The U.S. made two key terrorism designations Wednesday, casting a spotlight on the al Qaeda affiliate organizations in the Middle East and North Africa that increasingly have replaced the Afghanistan and Pakistan-based network built by Osama bin Laden as the focus of global security concerns.
Two mortar shells hit Syria's capital Saturday near a hotel where international chemical inspectors and United Nations staff are staying, state media and a hotel guest said.
Al Qaeda terror network leader Ayman al-Zawahri sent out a message marking Sept. 11, 2001, with a call for more attacks on U.S. soil, aimed at hitting America hard in the pocketbook.
Islamist rebels in Syria, the lead force in the armed opposition, would benefit from a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian regime and advance their goal of seizing power in Damascus, analysts said Wednesday.
Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, whose threats have prompted the closure of Western embassies in the Arab world this week, has drawn attention to the danger posed by the terrorist network's "periphery" over its "core" organization on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Even as the White House insisted that the U.S. has made great strides in the war against terrorism under President Obama, the president's spokesman acknowledged Monday that officials cannot rule out the possibility that the latest terrorist plot apparently discussed between top al Qaeda operatives could jeopardize the U.S. homeland.
A leader of al Qaeda said on an Internet audio recording posted Wednesday that militants would stop at nothing to bring about the release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and that America's treatment of inmates who hunger strike is deplorable.
Washington is preoccupied with the political decisions surrounding last year's attack in Benghazi, but nine months later the who and why of the terrorist assault that left four Americans dead remains shrouded in mystery.