US at stalemate in anti-terror fight 15 years later – US official

WASHINGTON — The United States has hardly made any net gains against the brand of radical extremism that inspired Al Qaeda and similar groups and is at a stalemate in anti-terror fight 15 years after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a US official said Wednesday.

“We’re not winning; we’re simply at a stalemate,” Thomas Kean, a co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said in a phone call with reporters.

“The obvious fact is that we haven’t had a major attack such as 9/11 in those 15 years,” the former New Jersey governor said.

“On the other hand, we’ve had a lot of small attacks… and around the world, the situation is probably even more dangerous than it was on 9/11,” he added, citing the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, as well as extremists across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Though the US administration has spent untold billions of dollars on anti-terror fight, including setting up the Department of Homeland Security, sometimes the ramp-up has only replaced one fumbling bureaucracy with another, Kean and 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton said in the conference call.

“We’ve got to crank it up and do better what we’re doing and do some things that we haven’t been doing, with a great deal of robust implementation,” Hamilton said. “We don’t want to go another 15 years before we get our strategy right.”

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9-11 Commission, is an independent, bipartisan commission created in later 2002.

It is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks. PNA/Xinhua/