father and asked him to have his son place the chip on the surrogate father
- The boy complied and days later, Qadhi was killed in a drone strike
The Republican Guard is an elite faction of the country’s military, and they have worked with U.S. forces in the past in order to help locate terrorists.
|Target: Adnan al-Qadhi (pictured) was on the U.S. 'kill|
list' and Kulyabi's superiors in the Yemeni
Republican Guard- which supports American forces- arranged
to have Barq place tracking devices on Qadhi
The Atlantic reported that Barq was thrilled to be reunited with his parents and siblings for a few days, and then his father took him to a meeting with Republican Guard officials on October 25, less than two weeks before the 2012 presidential election.
During the meeting, they taught the boy how to activate the electronic chips and stressed how important it was for the boy not to tell Qadhi about the devices, adding that he needed to plant them on the target a week later.
Barq's biological father, Kulaybi, then drove his son back to Bayt al-Ahmar and the boy re-established contact with his former surrogate father.
Qadhi took Barq back into his home, and on October 31, the pint-sized spy made his move.
'I climbed on the table where his coat was and put [a tracking chip] in his pocket,' Barq recounted later in a confession video.
The tracking device was planted on the 31st, and a week went by- an important one where Barack Obama was re-elected- before the drone strike was actually ordered. A day after the votes were counted, a drone struck Qadhi and a colleague as they were driving.
White House officials denied the version of events to The Atlantic, taking particular issue with the implication that they recruited an 8-year-old to do their dirty work.
'The claim that the U.S. government was in any way involved in purportedly using an 8-year-old in this incident is unequivocally wrong,' a White House spokesman told the magazine.
While the U.S. got their target, al Qaeda eventually got theirs as well, capturing Barq and his father and forcing them to make a confession video where they explain what Republican Guard officers they had spoken to and what their roles in the set up were.
The video was released on the internet, publicly releasing the confession, but they have not addressed the status of Kulaybi or his son.
Local sources told The Atlantic that Kulaybi was undoubtedly executed, though al Qaeda may have spared the 8-year-old because they claimed his innocence was taken advantage of by his father.
Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America?