Al Qaeda 2.0 Represents Evolving Threat to America
Olson said that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda is bloodied and "nearing its end," but noted that the next generation of militants to keep the terrorism threat high for a decade to come.
Olson said that the killing of bin Laden was a near-fatal blow for the organization he termed "al Qaeda 1.0," which was created by bin Laden and led from his hideout in Pakistan.
Olson said that the group had already lost momentum because of the events of Arab Spring, which proved that Muslim communities did not need al Qaeda to bring down governments.
"I think the death of bin Laden was an uppercut to the jaw," Olson told a crowd, opening the Aspen Security forum, according to CBS/AP. "It just knocked them on their heels."
Olson warned of a new generation leadership to al Qaeda, noting American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
Of terrorism, Olson said "It will morph, it will disperse… it will become in some ways more westernized, (with) dual passport holder" and "fewer cave dwellers," he noted.
Olson is currently the longest-serving Navy Seal -- he is less than two weeks from retiring after 38 years of service. He will be succeeded by another Navy Seal, Adm. Bill McRaven, the commander of the raid that succeeded in killing bin Laden.