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-- troubling new report warns that al-Qaeda is expanding operations across the Middle East and here now with some insight is Mike -- she's.
-- officer for the department of defense and former director of strategy for the White House Security Council thanks for joining us.
So the State Department yesterday released its annual report on terrorism this one for 2011 and it says that.
The death of bin Laden and the deaths of other key members of al-Qaeda have quote.
Put the network on a path of decline -- that will be difficult to reverse.
On the other hand they say affiliates like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are getting stronger but you say that's a distinction without a difference.
Yeah I think it is I mean at the end of the day we talk about core al-Qaeda as though -- -- out tremendously different from these other branches and sequels that they have.
-- used on an analytical context on the one hand understand because they might have some more local interest so for example the group in Yemen has a specific -- -- -- on that.
But as an entity al-Qaeda itself still -- global ambitions and uses the same tactics.
So in fact particularly the one in Yemen is the ancestral homeland of bin Laden's family and a lot of the original al-Qaeda folks came from Yemen and from Saudi Arabia around that border area.
And so I think we we try to say oh you know that somehow core Al -- been dealt with.
And now we're just kind of cleaning up the pieces and there's a real danger in that because it leads to complacency.
So is there any truth to the reports claimed that the loss of bin Laden has crippled al-Qaeda.
Well it certainly dramatically impacted al-Qaeda I think that'll be too much to say that it's crippled you have to remember that.
You know this is really about a large big movements and what we're seeing his face -- -- within Islam so it Sunnis -- she is.
And al-Qaeda is kind of the militant arm of the Sunni uprising.
But we see them in Libya we see them in Iraq we see them in Somalia.
We're probably gonna see them and Molly Wood who's just taken over out last week by by Islamic extremists we definitely seeing -- in Syria.
So we're we're not talking about an issue that's been resolved this is certainly something that's ongoing that we need to be aware of and to understand that this is gonna continue to be a concern for us well into the future.
And you have expressed concern that based on this report and other assessments from the Obama administration.
That they don't fully understand.
And and that that is a dangerous situation.
It is I mean if you think about the American kind of approach to these things we did this even with the Iraq you know we try to make it about Sodom Hussein as though he's the only problem in the country.
And we did the same thing with bin Laden and with al-Qaeda would try to say it's only -- al-Qaeda it's only this one person.
Would it is is a -- face of ideology it's a persistent militant threat.
-- -- use -- but a symmetric warfare and attacking where -- weakest so attacking power grids attacking civilians.
Blowing up buses like they do across across the region.
So really that the tactics are the same and we're gonna continue to see this small use of a symmetric forced by terrorist groups all across the world.
Particularly right now I think Americans abroad have to be concerned because as we saw with the Israeli -- that were killed in.
And Bulgaria a few weeks ago.
With what you see is that they go after soft targets and so -- the military in the government buildings tend to be pretty well protected but that drives and after airplanes and after maybe the global supply chain ports things like that.
Right so much troubling concerns -- -- thank you.
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