Obama Official: Terror Not the Enemy, Just a State of Mind

Counterterrorism chief John Brennan redefines the war on al Qaeda.

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By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers

The administration has taken grief over its descriptions of the fight against al Qaeda, as when it swapped the "Global War on Terrorism" for "Overseas Contingency Operation." Now John Brennan, the president's counterterrorism chief, is fighting back. "Our enemy is not terror, because terror is a state of mind," he defends. "Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle," he says. "Characterizing our adversaries this way would actually be counterproductive. It would play into the false perception that they are religious leaders defending a holy cause when, in fact, they are nothing more than murderers."

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