Core group of al-Qaeda has weakened: US

"Al-Qaeda has adapted over the past 10 years. Certainly, the core group that was responsible for attacks, you know, in a range of countries, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya and more recently, the United States and other places. You know, the core al Qaeda we believe is weaker," US State Department spokesman P J Crowley said yesterday.

"By the same token, there is a broad global network, as the Secretary (of State, Hillary Clinton) has termed it, a syndicate of terror. There are groups, regional groups that have chosen to affiliate themselves with al-Qaeda.

"You have al-Qaeda in Iraq, and we've had success against al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. We are working intensively with the government of Yemen to help combat al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," he said in response to a question.

"We are concerned about al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and are working collaboratively with countries in the region and others who have an interest in that part of the world. So we have certainly improved our capabilities over the past 10 years," he added.

The US had strengthened its ties with all concerned countries to develop global collaboration to combat terrorism. "We've significantly improved our collaboration and cooperation with a range of countries, including Pakistan and India, because whether it is al-Qaeda or others who practice terrorism, this represents a threat, you know, in South Asia, but more broadly in other parts of the world as well."

"So we have strengthened our relationships with all countries that confront a threat of terrorism, including Russia. Since we're mindful of the attack in the Caucasus over the past few days, this is something that has become a significant area of discussion with many, many countries around the world," Crowley said.

"The global collaboration is stronger than its ever been. Our mutual commitment to fight violent extremism in all its forms is stronger than its ever been. But this, obviously, will be something that will take some time to resolve," he noted.

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