Obama aide claims big gains against al-Qaida

June 30, 2011 01:41

WASHINGTON - Recent successes against al-Qaida by the United States and its foreign partners, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, have decimated the group and brought the "demise" of its senior leadership within view, a top White House aide said on Wednesday.

In a speech touting the Obama administration's counter-terrorism policies, White House adviser John Brennan said that "over the past two and a half years" -- the period President Barack Obama has been in office -- more than half of al-Qaida's top leadership "has been eliminated."

In that period, Brennan said, "virtually every major" affiliate of the militant network founded by bin Laden had "lost its key leader or operational commander." Affiliates whose leaders had been killed include al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaida in East Africa and the Pakistani Taliban, he said.

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