The outgoing director of U.S. national intelligence says Pakistan is a haven for top terrorists even though it is an ally in the war on terror.
John Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday that al-Qaida poses the gravest terrorist threat to the United States, and that the network's center is in Pakistan. He said the group maintains connections "that radiate outward from their leaders' secure hideout in Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe."
It appears to be the first time Negroponte has singled out Pakistan as the headquarters of the terrorist network. Until now, U.S. officials have said they believe al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are hiding in the tribal region along the Afghan-Pakistani border.