Canberra, Dec 15 (ANI): A secret Australian intelligence assessment has said that the al-Qaeda militant organisation is 'a failure' and its regional offshoot, Jemaah Islamiah, has been broken in Indonesia.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the head of Australia's intelligence analysis agency, the Office of National Assessments, as telling US diplomats in October 2008 that the al-Qaeda "ultimately has failed to achieve the strategic leadership role it sought within the Islamic world".
The revelation is a contrast to the opinion of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's views, which she made on October 19 this year during the debate on Australia's military deployment that it was vital "to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for al-Qaeda," saying Osama bin Laden's group remained "a resilient and persistent network" and noted past links between al-Qaeda and extremists in Indonesia.
On being asked by US diplomats for an overall assessment of Islamist terrorist threats, Peter Varghese, the then ONA Director-General, said that terrorism was "a good news story that is getting better, with the violent Islamist threat receding".
"ONA assesses that Pakistan's military and security elite view this as 'an American war', which combined with a very hard sense of anti-Americanism combines into 'a very dangerous cocktail'," Varghese told the visiting head of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Randall Fort.
However he had reportedly said that developments were positive in Australia, where "the growth of Islamic extremism-based movements is constrained, thanks in part to ongoing successes in combined counter terrorism efforts, but more because of societal factors in south-east Asia that reject the Middle Eastern Jihadist model". (ANI)