Officials: Al-Qaida Chief's Orders Led to US Terror Alert
U.S. media reports say intercepted communications between al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and the head of the terrorist group's offshoot in Yemen prompted the Obama administration to close dozens of U.S. diplomatic posts and issue a worldwide travel alert.
The reports said that al-Zawahri ordered Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, to carry out an attack as early as this past Sunday. Al-Wuhayshi was recently elevated by al-Zawahri as al-Qaida's second-ranked leader.
Analysts say the communications indicate that al-Zawahri is working through al-Qaida's regional affiliates now that the core group has been substantially weakened.
Some embassies were reopened Monday after a day-long shutdown, including posts in Algiers, Baghdad, Dhaka, and Kabul. Nineteen others will stay closed including Amman, Cairo and Sanaa, and Tripoli.
The State Department says it is keeping the 19 embassies closed "out of an abundance of caution." Spokeswoman Marie Harf says officials will keep analyzing intelligence as it evaluates security needs.
Philippines Promises More Sea Patrols with Newly Acquired US Warship
Philippines President Benigno Aquino is promising enhanced maritime patrols following the arrival of a second decommissioned warship from the United States.
President Aquino made his comments Tuesday at a ceremony that saw the 3,250-ton cutter, renamed the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, officially dock at a former U.S. naval base, Subic Bay.
Mr. Aquino's speech did not mention China, which is involved in a bitter territorial dispute with the Philippines over a resource-rich area in the South China Sea.
It is the second warship recently donated by the U.S. to Manila, which does not have a strong navy compared to many of its neighbors.