CLEVELAND — A Taliban threat against aid workers helping flood victims in Pakistan must be taken seriously and shows that insurgents have no moral boundaries, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Friday.
"I share the concern that was stated yesterday by the State Department," Mullen told reporters after a luncheon speech to the City Club of Cleveland.Mullen said he has seen no evidence of attacks against aid workers in Pakistan or US military forces helping the relief effort.
Still, he said, "the insurgents, they have no moral bounds, from my perspective, and in that regard that they might do something like that certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility."
The Pakistani Taliban hinted they might attack the foreign aid workers. The militant network has a history of attacking aid groups, including agencies under the UN umbrella. Militant spokesman Azam Tariq said the US and other countries were not focused on providing aid to flood victims but had other motives he did not specify.
Mullen said "significant precautions" have been ordered to protect US forces supporting the relief effort.
"We would hope that all of those who are providing aid in this very difficult set of circumstances would certainly not be impeded with respect to that," he said.