The Obama administration has long held that al Qaeda is on a path to defeat. Between the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the election, President Obama described the terror organization as having been “decimated” or “on the path to defeat” at least 32 times. Congress, intelligence officials, and security experts have all taken issue with these claims, and today, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn directly contradicted the president during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing.
Via the National Journal:
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., hearkened back to past comments from the Obama administration about the impending defeat, or at least decline, of the terrorist network. "People keep talking about [how] al-Qaida is on the run, on the path to defeat.... To me it's just the opposite of that," the committee's ranking member said. "Is al-Qaida on the run, and on the path to defeat?"
"No," Clapper replied. "It is morphing and franchising itself, not only here but in other areas of the world."
"They are not," Flynn confirmed.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama once again said that “we have put al Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat” but he admitted that the threat has “evolved” as the terror network’s affiliates and other extremists “take root in different parts of the world.”