Al-Qaida Remains Dangerous, Panetta Says
By Jim Garamone,
Washington D.C. -- May 2, 2011 -- (AFPS) – Osama bin
Laden is dead, but al-Qaida still is dangerous, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta
said today in a letter to the agency’s employees.
“Today, we have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist
of our time,” Panetta wrote in a letter posted on the CIA’s website.
Panetta –- who has been nominated as the next defense
secretary –- said that nothing can compensate those who have lost family and
friends to bin Laden and his henchmen, but he hopes the fact that bin Laden is
gone will be a source of comfort “for the thousands of families, here in America
and around the globe, who mourn the victims of al-Qaida’s barbarity.”
Panetta congratulated those who work in the Counter-Terrorism
Center and the Office of South Asia Analysis for their expertise, creativity and
“I also extend my profound appreciation and absolute respect
to the strike team, whose great skill and courage brought our nation this
historic triumph,” he wrote.
Though bin Laden is dead, al-Qaida is not, Panetta said.
“The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him,
and we must -- and will -- remain vigilant and resolute,” he said. “But we have
struck a heavy blow against the enemy. The only leader they have ever known,
whose hateful vision gave rise to their atrocities, is no more. The supposedly
uncatchable one has been caught and killed. And we will not rest until every
last one of them has been delivered to justice.”
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