US special forces on alert overseas to strike any potential Al Qaeda targets
August 5th, 2013
03:41 PM ET

US special forces on alert overseas to strike any potential Al Qaeda targets

By Barbara Starr

American special forces units overseas have been on alert for the past several days for a mission to attack potential al Qaeda targets if those behind the most recent terror threats against U.S. interests can be identified, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.

The official declined to identify the units or their locations because of the sensitive nature of the information.

The units, along with several others, were put on heightened alert by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week.

The United States closed embassies and consulates across an area of Africa and the Middle East and imposed a global travel alert for Americans following threats against U.S. interests described as serious and credible.

An intercepted message among senior al Qaeda operatives in the last several days raised concerns that led to the closures, CNN has learned.

Three sources said the United States has information that members of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are in the final stages of planning an unspecified attack.

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  46. RCDC

    I think we (USA and allies) should focus on Syria, Iran, Russia, China, and their allies after Mr Obama make a decisions on Syria. It could become a world wide conflict.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
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  48. Greg, Ontario

    So much for any surprise. Way to alert the bad guys CNN. What side are you on anyway?

    August 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  49. Joe

    Seems most readers here have no idea the U.S. government actively funds AL-CIA-DA. It's not a conspiracy theory. It's reality.

    August 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  50. fredericko postincini

    its all because of that youtube video remember...

    August 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  51. ericson covet III

    "walk loudly and carry a really big stick"

    August 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  52. Skorpio

    In 1980, only Iranians were the only ones violating embassies and the Ayatollah praised these guys for their actions, now is everywhere and all Islamic clerics are behind these attacks.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  53. Todd Perry

    Why would our own government and liar obama have our troops attack terrorist forces when we train and supply these very groups with weapons for years and still do it today? This story is a smoke screen to get everyone attention off the crimes obama has committed and the illegal NSA spying.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @Todd,supplying weapons from Pres.Obama,good theory bud..Anything like Reagan with the Iran Contra deal,seliing sar
      in gas to Hussein,Kadafi to use on his own people or using Rumsfield as supplier of weapons to afghan rebels also training them against Russian troops that are now used against us..Any similarities there bud or is that all smoke and mirrors too..Hey your hatred for our first black president is showing go back to your cave !!

      August 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        Hello Pete, it's true. The U.S. government has been propping up AL-CIA-DA for a long time. The mulatto (about as black as Zimmerman is Hispanic) President has no objection to this. If it's racist to criticize Obama, the same should be for Bush.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Pete

        @Joe,its been obvious since day one republicans are the racist party ,just look at their members in both houses...Just a sprinkling of color so they don't all look Lilly white like a KKK meeting .Remember the Tampa convention when republican reps were throwing peanuts at the black reporter for CNN calling her a monkee,that's republicans,no matter how you shake up that barrel and turn it over all you get are racist and republicans so far have proved it over and over!!Bush was never criticized to the extent that Pres.Obama has and you know it ,remember the disrespect that Gov.Brewer of Arizona or justice Roberts publicly expressed toward our president our first africanamerican one I might add,I do!!

        August 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • Mark Adams

        Pete takes his eye off the ball and continues push the "Blame Bush" scenario, that Americans are ignoring. Todd's got a point. This admin is aiding and abetting.

        August 7, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • Pete

        @Mark,and what president hasn't helped out in abetting,just name one maybe Carter ,he's maybe the only one!!And yes I'll blame Bush till hell freezes over and you'll deny you not only voted for that Texas idiot once but twice even after seeing his catastrophes he created won't yah...You're independent now aren't yah Mark,another republican in denile ,right!!

        August 7, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  54. Pete

    Let's get the hell outta there and let them fight against themselves till none are standing,they deserve it!!Again cut foriegn aid and try helping our own citizens here that are struggling for once with some of that aid money that only goes to the leaders in mostly corrupt countrys and you'll know who they are starting with Netanyahus Isreal!!

    August 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  55. The Long Haul

    Today's special forces are taking their turn in a fight that has gone on for a very long time. We are in the same struggle that Charles Martel fought in at the Battle of Toulouse in 721 A.D. Barring the apocalyptic use of nuclear weapons, the war will probably continue for another thousand years.

    If we want Western culture to survive and prevail, we must do the following:
    1. Encircle the Islamic world and practice a policy of cold war containment. We must ally with China, Russia, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
    2. We need to stop immigration from Islamic countries. The mass migration of Islamic immigrants is intended to establish a foothold in the West.
    3. We have to ween ourselves off of Middle Eastern oil to the maximum extent possible.
    4. We have to disentangle our arms industries from the Middle East and force Islamic nations to rely on their own technologies and industrial base for weapons.
    5. We have to have a clear vision of how we want the Islamic world to evolve and make it clear that acceptance into western society requires certain evolutions in Middle Eastern culture that include certain thresholds of non-violence and tolerance.

