Al Qaeda Articles

A Dangerous Combination

In Algeria, a restive population and a failing strongman.
Feb 01, 2016

Two weeks ago, al Qaeda-linked jihadists attacked the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso and murdered 28 people, including an American missionary. It was the work of al Qaeda’s Algerian franchise, one of the world's deadliest jihadist groups, albeit one less known to Westerners. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is led by the one-eyed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a charismatic terrorist who has evaded death and capture numerous times and in the process transformed AQIM into a major threat across West Africa. It's time we paid more attention to Belmokhtar and his jihadist gang—as well as to the troubled country that produced them.

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Al Qaeda Hasn't Been Neutralized

11:52 AM, Nov 20, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry believes that al Qaeda’s “top leadership” has been “neutralize[d]” as “an effective force.” He made the claim while discussing the administration’s strategy, or lack thereof, for combating the Islamic State (ISIS), which is al Qaeda’s jihadist rival. Kerry believes that the U.S. and its allies can finish off ISIS quicker than al Qaeda. There’s just one problem: It is not true that al Qaeda or its top leaders have been “neutralize[d].”

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Kerry: Al Qaeda Is 'Neutralized'

7:10 AM, Nov 20, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that al Qaeda has been neutralized -- and that he hopes ISIS will be neutralized "much faster." Kerry made the claim to a group of reporters:

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An Existential Threat

4:10 PM, Nov 19, 2015

One of the most durable arguments for not responding as forcefully as possible to al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and jihadi groups in general is that they do not pose an “existential” threat to America.  Indeed, this lies at the core of the Obama administration’s strategy for the Middle East.  As the president told

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Richard Clarke: ISIS 'Much Bigger Threat Than We Ever Faced with Al Qaeda'

12:39 PM, Nov 15, 2015

Former counterterrorism official Richard Clarke said Sunday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a much greater threat to the United States than al Qaeda ever was. 

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Demand the Documents

Aug 10, 2015

To paraphrase Lincoln, if we could first know where Iran is and whither Iran is tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. To evaluate the Iran deal, we need, to the degree possible, to understand the Iranian regime, its nature and its history, its past and present behavior. 

The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn’t want us to have all the information available to judge that regime and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided.

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Why Was a Key Benghazi Suspect Free?

11:26 AM, Jun 23, 2015

On Monday, the Pentagon announced that Ali Ani al Harzi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Mosul, Iraq. For those who have followed the public reporting on the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack  closely, al Harzi’s name will ring a bell. He was one of the first suspects to be publicly identified by name. Eli Lake, then of The Daily Beast, got the scoop in October 2012.

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If This Is What Success Looks Like, Just Imagine Failure

2:32 PM, Apr 17, 2015

The Obama administration once pointed to Yemen as the proof that the application of what it calls “smart power” works.

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Pity They Can’t Both Lose

11:54 AM, Apr 17, 2015

That was Henry Kissinger’s famous sally about the war between Iran and Iraq, back in the 80s.  Now, the big rivals in that part of the world are not actually nations, in the conventional sense.  They are, rather, movements with aspirations to more than just physical territory. They are out to conquer the the Muslim world.

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Obama’s Iran Agenda

Mar 30, 2015

Iran is an opportunity, not a threat; it’s a potential partner, not an enemy.

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Bin Laden Files Reveal CIA Money Got to Al Qaeda

1:51 PM, Mar 16, 2015

Tom Joscelyn breaks down the latest revelation from the Osama bin Laden documents on Fox News:

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Top Intel Official: Al Qaeda Had Doubled When Obama Claimed It Had Been Decimated

8:18 AM, Mar 06, 2015

Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn report in the Wall Street Journal on the latest developments in uncovering how the Obama administration actively played down the threat of al Qaeda during President Obama's reelection campaign.

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Newly-Released Docs Show Iran's Deep Ties to Al Qaeda

4:46 PM, Mar 02, 2015

Steve Hayes and Tom Joscelyn joined Bret Baier over the weekend to discuss the newly released Osama bin Laden documents:

Watch the latest video at

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Osama Docs Reveal Secret Link Between Al Qaeda and Iran

1:10 PM, Feb 27, 2015

Thomas Joscelyn talked on Fox News today about newly uncovered documents from the Osama bin Laden compound in Pakistan that reveal a direct connection between al Qaeda and Iran:

Joscelyn explains the revelations in more detail here.

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New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden's Secret Ties With Iran

Show availability of Iran for al Qaeda training, plotting.
12:27 PM, Feb 27, 2015

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

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DHS Chief: 'Be Particularly Careful' If You Go to Mall of America

6:51 PM, Feb 22, 2015

Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson basically warned against going to the Mall of America today, after threats of a terror attack by al Shabaab. " I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful," said Johnson.

