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January 13, 2008

Scotland Yard: AQ Killed Bhutto

Scotland Yard experts on the case in Pakistan now believe that al-Qaeda assassinated Benazir Bhutto after reviewing all of the evidence. The Times of London reports from sources inside the organization that the investigators do not see any evidence of a cover-up, but of massive incompetence in the hours after the murder, which led to speculation of government involvement:

BRITISH officials have revealed that evidence amassed by Scotland Yard detectives points towards Al-Qaeda militants being responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Five experts in video evidence and forensic science have been in Pakistan for 10 days since President Pervez Musharraf took up an offer from Gordon Brown for British help in the investigation of the December 27 killing. Last week they were joined by three specialists in explosives.

The gun fired at Bhutto has been checked for fingerprints by the Scotland Yard detectives. A government minister told The Sunday Times that these have been traced through identity cards to a man in Swat, an area where Mehsud’s men have been fighting.

“There was no cover-up,” he insisted. “It was just unfortunate that in all the shock and confusion at the beginning, people shot their mouths off talking about sunroofs rather than simply saying it would be investigated.”

Wild theories still abound in Pakistan. Perhaps the silliest of these have the gun outfitted with a laser sight. That would, according to the conspiracy theorists, prove government complicity in the assassination because only the military would have laser-sighted guns. Not only is that not necessarily true, but it's laughable on its face. The gunman was just a few feet from Bhutto when he fired, no more than ten feet and maybe much closer than that. A military shooter wouldn't need a laser sight to hit a target that close, even with a handgun, and neither would anyone else.

Pakistani officials quickly laid the blame on Baitullah Mehsud, an AQ tribal leader who has humiliated Pervez Musharraf in the past. He captured 250 Pakistani soldiers without them firing a shot, and then forced Musharraf to trade for 247 of them; he beheaded three of them just to get Musharraf's attention. Many people thought Mehsud made for a convenient villain, and even when Musharraf produced a transcript from an intercepted telephone communication in which Mehsud indicated his involvement, people wondered why Musharraf didn't just capture Mehsud instead of his phone conversations. As the capture of 250 soldiers shows, though, that's easier said than done in Waziristan.

Musharraf got what he deserved for the incompetent response of his government in the hours after Bhutto's assassination. The double-talk and the ludicrous theory of Bhutto dying from a bump on the head completely destroyed his regime's credibility on the assassination. Scotland Yard's involvement allows Musharraf to start again on the murder and to establish a little more clearly the truth of the situation.


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This report should not surprise anyone. I wonder how the leftoids who view al-Qaeda as "freedom fighters" are going to reconcile this murder with their support for democratic reform in Pakistan? BRITISH officials have revealed that evidence amassed by ... [Read More]

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