Al-Qaeda Chief's Order to Attack Sparked Terror Alert
Yemen No.2 was ordered to carry out attack
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 10:16 PM CDT
Updated Aug 6, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
A Yemeni soldier stops a car at a checkpoint in a street leading to the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013.    (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

(Newser) – The intercepted al-Qaeda message that sparked a spate of US embassy closings and travel warnings came from the very top. Ayman al-Zawahri, leader of al-Qaeda since the death of Osama bin Laden, had ordered the head of the terror group's Yemen-based affiliate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to carry out an attack, reports the New York Times, which says it knew of Zawahri's involvement last week but was asked to keep it quiet by the State Department.

AQAP founder Nasser al-Wuhayshi, bin Laden's former private secretary, was recently promoted to No. 2 in the wider al-Qaeda organization, a move analysts see as an attempt to compensate for the terror group's setbacks elsewhere. "It’s very worrisome because al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the most effective and threatening affiliate," a terrorism expert tells the Washington Post. "So now the leader of the most consequential affiliate has an intimate command role in the overall organization."

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
sickdaddy
Aug 6, 2013 6:16 AM CDT
This guy needs to get back on tour with zz top
Bartmaeus
Aug 6, 2013 4:36 AM CDT
Ayman al-Zawahri has worked for western foreign intelligence for decades, since his early days plotting against the Nasser presidency, which was way too close to the Soviets.
winterfairy
Aug 6, 2013 1:46 AM CDT
Nothing like a good terrorist scare to keep the Police State fluffed up.