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al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent only capable of ‘small-scale regional attacks’: U.S. official

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In mid-March, AQIS printed a particular situation of Nawai Afghan Jihad praising the U.S.-Taliban settlement, which mirrored al-Qaeda’s leaders’ statements on the deal.

al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), a globally-banned terror group, is now in all probability capable of only “small-scale regional attacks”, a high American counter-terrorism official has instructed lawmakers.

AQIS was arrange by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2014 to broaden the fear group’s affect in the area.

In South Asia, al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has struggled to rebound from the demise of its chief, Asim Umar, in a U.S. army raid in Afghanistan in September 2019 and might be only capable of small-scale regional assaults, Christopher Miller Director, National Counter-terrorism Center, instructed a Senate committee on Thursday.

Testifying earlier than the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the Threats to the Homeland, the highest American counter-terrorism official mentioned that in mid-March, AQIS printed a particular situation of Nawai Afghan Jihad praising the U.S.-Taliban settlement, which mirrored al-Qaeda’s leaders’ statements on the deal.

Finally, al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan has been decreased to some dozen fighters who’re primarily centered on their survival, and are in all probability incapable of conducting assaults exterior the nation beneath sustained CT stress, Mr. Miller mentioned.

According to Mr. Miller, because the Global War on Terror started practically 20 years in the past, the U.S. has considerably degraded terrorist adversaries and made the U.S. a significantly tougher goal for them to succeed in.

“Today’s terrorism threat to the U.S. and our allies is less acute but more diffuse — emanating from more groups in more places than it did in 2001,” he mentioned.

While continued counter-terrorism stress has degraded the group’s Afghanistan-Pakistan senior management, in the close to time period, al-Qaeda is extra prone to deal with constructing its worldwide associates and supporting small-scale, readily achievable assaults in key areas resembling East and West Africa, mentioned FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Simultaneously, during the last yr, propaganda from al-Qaeda leaders seeks to encourage people to conduct their very own assaults in the U.S. and the West. For instance, the December 2019 assault at Naval Air Station Pensacola demonstrates that teams resembling al-Qaeda proceed to have an interest in encouraging assaults on the U.S. soil, he mentioned.

Mr. Miller instructed senators that 19 years in the past, after the shock of al-Qaeda’s devastating assaults abated, the U.S. got down to accomplish three aims; one, harden its borders; two, go abroad to destroy the protected havens and sanctuaries of al-Qaeda and its related teams and attrit their fight forces; and three, deal with the drivers of instability that created al-Qaeda by supporting like-minded companions in their efforts to fight Islamist extremism.

“Due to the enormous dedication, selfless service and sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Americans and like-minded foreign partners, we have been remarkably successful in accomplishing the first two objectives.”

“I sense that we are on the verge, if providence is kind, of transitioning from a U.S.-led, partner-enable campaign to an era where local and regional partners take the lead and we provide them niche support to fill gaps in their security, intelligence, informational and legal architectures,” he mentioned.

“I must be clear and not histrionic. Our enemies will successfully attack us again, as their adaptation and innovation are driven by a profound hatred for what we represent. This is our terrorists’ dilemma and their strategic advantage. They only need to be successful once while our defences must be successful all the time for preventing a cataclysmic attack. But our enemies have profoundly underestimated the resilience of the American people time and again,” Mr. Miller mentioned.

Mr. Miller puzzled if the 9/11 al-Qaeda leaders regretted their determination to assault the U.S.

“I’m confident the survivors must. They thought us soft, and spoiled and morally unanchored. They are now either dead, imprisoned or in hiding awaiting death or capture. Their ideology is debunked in the overwhelming majority of this Islamic world.”

“No one today misjudges our resolve and commitment to protecting the security of our citizens and using all available instruments of national power against those that bring war and violence to our shores,” he added.



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