Aug 02 2008

Zawahiri Dead – Part II?!

The reporting has been strangely quiet over the rumors al-Qaeda’s number two Ayman Zawahiri is possibly dead. As I noted in my last post on this (Part I) there seems to be some plausible information that cannot be confirmed.  But I did find one article which lays out a lot more detail behind the Predator Strike earlier this week:

One of the reasons why confirmations on the alleged killing of both men have been difficult to obtain is that, shortly after the strike, Taleban militants took custody of the bodies and dealt with those who were injured. In a related development, Pakistan’s Frontier Corps (FC) – the principal paramilitary organization responsible for security in the tribal areas – vacated the Ladha Fort in the South Waziristan agency on July 31.

We posted previously on the news about the FC abandoning their forts in Waziristan. At the time it looked like a prelude to military action in the area against the militants.  This article has a different spin on those actions:

FC Inspector General Maj Gen Mohammad Alam Khattak said the fort was converted into a 20-bed hospital after tribal elders requested a medical facility, but denied reports that it was done at the “demand” of Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud. Since Pakistani security forces do not really have control of the area, however, it is very likely that the FC moved men and material out of the facility under pressure from the militants – who, sources have told Stratfor, needed a facility to treat a top Al-Qaeda leader. 

I am not sure I can buy this part of the story, but I’ll just leave it at being highly skeptical for now. It would be plausible that not only did the Taliban need a facility for a seriously injured al-Qaeda leader, it might explain why the forts were abandoned. If we did get Zawahiri the Taliban are going to be mad as hornets. I can see some people wanting to get out of the way.

Anyway, the next part of the article is what I found the most interesting:

The sources added that the strike was the result of intelligence-sharing between Pakistani and NATO forces. 

Did Pakistan finally give up Zawahiri to get the US off its back? Could the same Pakistani intelligence that is so shoddy we shouldn’t make much of it also be the source of the Intel that led to the strike? Did we get high valued targets or was it a smoke-screen? Time and hard evidence will tell.  But outside Taliban mouthpieces and the gullible and liberal AP (i.e., Allah’s Paper) there has been so little talk on this it makes me think there is some high probability we did have some extra luck this time.

I suspect we will hear the facts first on those MilBlogs that have resources inside our intelligence community.

And if we did get Zawahiri, who wants to make a bet on how fast old Obama races to the TV and microphones to take credit for it?

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Zawahiri Dead – Part II?!”

  1. kathie says:

    I can”t prove it but it seems that Bush sent the CIA over to Pakistan not long ago to lay down the law about the ISI. Well maybe something was in the plans too even tho everybody is talking about the lost war. Oh would I love it if we got him on the Presidents watch. He deserves this!

  2. […] a beefed up security detail, the kind that would surround Zawahiri or Bin Laden. It is possible that the story of Zawahiri’s injury and/or death was a false story, planted to generate traffic and communication with al-Qaeda leadership and […]