Source: U.S. Department of State
The loss of bin Ladin and ... other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse. These successes are attributable, in large part, to global counterterrorism cooperation, which has put considerable pressure on the al-Qa’ida core leadership in Pakistan. But despite blows in western Pakistan, al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and its adherents remain adaptable. They have shown resilience; retain the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks; and, thus, constitute an enduring and serious threat to our national security.
As al-Qa’ida’s core has gotten weaker, we have seen the rise of affiliated groups around the world. Among these al-Qa’ida affiliates, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) represents a particularly serious threat. At year’s end, AQAP had taken control of territory in southern Yemen and was exploiting unrest in that country to advance plots against regional and Western interests.