For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.
Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.
But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.
If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.
During a "series of secret meetings in recent months," the White House began to "consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes" aimed at terrorist groups operating in North Africa, The Washington Post writes this morning.
Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring last year, and many regard it as the most Western-looking nation in the Arab world. Yet it's also waging a roaring debate over how to define freedom of expression in an evolving society.
Tunisian protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy recently in response to the anti-Muslim video Innocence of Muslims. This was just the latest of several episodes in which hard-line Muslims have acted out publicly to what they see as attacks on their religion.
Two weeks after the attacks that killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, there is still confusion about what exactly happened and whether the United States might have prevented the tragedy. Critics of the Obama administration accuse the White House of dissembling about the attack. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston talks to Melissa Block.