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Obama Doubles Down: Al Qaeda Leadership 'Decimated' -- but Affilliates Still a Threat

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“But of course, the end of the war in Afghanistan doesn’t mean the end of threats to our nation."

Even as 19 U.S. diplomatic missions are closed for the week, President Barack Obama reiterated that Al Qaeda  has been "decimated," making a distinction between the terror network's leadership and affiliates.

CAMP PENDLETON, CA - AUGUST 07: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) is greeted by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Larry Nicholson (R), Commanding General of 1st Division, upon his arrival at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base to visit troops and their families to thank them for their service on August 7, 2013 in Camp Pendleton, California Credit: Getty Images

“Because of you, Osama bin Laden is no more," Obama told Marines Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, Calif. "Because of you, Al Qaeda’s top ranks have been hammered. The core of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the way to defeat. That happened because of you.”

During the 2012 presidential campaign Obama repeatedly said that Al Qaeda has been “decimated” or was on the run.

The president went on the talk about the embassy closures that reportedly occurred because of intercepted communications between leaders and members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a Yemen-based affiliate.

“But of course, the end of the war in Afghanistan doesn’t mean the end of threats to our nation,” Obama said. “As I said before, even as we decimated the Al Quaida leadership that attacked us on 9/11, Al Qaeda affiliates and like-minded extremists still threaten our homeland, still threaten our diplomatic facilities, still threaten our businesses abroad and we’ve got to take these threats seriously and do all we can to confront them.”

“We’ve been reminded of this again in recent days," Obama continued. "I want to take special time out to thank all our brave diplomats and military personnel who have been working around the clock to safeguard our embassies and our consulates and our fellow Americans serving overseas, including all those vigilant Marines standing guard at our embassies around the world."

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