“Al Qaeda still pose a threat, but it is much diminished,” US...

“Al Qaeda still pose a threat, but it is much diminished,” US President Barack Obama


WASHINGTON:The United States has done “an unbelievable job” in going after and systematically dismantling the core Al Qaeda network in Fata, says US President Barack Obama.

“They still pose a risk, but it’s considerably decreased,” he said in a dialogue together with his troops deployed all over the world.

Sharing his risk-understanding using the troops, he warned that extremists flushed from the Pak-Afghan area had spread out to other regions.

“What is happened with this particular extreme, violent extremism is the fact that it is metastasised and it is spread to other places. At the moment, he said, ground zero for all those actions was with the socalled IS in Syria.

Mr Obama said the hardest portion of his job was to take care of questions which failed to come with enough info to help him determine the best way to answer them.

“And my job is to make a decision based on sometimes imperfect information and you’re working on the percentages.”

Mr Obama said that one such question was whether to raid Bin Laden’s hideout. “When I made the order for us to go in and get Bin Laden at that house in Pakistan, it was probably a 50/50 proposition as to whether that was, in fact, him.”

He acknowledged that the risks of making a wrong decision “obviously were enormous”.

“If I had been making that decision based on wanting to avoid risk and not having somebody talk smack about me, then that might not be a decision that I would have been prepared to make,” he said.

Mr Obama said that despite the progress the US-led alliance had made in Afghanistan, “it’s still critically important that we’ve got thousands of trainers and advisers who are supporting the Afghan military efforts there”. The US combat role in Afghanistan, he said, was over, “but we still have to make sure that they are getting the kind of help and assistance that they need”.