Posted by lex, on May 11th, 2011
The juxtaposition of alternative realities within our national security apparatus would be amusing, if there wasn’t so very much at stake:
U.S. security and intelligence officials say al Qaeda is severely weakened after losing Osama bin Laden, and some analysts go further, noting cautiously that the terrorist group may be in its death throes from the relentless U.S. and allied campaign to kill and capture its leaders and members.
The killing of bin Laden, after a 10-year manhunt, is prompting a reassessment of the threat posed by al Qaeda and whether groups loyal to the longtime senior commander will unify behind a new leader or fracture more.
The US state department’s top official for counter-terrorism has warned that al-Qaeda’s affiliates remain as deadly as ever despite the killing of Osama bin Ladens, and that extremist groups are trying to take advantage of the fighting in Libya and unrest in Yemen.
Daniel Benjamin, co-ordinator for counterterrorism at the state department, also noted that al-Qaeda groups were increasingly financing themselves through kidnappings, with terrorist organisations netting more than $100m from ransoms in recent years.
“We still face a very formidable network,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.
The two news stories came out within four hours of each other, and nearly ten years after the greatest intelligence failure in US history, one of them is almost certainly correct.
It is to weep.
** 05-15-18 – Paywall now – was in UK Financial Times – Ed.