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Kerry: 'Al-Qaeda Threat Is Real, It Is Getting Out of Hand'

11:11 AM, Feb 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Al Qaeda is not on the run. And John Kerry, according to a report in Bloomberg, is finally admitting it.

"[T]he al-Qaeda threat is real, it is getting out of hand,” Kerry told a delegation.

It's in stark contrast to President Obama's repeated claims. “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead,” Obama said in the run up to his reelection in 2012.

The Kerry comments were reported by Jeffrey Goldberg:

Kerry’s Sunday briefing was meant to be private, but the Senate’s two most prominent Syria hawks, Republicans John McCain -- the leader of the U.S. delegation to the security conference -- and Lindsey Graham provided a readout of the meeting to three journalists who flew with them on a delegation plane back to Washington: Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, Josh Rogin, the Daily Beast's national security reporter, and me.

According to Graham, Kerry gave the clear impression that Syria is slipping out of control. He said Kerry told the delegation that, “the al-Qaeda threat is real, it is getting out of hand.” The secretary, he said, raised the threat of al-Qaeda unprompted. “He acknowledged that the chemical weapons (delivery) is being slow-rolled; the Russians continue to supply arms (and that) we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy. He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al-Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.”

"I would not characterize what he said as a plea for a new policy, but that, in light of recent, dramatic developments, the administration is exploring possible new directions," said one Democratic House member who was in the meeting. "He wasn't arguing so much that the administration needs a new policy but that the administration is considering a range of options based on recent developments." 

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