'Heart' of Al-Qaeda in Afghan-Pakistan border: Gates

By AFP
Published: November 9, 2010
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US Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a news conference at Malaysia's Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur November 9, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a news conference at Malaysia's Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur November 9, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday the “heart” of al Qaeda remained in the Afghan-Pakistan border area even as it spread its influence to the Arabian peninsula and northern Africa.

As al Qaeda’s leaders continued to operate out of the border area, “they provide the guidance, they provide the priorities, they provide legitimacy to other al Qaeda affiliates that are developing in other places, including in the Arabian peninsula, in Yemen in particular and in northern Africa, in the Maghreb,” Gates told reporters.

Gates, who met Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is in Malaysia for a one-day visit to bolster defence ties amid concern in the region over China’s growing economic and naval power.

However, in its fight against the al Qaeda terror network, the US had “strong friends”, including France and predominantly Muslim Malaysia, he said.

“We’re not in this fight by ourselves. We have some strong friends who see their own self-interest in dealing with this threat of extremist terrorism. So I’m confident that we will have the resources and the capability to continue to deal with it,” he said.

“When we point to the Maghreb, France is very much involved and when we are taking about Asia, this is one of the areas which the US and Malaysia are co-operating in. So we are not in this fight by ourselves.”

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Sarfraz Hussain Naqvi
    Nov 11, 2010 - 1:36PM

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! You have fooled the world enough, isn’t it !!!! Now for Christ’s sake be a man and accept that you floundered in Afghanistan like all the invaders in last couple of centuries.British got beaten and Russians were destroyed.
    Majority of the Americans and almost the whole sane world tried to persuade President Bush not to venture such excursions. You did it and now be brave and bold enough to accept your blunder. Do not implicate Pakistan. Recommend

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