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Al-Qaida has changed shape, but is it weaker?

FILE – This May 27, 2014, file photo shows Yemeni boys looking at a vehicle destroyed during a police raid on an al-Qaida militants' hideout in the Arhab region, north of Sanaa, Yemen, which resulted in the death of five militants and six soldiers. According to the Obama administration’s most recent terrorism report, released by the State Department in late April, al-Qaida's core leadership has been degraded, limiting its ability to launch attacks and lead its followers. This has resulted in more autonomous and more aggressive affiliates, notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, northwest Africa and Somalia, according to the report, which recorded a 43 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide from 2012 to 2013. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)WASHINGTON (AP) — Al-Qaida has decentralized, yet it’s unclear whether the terrorist network is weaker and less likely to launch a Sept. 11-style attack against the United States, as President Barack Obama says, or remains potent despite the deaths of several leaders.

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