    August 6, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Seriously? Come one now. Wake up to the fact this whole thing is a staged joke. And you saw what happened to SEAL Team 6, I hope. They figured out what was really going on and ended up on the White House hit list. Let's hope the SF guys politely stay in their boxes and follow orders.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  56. J.Long

    Honestly, is anyone all that surprised that a culture with wild religious views who has been occupied by foreign militaries for years who employ drones to kill them is trying everything they can to hurt us?

    Greed for oil is what got us into this mess and we all know it but choose to accept a terrorist attack now and again.

    There needs to be a seismic shift in our government to rid ourselves of our thirst for their damn oil.

    August 6, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  57. cnet

    Al Qaeda threatens the world with potential terrorist attacks....

    We send U.S. special forces to make Al Qaeda pee their pants. Just saw today that four Al Qaeda militants were already taken out in Yemen. My how the tables have turned.

    August 6, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Sounds like fantasy land. You do know who AL-CIA-DA works for, don't you? The SF is likely working alongside them.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  58. CatSh

    War is evolving to address the changes in national threat. We no longer have massive movements of men and armament who meet and fight it out to determine a winner causing wide-spread destruction. We have small groups with special skills and arms competing behind the scenes.
    What I see is one side attacking symbolic targets, causing little damage but basically 'counting coup'. The other trying to stop them by killing them.
    The attackers are getting publicity, but not accomplishing any sort of goal. They are attacking targets and not their attackers – who are killing them a few at a time. This is ultimately a losing strategy. They gain no territory or power physically or psychologically. This is important if an ideology is to survive – it must gain a safe haven in order to grow. The only havens they have gained is by destroying the infrastructure of a region – meaning they destroy what they need to grow and expand.

    August 6, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Chris

      BINGO! This is exactly what makes them terrorists as they have no real plans on governing a region. Their sole purpose is to be disruptive.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Follow the money. That'll lead right back here to the U.S. government. You want to stop terrorism? Get America back into the hands of the American public. Otherwise, the ship will be captained by the terrorists themselves. That's who runs the country.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply

    For me THE ONEs I AM CONCERD WITH is all the muslims in the world. When will they become exstremist?? and start blowing things up?? I am a vet from oef- oif even our interps we couldent trust em. We can't trust any call me racest call me crazy but the way they think will blow your mind.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:28 am | Reply
    • worldlypatriotusaveteran

      QUOTE: .....the way they think will blow your mind!"

      COMMENT: Yes! But, Western countries cannot expect much from a culture and religion that:

      1. Thrives on living in the past (14th Century values)
      2. Believes their messiah ascended to heaven on a winged horse
      3. All non-Muslims are infidels, and the must be killed, but appeasing infidels for a short time is fine
      4. Rewards attacks on innocent women and children by convincing the suicide attackers they will immediately go to heaven, live in a mythical city with streets of gold, and unlimited food, and, of course, scores of virgins.

      August 6, 2013 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Joe

      They mainly do what the Pentagon tells them to do.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  60. kjatexas

    Send them to Hell, Special Forces.

    August 6, 2013 at 4:26 am | Reply
    • Joe

      They won't be doing that.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  61. pat

    Erkel and his gang are just showing you the usual smoke & mirrors! "It was a video." REMEMBER? I suggest you all read the current #1 sellers out there..."The Amateur", "Injustice", "Obama's Enemies' list" The raping of our once proud nation continues!

    August 6, 2013 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Rodeoblu

      You are as stunningly ignorant as you are off some of the responses to this threat from both sides of the aisle you monumental moron...

      August 6, 2013 at 3:06 am | Reply
  62. J. Ripper

    Give em hell boys.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:34 am | Reply
  63. johnny _m_mustard

    Look Servicemen, Ayman al-Zawahiri needs a bullit in his forehead. Go do it !

    August 6, 2013 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • Rocketman

      Why don't you go do it?...

      August 6, 2013 at 12:57 am | Reply
      • cnet

        Because we have brave, elite, special forces volunteers that would be much more effective than you or I.

        August 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Joe

      He's probably hanging out in the Pentagon with the rest of the terrorists.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  64. maddog

    What happen to classified information, wait why not telling them when and how and type of Arms we're carrying as well. I love when you report a story but when it comes to stratigic battle plans you might want to keep your head where it belongs.

    August 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • American Mom

      I said that back during Viet Nam. It's just gotten worse.

      August 6, 2013 at 1:15 am | Reply
    • Joe

      AL-CIA-DA gets their intelligence directly from the White House. Their bosses. You won't be able to cut off that flow. Wait! You didn't think they were a legitimate enemy, did you? The real terrorists are closer than you think.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  65. Winston

    The Ministry of Truth has spoken...