He made the comments this morning on CNN:

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Obama: 'No One Profile of a Violent Extremist or Terrorist'

8:32 PM, Feb 18, 2015

In remarks  at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama warned that one can't profile a terrorist, or predict who will become one. It's not determined by people or any particular faith, the president said.

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Al Qaeda Uses ISIS to Try to Present Itself as Respectable, Even Moderate

7:36 AM, Feb 09, 2015

In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.

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CNN: 1 of the Taliban 5 Back in the Game

6:10 PM, Jan 29, 2015

CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that the U.S. military and intelligence community thinks that one member of the so-called Taliban Five “has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar.” Officials aren’t saying which one of the five Taliban leaders, who were held at Guantanamo before being transferred to Qatar last year, has fallen under suspicion. But the U.S. has been monitoring their communications and one of the five has “reached out” to other jihadists. 

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Former Defense Intel Chief Blasts Obama

2:14 PM, Jan 27, 2015

Lt. General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, blasted the Obama administration’s approach to the War on Terror in a hard-hitting speech to a meeting of intelligence professionals. “The dangers to the U.S. do not arise from the arrogance of American power, but from unpreparedness or an excessive unwillingness to fight when fighting is necessary,” Flynn said, in an unsparing critique first reported by the Daily Beast.

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Obama: 'No Challenge – No Challenge – Poses a Greater Threat to Future Generations Than Climate Change'

Won't Mention 'Al Qaeda'
9:02 PM, Jan 20, 2015

President Obama will talk about ISIS in tonight's State of the Union Address. He'll talk about Iran. And he'll talk about North Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (He won't mention "al Qaeda.")

But what's the biggest threat to "future generations"? Climate change, according to Obama.

"[N]o challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change," Obama will say, according to the prepared text of the president's speech.

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Jihad Comes to Paris

The long arm of al Qaeda.
Jan 19, 2015

The jihadists responsible for the most successful terrorist attack in France in decades hunted down cartoonists. They did not target a significant historical landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower, or any well-known French politicians. They did not seek to maximize civilian casualties in a suicide bombing, a trademark of previous attacks. Instead, they methodically killed Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director of Charlie Hebdo, and other members of the French magazine’s staff. This was deliberate.

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Podcast: Yes, it Matters that Al Qaeda Was Behind Paris Massacre

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:20 PM, Jan 15, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with frequent contributor Thomas Joscelyn on Al Qaeda's role in the Paris masscare of Charlie Hebdo journalists.

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Paris Attacks: An Al Qaeda, Islamic State Combined Operation

12:20 PM, Jan 12, 2015

The terrorist attacks in Paris were nightmarish in many ways, but perhaps the most worrisome news to come out of the Charlie Hebdo affair is that followers of a “pure” al Qaeda affiliate – al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula – and of ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – worked together.

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House Homeland Security Chair: 'We'll See More and More' of Paris Style Attacks

12:34 PM, Jan 11, 2015

House Homeland Security Committee chair Mike McCaul said on CBS that he expects to "see more and more" of the Paris style attacks take place around the world:

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Nonstop Appeasement

Dec 29, 2014

We don’t expect much. It’s been nearly six years. We’re long past the point of hoping that Barack Obama will adopt policies that deserve our grudging approval, if not enthusiastic endorsement, particularly on foreign policy and national security.

But we do expect something.

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The Uruguay Six

They weren’t kidnapped. They’re not refugees.
Dec 29, 2014

On Sunday, December 7, a U.S. military medical aircraft landed in South America, to deliver six jihadists from the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to Uruguay. For more than a dozen years, these six men had been held as dangerous enemies of the United States. Suddenly, Uruguay treated them as refugees, even victims, and the Obama administration didn’t object.

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Obama: 'The World Must Never Cease in Seeking to Defeat [Al Qaeda's] Evil Ideology'

President on death of Luke Somers, held hostage by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
7:36 AM, Dec 06, 2014

President Obama issued this statement after the death of photojournalist Luke Somers, who was held hostage in Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in a rescue attempt.

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What Happened to the ‘Sensitive Information’ Stolen in Benghazi?

No mention of 'Innocence of Muslims' Internet video in indictment of Benghazi suspect.
4:05 PM, Oct 16, 2014

The Justice Department has released a new, superseding indictment in the government’s case against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the only suspect held by the U.S. in connection with the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

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Losing the War of Necessity

11:12 AM, Oct 16, 2014

Lost in the excitement over ISIS, the battle for Khobani, and the possible threat to Baghdad is news of the nation’s longest war, the one in Afghanistan, which the President once called a “war of necessity.”

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