LONDON (Reuters) - A U.S. troop pullout from Iraq would leave the country as a potent launchpad for international terrorism and Washington would be forced to go back in within a couple of years, a leading al Qaeda expert said on Tuesday.
Rohan Gunaratna told a security conference at Lloyd's of London insurance market that Iraq, like Afghanistan in the 1990s, would become a "terrorist Disneyland" where al Qaeda could build up its strength unchallenged.
If U.S., British and other coalition troops withdrew from Iraq in the next year, he said, "certainly the scale of attacks that would be mounted inside Iraq, and using Iraq as a launching pad to strike other Western countries -- countries in Europe, North America - would become such that after two or three years, the U.S. forces will have to go back to Iraq."
The Singapore-based academic and writer said the epicenter of internation
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