    August 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  66. RossOKC

    I wish we could all work together against these terrorists. The reason they are embolden is that they see us as divided and fragmented. We are Americans, and we should all work together to combat any threat against our freedom and our wish to live together in peace.
    Let us work together, and let us learn to compromise.
    We can be again what we once were, a nation of people that cares about everyone of us, a nation that works together, a nations who welcomes immigrants to join us....
    ....or we can be like Rome, a nation of haves and have nots, a nation that fell in spite of it's military power, to our petty squabbles.
    History repeats itself. I hope that we have the wisdom to avoid this future, but who knows?

    August 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Reply
    • Chooch0253

      You want to unite and stop terrorists? Take away their funding. Every barrel of oil that comes out of the Persian Gulf or the Middle East funds them. IF we were to unite as a nation and develop alternatives to their oil, develop alternative technologies to fossil fuels, and shared those technologies with the rest of the world, they would have no funding to conduct any operation short of herding goats. You are correct we should learn from History. We have been in that area of the world since 1940 trying to control the political climate militarily and politically not to mention giving arms to various groups that we end up going to fight. Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are just a couple of names that should be familiar to you. How did that work out for the United States? Now we have war mongerers providing arms to Syrian rebels. Why so we can go fight them 10 years from now?

      August 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Reply
      • Domingo

        The federal govt. should take full advantage of the massive oil and gas reserves that we have in this country. Green Energy is an oxymoron.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:08 am |
      • sara


        August 6, 2013 at 1:13 am |
      • American Mom

        We don't actually need their oil anymore. We have access to other sources. Australia has enough untapped oil to make Saudi Arabia look like nothing. Unless an American owns a part of their oil production business, I can't think of a reason we're still buying from them. I'm thinking Cheney. He's just enough of a chump to play both sides for the money. Now there's a story for a reporter to sink his teeth into. If he lived long enough to report it.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:21 am |
      • Joe

        The main funders of the terrorists are the U.S. taxpayers. The U.S. government funds terrorism all over the planet and we get to pay for it.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • davidv

      Doubt if, unlike WWII, we will ever see all Americans on the same page with regards to national defense. We have the Doves who believe that 9/11 was well deserved because the US mistreated Muslims. And we have the Hawks who would just as soon attack 100 Al Qaeda tomorrow.

      BTW I believe that the DOD should attack 1,000 Al Qaeda targets tomorrow just to stay in practice.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:49 am | Reply
  67. Nick Smith

    Go SF.

    August 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  68. lmao

    everyone commenting on this website is a fool.

    August 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • Chooch0253

      a post from someone with a vast amount of experience at being a fool no doubt.

      August 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • TomDickAndHarry

      That means...

      August 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • cnet

      Well then....welcome fool!

      August 6, 2013 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Joe

      True. A bunch of Kool-Aid drinkers who are willing to bend over and take one where the sun doesn't shine from the TSA. Many of these folks really believe the crap coming from the U.S. government and the mainstream media.

      August 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  69. jed

    If they weren't stupid we would be screwed.

    August 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  70. are122

    Iin the final stages of planning an unspecified attack? WOW! Hillary better hurry and apologize!!

    August 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  71. pologrounds625

    So jimmy if the govt did absolutely nothing, just to appease you and entertain the nsa debacle and there was an attack, what would be yiur complaint? you would complain and blame the govt for the failure to act. Right?

    August 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      As history has proven (do you read?), government has always been the biggest threat. You name the incident, usually there's a government hand involved. No, I'm not talking kooky tin foil hat nonsense. Look up real history. We haven't had a legitimate foreign attack since practically the War of 1812.

      Sorry but it's a real shame to look back at history but when you look back at the various incidences that the U.S. government had justified some kind of escalation of events, it was a staged act that got us there.

      That's how it works in the real world.

      August 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  72. pologrounds625

    The people that complains constantly are the same morons that expect the decisions made should go through them first.

    August 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  73. Freedom Storm

    Incompetence on display to the world. Terrorists make a few well-placed and well-timed calls among themselves. BINGO. 20-some embassies closed. And terrorists now know precisely how said incompetence tracks, disseminates, and interprets such calls (if any, in fact, were made).

