Concerns Mount as US Seen Downplaying Al-Qaida Threat in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - There are growing concerns the United States is vastly underestimating al-Qaida's strength and influence in Afghanistan, even as the White House continues to talk about ever more ambitious deadlines for bringing home U.S. troops still stationed in the country.

Specifically, international terrorism officials, as well as Afghan officials, point to a widening gap between U.S. assessments of a significantly diminished al-Qaida and their own, which see a terror group that is...