Topic: Michael Leiter
The assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen and Al Qaeda recruiter in Yemen, will be heralded as a major triumph in the US today. But it has very little to do with Yemen's own problems.
America's intelligence-agency chiefs unveil the annual National Threat Assessment, saying that success against Al Qaeda means that domestic terrorism is now 'priority No. 1.' They also say they knew Egypt unrest was 'close,' but couldn't foresee when it would ignite.
Al Qaeda now hails Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, suspect in the Fort Hood shooting, as a 'trailblazer' for how to attack the US. Some analysts say that praise points up the group's organizational weakness.
The suspected jet bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, says he was trained in Yemen, the lawless land of Al Qaeda affliates. Obama might be able to prevent more suicide bombers with preemptive action in that growing terrorist haven.