Not so far back - 44 LOL'd al Qaeda was about as hot as School Of Fish.
Only now -
For an organisation that is said to be in terminal decline, al-Qaeda will draw immense satisfaction from the events of this past weekend, when it demonstrated its ability to disrupt the work of Western governments by forcing the temporary closure of dozens of diplomatic missions throughout the Arab world.
While it is unclear what kind of threat prompted the US government to initiate such radical measures, or the Foreign Office to shut the British mission to Yemen, American intelligence officials are convinced that al-Qaeda is planning a spectacular attack to mark the festival of Eid, which comes at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Specifically, they say the intelligence relates to a deadly al-Qaeda cell operating in Yemen, a war-torn country where the writ of the government barely extends beyond the confines of the ancient capital, Sana’a.
The fact that Asiri and his associates, both in Yemen and elsewhere in the Arab world, retain the ability to cause a global security alert suggests that, for all the efforts undertaken by Western counter-terrorism agencies, al-Qaeda remains a considerable threat to our security.
The widespread closure of diplomatic missions over the weekend certainly appears to contradict 44's claim last summer that the “war on terror” was drawing to a close, and that the al-Qaeda organisation originally founded by Osama bin Laden no longer had the ability or capacity to cause wholesale carnage in the West.
The President made his comments in the wake of the successful mission to eliminate bin Laden at his hideaway in Pakistan in May 2011. Bin Laden’s death – together with the targeted killing by drone strikes of scores of senior
al-Qaeda terrorists hiding in the remote mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan – was used to justify the impending withdrawal of American and other Nato forces from Afghanistan. After all, if al-Qaeda no longer had the capacity to terrorise the West, then there was no need for American and British soldiers to continue risking their lives.
Whoa! - Plus
There has been an uptick in reported airstrikes in Yemen in the past week, which may be related to the intercepted communications about this attack. Strikes were reported in Hadramawt on August 1, Shabwah on July 30, and Abyan on July 27—all in traditional AQAP strongholds. It remains to be seen whether these strikes, the closure of diplomatic posts, and other steps the U.S. and its allies may be taking have disrupted the plot.Pic - "Who's on the run here? Us or al Qaeda?"