Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, July 29, 2011

Special Ops Chief Warns of Al Qaeda 2.0

The top commander of U.S. special operations forces said Wednesday that Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda is bloodied and "nearing its end," but he warned the next generation of militants could keep special operations fighting for a decade to come.

Navy SEAL Adm. Eric T. Olson described the killing of bin Laden by a special operations raid on May 2 as a near-killing blow for what he called "Al Qaeda 1.0," as created by bin Laden and led from his hideout in Pakistan.

Olson said the group had already lost steam because of the revolts of the Arab Spring, which proved the Muslim world did not need Al Qaeda to bring down governments, from Tunisia to Egypt.

"I think the death of bin Laden was an upper cut to the jaw," Olson told a packed crowd, opening the Aspen Security Forum. "It just knocked them on their heels."

Olson echoed other administration officials who are predicting Al Qaeda's demise if a few more key leaders can be eliminated.

But the four-star admiral warned of the fight to come against what he called Al Qaeda 2.0, with new leaders like American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who Olson said understands America better than Americans understand him.

"It will morph, it will disperse," he said. "It will become in some ways more westernized, (with) dual passport holders" and "fewer cave dwellers," he said. (more)