Terrorists under pressure in their Af-Pak headquarters: US

Updated on Jan 23, 2010 01:28 PM IST

Concerned about the emergence of terrorists in new areas as they come under pressure in the Afghan-Pakistan border region that is "potentially their headquarters", the US is seeking international cooperation.

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IANS | By, Washington

Concerned about the emergence of terrorists in new areas as they come under pressure in the Afghan-Pakistan border region that is "potentially their headquarters", the US is seeking international cooperation.

"These terrorist elements are always looking to adapt, given that they're under pressure in the area that is theirs potentially - you would refer to as their headquarters in the Afghan-Pakistan border region," National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer told reporters on Friday.

"I think that the more pressure we put on them there, the more they will look elsewhere to try and establish themselves," he said when asked about the Obama administration's agenda to combat al Qaeda.

"That is why we believe it is very important that we cooperate with countries all around the globe ... to prevent their ability to establish themselves in those countries."

"There is no doubt, as you have seen in this first year in office, that President (Barack) Obama understands fully his solemn responsibility to the American people to defend the homeland, to defend American interests," Hammer said.

"As part of that effort, he believes that international cooperation is critical as we move forward in eliminating the threats of al Qaeda, of al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, wherever it might surface," he said.

Hammer pointed to a stepping up in an effort in Afghanistan with the deployment of additional troops and working with the Afghan government to confront al Qaeda and it's extremist allies in that region.

"I think what you have seen in Pakistan as well in the past year is a deepening of that partnership," he said noting Defence Secretary Robert Gates was in Pakistan this week.

Gates had talked "to the Pakistani government about those issues, in terms of how to go after extremists that threaten Pakistan as well as the United States," Hammer said. "You've (also) seen actions taken in conjunction with the government of Yemen."

"Of course, you see that it is important for the United States, working with all these other countries, to go aggressively after those that want to do us harm... Do not only the United States harm, but of course the countries where these entities, these terrorists operate," the spokesman said.

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