US special forces will soon launch new operations to hunt world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden who the Americans believe is holed up in rugged terrain along the Afghan-Pak border.
The new American plans to chase Bin Laden were outlined by General James Jones, National Security Adviser who said that intelligence reports suggested that the al-Qaida chief was moving sanctuaries between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” programme, Jones signalled that some US troops could start coming home from Afghanistan as soon as July 2011, but a large number would remain there for several years, keeping in view the US’s strategic interest in the region.
Bin Laden “is somewhere inside north Waziristan, sometimes on the Pakistani side of the border, sometimes on the Afghan side of the border,” Mr. Jones said.
To a question whether US planned a fresh attempt to go after al-Qaida’s leader, Mr. Jones said: “I think so.”
Labelling Osama as a “symbol of what al-Qaida stands for” the US National Security Adviser said it was important to make sure he was on the run or captured.
Jones comments that Bin Laden sometimes crossed to the Afghan side of the mountainous border contrasted with previous accounts from US officials that suggested the al-Qaida chief was hiding in Pakistan.