Al Qaeda leaders operate outside Afghanistan: ISAF
Carsten Jacobson told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that they were trying to target Al Qaeda leaders in all parts of the world.
The September 11 attacks were carried out with four hijacked airplanes on the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Centre in New York, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring many others.
After the devastating attacks, the US accused Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of masterminding the assaults and asked the Taliban to hand him over. When the Taliban refused, the US attacked Afghanistan on Oct. 07, 2001, ousting the regime.
"The international campaign to eliminate Al Qaeda began after September 11 and the war is still on," Jacobson said, adding the terror network had failed to fuel hatred among different religions of the world.
Most of Al Qaeda leaders have been operating outside Afghanistan, he said. "Although the group has been weakened, it still poses a threat to the region and the world," he said.
Stressing the network should not be allowed to regroup, Jacobson called the death of Osama a big achievement, which had considerably reduced Al Qaeda's might.
He said Pakistan had repeatedly claimed the world's most wanted man was hiding in Afghanistan, but his death on May 12 in the Abbottabad garrison city showed the bases of Al Qaeda were in Pakistan.
Jacobson insisted the Taliban had lost the courage to enter face-to-face combat with security forces and had resorted to planting roadside bombs -- a major cause of civilian casualties.
The international community had spent billions of dollars over the past one decade on strengthening Afghanistan politically, economically and militarily, he said, but did not give an exact figure.
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