May 31,2007 00:00
LONDON -- British intelligence officials said they believe that al-Qaida has a secure base in Pakistan's Waziristan region and is planning terrorist operations.
The group is reaching out to Muslims in North Africa, The Telegraph reported. Last year, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, an Algerian terrorist group, merged itself into al-Qaida, a move announced by Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a tape promising action against the "apostates" in the Algerian government and "the treacherous sons of France."
Al-Qaida is also believed to be planning expansion into Lebanon and Syria, the newspaper report said.
For several years after al-Qaida was driven out of Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, simply staying free consumed most of its leaders' energy, The Telegraph said.
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