US sees Al-Qaeda's core in Pak as "most formidable" threat to America

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Washington, Aug.6 (ANI): Highlighting a shift in terror activities from the Middle-East to South Asia, a report of the US State Department has emphasized that Al-Qaeda's core in Pakistan is the "most formidable" threat for America.

The Congress-mandated annual global terrorism report stated that the Al-Qaeda's leadership, which is based in Pakistan, along with the affiliates in Yemen and other parts of Africa pose a vital threat to the US.

"Al Qaeda's core in Pakistan remained during 2009 the most formidable terrorist organisation targeting the United States," State's Department counter-terrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin told media persons here.

"It has proven to be an adaptable and resilient terrorist group whose desire to attack the US and its interests abroad remains strong," Benjamin said, while quoting from the report titled-"Country Reports on Terrorism 2009."

"We assess that Al Qaeda was actively engaged in operational planning against the US and continued recruiting, training and deploying operatives, including individuals from Western Europe and North America," he added.

The report also noted that Al Qaeda, from its Pakistan based safe havens, is funding the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

"The Taliban remain resilient in the south and east and expanded its presence into the north and west. Despite some heavy losses among militants and their leaders, the Taliban's ability to recruit foot soldiers from its core base of rural Pashtuns remained undiminished," The Daily Times quoted the report, as noting.

The report also pointed out that extremism and militancy is on the rise in Pakistan, and that the Al-Qaeda was using "safe havens" in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, southern Punjab, and other parts of Pakistan. (ANI)

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