Pak-based al Qaeda leadership continues to target US: Report

Despite the fact that Pakistan-based al-Qaeda`s senior leadership has been depleted, the group continues to plot terror attack against US and its allies, a new Obama Administration report has said.

Last Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 14:39 PM IST

Washington: Despite the fact that
Pakistan-based al-Qaeda`s senior leadership has been depleted, the group continues to plot terror attack against US and its allies, a new Obama Administration report has said.

"Although the global affiliates and allies of
al-Qaeda also threaten the US Homeland and interests,
Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to be the operational base
for the group that attacked us on 9/11," US President Barack
Obama said in the third-quarterly report to the Congress on
Afghanistan and Pakistan sent yesterday.
The 2010 Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review includes
an evaluation of the progress made during the period of this
report, which marked the full deployment of the US troop
"surge" to Afghanistan that he announced in December 2009,
Obama said in a letter to the Congressional leaders.

While the report says al Qaeda "senior leadership in
Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at
any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001," it also
notes that the group cannot be defeated until there is a
sustained denial of the group`s safe haven in the region.
"There has been significant progress in disrupting and dismantling the Pakistan-based leadership and cadre of
al-Qaeda over the past year. Al-Qaeda`s senior leadership has
been depleted, the group`s safe haven is smaller and less
secure, and its ability to prepare and conduct terrorist
operations has been degraded in important ways," the report
said.

The compounding losses of al-Qaeda`s leadership
cadre have diminished, but not halted, the group`s ability to
advance operations against the United States and our allies
and partners, or to support and inspire regional affiliates,
it said.
Obama Administration believes that core al-Qaeda "continues to view the US Homeland as its principal target",
with evidence that some of al-Qaeda`s affiliates and allies
"also are more aggressively pursuing such attacks".

"Indeed, terrorist plotting continues against the
United States and our allies and partners," the reports said.

Obama, in his 38-page unclassified portion of the
report, said the US remain committed to deepening and
broadening its partnerships with Pakistan and Afghanistan in a
way that brings us closer to the defeat of al-Qaeda and
prevents terrorist groups that pose a strategic threat to "our
Homeland, its allies".
America`s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is centered on disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al-Qaeda
in the theater and preventing its capacity to threaten
America, our citizens, and its allies.

"We remain relentlessly focused on Pakistan-based
al-Qaeda because of the strategic nature of the threat posed
by its leadership, and in particular the group`s continued
pursuit of large-scale, catastrophic anti-Western attacks and
its influence on global terrorism, Obama said.

PTI