By Walter Pincus
The Washington Post
February 8, 2008
The violent attacks by al-Qaeda and by the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq have led people and religious groups in the Muslim world to reduce their financial support for Osama bin Laden‘s terrorist network and to question its leadership, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress yesterday.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told the panel that “the brutal attacks unleashed by al-Qaeda in Iraq and the other al-Qaeda affiliates against Muslim civilians have tarnished al-Qaeda’s self-styled image as the extremist vanguard.” He told the panel that “al-Qaeda has had difficulty in raising funds and sustaining themselves” over the past year since the Saudi government began arresting alleged al-Qaeda terrorists following attacks in that country.
Despite those signs, McConnell said, al-Qaeda remains “the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States here at home and abroad.”