US general says Afghan insurgents too busy in Pakistan to mount spring offensive at home

Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez said the Taliban, al Qaeda and other insurgents are staying in Pakistan to exploit the turmoil there and fight the Musharraf government. This has contributed to a drop in cross-border infiltrations into E. Afghanistan.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davis, president Pervez Musharraf dismissed the turmoil as “minor irritations,” and rejected speculation that US special forces would be asked to carry out counter-terror operations in his country.
debkafile reported that Musharraf’s eight-day European tour was preceded by tip-offs on terrorist action from Western intelligence agencies operating under cover in Pakistan. They were referred to Britain, France and Belgium and resulted in Spain rounding up 14 mostly Pakistani terrorist suspects on Jan. 20. and unpublicized preventive detentions in other parts of Europe.
debkafile‘s sources add: The detentions in Barcelona provide a glimpse of the fact that, whereas until recently al Qaeda operated in Spain and France through jihadis of North African origin or under orders from the al Qaeda Organization of the Maghreb, today, Osama bin Laden’s organization has been able to establish a second terrorist network in Western Europe from the countries of the Indian subcontinent, India, Bangladesh, Kashmir and Pakistan.
In 2008, Al Qaeda’s operational planners have been encouraged by their success in intimidating at least three European government in recent weeks by scare tactics, without deploying a single suicide bomber: Belgium cancelled its traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks show because of “security concerns” and the following week, the Paris-Dakar motor rally was cancelled at the last minute on the initiative of France and Portugal – for the first time in its history. Members of the international Olympics committee are looking worried too.

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