The Ansar Dine group in northeastern Mali is among the Islamist factions proliferating in North Africa and the Middle East. Officials have focused on possible links between these groups and al-Qaida, but counterterrorism experts say understanding the differences is just as important. Adama Diarra/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Adama Diarra/Reuters /Landov

A drilling rig near Kennedy, Texas, on May 9. U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Gay/AP

Navy mine countermeasure ships line up in August to conduct a replenishment-at-sea during Middle East Gulf naval exercises in this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, 5th Fleet. Toni Burton/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Toni Burton/AP

A Ford Focus on the assembly line in Wayne, Mich. "We have a lot going for us; we've got our problems, but others have problems that are as bad or worse," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The flag of Libya's National Transitional Council (second from right) flies outside the United Nations headquarters building in New York. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Sgt. Ben Roberts (center), recently returned from Afghanistan, speaks with Chick-fil-A manager Michael Sims at a military job fair in Columbia, S.C., in January. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption John Moore/Getty Images

Burhan Hassan of Minnesota was recruited to fight in Somalia for al-Shabab, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group. He was killed there in 2009. This undated file photo released by his family in 2008. Anonymous/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Anonymous/AP

U.S. Marines drive amphibious armored personnel carriers in the Philippines on Oct. 9, as part of the annual joint exercises with Philippine counterparts. Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images