Press Esc to close
Thursday 23 October 2014
News updated at 4:30 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Al Qaeda decimated but not finished: Panetta

Washington, Nov 21, 2012 (PTI)

Al Qaeda has significantly weakened in Afghanistan and Pakistan with its capacity to launch major attacks diminished, but the "cancer has metastasized" to other areas and there is need to prevent "new safe havens", US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said.

Addressing an audience here, Panetta said due to a relentless campaign, al Qaeda's ability to carry out a large-scale attack on the US has been seriously impacted, and as a result the US is safer against a 9/11-type attacks.

"These gains are real. But it is important to point out that even with these gains, the threat from al Qaeda has not been eliminated. We have slowed the primary cancer – but we know that the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the global body," he said.
Panetta said the US will continue to fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan and its commitment to the region is long term.


"We are not going anywhere; our commitment to Afghanistan is long-term; you cannot wait us out. This is important because al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces under pressure in Pakistan continue to view the rugged terrain of Northeastern Afghanistan – especially Kunar and Nuristan provinces – as a viable safe haven.

"A relentless and effective counterterrorism effort conducted by our Special Operations Forces this year made clear that we will not allow them to regain that sanctuary.
"As a result of prolonged military and intelligence operations, al Qaeda has been significantly weakened in Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

Panetta said al Qaeda's most effective leaders had been eliminated, its command and control degraded, and its safe haven was shrinking, with the result that its ability to carry out a large-scale attack on the US has been seriously impacted.

Panetta said the US first dramatically expanded counterterror operations on the Af-Pak border, and parallel to it launched a resourced effort to help build an Afghanistan that can secure and govern itself.

"Over the last few years, al Qaeda's leadership ranks have been decimated. This includes the loss of four of al Qaeda's five top leaders in the last two and a half years alone – Osama bin Laden, Shaikh Saeed al-Masri, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, and Abu Yahya al-Libi," he said.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523