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** FILE ** A convoy of vehicles and fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant travels in Iraq's Anbar province. With the original notion of al Qaeda being eclipsed by a generation of extremist activity from North Africa to the Middle East, debate is raging over the correct terminology to describe the terrorist threat that has shaped so much of American foreign policy over the past 13 years. (Associated Press)

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A missile-equipped Predator would be dispatched to kill the al Qaeda leader if his location is pinpointed. The drone could be redirected in flight.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS MISSION-READY: A missile-equipped Predator would be dispatched to kill the al Qaeda leader if his location is pinpointed. The drone could be redirected in flight.

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Syria has become a focal point for the State Department in the war on terrorism as al Qaeda-linked groups operating there — specifically the al-Nusrah Front — have expansionist aspirations. (Aleppo Media Center AMC via Associated Press)

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Mourners chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while carrying a flag-draped coffin of Shawki Rahim during his funeral procession in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The Iraqi Army officer was killed during clashes with al-Qaida fighters in Hillah last night, his family said. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo)

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Mourners chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while carrying a flag-draped coffin of Shawki Rahim during his funeral procession in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The Iraqi Army officer was killed during clashes with al-Qaida fighters in Hillah last night, his family said. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo)

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Yemeni mourners carry the coffins of soldiers who were killed by suspected al-Qaida militants at a checkpoint in Hadramawt province, during their funeral in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked a security checkpoint in southeastern Yemen, first sending in a suicide car bomb then storming it, officials said on March 24. They killed 22 troops and left only one survivor, who pretended he was dead. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)