President Obama's recent speech on counter-terrorism policy defended drone strikes while suggesting a new determination to close Guantanamo. To undermine the narrative of international terrorists, he must show that force is a less efficient tool than the observance of universal values and the rule of law.
Recent allegations by the Canadian authorities about Al-Qa'ida in Iran has ignited a flurry of commentary. Experience suggests however that the release of limited intelligence of this nature is fraught with dangers for the public trust and risks being counter-productive.
As motives and operational set-up of the Boston bombers become known, urgent questions will be asked about how US intelligence agencies are prioritising threats in the United States. The case reveals the huge dilemma faced in collecting, evaluating and acting on credible intelligence leads.
The authorities in the United States are rightly cautious in ascribing blame to yesterday's incident in Boston. The explosions - killing three and injuring over 140 - highlight the importance of securing public events without being governed by fear.