Washington: US President Barack Obama has conceded that al-Qaeda is still active, despite the fact that its top leadership has been decimated in the last few years.
"It's true that al-Qaeda is still active, at least sort of remnants of it are staging in other parts of North Africa and the Middle East," Obama told the Comedy Central "The Daily Show" in an interview.
"We've been able to do is to say we ended the war in Iraq, we're winding down the war in Afghanistan, we've gone after al-Qaeda and its leadership," he said.
Earlier in the day, his spokesman said that al-Qaeda remains the number one enemy of the US, even as strength of this terrorist organisation has been considerably weakened and many of its top leadership killed.
"Al-Qaeda remains our number one enemy and our number one foe. That is why we focus so much of our attention on al-Qaeda and its affiliates, because the struggle against al-Qaeda continues, and the (US) President has been focused on it since the day he took office," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"This President, when he came into office, made clear his intention of refocusing our efforts on those who attacked the United States of America and killed Americans on September 11th, 2001. And he has kept that promise," he said.
"Our efforts against al-Qaeda have inarguably led to success and progress, but the work is not done. Al-Qaeda central and a leadership there has been devastated by our efforts and the efforts of our allies," Carney said.