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By Steve King
Topic - Daniel Byman
The U.S. should prepare for future terrorist attacks in North Africa that would be even more difficult to police than last year's assault that left four Americans dead in the Eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, counter-terrorism specialists said Wednesday.
Israel massed troops outside the Gaza Strip late Thursday, signaling that it was prepared to send in ground forces to engage Hamas militants who bombarded the Jewish state with more than 200 missiles and killed at least three people.
Faced with terrorist attacks (and conventional military attacks) by its Palestinian and Arab state neighbors since the earliest days of its existence, Israel has had to develop exceptionally effective counterterrorism capabilities to protect its citizens on all fronts, making it one of the world's most innovative and toughest counterterrorism "powers."
"Al Qaeda-related groups at times ignored the core even when [Osama] bin Laden was alive," said Mr. Byman. "However, the weakness of the core due to drone strikes, the appeal of some important local groups like those in Syria, and Zawahiri's lack of charisma all make such challenges more likely."
"Their focus is more local and regional, and they will attack U.S. targets and allied regimes in their areas of operations," said Daniel Byman, a professor in the security studies program at Georgetown University.