Worst Intel Blow of 2013: News of al-Qaeda Intercept
NYT: Trumps Snowden's leak in terms of harm to surveillance efforts
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2013 7:48 AM CDT
Ayman al-Zawahri.   (AP Photo/SITE Intel Group, File)

(Newser) – Quick, answer this: Has any 2013 intelligence leak been worse for US counterterror surveillance efforts than Edward Snowden's big document dump? No? You're wrong, at least according to the New York Times, which talked to unnamed senior officials and government analysts who say the title belongs to an August revelation tied to the huge attack al-Qaeda was planning in Yemen. After word leaked that the US intercepted communications between Ayman al-Zawahri and Yemen affiliate chief Nasser al-Wuhayshi, terrorists have severely dialed back their use of what the Times describes as a "major communications channel" the US was tracking.

"The switches weren't turned off, but there has been a real decrease in quality," says one official. That's a much more damaging effect than Snowden has had, the sources say: Terrorists have been overheard discussing his revelations, but those revelations haven't led to a significant abandoning of electronic communications. The Times points out that McClatchy was the first to report the news of the intercept; McClatchy's Washington bureau chief told the Huffington Post at the time that it got the news out of Yemen, where it was "pretty much common knowledge." Tweets Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, "This @nytimes story pretty much accuses McClatchy journalists of helping al Qaeda."

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Sep 30, 2013 6:58 PM CDT
P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } And still, the question remains unanswered. Why is all this happening now? Why is “terrorism” such a threat”? Never before have there been so many high profile, major “terrorist” incidents. Before September 11, 2001, only one incident in New York, the claimed explosion in the Twin Towers parking garage. And even that was suspicious. A single van blowing up, but filling a more than hundred story building with thick smoke. And the insipid image the New World Order wanted the gullible to take away from the event, the people streaming from the building with thick mustaches of smoke under their noses. Never before had smoke filled environments caused that kind of a sight. They evidently realize how moronic that looked because they seem to have pulled all such pictures from the net. Try and find even pictures of “actress” Susan Ruttan from “Without Warning: Terror In The Towers” with a smoke mustache. And even elsewhere around the world, major events sparse and infrequent. But, since September 11, London, Madrid, Mumbai, Rafik Haririri, Benazir Bhutto, the Sears Tower plot, the Ft. Dix plot, the “underwear bomber”, the “show bomber”, the “Times Square bomber”, Ft. Hood, the anthrax incidents. A century's worth of such major incidents in less than a decade and a half! The technology seen in “attacks” after September 11 was there fore September 11, and, supposedly, the “hatred of the U.S.” was there, too, so why did they wait until that day to begin the staccato barrage of incidents? It sounds so much like an engineered spate of incidents intended to intimidate the gullible and make them willing slaves of the New World Order.
Sep 30, 2013 12:25 PM CDT
What is the big deal, we have been training and giving weapons to Al Qaeda for years to do our dirty work. Just like 9/11 we would of sat back and let people die for no reason other than starting another war. Type this into bing; [ US media suppressed 2009 UN report showing Israel using chemical weapons against Patedtinians ] Inste4ad of giving Obama the nobel peace prize, he should of recieved the liars hyprocrite award.
Sep 30, 2013 11:49 AM CDT
This is so blatant it's nauseating. The government is trying to reduce the psychological effect, the anti government effect, of some Snowden revelation they are expecting soon. They desperately want some "event" that might eclipse whatever it is they are afraid of and this is the best they could come up with. Whatever Snowden is about to drop, it must have some bureaucrats quaking.