Al Qaeda Plotting a Comeback in Afghanistan
Al Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan is plotting a comeback once U.S. and international forces withdraw from the country.
U.S. officials said Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari has been cementing local ties and bringing in small numbers of experienced militants to train a new generation of fighters.
Meanwhile, U.S. military and intelligence officials said they have increased drone and jet missile strikes against him and his followers in the mountainous eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.
The objective is to keep him from restarting the large training camps that once drew hundreds of followers before the U.S.-led war began.
U.S. and Afghan negotiators are stalled over a troop agreement, which could result in a total pullout by U.S. forces, making it harder to keep al Qaeda and the Taliban from gaining strength.