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Obama in Wisconsin: Al Qaeda has been decimated

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By Doug Powers  •  November 1, 2012 04:31 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Earlier in Wisconsin, President Obama said this:

I was waiting for him to stop himself: “Did I say Al Qaeda has been decimated? I meant the economy… sorry.” But it wasn’t to be. Yes, Osama Bin Laden is dead, but making that synonymous with the decimation of Al Qaeda is not only ridiculous, but in light of recent events in Libya, outrageous and dangerous.

Using the obsolete definition of “decimated,” Obama basically said Al Qaeda is at 90 percent strength. The modern meaning is “to destroy a great number or proportion of.” The former isn’t brag-worthy, and applying the latter is to exaggerate more than Joe Biden describing the size of the Romney/Ryan tax cut.

In addition to Libya, Al Qaeda and its affiliates are still very active elsewhere:

“Even as al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan struggles to remain relevant, the terrorist threat we face has become more diverse,” Olsen said. “Al Qaeda has turned to other groups to carry out attacks and to advance its ideology. These groups are based in an array of countries, including Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and in Iraq.”

Of particular concern is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates in Yemen.

When Obama took office in 2009, AQAP was a newly formed affiliate, the result of a merger between al Qaeda forces fleeing Saudi Arabia and jihadists in Yemen. A locally focused group quickly became a more powerful al Qaeda franchise soon plotting attacks outside Yemen’s borders.

First there was the failed attempt by a suicide bomber in the summer of 2009 to kill the Saudi prince who ran the country’s counterterrorism campaign. By the end of that year, AQAP was behind the attempt by Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day. Plans by AQAP to blow up cargo planes destined for the United States in 2010 and to put a suicide bomber aboard a passenger aircraft earlier this year were thwarted by U.S. and allied intelligence services.

UPI published this just yesterday:

Nearly a year after U.S. forces left the country there are signs al-Qaida is mounting a comeback in Iraq, a U.S. inspector general found.

U.S. combat forces left Iraq in December 2011 according to the terms outlined in a status of forces agreement. A quarterly report by U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen said the number of violent attacks in Iraq is up to levels not seen in more than two years.

The report said the civil war in neighboring Syria was contributing to regional instability.

“Domestic security also has declined amid regular reports of a reviving al-Qaida in Iraq,” the report stated. “Overall in Iraq, violence this quarter was the worst in two years.”

But after making an entrance today like the one in the video below, Obama wasn’t about to go to the microphone and say “as evidenced by the Benghazi attack, Al Qaeda is still very much active.” They say Team Obama’s plan is to make him look more “presidential” now, and today in Wisconsin we saw Air Force One, a bomber jacket, confident jog, “Forward!™” signs (note the period has been replaced by an exclamation point for the final stretch) and teleprompters — reality can wait until after the election:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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