However, the attacks in Libya and Boston don’t really change the prognosis that al Qaeda, the organization that attacked the U.S. on 9/11, is going the way of the VHS tape.
Al Qaeda itself hasn’t carried out a successful attack in the West since the suicide bombings in London in 2005 that killed 52. And the terrorist group hasn’t carried out an attack in the United States since 9/11. Nor have any of its affiliated groups.
The killings of several high-level al Qaeda militants — foremost among them the organization’s founder and leader, Osama bin Laden, during a Navy SEAL raid on his compound in May 2011 — have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda’s core leadership.
A few months after bin Laden’s death, a U.S. drone strike killed Atiyah Abdul Rahman, who had become al Qaeda’s No. 2 commander after Ayman al-Zawahiri had assumed bin Laden’s leadership role.
Rahman was one of 30 leaders of al Qaeda in Pakistan who have been killed in CIA drone strikes over the past five years, according to a count by the New America Foundation.
Al Qaeda “Central,” in short, remains on life support.