Al Qaeda is still “very active” recruiting and seeking to attack the United States, although it has been hurt since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Monday.
“The enemy that appeared on 9/11 is wounded and off-balance, and on the run — yet still very active, still seeking recruits, and still trying to find ways to hit us,” said Cheney, who reviews intelligence on threats daily.
“As months and years pass, they are hoping that our country will grow complacent, and get lazy, and forget our responsibilities,” he said in a speech to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, according to a text released in Washington.
“And it’s our job, ladies and gentlemen, to make sure the United States of America never lets down its guard.”
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan and has evaded capture since the Sept. 11 attacks. But U.S. forces and their allies have captured or killed other senior members of al Qaeda.
“In a multinational campaign, we continue to make progress in many categories — financial, legal, military,” Cheney said.
“We are dealing with a network that has had cells in countries all over the world — yet bit by bit, by diplomacy and by force, with our allies and partners, we are acting to shrink the area in which terrorists can operate freely.”
Despite efforts to improve security, “America is safer, but that we are not yet safe,” Cheney said.