Results tagged “United States”
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Gen. Martin Dempsey, head of the Joint Chiefs, said the Syrian conflict has become a regional one "that stretches from Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad" and will not be resolved quickly or easily. He said the US is looking for ways to help bolster Jordanian defenses. Shelton Thomas Bell, 19, of Jacksonville, Fla., pled not guilty to charges relating to his jihadist activities, which included training and traveling with a juvenile to the Middle East last year to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
A senior US official said the recent al Qaeda threat "expanded the scope of people we could go after" in Yemen because it shed light on those who are providing direct support for terrorism. The State Department condemned the terrorists who set off a number of car bombs in Baghdad as "enemies of Islam" for targeting families celebrating Eid al-Fitr, and reiterated the offer of a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is thought to be in Syria. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a Bangladeshi national, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for an al Qaeda-inspired plot to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan.
President Obama reiterated that "core al Qaeda" has been "decimated," but said regional affiliates still present dangers. Reports indicate that the recent closure of more than 20 US diplomatic facilities abroad stemmed from communications between al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri and multiple regional subordinates. US and Russian officials agreed to work on military cooperation and plan for a Syrian peace conference. The charge of obstruction of justice was added to charges filed against Kazakhstan nationals Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, friends of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The US plans to reopen 18 diplomatic facilities on Sunday, but will keep its embassies in Yemen and Pakistan shut for security reasons.
The US evacuated most of its diplomatic staff from Lahore, Pakistan, because of "specific threats" against the US Consulate, and warned American citizens against traveling to Pakistan. Federal authorities in Miami, Fla., charged Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 30, a naturalized US citizen and resident of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Mohamed Hussein Said, 25, a Kenyan national and resident of Nairobi and Mombasa, with numerous crimes involving the provision of support to al Qaeda, al Qaeda in Iraq/ Al Nusrah Front, and Shabaab. The suspects are also accused of "recruiting and moving experienced al Shabaab fighters to the conflict in Syria."
US politicians and defense and intelligence officials said today that intercepted al Qaeda communications over the past few months have indicated a high threat level. A US media report alleged that the latest precautions were triggered by the interception of an al Qaeda conference call involving representatives of a number of affiliates along with the group's top leadership. President Obama canceled the planned summit in Russia.
The US filed murder charges against Ahmed Abu Khattala, who is linked to Ansar al Sharia, for his role in the murder of US personnel in the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi; sealed charges have also been filed against about a dozen others. US officials said the recent flurry of drone strikes in Yemen were an attempt to disrupt an al Qaeda plot, but they are not sure if the strikes have disrupted it. The State Dept. evacuated some diplomatic staff from Yemen and urged US citizens to leave the country. Mike Morrell, the outgoing second in command at the CIA, called Syria the primary security concern for the US, and said more fighters are entering Syria each month to join al Qaeda-linked groups than were entering Iraq at the height of the war with al Qaeda in Iraq.