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LeT emergening as major global threat: US

world Updated: Aug 06, 2010 13:05 IST

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Post Mumbai attacks, Pakistan-based terror group LeT has emerged with a new dimension to undertake "bold and mass-casualty operations" against US and Western targets, an official US report has said.

"Since the 2008 Mumbai attack, analysts have deepening concern that it could evolve into a genuine global threat," said the State Department's annual Congressionally-mandated Country Reports on Terrorism for the year 2009.

It quoted jailed LeT operative David Headley and others to indicate the terror group's diversity, mobility and versatility of self-selecting recruits whom organisations can pick to meet strategic goals.

"Organisations may set these goals, but their training resources and recruits are increasingly modular and interchangeable," the report said.

The report also said that the core of al-Qaeda based in Pakistan remained the most formidable terrorist group targeting the US homeland and continue to pose a major threat to the US.

"It has proven to be an adaptable and resilient terrorist group whose desire to attack the United States and US interests abroad remains strong," it said.

The US intelligence community assessed that al-Qaeda was actively engaged in operational plotting against the US and continued recruiting, training, and deploying operatives, including individuals from Western Europe and North America.

"Moreover, al-Qaeda continued to try to expand its operational capabilities by partnering with other terrorist groups, with varying degrees of success," said the report in its strategic assessment.

Noting that al-Qaeda suffered several significant setbacks in 2009, the report said the group remained under pressure in Pakistan due to military operations aimed at eliminating militant strongholds in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The report also noted that Headley, an American citizen of Pakistani origin, has pleaded guilty in a US court to crimes relating to his role in the 26/11 attacks and to crimes relating to a separate plot to bomb the Danish newspaper 'Jyllands-Posten'.