London: The recent bid to blow up a US
trans-Atlantic plane marked a "new phase" in al Qaeda`s terror
campaign against the West, the British Foreign Secretary
said today, ahead of a key meet on Afghanistan and Yemen to be
attended by the Indian External Affairs Minister here.
David Miliband said the fact that al Qaeda of the
Arabian Peninsula should have tried to strike in Detroit
"marks a new phase in the campaign and that`s why there`s an
important meeting on Yemen" and Afghanistan this week.
India`s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will be
Miliband said the Detroit incident was the first time
the group has attempted to strike in the West rather than
within the Middle East and added that Yemen "has been rising
on our radar for the last 18 months to two years."
He said the attempted Detroit bombing highlighted the
dangers that still existed and the "links" that existed
between terrorist groups around the world.
"These people will stop at nothing," he said, adding
"They will try every trick in the book".
Underlining the determination of the government to
combat terrorism worldwide, Miliband said funding for
counter-terrorism projects in Pakistan is not being cut.
"The money we are devoting to counter-terrorism in
Pakistan is rising, not falling," he told The Andrew Marr Show
on BBC One.
"The money we are devoting to counter-terrorism
globally is rising not falling," he said.
But Miliband admitted that the "overall Foreign Office
budget is under a lot of pressure because we buy 120 foreign
currencies and we`re paid by the Treasury in pounds."
Besides the Yemen meeting on Wednesday, Britain is
hosting an international conference on Afghanistan on
Reacting to reports that Osama bin Laden had claimed
responsibility for the attempted bombing of a transatlantic
flight on Christmas Day, Miliband said people should reserve
judgement until it was clear the claim of al Qaeda involvement
The London talks will focus on how to tackle extremism
in Yemen and how to stabilise Afghanistan through political as
well as military means.