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New Al-Qaeda Generation May Be Deadliest One

Al-Qaeda has exploited the chaos and turmoil of revolutionary change in the Arab world to create operational bases and new strongholds, writes Bruce Riedel.
Veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar speaks in this undated still image taken from a video released by Sahara Media on January 21, 2013. Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility in the name of al Qaeda for the Algerian hostage-taking, and his Mulathameen Brigade warned it would carry out further attacks on foreign interests unless the fighting in Mali stopped Mauritanian news website Sahara Media said on January 20. REUTERS/Sahara Media via Reuters TV  (ALGERIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DA

The dramatic attack in Algeria this month on a natural gas facility underscores the emergence of a new generation of al-Qaeda across the Arab world, "al-Qaeda 3.0" or the movement's third generation.

Despite Osama of bin Laden's death, al-Qaeda has exploited the Arab Awakening to create is largest safe havens and operational bases in more than a decade across the Arab world. This may prove to be the most deadly al-Qaeda yet.  And at the center of the new al-Qaeda remains the old al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri still hiding in Pakistan and still providing strategic direction to the global jihad.

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