Earlier this month, senior leader al Qaeda leader Younis al Mauritani was captured in Pakistan.
All of these losses have occurred after bin Laden was killed on May 1. Michael Leiter, who until July headed the National Counterrorism Center, says al Qaeda, now run by Ayman al Zawahiri, is critically wounded, but "there's nothing static about counterterrorism."
"Really, the ranks of al Qaeda in Pakistan have been very seriously thinned. So, I think they could still pull off an attack, but I think it is much less likely that they could pull off a catastrophic attack like 9/11," Leiter says.
Beyond losing operatives, al Qaeda is also losing some popular support.
"Over time, al Qaeda's message is resonating less and less. Al Qaeda's methods of attack, suicide bombings against innocents, (are) becoming less and less popular," Leiter says.But, the bin Laden network is not dead and we were reminded of that just last week, when overseas intelligence picked up a tip of a possible attack around the 10th anniversary of 9/11. U.S. officials still cannot dismiss that threat.The greater danger, though, may now come from al Qaeda franchises across Africa and the Gulf region. There are threats from Somalia, where nearly 50 Americans have joined the fighters of al Shabaab. There's also a threat in Yemen, home to al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula. AQAP has tried twice in two years to hit the US: First with the underwear bomb and later with explosives hidden in printers."They are innovative and they are trying to move things quickly and that certainly does pose a challenge to the United States and our allies," Leiter says.The U.S. has not yet brought the same pressure on AQAP as it has on al Qaeda, but, going forward the Yemen group will likely be the top target.