On the loose Taliban would boost international terrorism: intelligence officials

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Washington, Oct 13(ANI): Several military intelligence officials have warned that terror outfits like the, Al-Qaeda and Taliban are still allied, and if the Taliban is given the opportunity to regain power in Afghanistan, it would boost the potential base of international terrorism.

The warning follows U.S. President Barack Obama plans for a new strategy, which would divert the U.S. military's focus from eliminating Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan to Al-Qaeda bases within Pakistan.

"The linkage between the two groups (Al-Qaeda and Taliban) is, at this moment, beneficial for both of them. There are different goals and different aims for the two groups, but they have a mutual benefit in co-operating and being linked. And then, on top of that, they have the mutual common enemy in the infidels, and the Western world and America, and that is connecting them as brothers," The Globe and Mail quoted an intelligence official, as saying.

"If the Taliban gain influence, chances are that the Al-Qaeda footprint in Afghanistan will get bigger," the official added.

The official further said that if the US military and other international forces are able to contain Taliban's power, then they should wait till the Afghan security forces are developed enough to the point where they can keep the insurgency in control, otherwise the major powers around the world would be under the threat of another major attack.

Alan Bell, the head of Globe Risk International, a security management consultancy firm, agrees to the warnings made by these intelligence officials, and said that at the moment Taliban is almost under control and the forces should capitalize on the advantage.

"The Taliban will say to Western countries, 'Just go home and we won't bother you.' This is most likely true as they have no capability or capacity to fight or conduct terrorist attacks outside Pakistan and Afghanistan," Bell said.

"Having said this, Al-Qaeda does have that capability. And I have no doubt that if the Taliban gain total power in Afghanistan that Al-Qaeda will return in some capacity, either to use the country as a safe haven, or to train, plan and launch attacks against the West. Al-Qaeda thrives within unstable countries governed by fractious governments," he added. (ANI)

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