White House counterterrorism adviser Brennan "concerned" about Libyan weapon stockpiles

John Brennan, the White House's chief counterterrorism adviser told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that he was "concerned" about Libyan weapons getting "into the hands of terrorists." Brennan also said he had not seen any evidence that Pakistan had helped hide Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan speaks with reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor on Sept. 8.

Presidential counterterrorism adviser John Brennan is assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. He previously served as an executive at the Central Intelligence Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He was the guest at the Sept. 8 Monitor breakfast in Washington.

The status of US counterterrorism efforts:

"This fight against the terrorist threat is continuing.... Every day we as a nation become stronger and better prepared, but that doesn't mean terrorists can't find seams that they might try to take advantage of."

Whether another attack on the United States is inevitable:

"A lot of people say it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. I don't subscribe to that theory.... Every day a counterterrorism professional gets up is a day we want to succeed ... and not have an attack."

The threat from Muammar Qaddafi's stockpile of weapons in Libya:

"We know there were large stockpiles of weapons in Libya that the Qaddafi regime had.... We are concerned about the potential for certain weapons to get into the hands of terrorists.... It is going to take some time in order to ensure that they are going to be appropriately secured."

His response to a new Council on Foreign Relations study saying global counterterrorism efforts are "insufficient and uncoordinated":

"Compared to 9/11, we have moved light-years.... Anybody who says that it is uncoordinated or it is not effective, they really don't know what they are talking about."

What the US learned about Al Qaeda from documents seized when Osama bin Laden was killed:

"He was pushing for these major kinds of attacks, and ... his lieutenants were trying to tell him ... our ability to do it has been degraded because we are losing people.... It did reveal that it is an organization in distress."

On Pakistan's potential role in hiding Mr. bin Laden:

"To my knowledge, I have not seen anything that indicates that the Pakistanis were aiding his refuge in Abbottabad."

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