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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More