Jul 15 2007

The Next Big Loss For al-Qaeda: Pakistan

Published by at 6:29 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

It seems clear al-Qaeda is losing badly in Iraq as the Iraqis take up arms and swear on the Koran to rid their country of the Islamo Fascists. It is clear al-Qaeda has lost its hold in Lebanon and is now in a limited position to take over that country. It is clear the Taliban will not retake Afghanistan and is losing people in useless raids on Afghan and NATO forces. A recent coup attempt in Egypt has been uncovered and neutralized. So is al-Qaeda on the move or in full retreat? So far they have some success in the useless Gaza Strip. Otherwise their forces seem to be falling back to the yet to be controlled tribal regions of norther Pakistan. So is al-Qaeda planning their next great failure?

Seem so to me:

AL-QA’IDA was behind last week’s uprising at Islamabad’s Red Mosque, according to secret Pakistani government documents revealed as thousands of troops were deployed across the country yesterday.

The troop reinforcements came after a series of deadly suicide bomb attacks left scores of soldiers dead and maimed in revenge attacks by Islamic militants for last week’s mosque bloodbath.

In the latest attack, at least 16 Pakistani security officers were killed yesterday in a series of bomb blasts and an exchange of fire with Islamist militants, officials said, adding that the death toll could go higher.

The blasts hit as a convoy of police and paramilitary troops passed through the town of Matta near the hilly Swat area, a well-known Taliban stronghold.

The attacks accompanied heightening outrage among militants over the storming of the mosque and intensifying speculation about the number of women and children who died.

They coincided with leaked reports from the Government claiming that documents recovered from the mosque and the neighbouring madrassas prove conclusively that al-Qa’ida – and specifically Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri – directed the uprising, maintaining close contact with Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who died in the battle.

Intelligence officials also claimed al-Qa’ida had sent foreign fighters to assist in the rebellion, with Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Cheema saying yesterday the bodies of at least 10 such Chechens and Arabs had been recovered.

It cannot be a coincidence that Chechen terrorists have been taking a pounding all spring in the tribal regions as local Taliban tried to rid their area of the foreign fighters (see here for one example).

Musharraf had promised a hands off arrangement with these tribal areas IF they kept foreign fighters out to remove al-Qaeda a base of operations. al-Qaeda seems to have been too strong for the Taliban. Especially if they are retreating to Pakistan to regroup after Iraq and their other string of failures. Maybe al-Qaeda sees their last chance of success, after being run from Iraq by the local Muslims, was to take over Pakistan. They are running out of options in terms of big PR wins. They can place bombs, but they cannot gain any ground and their penchant to hide behind and kill women and children has soiled the image of the Muslim Warrior to no end.

So al-Qaeda is massing in the tribal regions and southern Afghanistan. It would seem Bin Laden is probably dead now that a 2002 video is being pawned off as a ‘new message’ from the beloved leader. His number 2, Zawahiri, has been begging for more fighters. This reminds me of what happened in Iraq has the Islamo Fascists ran from Anbar and Baghdad only to be trapped in Diyala Province. Is the US, Pakistand, Afghanistan and NATO encircling the remnants of al-Qaeda? It just might be:

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Pakistani forces backed by US special units are closing in on al Qaeda’s No. 2 Ayman Zawahiri and possibly also Osama bin Laden

July 15, 2007, 10:47 PM (GMT+02:00)

Our counter-terror sources report exclusively that a frantic effort by al Qaeda and Taliban to head off the pursuit set afoot the bloody battle in Islamabad’s Red Mosque, the attempts to shoot down President Pervez Musharraf’s plane and the suicide attacks on Pakistani military convoys, which cost 68 lives Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15.
Until the middle of last week, Zuwahiri sheltered with the local Pashtun tribes in Bannu, a town in the northwest Pakistan tribal federation of North Waziristan. The approach of Pakistani and US intelligence and special forces caused him to switch hiding places and move to Tank or Tang, a town 120 km south of Bannu.

On Saturday, two soldiers were injured by a bomb explosion in that town, having just missed their quarry.

Musharraf meanwhile decided last week to storm the Red Mosque on a tip-off from his own Inter-Service Intelligence that two of Zawahiri’s closest lieutenants, Majid Hassan al-Tawil and Mohammad Othman, were inside.

They were reported to be preparing a mega-attack in Islamabad and other important Pakistani towns to disrupt the combined Pakistani-US operation to capture their master.
At that point, Pakistani intelligence turned up a lead to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden himself.

The Pakistani army imposed a blackout on the identities of the victims of the Red Mosque battle, estimated at around 100 dead, and the detainees captured there. Even the names of the women and children claimed to have been held hostage were not disclosed. DEBKAfile’s sources report that Pakistan intelligence, which had hoped to capture the two al Qaeda operatives alive, has not found them. They are still trying to establish if they were among the dead or managed to escape.

We have seen these hints of possible capture of Zawhiri and Bin Laden before. But something seems very different this time. Including a possible arrangement between the US and Pakis on joint operations inside Pakistan. It has been known this would be a big summer in the war on terror. It looks like this summer might yet not dissappoint.

Wow, even a normally leftwing site sees a major loss in Pakistan for al-Qaeda. Must be something going on.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “The Next Big Loss For al-Qaeda: Pakistan”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Please take *any* reports from DEBKA with a *huge* grain of salt. They are nearly always untrue. They are basically on the same scale as The Weekly World News when it comes to world events. Next they will claim that aliens from the planet Garftar are assisting the Taliban and that the Iranian President is really Zawahiri’s love child.

  2. AJStrata says:

    CP, I do. But sometimes they are ‘close’ to right.

  3. jimbo1 says:

    CP …Al Qaeda overreached on this one….they picked a fight in the heart of Islamabad… then killed scores of Pakistani troops…..they are going to experience some major blowback in the coming weeks. I think Zawahiri will be taken out.

  4. kathie says:

    DEBKA may get a lot of things wrong, but Bush did raise the reward from 25 to 50 million for OBL, there must be some reason for it.

  5. crosspatch says:

    Politically this is going to be tricky for Musharraf. The Taliban so far have done a good job of self-destructive behavior in engaging in acts that the people find repulsive and so that acts to temper any government response. If that trend continues, the Taliban are going to have some serious difficulty in gaining any sympathy outside the tribal areas and could end up turning their own people against them.

    As for any increased cooperation with the US in operations inside Pakistan, the extent to which that will be tolerated by the population will depend again on how despicable are the acts of the Taliban going forward.

    At first glance, it would appear that al Qaida and the Taliban are repeating the same fate they did in Afghanistan, their attempted Talibanisation of Somalia, and Iraq. People who have had a taste of that kind of rule (religious thugocracy) tend not to want to go back to it once it has been removed.

    Is is just me or does anyone else think:

    Al Qaida and The Taliban makes a great name for a punk band?

  6. WWS says:

    LOL crosspatch! I’ve thought the same thing about Debka vs the WWN.


    And they might as well make the reward for bin Laden 1 billion, or 1 trillion, or a googlillion – it doesn’t matter. He’s dead, Jim.

  7. crosspatch says:

    Yeah, I have another comment hung up in the spam filter for some reason. But yeah, this is going to be a rough month for everyone in Pakistan, I think. There’s going to be a lot of blood shed and might be the closest thing we could see to a civil war there. We pumped a lot of money and effort into cultivating a culture of jihad when the Russians were in Afghanistan, we can’t just flip it off like a switch.

  8. Cobalt Shiva says:

    He’s dead, Jim.

    ‘E’s not dead, ‘e’s resting. Lovely bird, the Norwegian Blue Jihadist, eh, squire? Remarkable plumage!