The Latest On The Terrorist Threat To the US: Testimony by Matthew Olson of NCTC
“It has been just over a year since I last testified before this Committee. Last year I testified that, ‘Al-Qa„ida core is a shadow of its former self, and the overall threat from al-Qa„ida in Pakistan is diminished.’ That assessment remains true today. However, al-Qa„ida is still the ideological leader of a movement that includes affiliated groups and followers worldwide. As a result, the terrorist threat to the United States remains persistent, emanating from a dedicated and diverse array of actors.
Al-Qa„ida‟s core leadership in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region is still navigating its response to ongoing events in the Muslim world and working to ensure the survival of the global jihadist movement. Additionally, political change and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa are creating opportunities for veteran jihadists to recruit and train the next generation of militants, some of whom are less dogmatic in their embrace of al-Qa„ida‟s ideology, yet support its anti-Western agenda. These developments are blurring the lines between terrorists, insurgents, and criminal groups operating in these regions.”