Despite the military action taken by the Pakistani Army against the terrorist groups, the US remains concerned that al Qaeda operates with impunity in Pakistan's territory, a Congressional report has said.
'Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for US Policy' was released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for US lawmakers on February 5.
"US officials remain concerned that al Qaeda terrorists operate with impunity on Pakistani territory, and that the group appears to have increased its influence among the myriad militant groups operating along the Pak-Afghan border, as well as in the densely populated Punjab province," the report said.
"Al Qaeda forces that fled Afghanistan with their Taliban supporters remain active in Pakistan and reportedly have extensive, mutually supportive links with indigenous Pakistani terrorist groups that conduct anti-Western and anti-India attacks," the report said.
Noting that al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenant, Egyptian terrorist Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding in northwestern Pakistan, along with most other senior operatives, the report said.
Al Qaeda leaders have issued statements encouraging Pakistani Muslims to "resist" the American "occupiers" in Pakistan (and Afghanistan), and to fight against Pakistan's "US-allied politicians and officers."