It’s been fifteen years since al-Qaeda bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and twelve years since the world trade centers collapsed. Last year Obama said al-Qaeda was on the run, a spent force incapable of doing any more harm.
But last week a message from Nasir al-Wuhayshi (the head of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula) to Ayman al-Zawahiri was intercepted. In it, al-Zawahiri said to al-Wuhayshi that they should do something “big” and “strategically significant” in Yemen. This single message spooked the NSA to its core … triggering fear, upsetting millions of travelers, causing the closure of 19 embassies and mass evacuations of diplomats and aid workers from Yemen.
All al-Qaeda had to do was send out a few memos and they had the whole intelligence community quivering in its boots.
A murmur alone shut down twenty embassies.
Was it all a hoax? It could be that al-Zawahiri and Nasir al-Wuhayshi are laughing out loud about how easy it is to put the scare into the West.
Or maybe in the wake of the Snowden/NSA affair, could this embassy shutdown have been partially an attempt by the NSA and CIA to justify their existence?
The whole affair left a lot of questions unanswered … we need to shine more light into the darkened rooms of that black box – the NSA’s electric brain.