Jul 21 2008

Pakistan Government: 10,000 Terrorist Massed In Pakistan Tribal Areas

Things are definitely accelerating in the Pakistan Tribal Areas. Yesterday I posted on one report that 8,000 foreign fighters (aka al-Qaeda and friends) had retreated to Pakistan for what could be their last stand against the West. Today another article comes out with more details on a secret report from the ISI detailing the 10,000 foreign fighters massing in the two Waziristan Provinces in the Western end of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA – click map below for full sized image):

The repeated assertions by the American and Afghan officials that the tribal areas of Pakistan have turned into a safe haven for Al Qaeda militants have finally been endorsed by the Pakistani intelligence agencies in their recent report to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, admitting for the first time that the number of the ‘foreign fighters’ present in the Pak-Afghan tribal belt is around 10,000.

According to sources in the PM Secretariat, the revelation has been made in a classified report submitted to PM Gillani recently by the ISI, ahead of his upcoming visit to the US during which he is scheduled to meet President Bush.

The sources said an unusually large numbers of the foreign fighters have set alarm bells ringing in Islamabad as pressure from Washington and Kabul could intensify for launching a joint Pak-US military operation in the tribal areas on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border. The report states that a majority of the foreign fighters are living in the North and South Waziristan tribal agencies which could not have been possible without the consent and help of the Pakistani Taliban.

The report states the number of the foreign fighters in the tribal areas started increasing in 2007.

Emphasis mine. 2007 was when The Surge in Iraq started pushing al-Qaeda out of their strongholds. Knowing that AQ leaders like to run away to lose another day I would bet there are some high value targets sitting out there right now. And this report on fighting in Balochistan, Pakistan also notes how terrorist leaders may be spread out in Pakistan and wreaking havoc:

Over the years, militant attacks in the province have killed hundreds. The fighting had quieted after Bugti’s death.

Pakistan has said the militants in Balochistan — near the Afghan border — do not have links to the Islamic hardliners who have launched assaults in other parts of the country.

Recently, the province has seen an influx of Afghan refugees. And Afghanistan’s government believes key Taliban leaders may be hiding among them.

Combined with the news that US forces have stepped up their reconnaissance flights and has moved large amounts of fire power and personnel to the border we have all the makings of some major action. It is hard not to take action when 10,000 of our enemies have done us a favor and gathered into pockets in a region that is difficult to move around in. With Special Forces on the ground (and they are on the ground) our artillery and airpower could decimate these forces.

I am sure Pakistan is about to succumb to the pressure to do something dramatic. It’s not like they aren’t taking actions now. In fact they have been escalating their efforts, squeezing the militants into ever tighter enclaves. Sooner or later they are going to deal with these thugs, whether the US helps or not is really immaterial – the terrorists won’t like it and will react. My guess is Pakistan would rather destroy these fighters with US help than get caught in a long, drawn-out battle on their own.

Update: In fact, it seems a clash with the Taliban and their allies is unavoidable, given the saber rattling from the other side, now backed up with hostage taking. Things are heating up, but the US is going to make sure events unfold in a manner that’s best to meet our goals and objectives.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Pakistan Government: 10,000 Terrorist Massed In Pakistan Tribal Areas”

  1. kathie says:

    Boy, I really hope cooling is true! Just how phony will algore, nancy, harry and the rest look. I will love every second of it.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    Just a reminder we pulled a carrier to be closer to Afghanistan to shorten the run for repeated sorties.

  3. […] agree with Strata-Sphere Blog that the terrorist reaction to any offensive, whether the U.S. is involved or not, will be huge. […]