Oliver North: Snowden, Obama to Blame for al-Qaida 'Pep Rally'

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 09:01 PM

By Greg Richter

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A "pep rally" by al-Qaida members seen on Islamist websites this week was not detected by U.S. intelligence because Edward Snowden has given groups a heads-up on avoiding detection, says former Lt. Col. Oliver North.

"Eddie Snowden has helped people figure out how to avoid signals intelligence," North said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

The video shows members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, including its leader and No. 2 overall in al-Qaida, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, meeting outdoors in the open.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers told CNN on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence was unable to make a drone strike on the meeting in Yemen because terrorists have changed their communication methods, relying more on couriers now.

Rogers blamed those changes on leaks from an operation in Yemen in 2012 and did not mention Snowden, the NSA leaker who last year released a trove of documents detailing how the agency is able to spy on people worldwide through telephone and email communications.

North called the event a "pep rally" and "a stick right in the eye of the Obama narrative that says they're on the ropes."

Al-Qaida is now "proving to everybody they're not on the ropes," North told Van Susteren.

The video will be used around the world to say "the Americans can't stop us," North said.

CIA Director John Brennan has been lying to the American people about what the CIA can do, North said, adding that the agency is unable to get human intelligence by infiltrating terrorist groups.

Terrorists, on the other hand, know immediately when the United States launches a drone.

A lack of respect from both enemies and allies has exacerbated U.S. problems, North said, making it impossible to get people to be moles.

He criticized what he called a lack of leadership from President Barack Obama, who he said has gone back on "red line" warnings against Syria and not acted forcefully enough to suit many hawks against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine.

"If you were a local being recruited by a CIA officer, would you trust that America was going to be there for you?" North said.

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