Enhanced airport security for overseas flights

U.S. intelligence officials are concerned that al-Qaida is trying to develop a new and improved bomb that could go undetected through airport security. There is no indication that such a bomb has been created or that there’s a specific threat to the U.S., but the Obama administration on Wednesday called for tighter security measures at foreign airports that have direct flights to the U.S. American intelligence has picked up indications that bomb makers from Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, known as the Nusra Front, according to a
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Terrorists use online chat rooms

Al-Qaida fighters have been using secretive chat rooms and encrypted Internet message boards for planning and coordinating attacks — including the threatened if vague plot that U.S. officials say closed 19 diplomatic posts across Africa and the Middle East for more than a week. It’s highly unlikely that al-Qaida’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, or his chief lieutenant in Yemen, Nasser al-Wahishi, were personally part of the Internet chatter or, given the intense manhunt for both by U.S. spy agencies, that they ever go online or pick up the phone to discuss terror plots, experts say. But the unspecified call to
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Al-Qaida remains a major terrorist threat to America

Far from being on the brink of collapse, al-Qaida‘s core leadership remains a potent threat — and one that experts say has encouraged the terror network’s spread into more countries today than it was operating in immediately after 9/11. President Barack Obama, who ordered the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has described al-Qaida’s headquarters as “a shadow of its former self” and his spokesman Jay Carney has called it “severely diminished” and “decimated.” The bravado, however, didn’t match the Obama administration’s action this week. Nineteen U.S. diplomatic outposts stretching across the Eastern Hemisphere remain closed, and nonessential
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Is Obama striking a balance between threats and rights?

Forecasting the changing nature of threats against the U.S. for years to come, President Barack Obama says “America is at a crossroads.” And so, too, is his presidency’s counterterrorism policy, which has long struggled to balance protecting the nation from terror attacks while upholding Americans’ rights. The Obama administration this week acknowledged that four Americans have been killed — three of whom were not specifically targeted — in secretive overseas drone strikes against al-Qaida extremists since 2009. And in a wide-ranging speech Thursday, Obama warned that Americans must be vigilant against increasing homegrown threats from within, including from fellow citizens
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Hobbled al-Qaida wants payback for death of bin Laden

A year after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida is hobbled and hunted, too busy surviving for the moment to carry out another Sept. 11-style attack on U.S. soil. But the terrorist network dreams still of payback, and U.S. counterterrorist officials warn that, in time, its offshoots may deliver. A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that has cost the U.S. about $1.28 trillion and 6,300 U.S. troops* lives has forced al-Qaida’s affiliates to regroup, from Yemen to Iraq. Bin Laden’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, is thought to be hiding, out of U.S. reach, in Pakistan’s
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