US Special Operations Chief Olson warns of 'next generation' Al-Qaeda 2.0
Washington, July 29 (ANI): U.S. Special Operations top commander Admiral Eric T. Olson has said Al Qaeda is 'bloodied' and is "nearing its end," but warned that its next generation, Al Qaeda 2.0 could keep the forces fighting for a decade.
Admiral Olson described the killing of Bin Laden at Abbottabad raid on May 2 as a "near-killing blow" for, what he called "Al Qaeda 1.0," as created by Bin Laden and led from his hideout in Pakistan.
Olson said the group had already lost steam as Arab Spring revolts proved that the Muslim world did not need Al Qaeda to topple governments from Tunisia to Egypt.
"I think the death of bin Laden was an upper cut to the jaw. It just knocked them on their heels"; Fox News quoted Olsen, as saying at the Aspen Security Forum.
Olson warned of the fight to come against what he called Al Qaeda 2.0, with new leaders like American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who, according to Olson, understands America better than Americans understand him.
He said Al Qaeda operatives like al-Awlaki would refine their message to appeal to a wider audience, and seek ungoverned spaces to operate from, where they can smuggle in weapons and train their followers.
Olson also described how current offshoots like al-Awlaki's, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen are cooperating with militants in Somalia, forming an "invisible bridge" between the two.
Olson agreed with the White House's newly announced policy to strike terrorists through focused action rather than full-scale invasion, preferably by training and working with the host country's forces. He cautioned against thinking that raids would solve all U.S. foreign policy problems. (ANI)
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