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Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, November 10, 2008
Posted: November 14th, 2008

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere. These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States. In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan. Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A.. In others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of C.I.A.-directed operations. Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. The new authority was spelled out in a classified document called Al Qaeda Network Exord, or execute order. The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states.

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