Al Qaeda: Background, Current Status, and U.S. Policy [June 14, 2021]   [open pdf - 478KB]

From the Document: "Al Qaeda (AQ) is a transnational Islamist terrorist organization and network of affiliates that the U.S. intelligence community describes as one of 'the greatest Sunni terrorist threats to U.S. interests overseas' and a potential source of inspiration to domestic violent extremists. Sustained counterterrorism (CT) pressure appears to have weakened the group since it perpetrated the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks. In April 2021, the U.S. intelligence community told Congress that Al Qaeda's senior leadership 'has suffered severe losses in the past few years' but they expect that remaining leaders will continue to plot attacks and seek to exploit conflicts in different regions. In recent years, U.S. officials have characterized the AQ threat as stemming mainly from its affiliates, which have generally focused on local issues in their respective areas of operation, where they threaten local U.S. personnel, interests, and partners. [...] The U.S. campaign against Al Qaeda, now in its third decade, spans a wide array of policy areas. The United States has conducted airstrikes on AQ targets in at least seven countries since 2012, and U.S. forces have engaged in ground combat against AQ in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen in recent years. [...] U.S. policymakers also seek to combat Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups by addressing the drivers of terrorism through counter- and de-radicalization programs, by countering the financing of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and by prosecuting individuals in the United States for providing support to the group and its affiliates."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11854
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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