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Friday, November 14, 2008

Bin Laden on the run but still dangerous

The CIA director said on Thursday that Osama bin Laden is isolated from the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda, but his organization is still the greatest threat to the United States.

The Global Intelligence Forum hosted CIA Director, Gen. Michael Hayden, at the offices of the Atlantic Council of the United States at Washington, D.C., where he spoke to the Atlantic Council and a live C-SPAN audience on the “State of al-Qaeda Today.”

Although the U.S. population may have become complacent in the fight against al-Qaeda, the CIA is under no illusions as to the threat they still pose. The U.S. nation is engaged in a global war, and has “never faced an enemy so committed to our destruction,” Gen. Michael Hayden told to a broadcasted audience that went out to every major television news network in the U.S.

Gen. Hayden said bin Laden was probably hiding in the tribal area of north-west Pakistan, that bin Laden was “putting a lot of energy into his own survival” and that his capture remained the U.S. government’s top priority.

In his speech, Gen. Hayden said Pakistan’s tribal areas were an al-Qaeda “safe haven” linked to most major terrorist threats to the US.

“Today, virtually every major terrorist threat that my agency [CIA] is aware of has threads back to the tribal areas. Whether it's command and control, training, direction, money, capabilities, there is a connection.”

He also warned that al-Qaeda continued to grow in Africa and the Middle East. Gen. Hayden did state, however, that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) were on the verge of strategic defeat.

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