WASHINGTON - The United States will aim to destroy al-Qaida's central organization now that its leader Osama bin Laden has been killed and its capabilities degraded by US operations, a top White House adviser said on Tuesday.
Since the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, al-Qaida has spawned affiliated groups in the Middle East and North Africa and inspired attacks by so-called home-grown militants in Europe and the United States.
But White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said bin Laden's death was the latest in a series of US operations that have delivered "severe body blows" to al-Qaida's central network in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past year.
"We're going to try to take advantage of this opportunity we have now with the death of al-Qaida's leader, bin Laden, to ensure that we're able to destroy that organization," Brennan told NBC's Today show. "We're determined to do so and we believe we can."