John Brennan: Al Qaeda Remains Focused on Planes
(NEW YORK) — White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said on “This Week” Sunday morning that the United States remains “especially vigilant” as the country marks the one year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden. But he also cautioned that a threat remains from al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“On a day that marks the one year anniversary of bin Laden being brought to justice, we are especially vigilant,” Brennan said. “At this time we don’t see any active plot that is underway.”
I asked Brennan about the FBI warning this week that there are new efforts to target Western airports by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“They have demonstrated both the intent as well as the capability to try to carry out an attack,” Brennan said. “They are continuing to try to, again, carry out an attack against U.S. persons inside of Yemen as well as against the homeland.”
Brennan also confirmed that Yemeni al Qaeda offshoot remains focused on targeting planes.
“Aviation has been a target, has been a traditional target of al Qaeda,” Brennan said. ” We need to maintain our vigilance, particularly overseas at these last points of departure.”
Brennan noted that al Qaeda’s capability has been “degraded significantly” and that bin Laden’s death has made a “tremendous difference.”
“It’s taken away the founding leader of that organization who was … a symbol of al Qaeda’s sort of murderous agenda worldwide,” Brennan said. “And so, that has had I think a profound impact on the organization.”
Brennan declined to address—what some Republicans have said this week—was the politicization of the killing of bin Laden by President Obama.
“I don’t do politics. I don’t do the campaign. I am not a Democrat or Republican. I’m a counterterrorism adviser to the president,” he said.
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