As federal investigators try hard to find any possible link between Faisal Shahzad and terror groups in Pakistan, a top American general today said militant outfits like the LeT, blamed for the 26/11 attacks, has “transnational goals” like the Al-Qaeda.
“The extremists in many cases would like to be transnational organisations, not just active in Pakistan, but indeed active elsewhere.
“Al Qaeda, of course, is foremost among them, LeT, who carried out the Mumbai attack, another organisation with transnational goals and activities,” General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command, told the MSNBC in an interview.
His comments assume significance in the wake of US investigators probing whether Pakistani—American Faisal Shahzad, arrested for the failed Times Square bomb attack, had any links with Pakistani Taliban or other extremist groups based in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The FBI had on Wednesday said 30—year—old Shahzad had admitted to attending a terror training camp in the restive Waziristan tribal region.
Gen. Petraeus was recently in Pakistan holding meetings with its top leadership on how to take action against these terrorist outfits.
“It may be that the Pakistani Taliban has some of these (goals) as well...The way they generate resources, the way they get recruits, they way they can proselytise is indeed by successful high— profile operations. You’ve seen that as well with the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Anwar al—Awlaki, the Yemeni—American,” Gen. Petraeus said.
He said the extremist elements that are out there are learning and adaptive organisations.
“There’s been a lot of thought about that. But, you know, you had the planes flown into tall buildings, what is the next initiative going to be? And certainly this is among those. There has been an outreach through cyberspace.
“It’s one reason that some of us have said we can’t allow cyberspace, which is a battlefield, just like a ground battlefield, to be uncontested space. We have to be active there as well, while certainly still ensuring the rights and freedoms of Americans, to be sure,” he said.
Gen. Petraeus was in Pakistan, when the Times Square incident happened.
He said the countries have to show “sustained and substantial” commitment in fighting terror elements.
“We have recognised the impressive campaign that the Pakistani military has carried out in Swat Valley and in these other areas of their country where the Pakistani Taliban was threatening the Pakistani governance,” he said.