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CIA director: Al-Qaida still dangerous

CIA director: Al-Qaida still dangerous
Leon Panetta has called for awareness that although bin Laden is dead, Al-Qaida is still an active terrorist organization UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- CIA Director Leon Panetta warned Monday that founder Osama bin Laden may be dead but al-Qaida remains dangerous.

Panetta's warning came in a letter sent to the agency's employees, the Armed Forces Press Service reported. "The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must -- and will -- remain vigilant and resolute," he said in the letter. "But we have struck a heavy blow against the enemy. The only leader they have ever known, whose hateful vision gave rise to their atrocities, is no more. The supposedly uncatchable one has been caught and killed. And we will not rest until every last one of them has been delivered to justice."

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In his letter, he said nothing can compensate those who have lost family and friends to bin Laden and his underlings, but he hoped the fact that bin Laden is dead would be a source of comfort "for the thousands of families, here in America and around the globe, who mourn the victims of al-Qaida's barbarity."

Panetta had words of praise for the agency's counter-terrorism center and the Office of South Asia Analysis for their contribution to the bin Laden operation, and for the SEAL strike team.

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Panetta has been nominated as the next U.S. defense secretary.

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