'Weakened' al-Qaeda a threat to US
Washington: Two years after the killing of former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the terror network has become so decentralised that its affiliates in Yemen and elsewhere now pose a greater direct threat to the US.
Bin Laden's death was undoubtedly a severe blow to al Qaeda, but counterterrorism analysts continue to see the group as a potential threat to the US, though its role has evolved, reports ABC News. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) told Congress in April that the threat from Al Qaeda and the potential for a massive coordinated attack on the US may be diminished, but the jihadist movement is more diffuse, with domestic extremists and jihad-inspired affiliated groups still determined to attack Western interests.
Surprisingly, for the first time since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the terror threat posed by al Qaeda and other terror groups did not top this year's version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment prepared by the DNI. Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert at Georgetown University, says bin Laden's death in May 2011 was regarded "as a decisive corner having been turned in the war on terror" and agrees that it hastened the terror network's decline.