Al Qaeda's continued use of Pakistan as a safe-haven was dealt a major blow this week by the Pakistani military. As ABC reported, the Pakistani military has shut down a network of 150 tunnels and caves in Damadola, a town near the Afghan-Pakistan border.
In the past, we have highlighted the developing threat posed by al Qaeda safe-havens in Pakistan:
"Pakistan has been described as the epicenter of terrorism in light of the proliferation of Islamic terrorist groups beyond their traditional tribal bases into the Pakistani heartland in an unstable, nuclear-armed nation. Since the Taliban's downfall in Afghanistan in 2001 the lawless tribal areas in Pakistan bordering Afghanistan have become host to al Qaeda's core leadership. Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters have penetrated the Pakistani heartland and revived the insurgency in southern Afghanistan."
While the threat remains, the actions taken by Pakistan are demonstrative of a renewed commitment to counter-terrorism cooperation. An interesting footnote to this story is that local villagers contacted the Pakistani army and directed them to the hideout which is believed to have once housed al Qaeda second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri. Thanks to this increased cooperation from locals, al Qaeda has now been deprived of a substantial arsenal that was being stored at the facility including guns and ammunition, bazookas, artillery shells, rocket propelled grenades, mines, and stolen U.S. army uniforms.