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Terror alert spreads to Israel

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The global alert on terrorism has now extended into Israel, which briefly closed an airport Thursday after fears terror groups in Egypt could fire rockets across the border.

While that doesn’t appear to be connected to the U.S. terror alert that has embassies shut down, it’s yet another red flag for a tense situation.

According to Yemini officials, Thursday’s drone strikes killed 10 people. In just two weeks, there have been 31 drone-related deaths. 

Some say that signals success and that the strikes are taking our terrorists. But many others argue they simply stir up more bad blood and spur more conflict. 

Thursday's drone strikes in Yemen may have killed a number of suspected terrorists, but one expert in terror organizations and the Middle East sees the drone strikes as doing more harm than good.

“Where has it got us? More drone strikes, more violence, more revenge attacks, more drone strikes, more central government violence and the cycle of violence just goes on and on and on,” says Akbar Ahmed.

Ahmed is a former Pakistani tribal administrator and ambassador to the U.K. He’s now the chair of Islamic Studies at American University, who says the central problem that has not changed since 9/11 is the broken relationship in large parts of the Muslim world between central government and the tribes and people living on the borders.

“Unless that is repaired the violence will spill over. It’ll continue to claim innocent lives and in that development I’m afraid the United States will be involved in terms of tourists or innocent visitors,” says Ahmed.

While tensions remain high across the Middle East and northern Africa, and embassies remain closed, Stephen Tankel, an expert in Jihadist violence and global security at American University, believes al-Qaida as a whole is weakening, which reduces the immediate threat for now.

“Big picture, it’s a much more decentralized threat that we’re looking at today with a lot of groups adopting what I would call a peripheral Jihad against America. They’re doing their own thing but they’ve also tacked on the desire to hit us,” Tankel says.

As for the embassy closures, Tankel worries the move may portray America as weak, saying there was a lot of “chest thumping” on Jihadist websites in reaction to the move on the mere threat of violence. The State Department has said it wasn’t about to take any chances. The embassies will reopen Saturday.

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