al-Qaida back on the rise despite Obama’s claim to have them 'on the run'
The terrorist group al-Qaida has shown remarkable resilience in Afghanistan for an organization that President Barack Obama has described as “on the run” for the past three years.
The supposedly vanquished enemy has maintained a presence not only in Afghanistan, but much of the Middle East, despite being “decimated.” Al-Qaida camps have been popping up across Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has refocused on countering the resurgence of the Taliban and rise of ISIS.
“I do worry about the rebirth of AQ [al-Qaida] in Afghanistan because of what their target list will be — us.” says Michael Morrell, former deputy director of CIA, reports the Times. The former intelligence official notes that al-Qaida’s resilience is why the U.S. needs to focus on extinguishing the Taliban’s resurgence; if the Taliban is able to provide safe haven for al-Qaida like they did in years past, the threat to the U.S. could increase exponentially.
Al-Qaida’s staying power was exhibited this October when 200 U.S. soldiers and their Afghan colleagues launched an assault on two massive training compounds in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, killing dozens of al-Qaida fighters. “The first site, a well-established training camp, spanned approximately one square mile. The second site covered nearly 30 square miles,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. William Shoffner in a statement regarding the operation.