Washington, Feb 16 (ANI): A US intelligence community has warned that the primary threat to Western interests comes from Europe-based extremists affiliated with al Qaeda who return from training in Pakistan to conduct attacks in Europe or the United States.
A US intelligence report prepared for Congress notes that al Qaeda is not using Pakistan only to plan attacks against others, but is also trying to destabilise Pakistan.
"Al Qaeda and its extremist sympathisers in Pakistan have waged a campaign of deadly and destabilising suicide attacks throughout Pakistan," the report warns.
The US intelligence community also places much importance on India-Pakistan relations for countering the threat of terrorism in South Asia, the Dawn reported.
According to the annual US intelligence report, key al Qaeda leaders killed in Fata over the past year include Khalid Habib, the group's military chief and the fourth man in its chain of command; Abu Layth Al Libi, who directed cross-border attacks against US forces in Afghanistan and was a rising star in the organization.
Al Qaeda's leading expert on explosives and chemical attacks and a driving force behind its terrorist plotting against the US Homeland and Europe; Abu Khabab Al Masri, and Usama Al Kini who was involved in the bombings of US embassies in East Africa in 1998 and later became the chief planner of al Qaeda's terrorist attacks in Pakistan were also killed.
The loss of these and many other leaders in quick succession has made it more difficult for al Qaeda to identify replacements, and in some cases the group has had to promote junior figures considerably less skilled and respected than the individuals they are replacing. (ANI)