News

    US Says Al-Qaida Still Greatest Threat to America

    Multimedia

    The United States says the al-Qaida terrorist group remains the greatest threat to America and its allies and is currently using Pakistan to rebuild its capabilities and plan attacks on Western nations. The State Department released its annual report on global terrorism Thursday.

    The State Department's Acting Coordinator of Counterterrorism, Ronald Schlicher, says since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States al-Qaida and its allies have moved from Afghanistan into remote areas of the Pakistani frontier.

    "And they are using, of course, that mountainous terrain as a safe haven where they can hide, where they can train, where they can communicate with their followers, where they can plot attacks and where they can make plans to send fighters to support the insurgency in Afghanistan," said Ronald Schlicher.

    The global terrorism report says the Taliban and other insurgent groups and criminal gangs control parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan and are a threat to regional stability.

    Ambassador Schlicher says, although still very dangerous, al-Qaida in Iraq is diminishing and has experienced significant defections.

    "It has lost key mobilization areas," he said. "It has suffered disruption of support, infrastructure and funding and it has been forced to change its targeting priorities in some instances. The number of suicide bombings in Iraq, which we find to be a key indicator of the operational capability of the group, those numbers fell significantly in 2008."

    The report credits local populations in places like Baghdad and Anbar province for turning against militants and cooperating with the Iraqi government and coalition forces.

    Schlicher says an emerging hot spot for terrorism is Somalia, which he describes as a significant challenge for the United States and its allies.

    "The international community is increasingly focused on the many dangers that develop in the absence of a place without any effective government control, such as Somalia, where of course we see such problems as terrorism, piracy, narcotics trafficking, human rights abuses and the development of ideological extremism," said Schlicher.

    The report accuses Iran of being the most significant state sponsor of terrorism.  

    Schlicher says the Quds Force (a special unit of Iran's Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) is supporting terrorist and Islamic militant groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    "The Quds Force is kind of an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and they are deeply involved in the really objectionable, terrorist activities in those places where Iran chooses to be active," he said. "The great area of concern, of course, is the Middle East itself."

    The report says Iranian weapons transfers to the Taliban in Afghanistan are continuing to threaten Afghan and NATO troops and undermine stabilization efforts.

    The terrorism report does note what it describes as significant achievements in the fight against extremists, including the capturing or killing of key terrorists in Pakistan, Iraq and Columbia.  

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora