Too soon to write off al-Qaeda: Expert
It is too soon to write off the al-Qaeda. The outfit has re-grouped in numerous places and is trying to regain hold in the sub-continent, CNN's national security analyst Peter L Bergen said.
"It's too soon to write off the Al Qaeda... it is present in Syria where it has 10,000 followers and is seen as a legitimate force... it is there in Yemen, in the Maghreb, Bergen who is also an author of several books including "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden-from 9/11 to Abbottabad" and "The Longest War" which traces the conflict since 9/11 to bin Laden's killing, said at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
"Al Qaeda has a long-term plan... they are avoiding the mistakes that the IS did and made a lot of enemies," he said.
However, Bergen ruled out any possibility of the Al Qaeda accomplishing another 9/11-type attack on the US, since the Americans now have much stricter security and the group now lacked the necessary wherewithal, though revealing that bin Laden had dreamt of assassinating US President Barack Obama and CIA chief Gen David Petraeus to mark 9/11's 10th anniversary.
Any further terror outrage in the US could be only on the "lone-wolf" model of the IS, he added.
He also ruled out the possibility of the Al Qaeda and the IS joining forces, since there were too many differences between the two groups even though the latter considers bin Laden an important influence.
On bin Laden, he said the Al Qaeda chief was not naturally an enemy of the US, preferring first to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan but gradually became one following the arrival of US forces in his homeland in the wake of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.