Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that one of the key aims of coalition forces fighting the Taliban was to “prevent the ability of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations from coming into Afghanistan and using it as a safe haven.”
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/alqaeda.art.jpg
="Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility of the the recent car bombs in Iraq. "]
It was an opinion echoed by the UK’s Defense Secretary, Bob Ainsworth earlier this week as the UK’s death toll in Afghanistan rose to 100.
"Our presence in Afghanistan is vital in preventing it from once again becoming a haven for terrorists who would seek to threaten the UK," Ainsworth said.
Despite the billions of dollars being spent on removing the threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, their influence continues to extend throughout the world.
A deadly reminder of al Qaeda’s capability in Iraq came earlier this week as a series of car bombs killed 127 and injured 448 in Iraq. A statement claiming responsibility, reportedly from the Islamic State of Iraq, was published on an al Qaeda supporter Web site on Thursday.
Today it was announced that that five U.S. Muslim students have been arrested in Pakistan over possible links to terrorism.
And last week, 19 people were killed by a suicide bomber in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The attack is believed to be the work of militant Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab – thought to have strong ties to al Qaeda.
Al-Shabaab is thought to have recruited members from other parts of Africa including Tanzania and Kenya as well as from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
With al Qaeda gaining a foothold in countries around the world, is it time the U.S. government started diverting more resources to closing down cells prospering outside Afghanistan?
Does the spread of al Qaeda show that coalition forces are achieving their aims and forcing them out of Afghanistan. Or is this an never-ending battle? Can al Qaeda really ever be defeated or are we locked into a permanent war disrupting their activities wherever they emerge? Send us your thoughts.