Although President Obama is always ready to remind us that Osama bin Laden is dead, intelligence reports indicate that Al Qaeda has grown stronger not simply on Obama’s watch but especially since bin Laden was killed.
According to the Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET), “Al Qaeda is responsible for four times as many terrorist attacks today as it was before the September 11, 2001 attacks.”
Since bin Laden was killed in May 2011, the group “has decentralized its hierarchical cell structure and improved financing methods, attack approaches, and communication techniques to counter new intelligence efforts.”
LIGNET credits the “overall leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri” with much of this growth. Under him Al Qaeda has “successfully evolved into a franchise organization” where various affiliates throughout numerous countries help carry out the terror group’s mission.
On August 8, Breitbart News reported that Obama has failed to understand how the emergence of these affiliates is more than a “local” problem. As a result, groups like the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen (AQAP) have suddenly emerged as a capable foe, one that can utter terror threats sufficient to convince the U.S. to close embassies around the world and issue warnings for citizens to avoid travel to certain countries.
According to LIGNET, al-Zawahiri “envisions a broad Islamic caliphate, or Islamic state, and provides intellectual leadership to [Al Qaeda] affiliates to help reach that goal.”
LIGNET says then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s 2011 claim that the U.S. was “‘within reach of strategically defeating [Al Qaeda]’ was highly overstated.” Far from strategically defeated, Al Qaeda is now “a relentless and significant threat to the West.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.