London: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that top al Qaeda leaders are still hiding on the Pak-Afghan border.
“The heart of the al Qaeda senior leadership remains on the Pak-Afghan border,” the Daily Times quoted Miliband, as saying.
In an interview with BBC, Miliband said the Christmas Day airline-bombing bid marked a “new phase” in al Qaeda’s campaign against the West, and there remained a “very real” danger from violent extremists who will “stop at nothing”.
Miliband also spoke of the threat posed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operating in Yemen saying the country had been “rising on our radar for the last 18 months to two years”.
“But there is a real issue in Yemen – the fact that AQAP 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 on Wednesday,” he said.
Miliband backed Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s plans to offer money and jobs to tempt Taliban fighters to lay down arms and return to civilian life.
“I think it’s very important that we say very, very clearly that dividing the enemy is a very important part of our strategy, it’s the counterpart of a military strategy, it’s vital,” he said.
“When people say to me should the Afghan government be talking to the Taliban, I have a very simple answer – yes, they should,” he added.