Al Qaeda admits feeling the heat

January 27, 2011

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 27: A purported Al Qaeda leader says the group is losing territory and fighters amid a US drone strike campaign, according to an audio message monitored by a US organisation that tracks militant propaganda.

The rare admission by Ustad Ahmad Farooq follows an escalation in US missile hits against Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in the tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan.

The authenticity of the audio recording could not be independently verified, but Farooq has released other messages.

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant websites and other media, described Farooq as Al Qaeda’s head of media and preaching in Pakistan.

It said  the recording was released by Al Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media arm.—AP