Al Qaeda turning to smaller attacks: White House

Al Qaeda`s capacity to mount 9/11-style spectaculars had been undermined by the US` action.

Washington: The White House said on Wednesday that al Qaeda was turning to smaller, "less sophisticated" attacks as its capacity to mount September 11-style spectaculars had been undermined by the US action.

Several recent thwarted attacks, including the failed bid to bring down a US airliner on Christmas Day and Saturday`s foiled car bombing in New York, have seen extremists employ smaller-scale operations.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs noted the Obama administration had over the last year upped the tempo of its anti-terror efforts in South Asia, Africa and around the world.

As a result of that strategy, al Qaeda had suffered a "degradation" of its command and control structure which had "lessened their ability to plan and execute attacks of a spectacular nature like September 11," Gibbs said.

That had led the group to "smaller, less sophisticated attacks," Gibbs said.