Jay Carney defends administration's handling of al Qaeda

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Carney said that the “president has been clear that the threat from al Qaeda very much remains,” and said officials were particularly concerned about affiliates of the terror group outside its main “core” in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“As al Qaeda's core has been diminished through the efforts of the United States and our allies, affiliate organizations, including in particular, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have strengthened. We have here in Washington have identified AQAP in particular as the dangerous threat,” Carney said.

Carney added that the affiliate groups had been a point of focus “for some time now,” and said the United States had “focused a great deal of attention on those affiliated organizations.”

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