August 20, 2009 |
The secret CIA program to assassinate top Al Qaeda leaders was outsourced in 2004 to Blackwater USA, the private security contractor whose operations in Iraq prompted intense scrutiny, according to two former intelligence officials familiar with the events. The North Carolina-based company was given operational responsibility for targeting suspected terrorist commanders and was awarded millions of dollars for training and weaponry, but the program was canceled before any missions were conducted, the two officials said.
July 30, 2009 |
U.S. military leaders have concluded that their war effort in Afghanistan has been too focused on hunting Al Qaeda, and have begun to shift Predator drone aircraft to the fight against the Taliban and other militants in order to prevent the country from slipping deeper into anarchy. The move, described by government and Defense Department officials, represents a major change in the military's use of one of its most precious intelligence assets.
July 26, 2009 |
Bryant Neal Vinas' unlikely odyssey from Long Island, N.Y., to Al Qaeda's innermost circle of commanders in Pakistan was achieved without any help in the U.S. from the well-oiled "jihadist pipeline" that has guided so many militants from Europe and other countries -- a fact that is cause for concern, current and former U.S. counter-terrorism officials said. His case, which became public last week, showed that a U.S.
July 24, 2009 |
Weeks after arriving in Pakistan on a flight from New York, Bryant Neal Vinas plunged into holy war: He volunteered to train for a suicide attack and fought in the wilds of Afghanistan. By the time he was captured in November, 14 months later, the Muslim convert from Long Island had journeyed into the innermost circles of Al Qaeda, according to a statement he gave investigators. Vinas befriended fellow trainees who wanted to bomb stadiums in Europe. He learned to assemble explosives vests.
July 18, 2009 |
International suspicion focused on a Malaysian accountant-turned-bomb-maker as the instigator of a pair of hotel blasts in Jakarta on Friday that may signal the reemergence of deadly attacks by Southeast Asian groups affiliated with Al Qaeda, counter-terrorism officials and analysts said.
May 13, 2009 |
The U.S. military has launched a program of armed Predator drone missions against militants in Pakistan that for the first time gives Pakistani officers significant control over routes, targets and decisions to fire weapons, U.S. officials said. The joint effort is aimed at getting the government in Islamabad, which has bitterly protested Predator strikes, more directly engaged in one of the most successful elements of the battle against Islamist insurgents.
May 7, 2009 |
President Obama and the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan, setting aside months of friction, committed themselves again Wednesday to their faltering joint effort against Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists. After a day of talks, Obama said he was satisfied that the leaders "fully appreciate the seriousness of the threats we face and have reaffirmed their commitment to confronting it." Obama also moved to quell any doubts about U.S.
May 1, 2009 |
Accused Al Qaeda sleeper agent Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri on Thursday pleaded guilty to supporting the architects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In a plea agreement entered before U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm in Peoria, Ill., Marri admitted to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
April 8, 2009 |
Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that it had arrested 11 militants linked to Al Qaeda, seizing arms and breaking up a cell that planned to carry out attacks and kidnappings. Police arrested members of the group in several areas, including a region near the border with Yemen, Saudi news reports quoted the Interior Ministry as saying. State television showed video of security forces digging out bags containing assault rifles and other weapons hidden in a mountainous area.
March 15, 2009 |
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called Israel's offensive on Gaza a "holocaust" and accused Arab leaders of not doing enough to stop the fighting, in his latest audio recording aired on Al Jazeera. Bin Laden accused some Arab countries of "collaborating" with Israel on the offensive in December-January that killed about 1,300 Palestinians. He did not name any specific Arab countries in the brief audio played on Al Jazeera. The Arabic satellite channel did not say how it obtained the recording, and the authenticity of the tape could not be verified.