U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte says that significant progress has been made in fighting global terrorism.
Mr. Negroponte told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that some notable successes against Islamic extremist terrorism have been the result of "collaboration with our friends and allies around the world." Most of al-Qaida's setbacks in 2005, he said, were the result of U.S. allies' efforts, either independent or with U.S. assistance. "Pakistan's commitment has enabled some of the most important captures to date," said Mr. Negroponte. "Saudi Arabia's resolve to counter the spread of terrorism has increased." T
he U.S. relationship with Spain has strengthened since the March 2004 Madrid train bombings. The British have long been the United States' closest counter-terrorism partners, and "the seamless cooperation in the aftermath of the July attacks in London reflected that commitment." Australia, Canada, France, and many other nations remain "stout allies," said Mr. John Negroponte.
The United States and its allies have eliminated much of the leadership that presided over al-Qaida in 2001, and U.S.-led counter-terrorism efforts in 2005 continued to disrupt its operations, eliminate its leaders, and deplete its ranks. Yet despite these successes, al-Qaida remains the top U.S. security concern, Mr. Negroponte said:
"The organization's core elements still plot and make preparations for terrorist strikes against the homeland and other targets from bases in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area."
Al-Qaida, said Mr. Negroponte, is still seeking to acquire chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. President George W. Bush says that terrorists like Osama bin Laden "are serious about mass murder and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.