The United States does not want to remove Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf from power as Washington fears that the South Asian country would fall into the hands of extremists, according to a former consultant to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"If Musharraf falls, mullahs will take over," the ex-FBI consultant, Paul L Williams, said at a seminar in New York, adding, "However, he will be gone by next year."
The half-day seminar was organised by Indian American Intellectuals Forum headed by Hindu leader Narain Kataria.
According to Dr Williams, Muslim extremism presented a huge threat to humanity.
"The threat posed by radical Islam far exceeds the Third Reich," he said in a half-hour lecture.
He pointed out that for decades, America had been under the impression that terrorism was something that occurred overseas as two oceans separated them from the rest of the world and two friendly countries shielded them on either side.
Williams, who has written on subjects like terrorism, observed that there were about 5,000 al Qaeda operatives in American mosques plotting another September 11, 2001-style attack. His latest book focusses on al Qaeda.
"A nuclear attack on the United States is imminent," he said, citing the statements of President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney during the presidential election campaign last year.
Answering a question, Williams said, "Muslim nations are paying money to individuals who can influence decisions in their favour.
He also supported the findings of the Volcker Committee.