Even as core of Al-Qaida has experienced major setbacks in 2012, the United States of America today said the terrorist groups survives and continues to threaten the world.
In her remarks in New York, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations says that the horrific attacks in Pakistan last week that killed more than 100 people reminds the world that the scourge of terrorism remains with us all.
She says reflecting on the past decade, the Security Council’s sustained commitment to counterterrorism has been significant.
“We have continued to promote a holistic approach to combating terrorism, strengthening counterterrorism efforts at the national, regional and international levels.” – Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice underlines that the world cannot grow complacent. She reports that AQ affiliates and other violent extremist groups pose grave dangers.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is a significant international threat, she added.
She reports that Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Al-Shabaab continue to sow instability and exploit safe havens in Mali, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, destabilizing societies and obstructing the delivery of vital humanitarian relief to millions in need.
According to Ms. Rice, elements of Boko Haram in Nigeria have launched multiple deadly attacks, including against the United Nations.
In addition, transnational terrorist groups remain active in North Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere. The resilience of terrorist networks underscores that long-term, diplomatic and economic initiatives, as well as international cooperation, are, as always, indispensible.
She says while the worl has made progress together, terrorist groups continue to adapt, evolving into criminal entrepreneurs, engaging in trafficking and other illicit activities to finance their operations.
“AQIM, for example, has increasingly used kidnapping for ransom to support its organization and finance terrorist attacks.” – Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice says kidnapping for ransom is not only horrific for the victims and their families but represents a serious threat to international peace and security that will likely continue to pose a significant challenge in the years ahead.
Ms. Rice emphasizes that the international community must do much more to combat this scourge.
With the terrorist threat ever more diffuse, the need for a strategic and comprehensive approach to counterterrorism has never been greater, she underlined.
She says the United States recognizes that force, while necessary, is not nearly sufficient to counter the threat effectively over the long-term.
Ms. Rice states that the world must also prioritize building state capacity, strengthening good governance and civilian institutions, promoting economic development and job creation, countering extremism, and reducing the appeal of violence and the pipeline of terrorist recruits so that Member States and their citizens are better equipped to tackle threats within their borders and regions.
At the same time, Ms. Rice says the United States has intensified its capacity-building assistance to help countries secure their borders, thwart attacks, prosecute terrorists and those who abet them, and neutralize extremism and its root causes.
The US has trained more than 9,800 law enforcement officials from over fifty countries in the last year alone.
Ms. Rice highlighted that the United States values its partnership with the United Nations on counterterrorism, and our cooperation has produced results.
Strengthening cooperation at the UN and other multilateral organizations and ensuring that the necessary architecture is in place to address terrorism in the 21st century remains central to our approach, Ms. Rice stressed.
She adds the United Nations has worked actively to build consensus around a global counterterrorism strategy and deliver technical assistance to strengthen capacities worldwide.
In addition, Ms. Rice stresses that a key lesson of the past decade is the significant value that civil society can add to counterterrorism efforts.
“No single country, no one organization, nor any particular tactic or tool alone can neutralize the threat of terrorism.” – Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice emphasizes that only a comprehensive approach bolstered by shared determination, continued cooperation, and expanding partnerships can ultimately end the threat of global terrorism.
In August 2011, with the recent release of “Country Reports on Terrorism 2011” by the US State Department, Counterterrorism Coordinator Daniel Benjamin said al-Qaida affiliates are increasing their overall operational ability in Arabian Peninsula despite suffering losses in 2011.
Besides the death of Usama bin Ladin and a number of other key al-Qaida operatives, millions of citizens throughout the Middle East advance peaceful public demands for change without any reference to al-Qaida’s incendiary world view.
Terrorists could still cause to significant disruptions for states undergoing very challenging democratic transitions, Mr. Benjamin added.
The report’s narrative notes, among other things, the continued weakening of the al-Qaida core in Pakistan, but inncreasing their overall operational ability which is particularly true of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The US is also increasingly concerned about Iran’s support for terrorism and Hezbollah’s activities as they’ve both stepped up their level of terrorist plotting over the past year and and are engaging in their most active and aggressive campaigns since the 1990s.
According to the National Counterterrorism Center, the total number of worldwide attacks in 2011 was more than 10,000 in 70 countries, resulting in more than 12,500 deaths.
More than 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurred in these regions.
Africa experienced 978 attacks in 2011, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year, Mr. Benjamin reported.
Understanding the group’s strengths and weaknesses and the trajectory of its evolution are continuing critical challenges for us and will remain so in the years ahead, he noted.
In June 2012, Yemeni city of Shuqra fell to government forces when Yemeni troops took control of the city.
Shuqra is the last major stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan province to fall to government forces.
Reports say the Yemeni military launched an all-out offensive in July this year that resulted in the recapture of the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.
The United States of America commended Yemeni military success against Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The United States commended the success of the Yemeni government, military, and people in re-taking important areas of southern Yemen, including the cities of Ja’ar and Zinjibar, from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
After sustained Yemeni operations, AQAP no longer controls those cities.
Al-Qa’ida’s presence in Abyan has had a devastating impact on the citizens there and prevented the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance desperately needed by the Yemeni people.