Washington, May 22 (ANI): Worried by the ever expanding links between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the United States has reiterated that Al-Qaeda has shifted its base and is now headquartered in Pakistan.
Addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said that there is no doubt that Al-Qaeda has shifted its base from Afghanistan, and its top leaders were operating from inside Pakistan’s geographical boundaries.
Admiral Mullen told the Committee that growing links between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was particularly worrying for the United States.
“While al-Qaida is not located in Afghanistan, it is headquartered clearly in Pakistan, what I have watched over the last couple of years is this growing integration between al-Qaida and the Taliban, and the various networks of the Taliban, whether it is (Jalaluddin) Haqqani, or (Baitullah) Mehsud or (Gulbuddin)Hekmatyar, and that has alarmed me in its growth and integration over the last couple of years,” The News quoted Admiral Mullen, as saying.
Mullen also noted that Al-Qaeda was expanding its nefarious activities in other countries of the world with the primary aim of targeting America.
“Al-Qaida, which continues not to be just in Pakistan, but is now moving into Yemen, is connected very well in Somalia, and in other parts of the world.Their strategic objectives remain the same – to threaten us, to threaten the west,” he said.
Admiral Mullen also defended President Obama’s decision to send 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to bolster the ‘war on terror’. (ANI)