US sources: Al-Qaida intercept is just one piece of threat intelligence

By REUTERS
August 6, 2013 02:46

WASHINGTON - Intercepted communication between al-Qaida leaders was one component of a broader pool of intelligence that prompted a threat alert closing numerous US embassies in the Middle East and Africa, US sources said on Monday.

The New York Times reported that the closure of the embassies was the result of intercepted electronic communications between Ayman al-Zawahri, who replaced Osama bin Laden as head of al-Qaida, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of Yemen-based affiliate al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

US sources said that while some type of message between Zawahri and AQAP was intercepted recently, there were also other streams of intelligence that contributed to the security alert, which was prompted by a threat from AQAP.

"The threat picture is based on a broad range of reporting, there is no smoking gun in this threat picture," a US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.


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