News

Panetta: No One Way to Destroy al-Qaida

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (file photo).
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (file photo).

The U.S. defense secretary says there is no single way to destroy al-Qaida, but the killing of its leader Osama bin Laden has crippled the group.

Leon Panetta said late Friday "the more successful we are at taking down those who represent their spiritual, ideological leadership, the greater our ability to weaken their threat to this country."

Panetta said he was certain the U.S. was safer since the death of bin Laden, who was killed on May 2 last year in a secret Navy SEAL operation in a walled-off compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

Robert Cardillo of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence made a similar comment Friday, saying the likelihood of an attack using chemical, biological, atomic or radiological weapons over the next year is low.

However, other U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity said Friday, while al-Qaida's core network is probably not capable of carrying out another mass-casualty attack on the scale of September 11, 2001, the terrorist group's affiliates remain a threat.

The officials singled out al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoot as especially dangerous, saying it is gaining territory and followers, despite targeting by Yemeni and U.S. counterterrorist forces. 

The anonymous officials also cited the threat of terrorism from so-called "lone wolves" who are inspired by al-Qaida and are intent on committing violence.  They said attacks like the shooting spree last month in France by an Islamic militant are difficult to counter.

The Washington Post reported Friday Pakistan's intelligence service believes it deserves credit for helping the U.S. locate bin Laden's hideout.  The newspaper reported the unnamed officials say Pakistan intelligence gave the U.S. information, resulting in the U.S. finding bin Laden's residence.  Washington has disputed their claims.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama has taken the extraordinary step of giving a television interview in the White House Situation Room about how he made the decision to send the special forces to Pakistan to kill bin Laden.  The Situation Room is where the president and other top U.S. officials watched live video of the raid as it took place.  The interview is scheduled to air on NBC May 2, the anniversary of the raid.  NBC News President Steve Capus said the interview will be the "definitive account" of the operation.  

The New York Times
said Friday Obama's concerted effort to "trumpet" the killing of bin Laden as "the central accomplishment" of his presidency places the U.S. leader, who is up for re-election this year, on the "unusual route of bragging about how he killed a man."  President Obama's campaign has released a video showing former president Bill Clinton praising Obama for making the call to carry out the risky raid. Clinton also questions whether Mitt Romney would have made the same decision.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gordie
April 28, 2012 7:27 AM
how 'bout a copper bullet?
GET OFF MIDDLE EASTERN OIL.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs