The FBI and other agencies are learning that trying to remove al Qaeda in one or two countries won’t destroy the movement. It’s one thing to kill people, it’s another to kill a movement.
By Kevin Johnson
WASHINGTON — In the eight years since the 9/11 attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller has spent nearly the entire time focused on one enemy: al-Qaeda.
Thousands of terrorist operatives have been killed or captured. Terrorist safe havens and training grounds in Afghanistan where operatives were trained have been destroyed.
Military forces largely have shattered al-Qaeda’s leadership in Iraq. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden and top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, who once closely managed al-Qaeda’s day-to-day operations, have been driven into seclusion.
Now, Mueller and counterterrorism analysts are tracking the emergence of a new threat. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a fractured network of small terrorist franchises strewn across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
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