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Pakistan, Afghanistan among likely havens for new terror: Obama

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:15 IST

US President Barack Obama believes that "instability will continue for decades" in many parts of the world including Afghanistan and Pakistan. During his final State of the Union Address to the Congress, Obama observed that some of these places may become a safe haven for new terrorist networks.

Obama said the both Al Qaeda and ISIS pose a direct threat to the US. "Our foreign policy must be focused on the threat from ISIL and al Qaeda, but it can't stop there. For even without ISIL, instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world - in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia. Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks...' he said.

In his eight State of the Union Address, Mr Obama said terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIL (also known as ISIS Islamic State militant group) use the Internet to poison the minds of individuals inside the country; they undermine American allies.

"But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence," Mr Obama said.

"That's the story ISIL wants to tell; that's the kind of propaganda they use to recruit," he asserted.

"We don't need to build them up to show that we're serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world's largest religions. We just need to call them what they are - killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed," Mr Obama said.

(With inputs from PTI)

First published: 13 January 2016, 10:39 IST