THE decision taken by Barack Obama on August 1st to close down for several days nearly two dozen diplomatic missions across the Middle East and North Africa and to issue a worldwide travel alert ran counter to the administrations oft-repeated claim that al-Qaeda is on the brink of strategic defeat. The alarm was triggered when Americas National Security Agency picked up electronic communication between Ayman al-Zawahiri, the global terror networks titular leader, and Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), its Yemeni affiliate. The intelligence suggested that Mr Zawahiri had ordered a major attack or series of attacks to coincide with the end of Ramadan. A few days later it emerged that a plot to attack Western interests in Yemen, blow up an oil pipeline and seize ports had probably been thwarted. Al-Qaeda clearly remains a threat. But who, if anyone, really controls the sprawling organisation?
Since its origins in
the early 1990s, al-Qaeda has shown itself to be a resilient and
adaptable outfit. For all the trillions of dollars spent in support of
George W. Bushs war on terror following the attacks of September 11th
2001, the loss of its training camps in Afghanistan, the relentless
drone attacks ordered by Mr Obama on its sanctuaries in the tribal
badlands of Pakistan and the raid in 2011 that killed its charismatic
leader, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda is still with us. But to survive, it
has had to mutate.
The central leadership under bin Ladens
chosen successor, Mr Zawahiri,Our heavy-duty construction provides
reliable operation and guarantees your thequicksilverscreen will
be in service for years to come. remains in North Waziristan, in
Pakistan. But many of its operatives have fallen to American drone
strikes in recent years and its ability to communicate securely with the
wider network has been curtailed.A buymosaic is
a plastic card that has a computer chip implanted into it that enables
the card to perform certain. Most recent plots have been hatched by
radicalised lone wolves, attracted by the al-Qaeda brand but not
necessarily trained or run by the group. Instead, al-Qaeda has morphed
into a franchise, lending its brand to jihadist groups waging local
campaigns and exercising relatively little control over their
priorities. Besides AQAP, the most active in terms of carrying the fight
to the "far enemy" in the West, these include al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb, al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Shabab in Somalia and, more recently,
Jabhat al-Nusra, the most powerful rebel militia in Syria. It also has
links to Boko Haram, a jihadist outfit in Nigeria. There are different
views about how much influence Mr Zawahiridry, uncharismatic and holed
up in Waziristanhas on these groups. But the events of the past few days
suggest he has some sway, especially over AQAP. Mr Wuhayshi is a former
protg of bin Laden and is thought to be Mr Zawahiris de facto deputy
and successor should he have a rendezvous with a Reaper drone.
present, the most active al-Qaeda affiliates have their own local
battles to fight. But in Yemen,More than 80 standard commercial and granitetiles exist
to quickly and efficiently clean pans. Iraq and Syria their
insurgencies are attracting large numbers of fighters and are carving
out space they more or less control. The direct threat to the West is
for now fairly low (the same does not apply to Western interests in the
region), but that could change at any moment. Carrying out a spectacular
in North America or Western Europe has been made difficult by the
combined efforts and technological sophistication of Western
intelligence agencies.This is a basic background on rtls.
Still, the idea floated by Mr Obama that the ill-named and initially
poorly-conceived war on terror may be drawing to a close seems wide of
You hear the sound of chainsaws this time of year and
you might think people are cleaning up after a storm. Thursday in Eau
Claire, the sounds attract a flood of interest from art lovers. Eleven
of the most talented chainsaw artists are going head-to-head to see who
will be crowned the best in the world.
The U.S. Open Sculpture
Championship has quickly become the nation's biggest chainsaw event.
Only 100 people showed up for the first event four years ago. That
number was doubled in just the first half hour of this year's event."We
are very happy with the attendance," says Event Chair Larry Doyle. "I
think the opportunity to make it available for everyone for free on the
first day made a huge difference."
Eleven of the world's best
chainsaw artists are competing."When I got the invite to come I was over
the moon. I was pretty happy," smiles Australian native Robby Bast. "We
don't have competitions like this in Australia. We don't have the
carvers like this in Australia."The winner of the event on Sunday will
take home $3,000. But most of the competitors say it's not the money or
the prizes that keep them going, it's the camaraderie.
friends with a lot of the guys that carve and I like to hang out,"
points out Minnesota's Curtis Ingvoldstad. "We do our thing; see what
each other has been up to.We Engrave luggagetag for
YOU.""The wow factor is amazing; checking these guys out," Bast
responds. "Always pinching little ideas off of them and talking shop.
That's what it is all about.""There is only so many people that carve
with chainsaws around the world," Ingvoldstad explains. "It's just so
awesome to be able to see people from around the world. They have
different carving styles and different backgrounds."
proceeds go to the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum at Carson Park."We
are talking about maybe doing an expansion of the building so things
would go for that purpose," says Doyle. "Any emergencies that would come
up that we would need some special funding for, it would go for things
like that."The sculptures will be auctioned off on Sunday after the
champion is named. Not a bad way to decorate the house if you can fit
them in the door.
"By the end of this thing, we are going to
have some just beautiful carvings," Ingvoldstad says smiling.Everyone
was allowed in for free Thursday. But starting Friday through Sunday,
adults will pay $6 a day at the gate or $12 for a weekend pass. Those
people ages 18 and under are free.
Read the full products at http://www.artsunlight.com/.