Most of the stories about the recent security alerts say they came about because the US intercepted communication between al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Yemen affiliate chief Nasser al-Wuhayshi. But the Daily Beast reports that this was no one-on-one call. In fact, representatives from about 20 al-Qaeda groups were on the line. It was like a "board meeting," write Eli Lake and Josh Rogin. They quote an intelligence officer who goes one better: "This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom," he says, pulling out an old Super Friends reference.
During the call, the al-Qaeda leaders talked about having teams in place for a pending terror attack—maybe this one?—and that's what prompted the closing of embassies and the global travel alert. The revelation suggests that Zawahri has a better handle on the al-Qaeda network than believed. “This may punch a sizable hole in the theory that al-Qaeda is on the run,” John McCain tells the Daily Beast. (Read more al-Qaeda stories.)