Eight years after 9/11, al-Qaeda weakened but not yet defeated

September 11, 2009

(ChattahBox) — On the eight year anniversary of the September 11 attacks today,  under heavy pressure now in Pakistan, Afghanistan and already marginalized in Iraq, al-Qaeda is weakening because it’s having difficulty attracting new recruits.  Attacks by CIA drones and disruptions of al-Qaeda communications have lowered morale in al-Qaeda’s “core,” which has been reduced to a senior leadership of six to eight men, according to western counter-terrorism officials.  Several key figures have been captured and or killed since July 2008, including Abu Khabab al-Masri, chemical and biological arms expert, and Baitullah Mehsud, head of the Pakistan Taliban.

The terror network has not managed an attack in the West since July 2005 and the group’s decline has some experts arguing the al-Qaeda threat is starting to recede. According to The Guardian, al-Qaeda is increasingly relying on its affiliates in Yemen and North Africa, which are disorganized and have much less popular support. The Guardian also reports that the Taliban view al-Qaeda as a liability, increasing the chances of the west acquiring intelligence that will lead to bin Laden’s capture. But despite the cautious optimism of al-Qaeda’s diminishing presence, the terrorist organization still retain the capability of striking overseas, so the war on terrorism is far from over.


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