Al Qaeda Articles

Obama’s Own JV Team

After the bin Laden raid, the deluge.
Oct 06, 2014

Last week brought a reminder of what the United States has lost since Bob Gates and Leon Panetta left the Obama cabinet. Both are straight shooters with a centrist, hardheaded sensibility. 

Panetta has been making headlines with his criticism of Obama on 60 Minutes for pulling out of Iraq too soon (“I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq”) and not doing more early on to aid the Syrian opposition (“we pay the price for not doing that in what we see happening with ISIS”).

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Misunderstanding al Qaeda

The threat remains—and spreads.
Oct 06, 2014

On Tuesday, September 23, the U.S. government announced that a new bombing campaign was under way in Syria. The Obama administration had been building the case for airstrikes for weeks. The president and his surrogates repeatedly highlighted the threat posed by the Islamic State (often called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL), which has captured large swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria.

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Homeland Security Head: 'Core al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan'

So it's not decimated?
11:01 AM, Oct 01, 2014

Visiting Canada for the first time as Department Homeland Security (DHS) chief, secretary Jeh Johnson addressed the Canadian American Business Council on Wednesday.

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Podcast: Al Qaeda's Franchising Is Working...

... and India is the newest threat.
3:40 PM, Sep 30, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with frequent contributor Thomas Joscelyn discussing his recent piece on "Misunderstanding al Qaeda" and how its growth is becoming a threatening success.

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At War With Al Qaeda, Islamic State in Syria

11:05 AM, Sep 23, 2014

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Syria for the first time overnight. Much of the public discourse in the weeks leading up to the bombings focused on the Islamic State, a former branch of al Qaeda that has captured a significant amount territory across both Iraq and Syria. But the bombings are not just intended to weaken the Islamic State. U.S. bombers are also targeting positions controlled by Jabhat al Nusrah, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. 

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Gates: 'There Will Be Boots on the Ground If There's to Be Any Hope of Success in the Strategy'

ISIS Strategy Unrealistic.
6:29 AM, Sep 17, 2014

Robert Gates, President Obama's first defense secretary, said this morning on CBS that President Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State is unrealistic:

"The reality is, they're not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," said Gates.

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‘The Blood-Dimmed Tide’

Sep 15, 2014

Barack Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles. He had a dream, expressed in Cairo, of “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” of “a world where extremists no longer threaten our people.” So he got out of Iraq and failed to follow through in Libya, seeing no need for American boots on the ground in such a brave new world. He wanted to reset relations with Russia, expecting reciprocal behavior from Vladimir Putin. He indulged the hope that talking about a pivot to Asia would make it so.

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Don't Replicate the Failure of Yemen

11:02 PM, Sep 10, 2014

In an address Wednesday night to the nation, President Obama held up America’s strategy in Yemen as a model for the counterterrorism strategy he intends to pursue in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, he committed to a strategy of targeting terrorists from the air and supporting local security forces in their counterterrorism fight.

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Don't Forget About Al Qaeda

10:41 AM, Sep 10, 2014

President Obama is set to discuss his plan for confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a primetime speech this evening. According to press reports, the president is ready to authorize the use of military strikes against the group in Syria. Thus far, American military action has been limited to neighboring Iraq. This is a step in the right direction by Obama. As the administration recognizes, the U.S. and its allies cannot take the fight to ISIL without targeting its substantive strongholds in Syria.

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Why Al Qaeda Released An American Hostage

2:08 PM, Aug 25, 2014

Earlier today, the news broke that Peter Theo Curtis, an American who had been held hostage in Syria since 2012, has been released by his captors. Coming just days after another American hostage, James Foley, was brutally beheaded by the Islamic State, Curtis’s freedom brings a sense of relief. 

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Ansar al Sharia Ally A Key Figure in Benghazi Security Failures

5:00 AM, Aug 01, 2014

A key figure in the security failures surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya is fighting alongside members of Ansar al Sharia, which is one of the terrorist groups responsible for the assault on the U.S. mission and annex that night.

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Obama’s Iraq

Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad
Jun 23, 2014

Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has long been hard for the central government to control because of its combustible mix of Arabs and Kurds. The first time I visited Mosul was in August 2003 when a tenuous calm was maintained by the 101st Airborne Division. Its commander, a then-obscure two-star general named David Petraeus, had on his own initiative opened the Syrian border to trade, struck deals with Syria and Turkey to provide badly needed electricity, restored telephone service, and held elections to elect local leaders.

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What to Do in Iraq

10:45 AM, Jun 16, 2014

It’s widely agreed that the collapse of Iraq would be a disaster for American interests and security in the Middle East and around the world. It also seems to be widely assumed either that there's nothing we can now do to avert that disaster, or that our best bet is supporting Iran against al Qaeda. Both assumptions are wrong. It would be irresponsible to embrace a premature fatalism with respect to Iraq. And it would be damaging and counterproductive to accept a transformation of our alliances and relationships in the Middle East to the benefit of the regime in Tehran. There is a third alternative.

