The U.S. Was Listening In on a Major Al-Qaeda Conference Call

(Daily Beast) Eli Lake and Josh Rogin - The crucial intercept that prompted the U.S. government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al-Qaeda's senior leaders and representatives of several of the group's affiliates throughout the region. The intercepted communication last week between al-Qaeda's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, came from a conference call that included more than 20 leaders or representatives of the top leadership of al-Qaeda and its affiliates calling in from different locations. Included in the call were leaders from Nigeria's Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaeda in Uzbekistan, and al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula. "This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom," said one U.S. intelligence officer. During the meeting, the al-Qaeda leaders discussed plans for a pending attack and mentioned that teams were already in place for such an attack. In addition, Zawahiri announced during the meeting that Wuhayshi had been promoted to "general manager," effectively giving him operational control of al-Qaeda's affiliates throughout the Muslim world.

2013-08-08 00:00:00

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