Al Qaeda under ‘enormous strain’: Obama
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said Wednesday information seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden showed his al Qaeda terror network was under “enormous strain.”
Bin Laden expressed concern that al Qaeda has been unable to effectively replace senior terrorists that have been killed, and that al Qaeda has failed in its effort to portray America as a nation at war with Islam – thereby draining more widespread support,” he said.
“Al Qaeda remains dangerous, and we must be vigilant against attacks. But we have put al Qaeda on a path to defeat, and we will not relent until the job is done.” US Navy SEALs raided the al Qaeda chief’s secret compound in Pakistan on May 2, killing bin Laden and uncovering what officials later said turned out to be a treasure trove of documents and computer files.
“The information that we recovered from bin Laden’s compound shows al Qaeda under enormous strain,” Obama said Wednesday in a primetime address, announcing the start of the US drawdown from the 10-year war.
“We are starting this drawdown from a position of strength. Al Qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since 9/11,” the president said, referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks masterminded by bin Laden which killed nearly 3,000 people.
“Together with the Pakistanis, we have taken out more than half of al Qaeda’s leadership. And thanks to our intelligence professionals and Special Forces, we killed Osama bin Laden, the only leader that al Qaeda had ever known,” he said.
“This was a victory for all who have served since September 11, 2001. One soldier summed it up well. ‘The message,’ he said, ‘is we don’t forget. You will be held accountable, no matter how long it takes.’”