US special forces team present in Nepal, India, confirms top Pentagon commander

A top Pentagon commander has revealed that US special forces are present in Nepal
US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard said the special forces team were deployed in five South Asian countries – Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

“We have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term – laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India,” the online edition of the BBC quoted Admiral Willard as telling a Congressional hearing.

In India, the teams were deployed to help the country with their counter-terrorism co-operation, Willard said.

The US and India were working together to contain Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he said.

“We are working very closely with India with regard to their counter-terrorism capabilities and in particular on the maritime domain but also government to government, not necessarily department of defence but other agencies assisting them in terms of their internal counter-terror and counterinsurgency challenges.”

Adm Willard was further quoted as saying by the BBC that Lashkar-e-Taiba was a “very dangerous organisation… so it is a very important threat, and we’re working very closely with the nations in the region to help contain it”.

He said the group was “responsible for many attacks in India, including the horrific attacks into Mumbai, Lashkar-e-Taiba is headquartered in Pakistan, affiliated with al-Qaeda… and contributes to terrorist operations in Afghanistan and aspires to operate against Asia, Europe and North America,” he said.

He said Washington was working with Delhi to ensure that “they have the best systems in place possible to prevent future attacks such as the one in Mumbai”. nepalnews.com

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