‘Qaeda`s ability to carry out attacks diminished’
Al Qaeda`s ability to carry out large-scale strikes has diminished due to campaigns against it.
Washington: Al Qaeda`s ability to carry out
large-scale complex strikes has "diminished" due to recent
aggressive campaigns against it, but the terror network is
trying to launch smaller attacks which are much more difficult
to detect and thwart, the US Defence Department has said.
"...their (al Qaeda and its extremist allies) ability to
launch large-scale, complex attacks has clearly been
diminished by the fact that we have taken the war as
aggressively as we have to them," Pentagon spokesman Geoff
"Now, has al Qaeda and other associated terrorist groups,
have they been able to disperse and crop up elsewhere? Yes.
Are there problems that we need to deal with around the world?
Yes," he told MSNBC.
It is the belief of Pentagon and the Obama Administration
that "we have been able to protect the homeland because we
have been taking the fight to the terrorists where they
operate, where they plan, where they try to hatch these
attacks," he said.
"By keeping them on their toes, unable to really launch
large-scale, sophisticated, complex attacks which result in
mass casualties, like we saw on 9/11, they are far
diminished," Morrell said in response to a question.
At the same time, the Pentagon spokesman conceded that
these terrorist groups have been trying to carry out small
"Well, listen, this is a very difficult situation that we
are arriving at. Whereas we are having tremendous effect going
after large-scale operations; so as a result, the terrorists
are adapting, and they`re using more individuals to launch
smaller attacks," he said.
Such attacks, he observed, are much more difficult to
detect and thwart, "because it`s not a number of people
collaborating, increasing the chances that communications can
be intercepted, individuals can make a mistake, the group`s
activities can be uncovered by our detectives, by our
But a single person wishing to do harm is far more likely
to get through the layers of protection, he argued, two weeks
after Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad allegedly tried to
blow up a Nissan Pathfinder packed with explosives in the
crowded Times Square.
"That is a reality we are confronted with; and yet, we
are doing all we can to even prevent those. Individuals, as
you saw with that vendor (in Times Square who alerted police
about the parked vehicle with explosives inside) and others,
can make a difference. That`s why we all have to be vigilant
to protect the homeland against terrorists," Morrell said.