The U.S. government’s decision to shutter more than 20 diplomatic facilities earlier this month was based on intelligence showing that al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri was in contact with multiple subordinates. And that intelligence undermines a widely-held assumption: Many have argued that Zawahiri, and other senior al Qaeda leaders, hold little sway over the international network that fights in al Qaeda’s name.Read more
In a newly released video, Ayman al Zawahiri, confederate and successor of Osama bin Laden, vows to free al Qaeda’s “imprisoned brothers” at Guantánamo. Seeking to capitalize on the controversy over the U.S. government’s force-feeding of some detainees, Zawahiri says the ongoing hunger strike exposes “the real odious and ugly face of America.”
Oddly, Zawahiri’s opinion of the hunger strike, and Guantánamo, is similar to President Obama’s.Read more
Over at the Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio confirm the report that the closings of more than 20 U.S. embassies earlier this week was the result of intercepted communications between al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri and several al Qaeda operatives.Read more
Barack Obama, speaking at a Friday afternoon news conference, maintained that the "core" of al Qaeda is "on its heels" and "has been decimated" while admitting that regional elements of the terrorist organization can still "pose a threat" to American interests.
ABC News's Jonathan Karl asked the president still believes that al Qaeda has been "decimated," as he said in a speech last May. Watch Obama's response below:Read more
Steve Hayes, with A.B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on U.S.-Russia relations and the Obama administration's al Qaeda narrative.Read more
A recent conference call among al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and other senior leaders of the terror organization was intercepted by U.S. intelligence, alerting officials to the threat of an attack and prompting the closure of American embassies in dozens of countries. Eli Lake and Josh Rogin at the Daily Beast have the scoop:Read more
The U.S. State Department announced today that it has designated a terrorist who has fought for the Taliban since the late 1990s and continues to support al Qaeda. Bahawal Khan is the leader of the Commander Nazir Group (CNG), which is “behind numerous attacks against international forces in Afghanistan,” as well as attacks inside Pakistan.Read more
Steve Hayes, with Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
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On Fox News Sunday, the boss was joined by Howard Kurtz, Jim DeMint, and Juan Williams to discuss the continued threat from al Qaeda and the closing of more than 20 U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia:Read more
INTERPOL issued a “global security alert advising increased vigilance for terrorist activity” on Saturday. While the U.S. government has warned of al Qaeda’s terrorist plotting against embassies and consulates, ordering 22 diplomatic facilities closed over the weekend, INTERPOL is alarmed by al Qaeda’s role in several large-scale jailbreaks.Read more
Tom Joscelyn, writing for the Long War Journal:
The US government has ordered 21 diplomatic facilities closed this weekend in response to an al Qaeda threat.
"The Department of State alerts US citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula," a worldwide travel alert reads.Read more
More than ten months after the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Ansar al Sharia is even more entrenched in Libyan society. Members of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi were reportedly part of the al Qaeda-linked jihadist coalition that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador.Read more
Are we watching the demise of al Qaeda or its rebirth?
A bracing new piece in the Daily Beast makes a persuasive case that it’s the latter -- that recent developments in Iraq, across the greater Middle East and South Asia point to a resurgence of al Qaeda and a strengthening of its affiliates.Read more
Al Qaeda’s jailbreaks have been an all too common occurrence in the post-9/11 world. And they have directly fueled the fight. Chances are the massive jailbreak in Iraq this week will cause significant problems for the U.S. and its allies down the road. History tells us as much. There are numerous examples of once-detained al Qaeda operatives rejoining the terror network. Consider just two examples.Read more
Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail as comrades launched a military-style assault to free them, authorities said on Monday.
The deadly raid on the high-security jail happened as Sunni Muslim militants are gaining momentum in their insurgency against the Shi'ite-led government that came to power after the U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.Read more
The message regarding terrorism from the Obama administration over the past few years has been that al Qaeda is on the run, its core leadership has been "decimated," and that the face of the "war on terror" is changing for the better. In his recent speech on U.S. counterterrorism strategy, President Obama said, "Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self.Read more
In a speech at the National Defense University on May 23, Barack Obama declared an end to the global war on terror. The threat posed by al Qaeda, its affiliates, and those it inspires can be managed, he said. “As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11. . . . [I]f dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.”Read more
During his speech at the National Defense University on May 23, President Obama sought to reassure Americans that they are “safer” because of the administration’s “efforts” to fight terrorism. The controversy over the administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, had been swirling for months. And on April 15, two jihadists set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 250 others.Read more
Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, added his rather important voice to the growing number of current and former officials who believe the Obama administration should expedite the release of some documents captured during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And Rogers, in an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, suggested that the Obama administration cherry-picked the few documents released to date to create a narrative about al Qaeda favorable to the president.Read more
The Washington Post editorial board is quite upset with “Republicans and conservative media obsessed” with the “phony” issue of the administration’s misleading public explanation of the nature of the attacks in Benghazi. In a lengthy editorial, the Post makes a haughtier and more condescending version of a complaint we’ve heard from others. So it’s worth a response.Read more
The Obama administration’s editing of the Benghazi talking points not only obscured what really happened in Libya on September 11, 2012, it also confused the events of earlier that day in Cairo, Egypt. The editing process specifically removed any hint that “jihadists” were encouraged to “break into” the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. In fact, jihadists were incited to act by Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, as well as several other al Qaeda-linked extremists.Read more
The Egyptian interior ministry announced Saturday that an al Qaeda plot against a Western embassy and other targets had been disrupted. Two suspected terrorists are being held for questioning and a third is under house arrest.Read more
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