CIA's operations against Al-Qaeda in Pak 'very successful', says Panetta

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Washington, Sep.20 (ANI): Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Director Leon Panetta has said that the agency's operation against Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in Pakistan has been 'very successful'.

Panetta said the CIA was establishing more bases in Afghanistan as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were constantly expanding their network, and added that the influence of these outfits was also on the rise.

"We are increasing our presence because the Taliban's capabilities in Afghanistan have improved a great deal. The result is that both our military and civilian operations demand better intelligence," Panetta said.

He said the CIA is preparing itself to handle the situation if countries like Yemen and Somalia fall down to extremist forces. Panetta said the CIA must be able to respond before banned outfits such as Al-Qaeda set up their bases in those failed states.

"If Yemen or other vulnerable nations become failed states, the CIA must be ready to 'interdict' Al Qaeda agents before they could set up cells there," The Daily times quoted Panetta, as saying.

Commenting on the US led 'war on terror' in Afghanistan, Panetta said he believed that America would certainly succeed in Afghanistan through counterinsurgency tactics.

"While the Taliban are clearly increasing their threat, we at the same time are learning a lot more about how we deal with them. That gives me at least some hope that we can direct this in the right way," he said. (ANI)

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