A new White House counterterrorism strategy al-Qaeda as significantly degraded and outlines potent threats from smaller networks and individuals motivated by al-Qaeda ideology, a lack of freedom, and “twisted” propaganda about U.S. policy in the Middle East, reports the Washington Post. The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism reflects the intelligence community’s latest analysis of the evolving nature of the threats from widely dispersed Islamic extremists who are often isolated and linked by little more than the Internet.
Attacking terrorist organizations, controlling weapons of mass destruction, and protecting the homeland remain U.S. priorities. The strategy places new emphasis on the need for training experts in languages and Islamic culture, for enhanced partnerships abroad and with the American Muslim community, and for better information-sharing among domestic counterterrorism agencies. Said terrorism expert and Georgetown University Prof. Bruce Hoffman cited “parallel” processes. Contending that al-Qaeda is weakened, he says, “flies in the face of increasing evidence over the last couple of years that al-Qaeda is still directing and plotting attacks on a grand scale and seems undeterred.”