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Al-Qaeda 'less capable and effective': US intel chief

Al-Qaeda is "less capable and effective than it was a year ago" following a succession of damaging blows that have killed key leaders, the new US intelligence chief said.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2009 08:51 IST

Al-Qaeda is "less capable and effective than it was a year ago" following a succession of damaging blows that have killed key leaders, the new US intelligence chief said.

Retired admiral Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, said on Thursday that Al-Qaeda was still planning attacks on the West and is believed to view Europe as a "viable launching point."

"Because of the pressure we and our allies have put on Al-Qaeda's core leadership in Pakistan and the continued decline of Al-Qaeda's most prominent regional affiliate in Iraq, Al-Qaeda today is less capable and effective than it was a year ago," Leon Panetta said.