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Top UK intel official says 'Al-Qaeda now at its weakest state' since 9/11 attacks

London, Thu, 09 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 9 (ANI): Al-Qaeda is currently at "its weakest state" since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, a top security adviser of Britain's Home Office has said.


Charles Farr, the Home Office's intelligence chief also said that it was "possible to talk of the demise of parts of Al Qaeda" because of the revolutions in the Middle East.


"Over the past year we have seen significant changes in the terrorist threat - significant developments in the Middle East and the Arab world, which have impacted on the threat in broadly positive ways," The Telegraph quoted Farr, as saying.


"Al-Qaeda is no longer the organisation it was. It is at its weakest state since 9/11, and it is possible to talk of the demise of parts of Al-Qaeda in a way that we could not have done if we had been having this conversation even a year ago," he said.


"I think opinion is changing in the Muslim majority world as well, generally, against terrorism and against terrorist organisations. I am not quite as pessimistic as you may be and I certainly don't think in 50-year terms," he added.


According to the report, Farr also said that increasingly clerics from mosques and universities were looking to radicalise younger Muslims in "private premises", rather than mosques, because of the increasingly effective activities of the security services.


"In our experience, most radicalisation ... takes place in private premises, simply because the people who are doing the radicalising are now much more aware of the activities that we are conducting, which you are investigating, than was the case two or three years ago," he said.


Farr also described the English Defence League as a "significant organisation" adding, "that it is deeply troubling in many respects and can cause great harm".


Farr, once tipped as a future head of MI6, also blamed "the view that they are conducting a war on Islam, not a war on terrorism" as "a very significant reason why people have gravitated and drifted into terrorist activities". (ANI)


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