Al-Qaeda Looks Weaker, But Still Hungry to Strike

Anti-terror campaign has taken toll, but threat remains imminent
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 11, 2008 2:48 PM CDT
"Intelligence services have penetrated the networks. They have the desire to attack, but whether they have the capacity is less clear," one analyst says of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Seven years after 9/11, al-Qaeda's hatred of the West hasn't waned, even if some experts think the terrorist group’s capabilities are weakened, the Los Angeles Times reports. Al-Qaeda’s failure to launch any major attacks since 2005 suggests that aggressive prosecution and prevention operations have been successful. However, Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy are still at large.

The extent of the terrorist network’s capacity is debatable. The Globe and Mail reports that instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan is an alarming sign of strategic success for extremists. And a panel of experts writing in Der Spiegel comes up with divergent answers, suggesting the West’s understanding of al-Qaeda remains murky, years after the first major encounter.