Oct 02 2007

Is al-Qaeda’s Final Stand Occurring In Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Published by at 8:44 am under All General Discussions,Pakistan

I have posted for months on the fact there are some interesting happenings going on in the tribal regions of Pakistan which border with Afghanistan. The Frontier Tribal Areas and Waziristan Provinces are the site of a building al-Qaeda presence. Some see this as a sign of a growing and strengthening al-Qaeda. I think it could just as easily be where retreating al-Qaeda fighters from Iraq are circling the wagons. In this recent post I noted that Pakistan has an enormous force of 80,000 troops surrounding the area. That looks like an effort to seal the place up. There were even rumours of Bin Laden being seen in the area just this summer. Going back to April there were some reporting on 600 militants killed in the region – and just as many handed over to American Intelligence. That many sources of intel could provide a wave of intel on the region. All these hints of action, yet no big news. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be?

Reader Ordi referred me to this article by Ray Orbison at The American Thinker. He has links to another blogger also watching the happenings in Pakistan over the past year.

NBC News reports that a large operation is ongoing at the Tora Bora fortress in the mountains along the Afghani-Paki border and we may have just missed Usama bin Laden. I must admit that this caught me off guard. The US media has not been talking about a fight there at all, much less a large scale battle with al Qaeda leadership. So I perused one of my favorite anti-terror blogs The Jawa Report. Jawa has a link to another blog called the Internet Anthropologist which has been tracking what is going on in Tora Bora.

According to AI, which links to references for all of this, the US got fed up with not being able to reach al Qaeda inside Pakistan. Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney’s visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.

It worked. That’s why those camps emptied out.

So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.

Following this one post by the Internet Anthropologist I ran across this recent news article that I somehow missed in my weekly sweep of stories on the region (must do better sweeps, clearly):

A week ago American forces launched a major operation to counter a rejuvenated al-Qa’eda, which has been steadily regrouping in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and has in the past three months moved back into the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan.

American military officials say much of what is happening around Tora Bora remains “classified”. Discreetly, Western officials in Kabul describe it as “very successful”, trapping insurgents in a series of adjacent valleys.

Local people report that the fighters include Arabs, Chinese Muslims, Chechens and a large contingent of Uzbeks led by Tahir Yuldashev.

At least one sizeable group of al-Qa’eda and Taliban fighters is continuing to resist despite heavy bombing raids and attacks from US Special Forces. American military spokesmen declined to corroborate the claim, saying the operation was ongoing.

“The bombing has been heavier than it was in 2001,” said Haji Tahir, a prominent tribal leader who asked for his name to be changed because of the certainty of reprisals. Other fighters have been dispersed into the surrounding peaks and gorges.

“Five hundred infiltrated the area,” said Gen Qadim Shah, the commander of 1st Brigade, Afghan Army in Nangahar. “We have captured 57 fighters from the Taliban and al-Qa’eda. They include Chechens, Arabs and Uzbeks.”

It would be historic irony if the second battle of Tora Bora was the one that finally decapitates al-Qaeda’s leadership. I can only note again the interesting event yesterday where ex Pakistani PM Bhutto publically agreed she could see calling in the US military to take out an al-Qaeda stronghold. She basically gave Musharraf political cover to do just that if events warranted. Between the US forces and Pakistan’s 80,000 there is a lot of muscle in the area right now. Stay tuned!

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Is al-Qaeda’s Final Stand Occurring In Pakistan and Afghanistan?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    If it is working as well as it appears to be, maybe we should keep quiet about it and let them do their work.

  2. stevevvs says:

    Monday I tried something to see if those on the right, who are for the war, as I am, would report, or comment on, not so good news from Iraq. We know the left wont report most of the good news, but surely, those on the right would want to report all the news from Iraq, good or bad, right?
    Apparently not. The Washington Times, hardly a liberal rag, finally reported on the terrible plight of Christians in Iraq. I had only seen this reported previously at Jihad Watch and by Michelle Malkin.
    So, I provided links to the article in two of Aj’s post here. No response. I posted the full article at Captains Quarters, no response. I sent the article to the editor of American Thinker, with the suggestion that they aught to mention it, as it is factual, and it would provide balance. I then sent an email to Katheren Lopez, Johna Goldberg and Michael Leeden about the article, with a suggestion to post it at the corner. Nothing. Those I emailed, no reply. Zip, Zero Nada.
    As an independent minded person capable of looking at the whole picture, I was sadened by the absolute desire by those who support the war, to so much as acknowledge that despite things going better militarily, there are problems. And as a Christian myself, I find it apauling that there is a complete black out when it comes to the Christians in Iraq.
    It really made me loose a lot of respect for those on my side of the war. I guess, if it’s not all positive, it’s not news.
    And if anyone can look far enough in the future, I would think the plight of the Christians in Iraq, with a large U.S. Presence there now, would just have to wonder what in the world would happen to them when we leave! If there is no protection for them now, how in the world can things get better for them when were gone?
    And with the Iraq and Afghanistan Constitutions being based on Sharia Law, how can it get better?
    I’m not trying to turn people off to the war, but I would really like people to think forward, to when we are gone. If you have any understanding of Islam, it just can’t be a pretty picture, can it?
    I now have come to think that the Right and Left really don’t want to discuse the complete picture. And especially on the Right, they really don’t want to discuss what happens when we leave both theatres, and we leave those countries governed under Sharia Law.
    That’s all I had to say folks. Kind of a downer day, if you will. Take Care, maybe we’ll converse on Wednesday. I must go for today.

  3. Terrye says:


    These are cultural issues and it will take a long time to change this kind of attitudes.

    BTW, the constitutions are not based on sharia law. If they were, there would not be any elections etc. What both constitutions say is that there can be no law passed that is incompatible with Islam. That covers a lot of territory.

    I do think the world should put pressure on all the governments of the Middle East to allow complete religious freedom, but this is not something that will change over night. And the more damage we can do to people like Sadr, the better the chances are for meaningful reform.

  4. Terrye says:

    BTW Steve, if we sign that security arrangement like Maliki wants us to, we won’t be gone for a long long time.

  5. Terrye says:

    And in Afghanistan, we are talking about backward people who are just now reacquainting themselves with the rest of the world.

  6. stevevvs says:

    10-4, go back to sleep.

    I did get a nice reply from someone at N.R. , and we had a few email exchanges on what I posted above. I took that post, and re sent it to those mentioned in the post. As a further experiment.

    The person from N.R. said it had been mentioned previously at the corner, just has not been mentioned lately.

    Personaly, I think we have to stay in Iraq for as long as we’ve been in Korea and Japan, etc. And I’m all for it.