NATO officials say an al-Qaeda cell leader who may have been training suicide bombers was one of the two insurgents killed in an air strike in Afghanistan over the weekend. The New York Times says the Obama administration is engaged in a secret war against al-Qaeda. Drones and commando teams are said to be tracking terrorists in about a dozen countries. Nearly all of it in secret, with potentially little or no oversight. The paper tracked some of the covert actions. Mark Mazzetti is national security correspondent for the Times, he joined American Morning Monday.
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Obama throws support behind controversial Islamic center
President Obama threw his support behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, saying Friday that "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country."
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," Obama said at a White House Iftar dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The president's remarks drew praise from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced his support for the Islamic center last week.
Bloomberg compared Obama's speech to a letter President George Washington wrote in support of a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. "President Obama's words tonight evoked President Washington's own august reminder that 'all possess alike liberty,' " Bloomberg said in a statement.
"I applaud President Obama's clarion defense of the freedom of religion tonight," he said.
Critics of the proposed Islamic center quickly denounced Obama's remarks. "President Obama is wrong," said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). "It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero. Unfortunately, the President caved into political correctness."