Obama: 'Lone wolf terrorist' biggest threat to US

US president says al-Qaida weakened, individual operators, like Norway shooter, present bigger risk than large, well-coordinated attack.

By REUTERS
August 17, 2011 02:03
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young)

 
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WASHINGTON - A decade after the 9/11 attacks, a "lone wolf terrorist" like the shooter in Norway now presents a bigger risk to the United States than a large-scale operation, US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.

"The most likely scenario that we have to guard against right now ends up being more of a lone wolf operation than a large, well-coordinated terrorist attack," Obama told CNN.

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"When you've got one person who is deranged or driven by a hateful ideology, they can do a lot of damage, and it's a lot harder to trace those lone wolf operators," he said.

Obama described "extraordinary progress" in degrading al-Qaida, the group behind the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings whose leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in May.

"They are a much weaker organization with much less capability than they had just two or three years ago," he said, while stressing a need for "heightened awareness" of potential attacks around the anniversary next month.

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