“The Hills Are Alive”

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Army Photo / Sgt. Jon Heinrich

Army Spc. Paul Varn monitors satellite communications at an observation point along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Kunar province, Jan. 21.

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Spc Varn looks unhappy -- perhaps he's listening to AQ traffic.

The Langley Intelligence Group (LIGNET) reported on January 30, 2013 that “Afghan’s Kunar Province Fast Becoming Al-Qaeda's Nerve Center.”

 LIGNET went on to say, “Kunar, a rocky Afghanistan province on the Pakistan border, has become a strategic territory for recruiting, breeding and training members of al-Qaeda and its regional franchises. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to be using this area to promote a new, decentralized al-Qaeda network. Recent activity by al-Qaeda-linked groups in Mali, Algeria, Libya and Somalia suggest this effort is expanding and could be boosted when coalition troops withdraw from Afghanistan next year … LIGNET believes Kunar province and bordering tribal areas in Pakistan could become a nerve center promoting global radical jihad, stoking al-Qaeda cells in new countries, and increasing its influence and reach after coalition forces hand over Afghanistan security responsibilities in 2014.” (013013)