John Brennan Lays Out
New US Counterterrorism Strategy
June 30, 2011
The Obama administration has laid out a new national counterterrorism
strategy, saying its focus is the destruction of al-Qaida and its
affiliates in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere.
Nat'l Security Adviser John Brennan
The administration's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan,
discussed the plan in a speech in Washington Wednesday.
The former CIA officer said the United States and partners including
Pakistan and Yemen have strangled al-Qaida's finances and decimated its
But he said the serious threat from al-Qaida is not over. He said the
terrorist group may try to mount revenge attacks for the death of its
leader, Osama bin-Laden, who was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces
in Pakistan last month.
Brennan also said the new strategy is the first one that designates the
U.S. homeland as a key area of emphasis in counterterrorism efforts. He
said it focuses on the ability of al-Qaida and its affiliates to inspire
people in the U.S. to carry out attacks in the country.
one of the best-known cases, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Hasan,
is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009. Hasan
was allegedly inspired by a radical U.S.-born cleric in Yemen believed
to have close ties with al-Qaida.
In his speech Wednesday, Brennan said the so-called Arab Spring
uprisings in the Middle East have undermined al-Qaida's ideology and its
ability to attract new recruits. But he said terror organizations and
nations that support them will likely seek to capitalize on the
instability that change can sometimes bring.
He said the U.S. counterterrorism strategy is the first one to reflect
the major political changes sweeping through the Middle East and North
Brennan also said Iran's nuclear activities remain a concern.