US counterterror chief: al-Qaida on ‘steady slide’

WASHINGTON (AP) ? White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan says al-Qaida is on a “on a steady slide” after the death of al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, in Pakistan.

Brennan told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it’s a “huge blow” in the first official White House comment since Rahman’s reported killing by CIA drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas last week.

Pakistan’s objections to drone strikes have become more strident since the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden in May.

Brennan says with al-Qaida is “on the ropes,” now is not the time to “step back and let them recover.”

Brennan also says U.S. intelligence has detected no active terror plots before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which he credits to aggressive U.S. action against militants overseas.