- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Al Qaeda tries Afghan comeback; U.S. commanders worried
KABUL, Afghanistan — A diminished but resilient al Qaeda, whose 9/11 attacks drew America into its longest war, is attempting a comeback in Afghanistan’s mountainous east even as U.S. and allied forces wind down their combat mission and concede a small but firm toehold to the terrorist group.
That concerns U.S. commanders, who have intensified strikes against al Qaeda cells in recent months. It also undercuts an Obama administration narrative portraying al Qaeda as battered to the point of being a nonissue in Afghanistan as Western troops start leaving.
“The goal that I set – to defeat al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild – is within reach,” he said.
The last U.S. combat troops are scheduled to leave by Dec. 31, 2014, and security matters are to be turned over to the Afghan government.
“They are trying to increase their numbers and take advantage of the Americans leaving,” the police chief of Paktika province, Gen. Dawlat Khan Zadran, said through a translator in an interview this month in the governor’s compound.
The group remains active inside Afghanistan, fighting U.S. troops, spreading extremist messages, raising money, recruiting young Afghans and providing military expertise to the Taliban and other radical groups.
Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, has said al Qaeda has re-emerged, and although its numbers are small, he says the group doesn’t need a large presence to be influential.
U.S. officials say they are committed, even after the combat mission ends in 2014, to doing whatever it takes to prevent a major resurgence.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Malaysia Airlines says plane on route to Beijing missing
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again