News / USA

    White House Defends Progress Against al-Qaida, Affiliates

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gestures while speaking during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, August, 5, 2013.
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gestures while speaking during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, August, 5, 2013.
    The White House Monday discussed the ongoing threat from Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as reporters pressed President Obama's spokesman about the extension of some U.S. embassy closures. 

    The White House news briefing was dominated by questions about the type of "chatter" the U.S. intelligence community picked up that led to embassy closures.
     
    The New York Times reported that the decision to close diplomatic facilities resulted from intercepted electronic communications between al-Qaida "core" chief Ayman al-Zawahri and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
     
    Quoting unidentified U.S. officials, The Times said intercepts were collected and analyzed last week, but did not reveal location or targets of potential attacks.  Names of the al-Qaida and affiliate leaders were initially withheld from an earlier Times report at the request of senior intelligence officials.
     
    Embassy closure statusEmbassy closure status
    x
    Embassy closure status
    Embassy closure status
    The U.S. reopened some diplomatic missions Monday in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. But 19 embassies and consulates remain closed because of security concerns.
     
    White House Spokesman Jay Carney would not discuss specific intelligence.  He said extensions of some embassy closures did not reflect any new information stream.
     
    Carney declined to say what, if anything, Yemen's President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi told Obama in their Oval Office meeting last week, beyond general discussion of counter-terrorism issues.
     
    The White House spokesman responded this way when asked what the embassy closures say about efforts against core al-Qaida and affiliates.
     
    "Any evaluation of the actions that we have taken in the fight against al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations over the last several years, and over the life of this administration, demonstrates a pretty intense focus on the fight against al-Qaida and the effort to degrade al-Qaida's abilities and the abilities of all the affiliated organizations."

    After President Obama's talks with the Yemeni leader last week, a joint statement said they discussed a "range of efforts" to counter the threat to both countries from the group.
     
    A statement late Monday from the Embassy of Yemen in Washington, announced names of what it called 25 "most wanted terrorists" planning to carry out operations in Sana'a and Yemeni governates.
     
    It said the Yemen government has taken "all necessary precautions" to secure diplomatic facilities, vital installations and strategic assets."
     
    In Monday's White House briefing, Jay Carney was asked about confidence that the U.S. has enough information to disrupt any potential new plot.
     
    He said only that the threat is "significant and it is ongoing" and that the United States will continue to gather information with partners and allies to combat threats posed by terrorist organizations.

    Watch related story by Carla Babb:

    US Extends Security Closure of Some Diplomatic Missionsi
    X
    August 06, 2013 12:42 AM
    The United States says 19 of its diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa will remain closed for the rest of the week, even as it reopened some of its embassies on Monday. VOA’s Carla Babb reports.

    You May Like

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ghkjnn from: DC
    August 06, 2013 10:43 AM
    The War on Terror or Terrorism of Wars has wide range of unspecified agendas for long time to come:· to occupy the Arab heartland and to offer extended strategic and political supremacy to Israel in the Middle East,· to control and manage the oil and gas resources of the Arab Middle East,· to inject fear and powerful hegemonic influence of the Western culture and varied civilizations,· to divide and rule the Arab and Muslims people from distance powerhouses,· to create new markets for the dollar and to block trade-business entry of China into the exclusive American Middle East market,·

    To entice ignorant Arab population with false imagery of freedom, liberty and social justice and make the mindless rulers fearful of the US-Europe influence in their future-making,· to distract attention from the decadent Western cultures and civilizations as Huntington warned them of its crumbling and immediate implication for the future,To dismantle the socioeconomic and political infrastructures of the Arab-Muslim world, encouraging internal strife and sectarian bloodshes and making them subservient to the US-European military and economic subjugation.· And so many other short-long terms implications.

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    August 05, 2013 5:30 PM
    Closure of the US embassies at the end of Ramadan is an exercise to improve the image of the US government in the fiasco of the Benghazi attack. Al Qaida or terrorist organizations are not stupid to attack any US embassy if it is closed. They may be smart enough to attack the US the day after opening the embassies. The purpose of terrorists may not be to attack the embassies, but to keep the US always on the edge disrupting normal function of the embassies. Disruption of everything that is normal is the norm of the terrorists rather than the actual terrorist attacks. While the terrorists threaten, they adds to their credibility and strength and expose the weakness of the US. Unless the security of the US embassies are improved with the cooperation of the foreign governments, the US will remain always threatened by the terrorists. Billions of dollars were spent by the US after the embassy attacks in Iran and Kenya, still US cannot protect its embassies and the foreign countries cannot protect the US embassy in their country. Closure of the embassies under threat show the ultimate vulnerability of the US even to protect its own embassies and the staff.

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    August 05, 2013 5:09 PM
    The US cannot defend its embassies overseas. It is the international protocol for the local governments to provide protection to all embassies. If the overseas governments are not providing enough protection to the embassies, US should close such embassies with reciprocal closure of the embassy in the US.. If any embassy is attacked with loss of lives and property, the embassy of that country should be ordered to be closed in the US.. This is the only procedure so that the US embassies are protected. It is strange that US cannot protect its embassies and even its border. All the US military from foreign countries such as Germany, South Korea, Japan and others should be withdrawn to provide protection to the US embassies and US border before the US try to protect other countries by stationing thousands of US military.

    by: Brian Biryomumaisho from: Kigali
    August 05, 2013 2:31 AM
    All these are the costs of unfulfilled promises. as other names we must learn from this. Rebuild the broken walls and remember to restore the lost relationships only for the benefit of the next generations after you. some of these AL-Qaida members are citizens of the US. we should always know that most of our enemies are created by our own making and selfish interests.I strongly think the US should first rebuild Afghanistan, it will be a cost. but this will restore trust and hope in the young Afghans to love the US. The cost of fulfilling the promise is usually high. most especially when one side is filled with pride and the other with grief. Its better not to promise than promising and fail.

    by: Yoshi from: Spporo
    August 04, 2013 5:33 PM
    I wonder how US has got this infomtion and why now al-Qaida plots the attacks on US embassy?

    by: Markt
    August 04, 2013 10:16 AM
    We helped make this bed, and now we have to lie in it. Why does Al-Qaida hate us so much? It all started in 1979 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the U.S. promised to aid the rebels weapons. We kept that promise, and one of those we made promises to was a young rebel leader named Osama bin-Laden. We also promised that once the fighting was over, we would help rebuild their country from its war-torn condition. Well, in 1989 the Soviets had enough and pulled out, and when they left, so did American aid. We did not keep our promise of helping the Afghans rebuild, and that angered those leaders, especially bin-Laden. Al-Qaida was formed to strike back at the 'imperialist and capitalist' America. A simplistic view of the situation, but fairly accurate as far as my understanding of the situation.
    Now, as long as there is one extremist left alive, there will always be a threat to the United States, as long as the idea of 'revenge' remains in one extremist's mind, there will always be an al-Qaida.
    Just goes to show, keep your promises and you will be treated fairly, break your promises and you will be treated unfairly.

    by: J W from: Boston MA
    August 04, 2013 9:14 AM
    Last September, Al Qaida-connected terrorists succeeded in attacking the US consulate in Benghazi and killing 4 American citizens including an ambassador, despite the Obama administration's cover-up.

    So, of course, Al Qaeda will continue to attack the US overseas.

    by: Eric from: Singapore
    August 04, 2013 7:31 AM
    US government is supporting Al-Qaida in Syria. What's the difference?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.