'Al Qaeda continues to represent a threat to US'
Posted on: 04:05 AM IST Jan 24, 2013
Washington: Despite a relentless campaign against it, al Qaeda and its affiliates in different parts of the world continue to pose a threat to the US, the White House said on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said the US effort to eliminate the threat has yielded some remarkable success over the past few years including the killing of Osama bin Laden but the US has to be consistently vigilant about the al Qaeda threat.
"... as the President... consistently made clear, al Qaeda continues to represent a threat. Its affiliates in various parts of the region and the world represent a threat," he said.
"This is something that we are enormously vigilant about," Carney said.
"The absolute fact is that the President took office four years ago with a very clear objective, and that was to refocus our efforts on the war in Afghanistan, which was an essential war because from Afghanistan, al Qaeda had been allowed to establish a safe haven and from that safe haven had launched an attack against the United States that took 3,000 lives," he said in response to a question.
Carney said the US under Obama has taken the fight to al Qaeda, both in its core location, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as to those affiliates that represent a threat to the United States and to Americans around the world.
"Our vigilance does not end there. And we have been very clear about the threat posed by AQAP and by AQIM. What is also true is that, to this point, AQIM has not represented a direct threat to the homeland, but you can tell by our support of the mission that the French have undertaken (in Mali) and by our overall efforts to go after and contain and defeat extremists who would do harm to our interests that we are very serious about this," he said.