09:42 GMT08 August 2020
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    Even though CIA Director Mike Pompeo believes that al-Qaeda has grown weaker over the past 16 years and its days are numbered, the terrorist group is still dangerous, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney told Sputnik.

    Al-Qaeda certainly remains a threat to the United States and its allies," David Sedney said.

    When asked about the causes of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, whose 16th anniversary has just been marked in the US, and who is responsible for those atrocities David Sedney  said that the responsibility clearly lies with Osama bin Laden and the other al-Qaeda leaders.

    “The processes of modernization and globalization lead to a variety of pushbacks like extreme nationalism and religious fanaticism. If  you want to get into the socioeconomic background of why these kinds of movements come into place, you have to look at it in a global perspective,” he continued.

    Meanwhile, US allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel, are accused of sponsoring terrorism. When asked why Washington remains silent on this issue, David Sedney said he was unaware of any terrorist groups being sponsored either by Saudi Arabia or Israel.

    “Saudi Arabia has in the past been a source of individuals who carried out terrorist attacks, including those who carried out the 9/11 attacks,” Sedney noted, adding that the form of Islam espoused in Saudi Arabia encouraged some people to embrace radical views.

    “The Saudi government is now changing that, but things haven’t changed enough yet,” he noted.

    Regarding the possibilities of eliminating the terrorist threat or at least curbing its spread, David Sedney said that, first and foremost, governments need to go after the individuals and groups that are actively planning terrorist attacks. Secondly, they need to help nations that are too weak to handle this problem themselves, above all Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    “And, lastly, the global community needs to work together to minimize the negative effects of globalization. I think this is really a three-pronged approach,” David Sedney concluded.

    Terrorism has changed but not subsided since Osama bin Laden was killed six years ago. His death weakened al-Qaeda, but the terrorist group still managed to survive in the shadows of its offspring Daesh.

    Al-Qaeda and Daesh have recently been actively cooperating in Libya where al-Qaeda is said to be providing logistics and support, in order to assist Daesh in regrouping and launching new attacks.

    With Daesh losing ground in Syria and Iraq, the unholy alliance between the world's two most prominent Islamist terror groups in Libya is a cause for serious concern across both North Africa and Europe.


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    terrorist threat, extremism, globalization, CIA, al-Qaeda, Mike Pompeo, David Sedney, United States
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