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Report: Al-Qaida growing in Pakistan

Feb. 6, 2008 at 8:49 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate panel al-Qaida is strengthening its training camps in Pakistan.

McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee there is a strong likelihood Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, had recruited U.S. citizens as terrorists able to blend in with U.S. society, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

After his testimony, a senior intelligence official who declined to be identified told the Times there was no intelligence indicating al-Qaida had gotten any militants into the United States.

McConnell's testimony closely echoed a National Intelligence Estimate last summer saying al-Qaida was tattered in Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion, but regrouping in neighboring Pakistan.

In recent weeks, the Bush administration has sent several officials to Islamabad to pressure the government for more aggressive action against al-Qaida, the newspaper said.

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