News / Middle East

US: Al Qaida on Ropes, Funds Drying Up

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (File)
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (File)
William Ide

As the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks nears, U.S. officials, lawmakers and prominent security advisers say the United States is more secure today than it was a decade ago. But, while terrorist group al-Qaida is now on the ropes and its cash flow is drying up, they say much work remains and the possibility of another attack is likely.

One of the reasons the United States is safer, says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is because the pool of funds for terrorists is shrinking.

“Ten years ago, al-Qaida’s ability to access a large network of deep-pocketed donors and move money through the formal financial system allowed it to carry out the deadliest terrorist attacks in our nation’s history. Today, however, al-Qaida struggles to secure steady financing. It can no longer rely on a thick Rolodex and a simple bank transfer,” Geithner said.

Geithner says international cooperation and the vigilance of financial institutions has been key in stopping that flow of funds through the global financial system. He says that over the next decade increasing international cooperation will be essential.

To do that, Geithner says the United States will promote the creation of office's like the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in finance ministries around the world.

Geithner made his remarks Thursday at counter-terrorist financing symposium sponsored by his government office.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, was also there. He notes that while virtually every major al-Qaida affiliate has lost its key leader or operational commander the fight goes on.

“Put simply al-Qaida is on the ropes and it continues to get pummeled. However, bin-Laden’s death and the death and capture of many other al-Qaida leaders and operatives do not mark the end of al-Qaida or its continued plotting against the United States and other countries,“ Brennan said.

At a hearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Thursday, Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security, told lawmakers the U.S. remains a target nonetheless. “We have thwarted some attacks, but we have also been fortunate that a few others have simply failed. What makes some uncomfortable, we must acknowledge that no matter how hard we try, another attack is likely. The onus [responsibility lies with us] is on us then to understand that there is more to do and that luck is not a strategy,” Ridge said.

Ridge and others testifying at the hearing noted that a lack of communication between government agencies and between governments overseas continues to be a problem. Ridge says the attempted December 2009 Christmas Day bomber attack and the Ft. Hood shooting earlier that same year were both examples of a failure to share information and to act.

Lee Hamilton, a former 9/11 Commission co-chair agrees.

"Unity of effort for the many actors at a disaster scene is critical because a well coordinate response saves many lives. Our nation was not prepared for the size and complexity of the 911 attacks or for that matter Hurricane Katrina. Many metropolitan areas where multiple agencies respond to a disaster still have not solved the problem of  "who is in charge," Hamilton said.

Those testifying at the hearing also noted that tracking when and where individuals leave the country or overstary their visas is also a problem.

As the September 11 anniversary approaches, U.S. intelligence officials say they are picking up more "chatter" on terrorist websites.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the U.S. is taking all of the talk seriously, even though there is nothing to suggest the country faces a specific threat.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid