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Report: Al Qaeda Using Web to Regroup in Pakistan
  More U.S. and Afghan Troops Join Operation Anaconda (AP)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Intercepted e-mail messages indicate groups of al Qaeda followers 
may be trying to regroup in parts of Pakistan near the Afghan border, The New York 
Times reported on Wednesday.

U.S. government officials say they have found new Web sites and Internet 
communications that appear to be part of an effort to reconstitute Saudi-born 
extremist Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al Qaeda network after it was dispersed 
by the war in neighboring Afghanistan (news - web sites), the Times said.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked if al Qaeda elements were trying to regroup 
in Pakistan, communicating through the Internet, told a news conference later: ``I 
don't doubt it. I've seen these reports.''

He told reporters at the Pentagon (news - web sites): ``Needless to say, as we find 
pockets of al Qaeda, we're going to go after them.''

He said Pakistani authorities had been ``terrific'' in trying to crack down on members 
of the extremist group, blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on America, who operate in the 

The Times quoted officials saying the new communications traffic was a serious concern 
because they feared that al Qaeda could use the Internet to launch new attacks against 
the United States, but the content of the intercepted cyber traffic has not indicated 
specific threats.

Al Qaeda operatives often check messages in public places around the world, making 
them hard to track, the Times said.

At least some of the communications can be traced back to Pakistan, a senior law 
enforcement official told the Times.

U.S. officials believe villages in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, and perhaps 
others in the disputed Kashmir (news - web sites) region, could be serving as new 
sanctuaries for al Qaeda members, the Times said.

It is unclear whether the communications signal leadership trying to control various 
elements of the organization or simply members speaking to each other, the Times said. 
So far, there is no sign of bin Laden or other top leaders communicating with 
followers, the Times said.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators found that the hijackers communicated with 
each other in hundreds of e-mail messages often sent from public places, the Times 


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