Terrorism in South Asia [Updated December 13, 2004]   [open pdf - 469KB]

"This report reviews the recent incidence of terrorism in South Asia, concentrating on Pakistan and India, but also including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The existence of international terrorist groups and their supporters in South Asia is identified as a threat to both regional stability and to the attainment of central U.S. policy goals. Al Qaeda forces that fled from Afghanistan with their Taliban supporters remain active on Pakistani territory, and Al Qaeda is believed to have links with indigenous Pakistani terrorist groups that have conducted anti-Western attacks and that support separatist militancy in Indian Kashmir. Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are believed to be in Pakistan. A significant portion of Pakistans ethnic Pashtun population is reported to sympathize with the Taliban and even Al Qaeda. [] The relationships between international terrorists, indigenous Pakistani extremist groups, and some elements of Pakistans political-military structure are complex and murky, but may represent a serious threat to the attainment of key U.S. policy goals. [] The 9/11 Commission Report contains recommendations for U.S. policy toward Pakistan, emphasizing the importance of eliminating terrorist sanctuaries in western Pakistan and near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and calling for provision of longterm and comprehensive support to the government of President Musharraf so long as that government remains committed to combating extremism and to a policy of 'enlightened moderation.' Legislation passed by the 108th Congress (S. 2845) seeks to implement this and other Commission recommendations."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32259
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