Monday, January 17, 2005

Terror cop: Qaeda 'heavily damaged'

WASHINGTON - Al Qaeda is "heavily damaged," constantly on the run and so financially strapped that it is having trouble making payments to the families of its dead fighters, the Daily News has learned.

The terror group remains determined, however, to attack the U.S.

"What we see, and I'm including information we've seen as recently as this month, is that the remnants of the organization are not diverted from their goals of attacking us," a senior counterterrorism official told The News.

Al Qaeda Central also can no longer field "committees," teams of terrorists focused solely on operations, fund-raising, propaganda or acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Money woes also are plaguing the once-powerful terror group.

"They have financial problems, including even their ability to take care of families of Al Qaeda fighters who have gone down," the official said.

A report last week by a CIA think tank predicted that by 2025, Islamic extremists unaffiliated with Al Qaeda will dominate global terrorism

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