US receiving actionable intelligence on al Qaeda in Pakistan

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Peshawar, Sep 28 : The United States is getting 'good actionable intelligence' on al Qaeda in Pakistan's Tribal Areas but not the Taliban, said a senior official co-ordinating with Washington in the War on Terror.

"The US has good intelligence on al Qaeda members in Pakistan's Tribal Areas, and Washington also appears more interested in Qaeda than Taliban," the senior official said, asking not to be named.

The killing of Abu Khabab al-Masri, head of al Qaeda's weapons of mass destruction programme, in the first week of August in South Waziristan speaks volume for the good intelligence the US is getting.

Since early this year, the US has carried out around a dozen strikes through unmanned spy planes in Bajaur and the Waziristan agencies, the Daily Times reported.

Washington suspects al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri might be hiding in Bajaur.

The official did not say whether Pakistani intelligence agencies were behind the reliable information or if the US itself was using "own human intelligence on ground" or electronic equipment to track down the terror network.

In the last eight months, the US has eliminated some key al Qaeda operatives, including Abu Sulayman Jazairi, an Algerian operative who directed external operations, and Abu Laith al-Libbi, during drone-led strikes in the Tribal Areas.

"I think the tribal people are also willing to pass on actionable intelligence on foreign elements of al Qaeda," said a tribal elder in Azam Warsak, South Waziristan.

"The same level of success is, however, not coming as far as the Taliban are concerned," the official said.

He added that the US did not view the Taliban as a bigger threat than al Qaeda.

ANI

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