Petraeus, Clapper: Al-Qaida far from done

By

Published:

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's top two intelligence officials say al-Qaida is weaker, and U.S. intelligence agencies are smarter, since the Sept. 11 attacks -- but the terrorists are nowhere near giving up.

In his first week on the job, CIA director David Petraeus says al-Qaida's recent losses of Osama bin Laden and others has opened "an important window of vulnerability" to exploit.

In remarks Tuesday to a joint Congressional intelligence committee hearing, he predicts al-Qaida leaders may even flee to Afghanistan or leave South Asia altogether to escape the CIA, which has quadrupled covert drone strikes against al-Qaida under the Obama administration.

But Petraeus and Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper both say al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoots and others are growing more daring, and dangerous.