One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

FILE - Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Iran sanctions. The CIA drone attack that killed al-Qaida’s leader showed that fighting terrorism is hardly an afterthought. But it didn’t change the message deputy director David Cohen delivered at that meeting weeks earlier: While the U.S. will continue to go after terrorists, their top priority is trying to better understand and counter Beijing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

President Joe Biden speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House on Aug. 1 in Washington, as he announces that a U.S. airstrike killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan. (Jim Watson/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China.