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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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