July 8, 2007

Getting Closer To Omar

Pakistan announced the capture of senior Taliban figures, including two close aides to Mullah Omar, just a few hours ago. Security forces captured four high-value targets in two raids in the city of Quetta:

An Afghan intelligence source told the BBC four senior associates of Mullah Omar were being held after operations by Pakistani security forces. The arrests took place in two areas of the city of Quetta in western Pakistan.

The source said those arrested included two men responsible for Mullah Omar's letters and communications. They have been named as Mullah Jahangir and Mullah Mohid.

Others now in detention are said to be Mullah Nazir, who was Taleban commander in the southern Afghan province of Urozgan, and Mullah Tahir, the former Taleban commander for the capital, Kabul.

Pervez Musharraf survived another assassination attempt this week and has a few dozen radical Islamists surrounded at the Red Mosque. It seems to have refocused him somewhat on the threat to his power that the Islamists represent. Afghanistan has frequently complained about the Taliban's open presence in Quetta and Musharraf's lack of effort in attacking it.

That appears to have changed. Musharraf has spent the last couple of years backing away from the fight against the terrorists in Waziristan, the province north of Balochistan, where Quetta is located. Recent rumors appearing in Asia Times on July 3 have Musharraf allowing the US top operate in a mostly covert fashion inside Waziristan -- which would indicate a spectacular shift for a man worried about the reaction to foreign "crusader" troops on Islamic soil:

According to Asia Times Online contacts, NATO and its US backers have gotten their wish: coalition forces will start hitting targets wherever they might be.

Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf is expected to make an important announcement on extremism during an address to the nation in the next day or two.

The ATol contacts in Islamabad say that coalition intelligence has pinpointed at least four centers in the tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan from which Taliban operations inside Afghanistan are run. These bases include arms caches and the transfer and raising of money and manpower, the latter in the form of foot-soldiers to fight with the Taliban-led insurgency.

These captures are the first significant action Musharraf has taken against the Taliban in months, and the fact that he acted in Quetta seems significant. Musharraf appears to have ended his flirtation with the Islamists and is now convinced he needs the West to help him get rid of their threat to his regime. If this plays out well, we could finally have the entire al-Qaeda leadership in a vice from which they cannot retreat.


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I have been posting for a while on how Pakistan is preparing to go on the offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in country and spreading unrest. Well Captain Ed Morrissey has noticed some great news on that front with the capture of two of Mullah... [Read More]

Comments (3)

Posted by David M | July 8, 2007 10:20 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/08/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

Posted by Eg | July 8, 2007 10:54 AM

Not to splash cold water on the capture of two highly placed Taliban, however, no matter the number of the militants in the mosque, the primary threat posed to Mush’s regime could come about as a result of a large number of deaths of women & children - whether they are holed-up or hostage - and should not to be taken lightly. The Red Mosque received no small amount of support and was attended by a goodly amount of Mush’s officers corps, commissioned and non-commission, not to mention those in the rank-in-file. The matter is made worse as any number of the aforementioned had family members attending the schools. In fact, that is primary reason why the problem was largely overlooked. Now you’ve a situation that’s extremely volatile, compounded by a week of curfew and local restrictions. As Mark Steyn so well expressed, Mushie just might, 'be heading for his retirement villa in Imouttaheristan' in very short-order.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 8, 2007 2:39 PM

With Musharraf having tried to pacify the Islamofascists and failed, having survived multiple assassination attempts, and noticing the U.S. further distancing itself politically from the ME conflict proper, he must now realize that he better save his life and his regime by getting the U.S. to help him do the necessary dirty work before we bug out.

Self-preservation takes a back seat to all politics.

Whatever the case, I'm glad our military is ready, willing, and able to go after these beasts. Let's hope our political leadership gives them whatever they need, including publicly advertised support, if it will help their mission on our behalf. Time to get the heads of this snake since the charming doesn't work... at all.