At his joint appearance with Afghan President Hamid Karzai today, President Obama said US military action in Afghanistan and the surrounding region “is in our national security interests” because of recent terrorist plots in the U.S. that have ties to the region.
“As we've seen in recent plots here in the United States, Al Qaida and its extremist allies continue to plot in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” President Obama said. “A growing Taliban insurgency could mean an even larger safe haven for Al Qaida and its affiliates.”
A senior administration official tells ABC News that the president was referring to specific cases such as attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, terrorist plotter Najibullah Zazi Mumbai attacks plotter David Headley, as well as other would-be terrorists whose cases have not been reported.
This is not the first time the president has tied the region to post-9/11 attempted attacks on the U.S.
In his West Point speech when he described his strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president described the region as “the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror.”