Presented by: The Future of al-Qaida While the capacity of al-Qaida central has weakened, splinter groups still pose a grave risk.
There is an increasing operational focus on so-called “soft” economic targets, both here in the United States and abroad. That is bad news for the business community in the United States.
Brian Finlay, The Stimson Center
The death of bin Laden, and the diminished power of al- Qaida Central, raises important questions: What other groups remain committed to striking at U.S. interests at home and abroad? And what are their operational plans? al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula represents perhaps the greatest terrorist threat to Americans, although al-Qaida in northwestern Africa and groups not directly affiliated with al-Qaida, like the Pakistan Taliban, are also out to kill Americans.
Evidence amassed over the years and from bin Laden’s house in Pakistan indicate that terrorists are increasingly focused on economic targets in the U.S. and abroad. The focus on airlines is likely to continue, but attacks have also been contemplated against other forms of transportation, such as railways and ships. The financial, energy and entertainment sectors also face significant threats, as do “marquee properties” in the U.S. and around the world.
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