CIA chief sees ‘near strategic defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq’

May 30th, 2008 - 3:34 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 30 (DPA) Michael Hayden, US Central Intelligence Agency director, sees the terrorist network Al Qaeda as on the run in Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and losing support across the Muslim world. After two full years on the job, Hayden in an interview published in the Washington Post Friday voiced concern that resolve against international terrorism is waning due to a sense of safety that has returned, nearly seven years after the attacks against New York and Washington that killed 3,000 people Sep 11, 2001.

But the US-led effort against fugitive Saudi terrorist leader bin Laden’s loosely knit organisation is succeeding, Hayden argued.

“On balance, we are doing pretty well,” he told the Post.

“Near strategic defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for Al Qaeda globally - and here I’m going to use the word ‘ideologically’ - as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam.”

US and other intelligence experts believe that bin Laden is most likely hiding in remote, mountainous areas along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But other top Al Qaeda operatives have been located and killed frequently by US military or intelligence forces.

“The ability to kill and capture key members of Al Qaeda continues, and keeps them off balance - even in their best safe haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” Hayden said.

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