Al-Qaeda still a threat, spreading: HillaryAgence France-Presse . Istanbul
Al-Qaeda is still a spreading and imminent threat, the US secretary of state, said Thursday, as she joined major world powers in Istanbul for a meeting on fighting terrorism.
‘The core of al-Qaeda that carried out the 9/11 attacks may be on the path to defeat, but the threat has spread, becoming more geographically diverse,’ Hillary said at a speech that kick started the Global Counterterrorism Forum meeting.
‘We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al-Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack.’
Although the group has lost serious blood after its core leadership ranks were destroyed, Hillary said, ‘the danger from terrorism remains urgent and undeniable.’
She was referring to the recent killing of al-Qaeda number two Abu Yahya al-Libi Tuesday, after a US drone strike dealt the most serious blow to the group since the killing of its mastermind, Osama bin Laden.
‘Just as the threat we face crosses borders and oceans, so must our response,’ Hillary added. She called on the 30 or so participants at the forum for an orchestrated effort to battle terrorism across the world.
That appeal was backed up by Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who co-chaired the Istanbul meeting with the US top diplomat.
‘I believe one thing is crystal clear to all of us: no country is immune from this threat and we cannot win the fight against terrorism unless we join hands,’ said Davutoglu.
The second meeting of the forum, established with the support of the United Nations in 2011, came amid concerns over civilian losses during strikes against terrorist groups, particularly in NATO activity zones.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday condemned as unacceptable a NATO air strike that killed 18 civilians.
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