Chiheb Esseghaier met with Al Qaeda operative abroad

What is clear is the alleged direct involvement of Al Qaeda associates in Iran or along the Afghan-Iran border, makes the case uncharted territory and a high priority.

“That in itself for us is quite significant,” said a source, who spoke, as all did on condition of anonymity. “It’s the first time we have a situation where there’s support or direction being provided from Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda associates.”

The individual declined to give details about what the alleged Al Qaeda support entailed — whether it was financial, training, or otherwise — except to say it was substantive and more than casual online encouragement.

As for the territorial reach of investigative resources, sources suggested it is not absent, but “limited.”