Washington: Even as the US has been successful to a large extent in defeating al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents continue to pose serious threat to America, a top White House official has said.
"Despite our many successes, the unfortunate truth is that there will always be another threat. Killing Osama bin Laden and degrading core al Qaeda does not put an end to terrorism or our focus against it," Lisa Monaco, the Assistant to US President, for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism said.
"Terrorists will continue to attack our diplomatic facilities, our businesses, and our citizens, and we know al Qaeda core and its affiliates, like AQAP, remain determined to attack the homeland," she said in her remarks on `America`s Counter-Terrorism Strategy` at the New York University School of Law yesterday.
"We also see the potential for direct threats to emerge from new directions, particularly from al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, which are gaining strength in the midst of a protracted conflict between rebel forces and Assad`s regime," she said.
The top Obama confident said the American strategy reflects a commitment to partner with host nations, with allies, and across the expertise in own government to confront an increasingly diverse and diffuse terrorist threat.
"That integration and tempo of operations was on full display last month when over the course of a few days, the US government executed a series of operations targeting specific threats including an attempted capture of an al-Shabaab leader in Somalia, the successful capture of Abu Anas al-Libi indicted for his alleged role in al Qaeda`s conspiracy to kill Americans, including the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 15 years ago," Monaco said.
"These actions send the message loud and clear:? We will use every tool at our disposal to prevent an attack against the United States or go after those who seek to do us harm no matter how long it takes," she said.
Monaco said a host of factors from political upheaval in the Middle East to easy access to information have spawned a more diverse terrorist threat than it faced a decade ago.
"The group that attacked us on 9/11 core al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self, and we continue to degrade its capacity," she said.
"Al Qaeda core`s leaders now spend more time hiding than plotting attacks. In their place, more dispersed terrorist elements have taken on greater prominence in the fight. First, there are the regional al-Qaeda affiliates. Chief among them is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula the most ambitious and active affiliate.
Monaco said a second category of threats are those loosely aligned groups who are not al Qaeda affiliates but who subscribe to al Qaeda`s ideology.
"The third category of threat is the most unpredictable extremists who self-radicalize here in the United States, sometimes without any personal contact with al-Qaeda, beyond perhaps consuming their online propaganda.
"Attacks like we saw in Boston last spring are not unstoppable, but the self-contained nature of this threat presents an added layer of difficulty for those who work nonstop to detect them," Monaco added.