March 27, 2012
There has been a subtle shift taking place in the intelligence community in recent months.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials say analysts and experts who have been tracking al-Qaida for more than a decade have been quietly reassigned. Some are being moved completely out of al-Qaida units. Others are being asked to spend less time watching al-Qaida and more time tracking more traditional foes — like state-sponsored terrorists.
U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers or detail which intelligence units have changed priorities, but they did say that a goodly portion of the analysts who have been reassigned from their al-Qaida duties are being asked to focus on one country: Iran.
Officials said that with the relative threat from al-Qaida declining, it made sense to reallocate resources, and with the increase in terrorism-related activity linked to Iran, it also made sense to focus on it.