    August 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • MC

      Oh give it a rest, you flatulent half-wit.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Reply
      • buckcameron

        Well said.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • pologrounds625

      Freedom storm what do you suggest? im curious what goes through the mind of a complainer.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • D

      Great comment...inormaion like this always shows the hand of the government. In WW2they had to hide their intel (ENIGMA) from tipping their hand on how they collect intel. Any time its rleased by overt defensive actions the "enemy" uses it to interperet how it ws collected. As for the comment about whethe there was actually a threat, Id have to agree with you. Seems very dubious timing that this inte was gathered right when the NSA and PRISM are under fire. The CIA and their ilk have been caught lying so often its a miracle anyone believes anything they say. The uninformed masses will hate this comment becaue it challenges their world view bt the educated few will be in agreeane. Start by lookinginto the Gulf of Tonkin , Operation Gladio, Operation Northwoods...the proof is there if you want to see it.

      August 6, 2013 at 3:59 am | Reply
      • Joe

        When it comes down to it, you really can't trust anything the U.S. government tells you.

        August 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  74. Jimmy

    When you have a scandal such as the NSA scandal you have to do something to distract from it and make your past sins look justified.Scare hell out of everybody,lie lie lie to cover up the scandal and divert the media attention elsewhere.

    August 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • MC

      Another moron heard from.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      • buckcameron


        August 6, 2013 at 2:01 am |
  75. TopView20

    In general, I think the USA agencies are too numerous, too loud, too big, and too incompetent to stop whatever huge attack that may be planned. If our government was more interested in defeating the terror organizations, it would not broadcast some much information about our strategies. If our government was interested in defeating terror organizations, we would not create endless holes and opportunities for the terrorists to slip out of custody and back to their networks. Face it, the US government never intended to accomplish our objectives.

    August 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Astounded

      The govt wants terrorist attacks. Theyre good for business!

      August 6, 2013 at 12:36 am | Reply
      • davidv

        I also heard that professional wrestling was real.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:57 am |
  76. Jrtyuk Ffhuk

    I have found that even invented threats are as real as the day is long

    August 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  77. H. B.

    It's as usual: damned if they do, damned if they don't. Many people are grousing that they think the threat alert is just a way to keep the "sheeple" (their term) frightened, and to make a show of protecting Americans for political purposes.

    On the other hand, if nothing was being done to bolster security right now, and an attack DID occur, these same people would be screaming about how irresponsible the government was, failing to protect Americans, accusing the government of letting an attack happen so it can declare war on somebody.

    Can't win, can they? So they might as well be responsible. Why not?

    To some linear thinkers, the mere announcement of a threat is nothing more than a government ploy, riddled with nefarious agendas. It won't occur to them that the threat is real unless an attack occurs; then they'll get busy laying blame.

    Even I received an e-mail from the government, outlining the warnings. Maybe it's because I live abroad, but I'm not in any country at risk of attacks – even less at risk than the States is. I did just renew my passport, but not to travel. I need it to remain legally in this other country. Nor have I traveled in many years. Nor have I made travel plans, or gotten myself on any government lists to receive security warnings. I have to give them credit for being extremely thorough, and I'm grateful for it. It strongly encouraged me to pass the notice on to others, especially people I know who plan to travel soon. They're not letting any grass grow under their feet on this, and that, in my book, is being responsible.

    More people, from what I've read of comments in various places, seem to feel that the threat is mere imagination, pure hype. They'd probably have said that when people tried to connect the dots before 9/11, but were stifled in doing so.

    I can tell you one thing that doesn't depend on anyone in government or in the media: Islamists intend to conquer the whole world, and by ANY means at all. I've studied Islam for almost 20 years. I know what it is. Unless you have also studied it, you do NOT know anything of importance about Islam. Not even things that could bear on your own survival. You prefer your ignorance and denial. One day, that will cost those who do so.

    Their god tells them they must conquer the whole world. MUST. It is not a suggestion. Read their holy books, and you, too, will actually have the facts about Islam.

    I wouldn't go into a panic over a warning like this, but I would become much more observant and vigilant, and would avoid public transportation and places where people congregate in large numbers. I take the government warnings seriously because I take these terrorists seriously. It's really that simple.

    August 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • Winston

      Thus spake The Ministry Truth

      August 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • American Mom

      Good post. I'm curious as to why the government thinks the threat is aimed at embassies. Obviously we're not being told everything, but that's par for the course.

      August 6, 2013 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • Rodeoblu

      Well said...and far too sensible for many of these wing-nuts

      August 6, 2013 at 3:13 am | Reply
  78. Jack Hollis

    It makes me sick just how the right-wing politicians in Washington are using these clowns. I wonder if any of the so-called "threats" are genuine or invented by the C.I.A. We"ll probably never know for sure.

    August 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • guest

      your prez supports muslim terrorist.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Reply
      • MC

        Get psychiatric help, you sad little half-wit.

        August 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • davecu

      Review Benghazi.
      Maybe these mutts are learning from the mistakes that didn't happen.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • cnet

      "...a senior Obama administration official told CNN."

      You mean left wing???

      August 6, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
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