Al Qaeda as powerful as US, says Durrani
PESHAWAR: The Al Qaeda network is capable of fighting a long battle and it is as ‘a big power’ as the United States, said Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani, the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, on Wednesday.
If Al Qaeda could organise attacks like 9/11 it could also fight the US-led war on terror, he told Daily Times in Peshawar.
ISI is coordinating with the American Central Investigation Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hunt down terrorists and prime targets including Osama Bin Laden and his second lieutenant Egyptian dissident Ahmed al Zahawari in Pakistan.
President Pervez Musharraf told Washington Post last weekend that the search for Osama had ‘gone cold’ and “there are no signs of where he is”. Lt Gen Asad did not agree with the idea that coordination among Al Qaeda members had been disrupted. “How could it organise big operations like the Madrid bombing, if the organisation was lacking coordination?” he wondered.
Asked where Osama could be hiding, the former ISI chief said he could be in Afghanistan or Pakistan. However he added that Osama could be hiding in a place that neither the US nor its allies suspect. “People are saying that Osama may be hiding in tribal areas. But I think Osama can hide in urban cities as well and nobody could expect this” said Lt Gen Asad. “I would not say it is difficult to hide him in a tribal zone. But his men will not keep him in an area, which is under the spotlight.” staff report