Al Qaeda gaining ‘operational capability’ despite core losses

Western strikes on Al Qaeda have shown progress in taking out the terror group’s core in Pakistan, but affiliates still are increasing “operational capabilities,” the State Department said in releasing its annual Country Reports on Terrorism.

Highlights of the 2011 report include the death of Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s relative lack of influence on the so-called Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, the State Department’s top counterterrorism official, Daniel Benjamin, said Tuesday.

He warned, however, that the United States has “no illusions” that further progress against terrorism will be easy or quick, and certain Al Qaeda affiliates remain a troubling threat.



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