Al-Qaeda Down, Not Out

Terror group is handicapped but still lethal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2010 1:43 AM CST
This video frame grab shows al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri as he praises Abu Laith al-Libi, a slain al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/IntelCenter)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration has hobbled al-Qaeda, but the group is adapting, shifting its strategy to less ambitious but nevertheless deadly tactics. A relentless assassination campaign executed by Predator drones have killed two leaders and hundreds of foot soldiers in the past 6 months. Meanwhile, efforts to disrupt the group's financing network have given al-Qaeda a permanent cash-flow headache.

The result is that the world's foremost international terror group is now likely incapable of launching 9/11-like attacks, reports the Washington Post. Yet operatives remain determined, and have shifted their focus to low-budget attacks using "small numbers of terrorists, recently recruited and trained," such as the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, the director of national intelligence told Congress last week.

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