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CIA drone kills Al Qaeda No. 2

Drone Wars: Is it legal?

Legal scholars, diplomats, military experts and activists have all weighed in on the issue, but to date there is little consensus on whether drones are acceptable under international law.

Al Qaeda remains biggest threat to U.S, State Department report says

The report also lists Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba as what the United States considers to be state sponsors of terrorism

Jihadist calls for death to David Letterman over al Qaeda jokes

"I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears, one of the lowlifes of the Jews, and one of their pigs, mocking one of the leaders of the mujahedeen," Umar al-Basrawi posted on the Shumukh al-Islam Web forum.

Yemen’s al-Qaeda want toxic bombs

US officials say al-Qaeda in Yemen is trying to make bombs using the lethal poison ricin for attacks against the US.
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Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen are planning a deadly ricin attack on the US, security officials have warned Obama. (PATRICK BAZ/Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has for more than a year tried to procure materials such as castor beans to produce the highly dangerous poison ricin, American counterterrorism officials have told New York Times.

The powdery substance is so deadly that a dose as small as a few grains of salt can kill an adult if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

Intelligence gathered has concluded that AQAP operatives are trying to procure castor beans, which are used for ricin production, and processing agents and bring them to the tribal province of Shabwa in southern Yemen, an area where Yemeni forces have reportedly been battling AQAP.

The intelligence points to AQAP secretly trying to produce the white powdery ricin, which it is planning to pack around explosives to detonate in contained spaces such as shopping malls, an airport or a subway station.

According to the New York Times, President Barak Obama and top national security aides were briefed on the threat last year and have received periodic updates since then.

A senior Defense Ministry official in Sanaa told GlobalPost the security crisis in Yemen stemming from its political paralysis is helping AQAP expand and experiment with new tactics.

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Al Qaeda group plans to release animated cartoon to recruit kids

Terrorists connected to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said they were creating the animated film to inspire children to join the jihad, but some users on jihadi websites said the characters were too "scary" for kids
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The planned cartoon does not feature depictions of Osama bin Laden. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

An al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen is planning to release an animated film cartoon aimed at recruiting young people to the militant network.

Terrorists connected to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based affiliate, said they were creating the cartoon to inspire children to join the jihad, a posting on an extremist website said, according to the Daily News.

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Holiday reading for terrorists

Aspiring jihadists can browse the new issue of Al Qaeda’s English-language magazine ‘Inspire’, edited by a US citizen, and out on the web now.
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(Screengrab)

The summer issue of Inspire promises fascinating reading for budding terrorists, brimming with information of victories on the battlefield and stories about martyrs.

Its cover story, ‘Sadness, Contentment, and Aspiration,’ focuses on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) ongoing battles in Yemen.

“They obliterated the apostate army,” the article says about its soldiers, “took millions of dollars from them, and were able to obtain enormous heaps of ghanimah [booty].” The magazine’s sixth issue also claims AQAP has seized “everything from tanks, hummers, anti-aircraft weaponry, armored vehicles, and all sorts of heavy and light weapons.”

Less grandiosely, Inspire also deals with the killing by US Special Forces of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, lamenting the “loss of a great leader” and congratulating him for achieving martyrdom. Inspire pledges that his death will have little effect on the future of the organization.

“The news,” writes American citizen, Samir Khan, believed to be the editor of Inspire, “brought us a mixed sentiment of sadness, contentment and aspiration.”

Khan, 24, from North Carolina, was on an FBI watch list when he travelled to Yemen three years ago.

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Letting an old friend go

After a five-month uprising and an assassination attempt against him, the US is telling Yemen’s President Saleh to step down.
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In better days. President Saleh giving a speech during an electoral campaign in 2006. Now he is being asked to step down. (CRIS BOURONCLE/Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan is on a mission to do what civil war, secession, rebellion, attempted assassination, an economy in meltdown and week after week of mass protests have so far failed to achieve: Persuade Yemen’s canny, tribesman president of 33 years to step down.

Brennan flew into Saudi Arabia this week to meet long time US ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh who has been receiving medical treatment in the kingdom since a bomb explosion in his palace left him with severe burns.

Brennan asked President Saleh to “expeditiously” agree to a transition deal where he would transfer power to the vice president and step down, in exchange for immunity from prosecution for corruption.

Saleh said he viewed the proposal as a “basis” for a national dialogue, comments sure to be taken by his opponents as proof he will never willingly step down.

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Yemen’s Saleh warns US: It’s me or Al Qaeda

Is Yemen’s embattled President Saleh stoking the Al Qaeda threat in last-ditch attempt to cling onto US support?
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A man claiming to be an Al-Qaeda member addresses a crowd gathered in Yemen's southern province of Abyan (-stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Yemen's embassy in Washington has been busy trumpeting the expanded military operation it says is taking place against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in south Yemen’s Abyan province.

For the US, which views AQAP as one of the most dangerous Al Qaeda branches after a lucky escape on Christmas Day 2009 when an AQAP-trained bomber failed to detonate his explosives aboard a flight over Detroit, the news that Yemen is cracking down on terrorists might seem welcome.

The Yemeni embassy said AQAP was “taking advantage of the fluid situation in the country” and that AQAP had been offered protection by a few tribal leaders and that “this protection and cooperation has facilitated the recruitment and operations in some districts within that province."

However, the embassy noted, “tribesmen loyal to the state have recently demonstrated their unyielding cooperation with the on-going military campaign to put a halt to AQAP's expansion into their territories.”

"If President Saleh leaves power al-Qaeda will surely take over in five Yemeni provinces,” Abdu Ganadi, a government spokesperson told Global Post. “The opposition should not talk about power transfer and should focus more on fighting terror before it's too late. They are becoming stronger every day.”

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How many drones does it take to kill a terrorist?

New US defense secretary says there's only a couple dozen terrorists left to kill.
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Pakistani tribesmen gather for funeral prayers before the coffins of people killed in a U.S. drone attack on June 15 in North Waziristan (Thir Khan/AFP/Getty Images)
In case you missed it, over the weekend the new U.S. defense minister, and former C.I.A chief, Leon Panetta, told the New York Times that the defeat of Al Qaeda was within reach. In fact, he said that if the United States could capture or kill about 10 or 20 terrorist leaders believed to be based in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, then the war would be won.
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