Al-Qaeda’s top leaders, including its new chief Ayman al-Zawahri, continue to burrow in Pakistan’s tribal areas, said a top US official as a Pakistani journalist warned that a dead Osama bin Laden is as dangerous as a living one.
Egyptian cleric al-Zawahri, who took over the organisation, after Osama’s killing last year by the US, “as well as other al-Qaeda leaders continue to burrow into areas of the FATA, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan”, said deputy national security adviser John Brennan.
Just days before the first anniversary of Osama’s killing in Abbottabad May 2, an article by Hamid Mir in Geo News
on Monday, warned that the man was dead “but al-Qaeda is still determined to make some new history”.
Osama was gunned down by US commandos who mounted a daring operation at the elusive chief’s high-walled compound in Abbottabad town. John Brennan said, “We’re working very closely with our Pakistani partners. So we’re not going to relent until we’ve brought them to justice one way or the other.”
The US, Brennan said, was continuing to work with its regional partners, Pakistanis, Afghans, and others to get al-Zawahri, who has absolutely become the number one US target after the killing of bin Laden.
“We demonstrated the ability to do that with bin Laden. And we are in constant consultation with our Pakistani counterterrorism partners on a regular basis about how we can do this as soon as possible,” he said.
Asked if the US had strategically defeated al-Qaeda, Brennan answered, “We’re on a path to al-Qaeda’s destruction. And the president is committed that we’re not going to rest until it is destroyed as an organisation in the Afghan/Pak area as
well as in other regions of the world.”
Hamid Mir too sounded a warning note on the al-Qaeda when he wrote: “US officials have rightly claimed many times that al-Qaeda has become weaker after the death of Osama bin Laden but they cannot deny the fact that bin Ladenism is still a source of inspiration for the militants fighting from Afghanistan to Yemen and from Iraq to Palestine. Dead Osama is as dangerous as living Osama.”
Osama raid pictures to remain a secret
Film and pictures of the Osama bin Laden raid won’t be released to mark this week’s anniversary of the terror chief’s death, it was revealed. US President Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said the White House did not want to “put out anything that is going to unnecessarily incite emotions on this issue”.
He added that there was no need to release any of the still-classified raid footage as “there’s no doubt whatsoever that bin Laden is dead”. The al-Qaeda leader was shot dead by US Navy SEALs in a raid on his Pakistani hideout on May 2 last year.