Pakistan arrests European al Qaeda operative

The arrest of an al Qaeda member provides a fresh reminder that Pakistan does play a role in stamping out terrorism, as the country has faced criticism from U.S. officials accusing Pakistan of knowing where Osama bin Laden was hiding out.

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Last year's U.S. raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan deteriorated relations between the two countries. Pakistan was enraged that the United States violated its sovereignty. 

An incident in November where NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani troops on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border further imperiled relations, and Pakistan has since shuttered NATO supply lines into Afghanistan.

Congress has responded to that and the jailing of a Pakistani doctor who played a role in finding bin Laden by threatening to cut aid to Pakistan. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this month the United States was "reaching the limits of our patience" with Pakistan for not going after terrorists who were launching attacks in Afghanistan and then retreating into Pakistan.