Al Qaeda likely to hit Western targets outside US

Under new al Qaeda leader Zawahiri, the group is likely to hit Western targets outside the US, where plots are easier to execute.

Washington: Under new al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group is likely to hit Western targets outside the United States, where plots are easier to execute than on American homeland.

Fox News quoted US officials, as saying that al Qaeda is expected to shift strategy, under its new leader, placing a higher priority on attacking the US and Western targets overseas.

This broader attack strategy advocated by Zawahiri better aligns the goals of al Qaeda``s leaders in Pakistan and affiliates, particularly in Yemen, which are increasingly becoming the group``s frontline operators, the report said.

US officials told that the modus operandi of al Qaeda``s branch in Yemen is to conduct any type of attack possible, whether or not it will have a spectacular result.

As a result, the US may have to alter its approach to counter terrorism operations, especially if al Qaeda``s Yemen and North African branches try to seek out US or other Western targets in Europe or Africa.

Such attacks would be reminiscent of al Qaeda``s first U.S. attack, the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania for which Zawahiri has been indicted.

It is not clear how aggressive Zawahiri, a 60-year-old Egyptian doctor, will be in executing his strategy in the near term.

Zawahiri has kept a low profile since taking over the terrorist group. He released a video on June 8 eulogizing bin Laden and vowing revenge for the Al-Qaeda leader``s death.


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