As one well-connected Yemeni told me, Tariq al-Fadhli does not have great contacts in the new generation of al-Qaeda. While I agree that this is true, it also isn't that difficult to get in contact with them. I know I have personally spoken to members of the older generation of al-Qaeda in Yemen, who are being vilified by the younger generation, and they were still able to get messages back and forth.
Also, it seems more likely that the mediation with al-Fadhli had more to do with Abyan and the Islamists there than it did with al-Qaeda. Still, al-Ghad has consistently published some of the best stuff on al-Qaeda in Yemen over the past two years so it is difficult to discount their reporting immediately.
It will take a while for this to all shake out, but for the moment, I continue to be skeptical of the report.