Less than two years after being fully and finally “decimated” by the Administration of President Barack Obama, Al-Qaida has somehow managed to foment new leadership and organize into what CNN described Wednesday as “what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering in years.”
That story featured a video Wednesday that depicts a large open-air gathering of more than 100 al-Qaida terrorists rallying and listening to a fiery anti-U.S. pep talk from the group’s worldwide second-in-command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. A CNN terrorism analyst said the group met somewhere in Yemen.
Notably, there’s a brazenness to the tone of this gathering, as the story observes.
A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike….
In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.
The video is better-produced than many that have emanated from al-Qaida in the past, and analyst Peter Bergen believes the group is demonstrating a fresh confidence in its ability to carry out strikes against the U.S. — though U.S. intelligence either doesn’t know, or isn’t commenting on, the nature of any plots against the Nation.
“The U.S. intelligence community should be surprised that such a large group of al-Qaida assembled together, including the leadership, and somehow they didn’t notice,” said Bergen. “… The main problem about this group is that it has a bomb maker who can put bombs on to planes that can’t be detected.”
Obama touted the imminent eradication of al-Qaida as a terror threat against the U.S. throughout his re-election campaign, telling multiple audiences that the group is “on the path to defeat” and its loose network of affiliates are “on the run.”
An alternate theory suggesting a reason behind al-Qaida’s recent resurgence might posit that the terror group never has been “decimated” and that its organizational, communications and recruiting tactics have simply changed to accommodate both the Obama Administration’s few successes and to take advantage of newly lawless zones that permeate freshly destabilized areas of the Mideast.