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World 'safer' after al-Qaida battle

[ 2011-09-07 10:57]     字号 [] [] []  
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A European Union anti-terrorism official claimed that the world has become a safer place after the decade-long worldwide battle against the al-Qaida terror network, which lost its leader Osama bin Laden earlier this year.

Gilles de Kerchove, EU counter-terrorism coordinator, said al-Qaida had lost popularity due to several factors, such as Osama bin Laden's death, the Arab uprisings, military operations in Afghanistan and international cooperation.

"Today an attack of the scale and sophistication of 9/11 is no longer possible," he said at a news conference late on Monday.

"Does it mean that we're completely out of the threat? Probably not."

But he added: "Are we safer today than before? I can say yes."

De Kerchove said the threat remains and has evolved significantly.

"It is far more complex and diversified with, for example, groups affiliated to al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq and in the Caucasus.

"These groups recruit increasingly, and some of them benefit from events in Libya in terms of weapons and fighters," he said.

Former US homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff said the world remains threatened in spite of recent counter-terrorism successes, including the death of bin Laden in early May.

Although "the traditional leadership of al-Qaida has been significantly damaged" since the US invasion of Afghanistan, Chertoff, in a speech to the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs on Monday, said the world today is faced with "cyber attacks" and "biological terrorism" as short- to medium-term threats.

Chertoff said there is "great hope" that the 10th anniversary of Sept 11, 2001, attacks can mark "a turning of the page" and "maybe al-Qaida 1.0 is wrapping up". But the question is, he added, whether "al-Qaida 2.0" will be even more dangerous.

"The security challenges in the 21st century will be fragmented. They will require a much greater group of capabilities, and a much larger group of hands as part of the team," he said. "They will challenge our traditional doctrines, and our traditional legal processes for how to deal with security," Chertoff added.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

World 'safer' after al-Qaida battle

About the broadcaster:

World 'safer' after al-Qaida battle

?Christine Mallari is an intern at China Daily. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in a nearby suburb before moving for college. After recently graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in English, Journalism and Mass Communications, she moved to Beijing to work with China Daily. Though she has been working in journalism since high school, this is her first time doing so abroad.