Sat 31 March 2012,
LONDON: British newspaper The Telegraph has quoted an American ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker claiming that al Qaeda has returned to Afghanistan and is planning to use the war-torn nation as a base to launch another 9/11-style attack on Western countries.
According to American ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker, if the West was to leave Afghanistan too early, the al-Qaeda would be able to increase its presence.
"If we decide we're tired, they'll be back," Crocker told The Telegraph.
"Al-Qaeda is still present in Afghanistan. If the West decides that 10 years in Afghanistan is too long then they will be back, and the next time it will not be New York or Washington, it will be another big Western city," he added.
According to the report, Crocker said that while progress had been made, Afghanistan would need Western support for years to come.
He stressed said that the Al-Qaeda remained a potent threat despite suffering setbacks.
"We have killed all the slow and stupid ones. But that means the ones that are left are totally dedicated," said Crocker, who previously served as ambassador to Iraq.
"We think we've won a campaign before our adversaries have even started to fight. They have patience, and they know that we are short on that," he added.
According to the paper, NATO officials believe that nearly 100 Al-Qaeda fighters have returned to Afghanistan, based mainly in the Kunar and Nuristan provinces near the Pakistan border.
Hundreds more are based in Pakistan and could return if circumstances were to change.
Moreover, after the Toulouse shootings this month by a suspected Al-Qaeda-trained gunman, British intelligence officials believe the group is planning a wave of attacks against Western targets, including the London Olympics.
West Indies beat Australia by 14 runs
Sat 31 March 2012,
BRIDGETOWN: West Indies defeated Australia by 14 runs at Kensington Oval on Friday to win the second Twenty20 international and draw the two-game series 1-1.
Chasing a modest 161-run target, Australia were well-set at 75-2 at the halfway stage, but their chase slowed with off-break bowler Marlon Samuels taking three crucial wickets to dismiss skipper George Bailey (24), Mike Hussey (14) and Matthew Wade (17).
Opener David Warner top-scored with a 43-ball 58 with five fours and three sixes.
Seamer Fidel Edwards, who had dismissed Shane Watson for nought in the first over, returned to turn the screw by getting rid of Daniel Christian and Brett Lee with successive deliveries in the 19th over to finish with three for 23.
That left Australia seven wickets down and needing 19 off the final over, bowled by Dwayne Bravo.
Kieron Pollard took a fine catch in the deep to dismiss David Hussey (19) off the fourth ball with 17 still needed and the game was up as Australia finished on 146 for nine.
Bravo had also played a key role in the dismissal of dangerman Warner, running out the opener with a direct hit in the 13th over with the score on 98 for three.
"It was a great start from the West Indies, I think we pulled it back to about par, 160, and I thought we were on course to knock it off," said Bailey.
"They put pressure on us. The wicket of David Warner was huge, run-outs change matches."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy admitted his team should have scored more.
"We knew it was a 180-plus pitch. We tried Polly and myself up the order to try and get some momentum — that didn't work but we kept going," said Sammy.
"The work we've been doing in the camp and throughout the series has been paying off and I want to ask the boys to keep doing that. We want to keep doing well in the Tests and hopefully continue the good results."
West Indies squandered a blistering start to be bowled out for just 160.
After winning the toss, West Indies looked good for a huge score when they raced to 65-0 from six overs and 110-2 by the 10th.
Openers Dwayne Smith and Johnson Charles got them off to a flying start.
Charles made 37 off 21 balls with six fours and a six before he was first man out in the seventh over.
Big-hitting Pollard, who had scored a maiden T20 fifty on Tuesday, was caught behind off Lee after making just one in the eighth over with the total on 76.
Smith top-scored thanks to a 34-ball innings of 63, which featured six fours and four huge sixes, but once he was caught in the deep off slow bowler Xavier Doherty, the runs dried up.
Bravo, with 23 off 24 balls, was the only other batsman to reach double figures as West Indies lost their last eight wickets for just 40 runs before they were bowled out with two balls to spare.
Lee was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 3 for 23.
The two sides, who also drew the one-day series 2-2, will now play a three-Test series beginning in Barbados on April 7. (AFP)