Despite being on a path to defeat since Osama’s bin Laden’s death,al Qeada continues to pose a security threat in cities from London to Mumbai,Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today,noting that the US is taking “seriously” the terror threat ahead of 9/11 anniversary.
“We are meeting here… amid reports that al Qaeda is again seeking to harm Americans. This should surprise no one.
But it is a reminder of the continuing stakes in our struggle against violent extremism.
“We are taking this threat seriously,and federal,state and local authorities are taking all necessary steps to address it,” Clinton said in a speech at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan here.
She said the death of Osama bin Laden has put al Qaeda on the “path to defeat” but “we must be clear about the threat that remains.
“Cities such as London and Lahore,Madrid and Mumbai have been attacked since 9/11,” Clinton said.
Thousands of innocent people most of them Muslims have been killed in these attacks and even the best of efforts have not guaranteed “perfect security,” she said.
While al Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been weakened significantly,the terror group can still conduct regional and international attacks and inspire others to do so,Clinton noted.
The threat has become more geographically diverse,with much of al Qaeda’s activity devolving to its affiliates around the world.
Urging New Yorkers to be eyes and ears of vigilance in the coming days,Clinton said the US,which has thrived as an open society,cannot afford to “live in fear,sacrifice our values,or pull back from the world” in the face of such terror threats.
“Closing our borders,for example,might keep out some who would do us harm,but it would also deprive us of new entrepreneurs,ideas,and energy. These things help define who we are as a nation and our global leadership depends on them”.
Clinton said America cannot afford to make the mistake of not adapting quickly enough to new and different kinds of threats,as it did before the 9/11 attacks.
She said America will continue to keep up the pressure on al Qaeda and its network and “face down the murderous ideology that fueled bin Laden’s rise and that continues to incite violence around the world” adding that “precise and persistent force” can significantly degrade even an enemy as elusive as al Qaeda.
The US will continue to go after al Qaeda’s leaders and commanders,disrupt their operations,attack their finances,recruitment and safe havens and bring them to justice.
“We need effective international partners in government and civil society who can extend this effort to all the places where terrorists operate,” Clinton said.