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Flashback: WH Claims ‘Core Al Qaeda Has Been Decimated’

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared that “it continues to be clear to this day that core al Qaeda has been decimated” during the September 26, 2014 White House Press Briefing.

After stating that “it continues to be clear to this day that core al Qaeda has been decimated,” Earnest clarified that “these individuals and this organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan, was so decimated that they had to flee to another country to try to find another safe haven to try to get into a position where they could carry out attacks against the West. That’s an indication of the constant pressure that they’re under right now. It also is an indication that the United States needs to continue to be, and is continuing to be, vigilant about the threat that is posed by remnants of al Qaeda, that there are affiliates around the globe that do continue to pose a threat to Western interests, and whether its Somalia, or Yemen, or, yes, even in Syria, the administration will put in place a counterterrorism strategy to deny them a safe haven, to mitigate the threat that they pose, and, where necessary, use military force to degrade their ability to strike the West, or to strike the US homeland. So, we remain vigilant.” He added, “there’s no denying the significant success that we have had in decimating and destroying core al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

After ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl how Earnest could say al Qaeda was “decimated” when they had simply moved to Syria and were strong enough to plan imminent attacks that required US airstrikes, Earnest stated that “that network, that previously was entrenched in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was so entrenched there that they could launch a worldwide conspiracy that allowed them to conduct a large-scale attack on the American homeland no longer exists, that network is gone. What they have done, like other al Qaeda affiliates, is fled to other places, hoping to hide from the United States, because of the pressure that they’re under and try to organize and plot against Western interests and possibly the Western homeland, we need to be vigilant against these threats, and we continue to be, but there’s no denying that the network that existed before 9/11 has been decimated and destroyed.”

Thursday, MI5 Director Daniel Parker said “a group of core al Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West,” and Friday, a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed the group was responsible for directing the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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