Whether or not Al Qaeda has regained its pre-9/11 operational capacity, the terrorist group has certainly beefed up its PR. Al Qaeda’s media arm has released at least 63 audio and video messages this year, compared with 58 for all of 2006, according to AP figures. And they're are slicker, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
They're also more timely, getting the Al Qaeda response to events onto web sites within days. One expert attributes the improvement to better technology, enhanced security, and competition from other militant groups. Experts note that Al Qaeda’s increased visibility doesn’t necessarily indicate an imminent attack on Western targets, despite Michael Chertoff’s “gut feeling” to the contrary.