U.S. captured or killed hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters and affiliates: Obama

17:26, January 28, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday in his first State of the Union address that the United States has captured or killed hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders last year, far more than in 2008.

Obama said his administration has made much progress in making the country safe over the past year.

"Since the day I took office, we have renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation. We have made substantial investments in our homeland security and disrupted plots that threatened to take American lives," he said.

He acknowledged intelligence and system failures that led to a foiled plane bombing plot on Christmas Day, saying his government is filling "unacceptable gaps" revealed by the plot "with better airline security, and swifter action on our intelligence."

Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly succeeded in bringing down a U.S. airliner from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. He received training and equipment from al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, an al-Qaeda affiliate active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Obama also said he is to launch a new initiative to build up capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bio-terrorism or an infectious disease.

Source: Xinhua
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