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'Taliban in every Pak city & town'

'Taliban in every Pak city & town'

Author: Times News Network
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 6, 2009

Introduction: Jihadists Know Biological Warfare: NWFP Police Chief

In what will deepen fears about Pakistan's capacity to tackle Al Qaida-Taliban, a top police official from NWFP said the Taliban were present in every city and town and hoped to launch more 9/11-type strikes against the West.

NWFP police chief Malik Navid told the Pakistan National Assembly's standing committee that extremist groups were spreading rapidly through the country being no longer confined to the mountains of NWFP or Waziristan. He said the terrorists' aims included destabilization of current regimes in the Middle East-a long-term objective of Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

Navid said the Al Qaida-Taliban combo hoped to use parts of the Middle East as launch pads for attacks against the West and pointed out that the groups had developed some expertise in making bio-chemical weapons. Pointing to the unchecked progress of jihadi groups, Navid said Taliban were moving towards major cities like Lahore and Karachi. "Their people are present in every city and town. In some places they are active, in others they are dormant. Taliban's philosophy is to create pockets everywhere,'' he said, adding that jihadi groups were moving through southern Punjab and eventually aimed to reach the financial hub of Karachi.

Navid said Qaida specialized in turning out suicide bombers within three months. Five to 10% of Pakistan's madarsas were involved in this activity and he named Qaida operative Qari Hussain for training bombers. The jihadists were a mix of Pakistani Taliban, local groups, criminals and Afghan Taliban besides a major Qaida component.

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