'U.S. officials said al Qaeda's global second-in-command, Atiyah abd al-Rahman -- a Libyan who played a key role in managing ties between the leadership and al Qaeda in Iraq -- was killed in Pakistan last week.
But al Qaeda's resurgence, along with Shi'ite militias often funded and armed by neighbor Iran, represents a dangerous sectarian mix for Iraq as Syria seethes next door and U.S. forces aim to leave by year-end.
"There was a thought that al Qaeda has ended in Iraq. No, they regrouped and now the third generation of al Qaeda is working actively to reorganize itself with weapons and training," Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamal, Iraq's deputy interior minister for intelligence, told Reuters.'