Al Qaeda Changes Increase Threat to U.S.

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Al Qaeda's long-time second in command Ayman al-Zawahri is reported to be taking over as the leader of the terrorist group in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

Al-Zawahri leadership could mean an increase in planned attacks.

The news comes as new details surface on what was in the material taken from Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. ABC News learned that bin Laden repeatedly urged senior al Qaeda operatives in Yemen to attack the U.S.

Intelligence sources say the Yemen al Qaeda affiliate is currently planning new plots targeting the U.S.

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck gave more insight on al-Zawahri's leadership and the future of al Qaeda.  Click play for his comments.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned the American public about the developments.

"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is strictly, or has been strictly focused on attacks in the U.S. homeland," he said.

"This morning, when you're over your breakfast cereal there is somebody in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula planning another attack in the U.S.," he said.

Another al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlakli, is pushing the organization to conduct as many attacks aimed at the U.S. as possible. Rogers said the fact that al-Awlaki is fluent in English will only make him more dangerous.

"He is really reaching out to English speakers," Rogers said. "[People] that hold the right kind of paperwork or passports that can get into the country."

Al-Awlaki was in direct contact with the Fort Hood shooting suspect before the November 2009 massacre.

A little more than a month later, al-Awlaki's Yemeni group sent the "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a plane over Detroit. Ten months later, the group tried to blow up U.S. cargo planes with printer bombs.

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