Yemeni terror offshoot now bigger threat to US than Osama’s al-Qaeda group: CSIS

February 9th, 2011 - 6:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, Feb 9 (ANI): While US drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan have reportedly weakened Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda group, the insurgent group’s Yemeni offshoot headed by American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has become the primary source of threat, a report has said.

The New York Daily News quoted a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as saying that the affect of the US drone attacks carried out during the past two-and-a-half years have diminished the power of Laden’s al Qaeda group so much that they are now busy hiding from CIA’s Hellfire missiles.

“Al Qaeda core currently possesses the motivation for continued attacks but is constrained by a limited capability to operate independently. Al Qaeda was forced to rely heavily on the Haqqani network and Pakistani Taliban for operational and logistical support. Affiliates now account for a larger share of attacks,” the report’s authors, Rick (Ozzie) Nelson and Thomas Sanders wrote.

Their conclusions were backed by Stephen Kappes, a legendary spy who retired last year as CIA Deputy Director, the paper said.

The report further listed two Horn of Africa-based Al Qaeda groups–Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its key ally across the Gulf of Aden, Somalia’s al-Shabaab group, as the main sources of threats.

The al-Shabaab group possesses dozens of U.S. citizens in its ranks, the paper said.

Al-Shabaab’s “operating environment is expanding” and it is “better positioned than almost any other affiliate to actively cultivate home-grown extremism in the United States,” the report said.

With American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki emerging as an AQAP leader along with fellow American and “Inspire” propaganda writer Samir Khan, the terror group is “a concern for their potential to spur domestic radicalisation,” it added. (ANI)

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