One year ago, an elite team of Navy Seals stormed a compound in Pakistan and shot to death the most wanted terrorist in the world. Now, a year after Osama Bin Laden’s demise, al-Qaeda is beginning to show signs of fracture.
Intelligence believes that the terror organization has been diminished and now just numbers in the few hundreds due to relentless air strikes by the U.S. and coalition forces. It is speculated that their infrastructure is now just engaging in small operations and no longer capable of large-scale attacks like the one that was carried out on 9/11.
This doesn’t mean, however, that al-Qaeda is no longer a threat. They are still capable of inflicting heavy damage; this was evident when they launched an assault on a housing compound for foreign workers in Afghanistan that claimed seven lives.
The attack started off with a car bomb that ripped the compound entrance. Militants disguised in burqas then tried to force their way into the Green Village complex through the damaged gateway. Their assault was repelled by Afghan forces, which engaged in a two hour gun battle with the insurgents.
When the smoked cleared, four civilians passing by in a car were killed. A Nepalese security guard and a student on his way to school were also among the casualties.
The attacks came just hours after President Obama made a secret visit to Kabul to deliver a message of hope and praise to the troops. A Taliban spokesman later claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that the president was “not welcome.”
Though it appears that al-Qaeda’s foundation is in shambles, it is clearly no time to celebrate. For the same reason that a wounded animal is more dangerous, a wounded al-Qaeda will likely act out of desperation. There will likely be more attacks to come in the near future. Vigilance is more crucial than ever.
The Obama visit to the troops is also a matter of debate as its been seen a part of the November Election campaign and an asset used by the Obama campaign. The GOP is calling it a “Play on Politics” (CNN):
Gillespie, a former aide to former President George W. Bush and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said utilizing the raid for political purposes is one of the reasons Obama has “become one of the most divisive presidents in American history.”
“He took something that was a unifying event for all Americans, and he’s managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan political attack,” Gillespie said in a separate interview on the same NBC program. “I think most Americans will see it as a sign of a desperate campaign.”