Tags: Al-Qaida | counterterrorism | al-qaida | top threat | US

Counterterrorism Director: Al-Qaida Still Top Threat to US

Image: Counterterrorism Director: Al-Qaida Still Top Threat to US
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nick Rasmussen listens during the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By    |   Friday, 23 Jun 2017 12:34 PM

The director of the National Counterterrorism Center said Thursday al-Qaida remains the number one terrorism threat to the United States, despite the increased media focus on the Islamic State.

"The fact that you see ISIS on the headlines every day and you read about ISIS being at the forefront of this global terrorism problem, it shouldn't detract from the idea that the government, we as an intelligence community, is still focused — I would argue as a matter of first priority — on al-Qaida as a threat to the U.S interests," NCC director Nick Rasmussen said at a national security forum, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

He added that groups affiliated with al-Qaida in Syria and Yemen are the most immediate threat to this country, singling out al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

The recent crackdown on electronics in carry-on luggage is based on intelligence that AQAP were perfecting methods of implanting explosives into batteries and battery compartments in commonly used electronic devices, according to CNN.

The U.S. military announced Thursday that AQAP leader Abu Khattab al Awlaqi died in an air strike in Yemen, according to Reuters.

"Al Awlaqi was a senior leader responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks against civilians," U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

"He had significant influence throughout AQAP's terrorist stronghold, had ties and access to the group's other senior leaders, and was implicated in planning and leading efforts to exacerbate instability in southern Yemen."

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The director of the National Counterterrorism Center said Thursday that al-Qaida remains the number one terrorism threat to the United States, despite the increased media focus on the Islamic State.
counterterrorism, al-qaida, top threat, US
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2017-34-23
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 12:34 PM
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