South Asia faces high terror threat: US report

August 19th, 2011 - 11:15 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, Aug 19 (IANS) South Asia faces high terror threat with increased resource-sharing between Al Qaeda and Pakistan-based groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, according to a US report.

Al Qaeda (AQ) remained the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States in 2010, annual congressionally mandated Country Reports on Terrorism for 2010 released Thursday said.

Though the AQ core in Pakistan has become weaker, it retained the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks, it said noting cooperation between AQ and Afghanistan- and Pakistan-based militants was critical to the threat the group posed.

In addition, the danger posed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and increased resource-sharing between AQ and its Pakistan-based allies and associates such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network meant the aggregate threat in South Asia remained high, it said.

Al Qaeda affiliates too have grown stronger, the report said noting how TTP provided support to Pakistan born US citizen Faisal Shahzad, who sought to carry out a car bombing in New York’s Times Square in May.

In a troubling trend, English-speaking militants increasingly connected to each other through online venues like militant discussion forums and video-sharing platforms, which encouraged both violent behaviour and individual action, it said.

For instance, five Pakistani Americans contacted by a Taliban recruiter through YouTube encouraged one another to travel to Pakistan to train for warfare against the United States, the report noted.

The report shows more than 11,500 terrorist attacks occurred in 72 countries during 2010, resulting in more than 13,200 deaths.

For the second consecutive year, the largest number of reported attacks occurred in South Asia and the Near East, with more than 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurring in these regions.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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