On Oct 19 President Obama delivered a speech claiming Al Qaeda is nearing defeat. On that same day, Al Qaeda delivered an attack on a Yemeni army base that killed 24.
Obama told a cheering crowd: “Four years ago, I told you we’d end the war in Iraq and we did. I said we’d end the war in Afghanistan and we are. I said we’d actually focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and we have. Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”
In Yemen, two Al Qaeda suicide bombers in military uniforms, in a military car, drove their car into the military base in Shuqra and detonated it. At that point, other Al Qaeda militants opened fire from outside the base. In total 16 army personnel were killed and eight Al Qaeda members.
While Obama told the cheering crowd, “Osama bin Laden is dead” — as if that means the war on terror has been reduced or nearly wrapped up — Saudi Arabia, many Yemenis, and others in the Gulf region told news outlets that Al Qaeda is on the rise and they fear Obama’s handling of the war on terror is actually driving that group’s membership higher.
Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) “was formed by Saudi and Yemeni militants in 2007,” and has been on an upward trend for the last few years. They are not nearing defeat.