Monday, June 1, 2009

US Drone Strikes hit 'high-value' Al-Qaeda targets: Special Report

Updated at: 1448 PST, Monday, June 01, 2009

WASHINGTON: US missiles from unmanned drones have eliminated about half of 20 "high-value" Al-Qaeda and other extremist targets along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, a US newspaper reported Monday.

Citing unnamed US military and intelligence officials, the newspaper said the strikes and Pakistan's ongoing military offensive in the Swat Valley have unsettled Al-Qaeda and its relative invulnerability in Pakistani mountain sanctuaries.

The report did not identify who or what the "high-value" targets were. Although Al-Qaeda remains "a serious, potent threat," the paper quotes a US counterterrorism official as saying, "they've suffered some serious losses and seem to be feeling a heightened sense of anxiety -- and that's not a bad thing at all."

A senior military official said that in the current situation, Al-Qaeda will have to undertake more open communication on cell phones and computers, even if only to gather information on the situation in the region. "Then they become more visible," the official is quoted as saying.

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