'Pak-Afghan border epicentre of terrorism'
Washington: In the aftermath of the unearthing of a plot in which Pakistan-based terror groups were planning Mumbai-type attacks in Europe, a top US military official has said the militant outfits are seeking global reach, though the Afghan-Pak border area remains the "epicentre of terrorism".
"The reason we're focussed on Afghanistan and Pakistan is that living in that border area are terrorists from various organisations ... and it's become the epicentre of terrorism in the world," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a speech at the Texas A&M University.
"Several of those organisations, in addition to al Qaeda, now have global aspirations and are moving to a point of having global operational capacity. And they threaten us very specifically - the United States, Western interests, our European friends," Mullen said.
The top US military official specifically mentioned al Qaeda, as well as the Taliban entities that focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, and LeT, a Pakistan-based terror organisation.
Keeping the pressure on the terrorist organisations now is critical, he said, adding that such measures include improving governance, education and economics in countries whose young people are becoming part of such groups.
"I don't think we can kill our way through this. I think those conditions have to change and that's a long-term challenge. That's not going to happen overnight. But together with other countries -- responsible global powers -- we can make significant progress over time. That's the long-term answer," he said.
His remarks came amid reports that terrorists based in Pakistan had been planning Mumbai-type attacks in European cities.