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July 24, 2009 | Sebastian Rotella and Josh Meyer
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.
March 24, 2009 | Joel Hood
Ali Marri, an alleged Al Qaeda operative held for nearly six years as an "enemy combatant," pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and supporting terrorism Monday. Marri wore a white shirt, a white kufi, or cap, and khaki pants. He was shackled at the feet. Before the hearing, he quietly conferred with his lawyers, smiling and even laughing once. He spoke little during the half-hour hearing, other than to give his full name and age of 43.
March 11, 2009 | Greg Miller
Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, the top U.S. military intelligence official testified Tuesday. Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda's efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration's decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.
May 1, 2012 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden's personal notes and letters, which were seized a year ago in the U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan, show a leader removed from day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization he founded and increasingly frustrated with the new generation of managers who were rising in the ranks. A declassified selection of the vast trove of material -- large enough, officials say, to fill a college library -- will be published online Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
October 17, 2009 | Sebastian Rotella
As Al Qaeda is weakened by the loss of leaders, fighters, funds and ideological appeal, the extremist network's ability to attack targets in the United States and Western Europe has diminished, anti-terrorism officials say. Nonetheless, Al Qaeda and allied groups based primarily in Pakistan remain a threat, particularly because of an increasing ability to attract recruits from Central Asia and Turkey to offset the decline in the number of militants...
October 12, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores and Richard Winton
The family of an Orange County man accused of aiding Al Qaeda expressed shock at the allegations. The man was pulled off a Mexico-bound bus in Santa Ana and arrested Friday by federal officials who said he was aiding Al Qaeda and planned to become a foot soldier for the terrorist group. Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, who changed his name to Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum when he converted to Islam, was indicted on two counts of trying to support Al Qaeda and making false statements on his passport, according to an indictment made public Friday in federal court in Santa Ana. "It surprised me. I don't know what's going on," said his mother, Hieu Nguyen.
October 15, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
FT. MEADE, Md. -- Pretrial hearings for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other alleged top Al Qaeda operatives reopen Monday morning with a military commission judge expected to rule on numerous key disputes in the capital murder case for those accused of planning, financing and preparing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The hearings at the U.S. Naval Base on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, over the next five days will center on whether a top CIA official who oversaw the water boarding of Mohammed should be compelled to testify about the harsh technique and whether public comments by former President George W. Bush and other members of his administration so prejudiced the defendants' rights to a fair trial that the case itself should be thrown out. Also at issue before Judge James L. Pohl, an Army colonel with a law degree from Pepperdine University, is the often-belligerent courthouse demeanor of Mohammed and the others, and whether they have been treated inhumanely after years at the island prison and now are psychologically unable to understand the case against them and assist in their defense.
March 11, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
An Al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Syrian soldiers who were returning to their country, according to a group that monitors extremist communications. The Islamic State of Iraq said it was behind the assault one week ago in the restive western Iraqi province of Anbar, where 48 Syrian soldiers and nine Iraqi border guards reportedly were slain. In a statement spread through extremist forums, the group said it tracked the Syrian government forces after they fled from clashes with rebels along the border, then ambushed them and their Iraqi guides, according to the SITE Monitoring Group.
December 11, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has formally designated a rebel group fighting in Syria as a terrorist organization in hopes of marginalizing the Al Qaeda affiliate and reducing its chances of playing a major role in the country should the government fall. Administration officials blacklisted Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, describing it as a wing of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans during the height of the Iraq war. The Nusra Front is one of dozens of rebel groups that have emerged in the Syrian conflict.
March 11, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- Saajid Badat had been through all the training, from firing weapons while riding a motorcycle to watching dogs and rabbits, trapped under glass, die slow, agonizing deaths as he learned poisoning techniques.    He had laughed with other Al Qaeda members as the self-confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, scanned a list of tall buildings and crossed out the World Trade Center towers weeks after hijackers had destroyed them.  Now, Badat was ready to carry out Al Qaeda's next big mission, a plan to down two U.S. jetliners using bombs hidden in shoes.
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