'al Qaeda's next likely target is UK'

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London, Dec 28: United Kingdom beware! The next likely target of militant group, al Qaeda is UK. "al Qaeda has failed to stage any major attack since 9/11. US drone attacks in Pakistan"s tribal area have made al Qaeda desperate to launch an attack with major resonance during 2009," The Dawn quoted Observer correspondent Jason Burke, as saying.

Discussing the likely targets of al Qaeda next year, Burke said that organising terror strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan or anywhere in the Middle East, Asia or Africa was an easy affair, but have much less global resonance than a direct strike in the West.

“One exception would be India, where a big new strike could spark war with Pakistan," Burke added. The US, undoubtedly, would be the most favourite al Qaeda target. But Britain was easier to get to than the US, he pointed out. Jason Burke is also the author of al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, averred, “Britain has close transatlantic links and a substantial community of people who have links with, and can easily travel to, Pakistan. If anywhere is in the firing line, it is."

As for the US, a combination of a huge security effort and the lack of Muslims to answer the call to arms has made it hard for al Qaeda to strike it after the 9/11, Burke asserted.

However, al Qaeda had been successful in finding recruits in the Europe. "Currently Germany"s most wanted fugitive is a 21-year-old former skateboard rider and Muslim convert, who is somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan." he noted.

ANI

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