What You Need To Know About Al-Qaeda Today

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

With this week's terror alerts bringing al-Qaeda back into the spotlight, Dina Temple-Raston, NPR Counterterrorism and National Security correspondent, discusses the state of the organization, and why Yemen continues to be a hotspot.

Reading List: AQAP, Yemen, and Al-Qaeda Today


Dina Temple-Raston

Comments [19]

anna from new york

Frankly, Brian, if I had listeners like this "Rose" or Ed from Larchmont - illiterate, pretentious, bigoted, primitive - I would have closed the shop or killed myself.

Aug. 17 2013 01:00 PM
anna from new york

Some sicko named Rose-Ellen dominates the discussion.
Words have meanings, sicko. This isn't the Holocaust, bozo.

Aug. 17 2013 12:57 PM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

All I can come up with to explain our reticence to end this holocaust -is that perhaps we WANT a genocide of Syrians Arab Muslims. Tiny Israel could use more land after all. Mc Cain is an innocent who does not hate Arab Muslims [Sunni/Shia civil war is the code used to justify a holocaust of Arab Muslims as our narrative is that though Sunnis are being massacred by Assad our "concern" is that if we topple Assad there could be reprisals against Alawite/Shia Muslims so a holocaust against Sunni Arabs is acceptable]. So he sees clearly the horrendous situation going on and decries it. Everyone else welcomes it. So they decry HIM. Hope I'm wrong but how else explain how we now side with a Russian and Iranian backed brutal regime committing a holocaust?

Aug. 07 2013 12:34 PM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

I'm appalled by the left's silence regarding the holocaust by this Stalinist like and Russian and Iranian backed regime. I support Mc Cain as he's the only one with a conscience regarding a holocaust going on right before our eyes. That the rebels also become depraved is also atrocious. Unfortunately that is what happens in wars. I still say that once the people themselves have risen up to topple a brutal dictatorship[unlike Iraq where the people never rose up top topple their dictator], we have a moral obligation to assist them. For that same reason I supported our helping the Libyans topple Gadaffi. Especially since we went to Iraq and Afghanistan decrying dictatorships and have military bases and warships in that region. That all of a sudden after we demonized for years the Syrian regime, we now come up with reasons to do nothing as men, women and children get tortured and killed by the thousands by a brutal 40 year dictatorship defies comprehension. The left and right are in cahoots in witnessing a holocaust. Unbelievable. As a Mc Cain is labeled senile for having a conscience!
To take the position that Assad is good for Christians therefore we should not topple him-is reprehensible. As long as it's Muslim men ,women and children being tortured and killed- that's acceptable? No one can predict what a post Assad Syria would be like. But mankind is us now and we have a moral obligation to stop a holocaust -especially by a regime we ourselves spent decades deriding as criminal. Once the people agree with us and rise up to topple it, we come up with reasons to support it? Even as we're calling for the toppling of the Iranian regime which backs the Syrian regime!Bizarre-to say the least!

Aug. 07 2013 12:01 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose-ellen from jackson heights,

Since you acknowledge that the deaths of 100,000+ in Syria is a crime against humanity, when have you or the "anti-war", "progressive", "peace and justice" crowd demonstrated across the street from the Syria embassy/mission/consulate?

Over the past 2 years, about how many demos have there been?

What is your view of the "rebel" who literally cut out the heart of a Syrian soldier and ate it?

Search Youtube with "rebel eats heart".

Aug. 07 2013 11:29 AM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

I agree with you about Syria. There is a holocaust taking place there and we're supporting the perpetrators. If we helped the people topple this evil regime -we could end terrorism directed against us. Alquada are not by and large fundamentalists fighting to impose Islam on the world. That is a false narrative about them designed to paint them as irrational and serves our purpose to hide our unjust policies of propping up dictators for cold war benefits, military bases and below market oil prices which led to their creation. They want to topple all regimes that are not of the people. Bin Ladin opposed both the Iraqi dictator and Syria's dictator and supported the Egyptian uprisings. They see themselves as freedom fighters fighting for self determination of their people. We should and could join forces with them and end the holocaust taking place in Syria by a regime we ourselves labeled part of an axis of evil.

Aug. 07 2013 11:08 AM
tom LI

To siarho - IF the NSA cracked that conference call - it did NOT involve domestic phone/email data capture - so while a crooked cop can still make a good arrest, he's still a crooked cop.