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WH Pledges To 'Increase' Assistance To Iraq 'As Required'

9:19 PM, Jun 11, 2014

In a statement released just now, the White House press secretary says that the U.S. government will "increase" assistance to the government of Iraq "as required." The White House also "strongly condemns the recent attacks in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)."

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There Is No War on Terror?

8:13 AM, Jun 11, 2014

But if there were, terror would be winning.

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Hillary: Benghazi 'More of a Reason to Run' for President

5:16 PM, Jun 09, 2014

In an interview that will air tonight, Hillary Clinton will tell Diane Sawyer that the Benghazi terrorist attack that left four Americans dead is "more of a reason to run" for president of the United States.

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State Dept. in January: Giving In to Terrorist Demands 'Perpetuates the Action' of Kidnappings

6:29 AM, Jun 06, 2014

Time magazine is reporting that during an interview about the deal to trade Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo, when "[a]sked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, a commander laughed.

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Intel Official: Three Biggest National Security Threats Are Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda

6:01 AM, Jun 05, 2014

Addressing a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum earlier this week, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers detailed a laundry list of national security threats that the United States faces today, the American Forces Press Services reports, including:

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McKeon, Inhofe: Prisoner Trade With Taliban Puts American Soldiers at Greater Risk

4:48 PM, May 31, 2014

Two top ranking Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services committees released a joint statement on the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Taliban operatives from Guantanamo Bay. From Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services committee, and James Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services committee:

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Special Report Panel on Al Qaeda and the VA Scandal

10:03 AM, May 29, 2014

Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:

And here's the Internet-only aftershow:

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A Failure of Policy

Al Qaeda runs amok.
May 19, 2014

Forty-one recently declassified State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, have reignited the controversy over the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Ben-ghazi, Libya. One document in particular, an email authored by Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser and speechwriter for the president, has garnered the most attention.

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State Department: 'Core' Al Qaeda in Iran

1:04 PM, May 01, 2014

The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism yesterday. And once again the U.S. government has highlighted al Qaeda’s relationship with the Iranian regime. While the Iranians hold some al Qaeda members under house arrest, others are allowed to operate. And these terrorists, based on Iranian soil, play a prominent role in al Qaeda’s international network.

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Retired Military Official: We Knew Benghazi Attacks Attributable to Terrorist Group, Not Video

10:01 AM, May 01, 2014

A retired military officer serving in the U.S.'s Africa Command headquarters in Germany told the House oversight committee Thursday that it was his belief at the time that the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attributable to an Islamic extremist group and not an internet video.

Robert Lovell was an brigadier general with the Air Force, stationed in Germany, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi. In his congressional testimony, Lovell said that his role was to focus on "attribution" of the attack.

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Snatching Failure From Victory In Afghanistan

Troop levels to fall to below 10,000.
11:38 AM, Apr 22, 2014

Media reports suggest that President Obama is looking to declare victory and withdraw from Afghanistan, as he did from Iraq. The military commander in Afghanistan, General Joe Dunford, has said that he needs 10,000 US troops to accomplish the missions the president has said he wants to accomplish after this year.

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‘Core’ Al Qaeda Gathering in Yemen

10:42 AM, Apr 16, 2014

A video of a large al Qaeda gathering in Yemen has raised eyebrows in the press. Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as general manager of al Qaeda’s global network, can be heard saying to a crowd of more than 100: "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"

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'Grading the Administration's Counterterrorism Policy'

9:17 AM, Apr 10, 2014

Fred Kagan gave the following testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade on "Is al Qaeda Winning? Grading the Administration's Counterterrorism Policy."

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Kerry Plan May Put Al Qaeda in the West Bank

11:08 AM, Feb 12, 2014

Gossip in Jerusalem suggests that many Israelis misunderstand John Kerry’s obsession with the peace process: They believe that the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate is using Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as a platform to challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination. That’s not likely. Instead, it’s in comparing Kerry’s dogged efforts to that of his predecessor that Kerry’s real motives become clear. Clinton left a light footprint as secretary of state because she didn’t want anything sticking to her when campaign season rolls around.

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Still Out There; Still Dangerous

9:43 AM, Feb 12, 2014

President Obama  recently characterized al Qaeda as a nearly-spent force “on the path to defeat,” an organization whose “remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us.”

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Rumors of al Qaeda’s Demise

Feb 10, 2014

For five years, the Obama administration has touted its success in the war against al Qaeda. In formal addresses, daily press briefings, and campaign speeches top administration officials have celebrated the “decimation” of al Qaeda and predicted its imminent extinction.

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