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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States gained valuable intelligence from last month's raid in Yemen about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), including its explosives manufacturing, targeting, training and recruitment practices, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressed that such insight was particularly important given the threat that AQAP has long posed.

The group boasts one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, and AQAP has been a persistent concern to the U.S. government ever since a 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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