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With Al Qaeda weakened, US warns about other Pakistani terror groups

While these groups have links with Al Qaeda, the bigger danger to the US is their ability to trigger a major crisis for nuclear-armed Pakistan, including a war with India.

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In this Jan. 4 photo, Hafiz Saeed, the leader of a banned Islamic group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an alias of the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, addresses a rally against India and the United States in Lahore, Pakistan.

K.M.Chaudary/AP/File

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With Osama bin Laden dead, and only small numbers of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, some US leaders are talking up the threat of other militant outfits in the region. Such talk appears aimed at convincing critics why significant US forces must remain in the region at a time of war fatigue.

“The key is making sure there are no safe havens for those transnational terrorist groups in Afghanistan,” Gen. David Petraeus told a reporter days after Mr. bin Laden’s death.

By tallying up groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, and the Haqqani Network, the number of “transnational terrorists” rises from just a few hundred Al Qaeda to thousands of violent extremists to keep an eye on.

These three groups, while they have links with Al Qaeda, have yet to demonstrate much determination and success at striking in the US or Europe. But they could pose a present danger to the US for their ability to trigger a major crisis for nuclear-armed Pakistan, including a war with India.

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