Jul 24 2007

Did al-Qaeda Move Its Leaders And Expose Them?

Published by at 11:08 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT,Pakistan

It is well known that Zawahiri has been much more active recently, and that has led to speculation that his activities will expose the hideout of the leadership. I referenced this possibility in a previous post. And there are efforts within Pakistan to address the consolidation of al-Qaeda forces in Pakistan:

Thirty-five militants and two soldiers have been killed in heavy fighting in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, the army said on Monday.

ISPR Director General Major General Waheed Arshad told AFP that at least 30 of the rebels had died in a series of clashes in the North Waziristan tribal agency since late Sunday night. Another five insurgents were killed after rebels attacked a check post in the same district on Monday evening with rockets and guns, Arshad said, adding that the battle was continuing. Two soldiers had been killed and another 12 injured in the violence over the past 24 hours, he added, but gave no further details.

The latest clashes in the lawless North Waziristan tribal agency bordering Afghanistan came as pro-Taliban groups there warned Pakistani soldiers to quit fighting or face new suicide attacks.

There was also the recent discovery of another Taliban leader who decided to martyr himself rather than be taken captive.

These activities, along with al-Qaeda’s waning fortunes in Iraq as the people there rise up against al-Qaeda, may have pushed Zawahiri and Bin Laden into the open:

HAS OSAMA bin Laden been sighted? A report with the government of India says al Qaeda’s leadership was recently spotted near Darkot, a Pakistani village near the border with Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor. Government sources say the report was made less than a fortnight ago.

Till now, bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri were thought to be in the rugged mountains of Pakistan, along Afghanistan’s southeast border. There is now the possibility that they have shifted to the Wakhan corridor. Sticking out of northeastern Afghanistan, the corridor (a strip of land) is wedged between Tajikistan, Pakistan and the part of PoK known as Northern Areas. In 2003, bin Laden was thought to be in Chitral, in Gilgit, PoK.

Every few months we get another rumor of Bin Laden’s demise or imminent discovery, so we can all take this news with reasonable skepticism. But this news comes in tandem with some intriguing statements by US intelligence:

The US has provided intelligence to Pakistan about senior al Qaeda leaders allegedly hiding in its tribal region, said senior White House aide Frances Townsend.

There have been hints that Pakistan’s military is rife with al-Qaeda sympathizers. I guess it is possible this time the information was close enough al-Qaeda, upon being alerted, decided to move. That is all we need to finally nail down their central base of operations. I guess we have to keep our hopes up and eyes open to the possibility one day it will actually happen. Fingers crossed that this time we may have these people finally in our sights.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Did al-Qaeda Move Its Leaders And Expose Them?”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    Pakistan is one of those tar babies that makes everyone want to stick.

    We need them for our own reasons but wont go out on a never ending limb for them.

    China is playing them as a tool to be used to keep India occupied.

    There is a whole lot of political multi dimensional chess playing going on and sooner or later someone will be taking their eye off a piece that will blow up in their face.

    This risk of misjudged momentum can have it’s effects.

    Russia under Putin is starting to feel it’s oats again and China is going to have to pay a lot more attention to it’s backyard soon unless it wants to take extreme measures to tamp down internal issues.

  2. Al Bucci says:

    Did you notice that the now “martyred” (i.e. dead) Mehsud was released from Gitmo in 2004? Evidently, he was one of the innocents whose civil liberties was being violated. After his release, he rejoined the Taliban and regained his leadership position as a terrorist and murderer. Now, that he has been “martyred” (i.e. all blown up), his reign of terror is at an end. This does raise the question: How many lives have been saved by keeping war prisoners in Gitmo? Answer: More than the ACLU and its ilk would ever acknowledge.