Washington, May 9 (ANI):Terming Pakistan as the "nerve center of al Qaeda's global operations", the US Central Command chief General David Petraeus has said that top commanders of the outfit are utilizing the terror safe havens situated in country's ungoverned tribal regions to plot terror strikes around the world.
General Petraeus said that Al-Qaeda was also using the Pakistan based sanctuaries to channelize finance, recruit young men and pass orders to affiliates operating across the world.
"It is the headquarters of the al Qaeda senior leadership," The Nation quoted General Petraeus, as saying.
His remarks have once again highlighted the growing US concerns about the region.
General Petraeus, while referring to the Obama Administration's decision to send about 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to spruce-up the war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, warned that the allied forces would be facing a tough time ahead, as the militants are planning a "surge" of their own.
"We have every expectation that the Taliban will fight to retain the sanctuaries and safe havens that they've been able to establish," he added.
General Petraeus said the U.S. intelligence information suggests that Al Qaeda has re-emerged as a centrally directed organization, and is planning to trigger strikes across the world.
"There is a degree of hierarchy, there is a degree of interconnection, and there is certainly a flow of people, money, expertise, explosives and knowledge," he said.
Commenting on the military operation against the Taliban and other extremist groups in Pakistan's Swat Valley, General Petraeus said Islamabad has taken the challenge posed by the Taliban seriously, but added that it was too early to speak about the magnitude or duration of the its response.(ANI)