Assessing the Threat From al Qaeda

Is the militant Islamist group still a danger to the West?


Since carrying out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, al Qaeda has become more decentralized, and some say stronger, with affiliates launching sectarian attacks in the Middle East, Somalia, Algeria and beyond. The ruthless Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) currently sweeping through Iraq, was a part of al Qaeda until February, when it was expelled for excessive brutality. In Yemen, President Obama has launched more than 90 drone strikes against an al Qaeda affiliate there, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered the most serious direct threat to the United States. Meanwhile, al Qaeda's traditional leadership in Pakistan is weaker as a result of U.S. drone strikes that peaked there in 2010 and the killing of Osama ...

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