Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Al Qaeda After Osama bin Laden by the Numbers
Press Release

RELEASE: Al Qaeda After Osama bin Laden by the Numbers

Washington, D.C. – Today the Center for American Progress released “Al Qaeda After Osama bin Laden by the Numbers,” showing that bin Laden’s death a year ago marked a major achievement for the U.S. intelligence community and a critical blow to the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

But the SEAL Team Six raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound on May 2, 2011, was only the largest in a long string of losses Al Qaeda has suffered over the past three years, which have put the organization on a path to strategic defeat. The trove of data collected from the raid has quickened the pace of Al Qaeda’s collapse, helping U.S. counterterrorism officials better target senior Al Qaeda leadership and disrupt more terror plots.

The numbers, from the National Counterterrorism Center’s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System, show that while Al Qaeda remains a significant national security threat, its ability to successfully commit acts of terror has diminished since Osama bin Laden’s death last year.

16 percent: The percentage drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

65 percent: The percentage drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network outside of Africa in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

35 percent: The percentage drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

81: The number of successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death, down from 159 the year before.

22: The number of Al Qaeda network senior-level operatives and leaders captured or killed since May 2011.

0: The number of successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the United States since bin Laden’s death.

For more on the evolution of the Al Qaeda network since Osama bin Laden’s death, please see:

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].

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