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.
 
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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
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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.

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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?

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