Jan 30 2008
Lots happening in Pakistan. I posted earlier on a report that the number one suspect in Benazir Bhutto’s killing and a charismatic leader of the Taliban/al-Qaeda movement in Pakistan had been ‘sacked’ by Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Here’s an update to the news Baitullah Meshud has created a break within the militant community.It seems that schism is for real and it means our enemies in Pakistan are facing the same fate as al-Qaeda did in Iraq – they are creating a local backlash to their violent and bloody ways:
The Taliban in Afghanistan have distanced themselves from Pakistani militants led by Baitullah Mehsud, saying they donâ€™t support any militant activity in Pakistan.
A spokesman for Baitullah Mehsud has already denied the expulsion report in a Hong Kong magazine and said that the militant leader continued to be the amir of Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan.
â€œHe has not been expelled and he continues to be the amir of Pakistani Taliban,â€ Baitullahâ€™s spokesman Maulavi Omar said.
The Asia Times Online in a report last week claimed that the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had removed Baitullah from the leadership of the Taliban movement for fighting in Pakistan at the expense of â€˜Jihadâ€™ in Afghanistan.
I am less concerned about the details and nuances of the schism and more interested in the fact it exists and is being made public to the news media. And there are other signs as well, like the massing of 10,000 armed tribal members to purge their region of al-Qaeda and their Taliban factions (H/T Reader Crosspatch):
After the killing of three levies personnel by local militants in Orakzai Agency on Saturday night, 18 tribes of the agency have decided to form a Lashkar (tribal army) against the Taliban to flush them out of the area, reported BBC Urdu on Tuesday.
A grand jirga of the 18 tribes was held in Ghuljoo, Orakzai Agency headquarters, on Monday morning, which was attended by around ten to fifteen thousand armed men.
Talking to BBC, head of Rabiakhel tribe Malik Zaman Shah said all tribes had unanimously decided not to give shelter to any militant in the area and any tribe breaching the pledge would be punished with Rs 10 million in fine and a hundred houses of the tribe would be burnt down.
End to fight: He said the jirga had also settled â€˜Islam Zonaâ€™ to temporarily end mutual enmities between the local tribes. The local tribes will, according to the decision, not fight each other until the area is cleared of militants.
Same thing happened in Iraq – too many atrocities against the locals and the locals decide al-Qaeda is not the future of Islam but its enemy. Baitullah Meshud is a lot like Zarqawi, the Egyptian born leader of al-Qaeda’s efforts in Iraq. He is a blood thirsty mad man. And we need to take him seriously:
Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has told the Al Jazeera television channel that he wants to destroy the White House, New York and London.
In his first-ever television interview that lasted 25 minutes, Mehsud was quoted by the Daily Times as saying: Our primary aim is to finish Britain [and] the US, and to crush the pride of the non-Muslims.
The next Bin Laden has apparently appeared. But terrorists are not doing all that well. A major terrorist leader was caught in Karachi as his team planned a serious of bombings – which will now of course not come off. More here on the man captured and how his group had also been rejected by the Taliban. Seems lots of people falling out with the main Taliban groups.
Terrorists were killed in Peshawar as they were trying to build bombs. The more interesting element of this story is some kind of strike that happened elsewhere in the tribal areas:
Tuesday’s missile strike happened in Khushali Torikhel, a village in North Waziristan about 40 miles east of the border, local officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
A resident said an armed drone may have carried out the strike.
“We could see a small, white plane flying over the village for the past several days,” villager Dildar Khan said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said he had no information about any missile strike.
The government often uses airstrikes to attack militants in areas that its ground forces and artillery cannot reach, but some of the aerial attacks near the border in recent years are believed to have been launched by missile-armed U.S. drones flying from Afghanistan.
Small white plane? Sounds like one of our armed Predators – if the story is true. And if so it means we have some information on someone we want killed very badly. Let’s hope for some good news out of Pakistan that a major terrorist figure has met Allah.