The Corner

Holder: Remember That We’ve ‘Decimated Core al-Qaeda’

In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated a claim often made by the Obama administration that “core al-Qaeda” has been “decimated.”

While growing evidence has been reported that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen — was responsible for directing the massacre in Paris, Holder said this morning that the U.S. doesn’t have enough information yet to say definitively what organization was responsible.

Speaking from Paris on Sunday, Holder told George Stephanopoulos on This Week that though he believes that the threat of terrorism is as dangerous now as it has been at any time since 9/11, “we have decimated core al-Qaeda and I think we have decreased if not eliminated their ability to do the kinds of things that they did on September the 11th.”

What worries Holder particularly is the threat of attack by “lone wolves,” he said.

He elaborated on that fear in an interview with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation. The prospect of an attack in the U.S. carried out “by the lone wolf, or group of people, very small group of people who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France this week” is “something that frankly keeps me up at night,” he told Schieffer.

Holder told Schieffer as well that the “decimation of core al-Qaeda” makes another 9/11-style attack unlikely, but he conceded that there is a different but real threat from “al-Qaeda affiliates.”


The Latest