To Martin Chuzzle - And what about all of Bush and Company lies? When did we start holding any Presidents feet to the truth fire when it came to telling the real and whole truth about our military "wins!"...? What proclaimed "win" over the last few decades was a real and true win...?

To John from office - really, just kill the Gitmo detainees? Wake 'em up and kill them before prayers, perhaps? I think all you soft-office big-mouths should be the ones doing such despicable deeds, so you can finally fulfill your Video game Shooter fantasies...! We're the USA, we just dont murder detainees! (we might humiliate them, but not outright kill them!)

Big Surprise - not ! that a terror group has the means to resuscitate itself. That they are following the US and Wests example of outsourcing, and hiring "contractors" to do the dirty work. That they can use technology almost as well as we can, perhaps better, should not be a surprise to anyone, least of all those who work in the anti-terrorist business.

The one and only lesson to be learned from any of this is - Americans are delusional beyond all measure. As a Gov't and people we actually believe, like truly deep down believe we can pound the hell out of other people in foreign lands - who are disparate in location and organization, and beat them and win a real and full victory!

FYI; we cant, never could, and never will (shy of nuking huge swaths of population centers)

12 years and billions of dollars wasted on military "adventures", and who knows how many victims, and we're still where we were, maybe worse...

We gotta wake up folks...

Aug. 07 2013 10:54 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose-ellen from jackson heights

Is a guy in civies carrying an AK47 a "civilian"?

What uniform does Al Qada wear to differentiate themselves as fighters and not civilians?

Are guys driving around in a Toyota pickup truck with rocket launchers and IEDs while wearing clothing typical of real civilians - a fighter or a civilian?

As far as civilian deaths, the people who bomb mosques, schools in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, have killed more civilians than the US has.

Aug. 07 2013 10:45 AM
george from newark

siahro - you answered your own question. Proof, no doubt, that we need all this surveillance. The timing is a little fishy....

Aug. 07 2013 10:37 AM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

I love the way the guest dismisses as irrelevant the suggestion that the killing of civilians by Americans via drones strikes could possibly be a recruiting ground for "terrorists". like it's one thing for us to go to war after our civilians are killed, but why would they care if their men, women and children are getting their arms and legs blown off by Americans. Arrogant and clueless. However the price to pay for such imperialist hubris-is our scrambling when one of them sneezes.

Aug. 07 2013 10:37 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

It's worth pointing out that in the accompanying photo at the top of this segment, the dark spot on Zawahiris forehead is a black and blue, hematoma, a visible sign of his devout head banging on the floor doing his prayers.

Aug. 07 2013 10:36 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ Chuzz - I believe the guest based on discussions happening at the time Obama was regularly making those statements about the "core" of al Qaeda being devastated.

"Obama: 'Al Qaeda's core leadership has been decimated.'" (from 2012 Presidential debate)

_Defining al Qaeda_ (expert perspective)

Of course, you can choose to interpret rhetoric/events however you want even if you only offer rhetoric - and never fact - yourself.

Aug. 07 2013 10:35 AM

Who cracked the conference call with all the top Al-Queda members chatting away about their plot? The NSA of course.

Aug. 07 2013 10:26 AM
Mike from LI

After 12 years and tens of billions of dollars wasted, I wanna know who held the personal responsibility and who was fired in America because Al-Qaeda is still there and able to shout down American embassies. Maybe what we have to know about Al-Qaeda is that there is no responsibilities in elites in the US

Aug. 07 2013 10:22 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Thanks for that audio ... Barry Hussein lied about al-Qaeda.

Your guest, an NPR hack, still defends him. Who you gonna' believe, your own ears or her?

Aug. 07 2013 10:20 AM
john from office

Where is the "release them all from Gitmo" crowd. the answer is that these people must be killed, their hate is so great that we have no choice. And no, it is not all muslims, but if you believe the west is evil, it is a little hard to have a discussion. Thank god for the Seals, the Drones and the USA.

Aug. 07 2013 10:20 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It sounds like the drone attacks are driving a lot of people into Al Queda.

Aug. 07 2013 10:16 AM

I find it interesting that all of a sudden, after a huge defeat, Al-Queda is back in light of a huge NSA privacy scandal. Could it be a way to take attention away from more important things?

Aug. 07 2013 10:12 AM
Smokey from LES

Closing all the embassies is clearly the State Department not wanting to take a chance of more withering criticism by Republicans following Bengazi. It's not a good way to run a railroad.

Aug. 07 2013 10:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.