Al Qaeda terrorists active in Pakistan: US

April 30th, 2008 - 11:52 pm ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 30 (IANS) Even as several international terror organisations including Al Qaeda (AQ) operated and carried out attacks in Pakistan in 2007, Islamabad took steps to prevent support to the Kashmiri militancy, according to the US State Department. “Pakistan’s leaders took steps to prevent support to the Kashmiri militancy, and the number of violent attacks in Kashmir was down by approximately 50 percent from 2006,” it said Wednesday citing public statements made by the Indian defence minister.

Meetings in September 2006 led to the March establishment of the Anti-Terrorism Mechanism to coordinate Pakistan-India exchange of information on terrorist threats, the Congressionally mandated annual report on terrorism said.

“Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LT) and other Kashmir-focused groups continued regional attack planning. In 2007, Kashmir-focused groups continued to support attacks in Afghanistan, and operatives trained by the groups continued to feature in AQ transnational attack planning,” it said.

And in line with what intelligence agencies have been saying in the last several months, the State Department maintained that despite the efforts of both Afghan and Pakistani security forces appeared to have provided AQ leadership greater mobility and ability to conduct training and operational planning, particularly targeting Western Europe and the United States.

For this the report blamed instability, coupled with the Islamabad brokered ceasefire agreement in effect for the first half of 2007 along the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier.

“Numerous senior AQ operatives have been captured or killed, but AQ leaders continued to plot attacks and to cultivate stronger operational connections that radiated outward from Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe,” the report said.

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