One of the most active fronts in the war on terror is Washington, D.C., where skirmishes over our understanding of al Qaeda have grown increasingly frequent and bloody.
Although this battle has raged for years, recent events have raised the stakes. From the president of the United States on down, analysts, scholars, and pundits have been confounded by the evolution of al Qaeda from a single, central group based in Afghanistan into a hydra with heads in (at minimum) Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, and most importantly, Syria.
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